After writing my entry last night I decided to start trying to rectify not working on traditional things for a while. This sketch came about as my default thing to do are portraits, and elves, hahah. But it was worth the time and effort.

I can see the influence of two of my favorite sketchers and traditional fantasy artists in this piece (and in a lot of traditional sketching): John Howe & Alan Lee. These two have have been my art heroes since I was a young girl, as their influence in the LOTR movie franchise is what drew me to a lot of their work. Sadly, I still need to buy the LOTR Sketchbook…maybe soon.

The more I do digital the more, it seems, I miss traditional. Most of this longing comes from the fact that I miss the feeling of physically touching the work I create. My problem arises from a practical, financial one rather than a refusal to grind in traditional. I have wanted to do oil works, more elaborate pencil works but have lacked the space to do them in, hence why I turn to digital mediums to at least showcase where I’d like to one day be traditionally.

But then I had a revolutionary thought: that I was using these thoughts as an excuse to be lazy, to not do the time to truly hone my skills, and to not hide behind the CTRL+Z button. Maybe, over this past year or two, I have gained as much as I have lost. I can say that what I have learned digitally does guide my hand traditionally, after all, I am still using my own “hand” to paint, it just happens to not be with physical paint. But I find that, for me, the challenge of traditional has been a out-pouring of my soul: it is that rigorous, mulish process, that defines me, and that I feel defines much of traditional work in my mind.

In traditional work one cannot hide behind a wall of copy and paste, at least not in a more digital sense. To me, traditional work fuels my need to be authentic, to feel that I have created something with my own hands. To be reminded that to create is actual a labor, a work ethic, and a thing that actually does contain substance.

Maybe I can’t do oil paintings right now, but I can practice in acrylics and watercolors. I might not be able to really work on a big, or even medium scale, but I can work on a small one, and find my voice through practice and re-finding the passion I once had for pencil.

I have lost the art of me, even as I feel I get closer and closer to being a better me, in different avenues of my life.

I guess this is an outcry of my soul, longing and hoping I return to what I have abandoned for over a year. Maybe starting small is key, to build confidence, and to once again be reminded that to create is a labor–it is work, and it deserves the attention of my hands molding it into shape.

This, I understand, is not the same for each person for but me to be genuine, I feel I must, at the very least, not put down my sketching hand or else I might lose a part of me that has supported me and shaped me in ways I do not wish to lose sight of.

Also, this might force me to learn better composition in the most horrific, torturous way I can envision for myself. I think I might be a masochist…

I am allowing some of my followers to ask questions about my art/art process/themes/etc. This question I loved quite a bit and helped me decide to start working on my themes and philosophies finally–because I mourn its loss.

sylinterart asked: What do you want to show us with your themes and aesthetics, what’s the philosophy behind your art? Personal art that is.

I find this a great follow-up to my previous ask @sylinterart, seeing as what I wish to aspire towards are my themes and aesthetics coming through. First I will talk about themes and then move into aesthetics and my philosophies. This post will probably be long but I take these seriously.

In many ways I am drawn to what most people are drawn to: the human figure, loneliness, elegance, sorrow, melancholy, nostalgia, dignity, death, and time.

But I look at all of these things through the mindset of “more than mortal.” It is the name of one of my stories (though I think I prefer a different name for that story but I digress) and I do use the name a lot as titles, etc, but it is a phrase I have coined for myself, though I originally was inspired to use it via Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott when he speaks of Rebecca:

“While Rebecca spoke thus, her high and firm resolve, which corresponded so well with the expressive beauty of her countenance, gave her looks, air, and manner, a dignity that seemed more than mortal. Her glance quailed not, her cheek blanched not, for the fear of a fate so instant and so horrible.”

Ivanhoe, Ch. 24 by Sir Walter Scott

This character, and this story, has stuck with me forever. Rebecca is probably one of my top female characters in literature: she is feminine yet wholly strong and resolved. She would rather jump out a window than be defiled by a man who sought her only as an object of desire–as something to be taken. I see in Rebecca much of myself, but this is not really the reason I like her–we all enjoy someone, fictional or not, who shares our morality and strengths, but Rebecca was a character who proved her worth in what she did not simply in what she said. And Rebecca stood as a character who truly was: more than mortal.

I use the term to describe one, my religion and beliefs, but also to explore the idea that we all have a purpose that goes beyond ourselves but works through us.

This brings me to my general artist statement that I wish to convey on some level: We are kings and queens; we are royalty who are ancient things. Beings of a time beyond and in front of us. But we are lost, we are fallen, and our glory is hard to see. We remember, in a haze, we were glorious. We forgot, at a time, we were more than mortal. But now we are distant, alone, elegant things forgetting ourselves, our dignity, our heritage. And we once more walk through the fog, seeing only through a glass darkly.

Everything I dwell on I dwell on deeply; everything I see with hope and joy I also see with a twinge of melancholy, with a cloud of fog. I believe one of the most beautiful lines in the Bible is this: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13: 12; KJV). This describes my aesthetic and philosophy.

We are both simultaneously more than mortal and yet we are human: we are ancient things born with dignity yet we see it through a haze–and we remember not we were glorious, that we are glorious.

That we are the Fallen. A series I wish to work on is artwork for this “series” known to me as: The Fallen. A world filled with broken kings, of mangled queens, of mauled and gnarled peoples. We are are once elegant and ethereal and yet monstrous, lonely, isolated.

I wish to express this isolation through being together but apart, that is, to create characters who are elegant but dangerous, who see you but through you, as though they are always looking to what you cannot see, that in a way: they are blind.

They are without sight. They cannot see–they are death, and they are a past you cannot remember even as it stares you in the face. They always seek to the past, for that is where they stay: and they become corrupted. For what lingers in the past and is not brought again within the present is left to dust, is left to become broken, dark things.

But I believe through all of this there is sympathy, more importantly: there is empathy.

We know what it means to be alone, to be isolated, to feel alone in a crowd, to feel that we must be here for more than this but yet to be pressed down back into the world.

But remember: we see through a glass darkly–all that is glorious and good is seen through a fog.

What I seek to work into my art is a collection of art that includes the beautiful and elegant with a twinge of offness, of a strange isolation, either through how they interact with the viewer, or how they stare in their own world.

I wish to include obvious symbols: skulls, hooded figures, crowns, crows, and monarchy themes–but I also want to include the elegant with the grotesque, to find a way to express this through a dark timelessness.

Yes, they are broken, yes they are scarred, yes they are horrific–but they still exist: waiting to once again be restored.

Will you restore them? Or shall you pass them by and leave them to once more be lost in the fog?