Tag Archives: mixed media

Blodeuwedd mask

Untitled

Lleu Llaw Gyffes was cursed by his reluctant mother – he could never have weapons & armour, a bride, or even a name until she gave them to him. His foster-father, Gwydion ap Dôn, tricked her into bestowing the first and the last, but there’s nothing she could do about the second, and frankly that family was screwed up enough already.

So Gwydion and his uncle, Math ap Mathonwy, made a bride for him out of flowers. This branch of the Mabinogion is usually told as Gwydion’s story, and to an extent Lleu’s, but I’m not the only one with a lot of sympathy for Blodeuwedd. She didn’t ask to be made, or to be married to Lleu. When she falls in love with Gronw Bebyr, she tricks Lleu into revealing the arcane way he can be killed (it involves taking a bath with a goat) and then murdering him. It’s a bit extreme, but then so is everything else in that drama-laden family.

And she really didn’t ask to be turned into an owl by Gwydion.

I had a lot of fun making this. It started out by working out what kind of owl she was (I decided on the secretive and nocturnal long-eared owl, widely hated in the avian world) and as you’ll see took a lot of liberties with the design. The text panels are from the portions of the Fourth Branch that deal with her directly, in both English and modern Welsh. I’d originally intended them to show up more clearly, but this dense green works well with the brown – which I’d planned to be lighter, but the technique I’d been envisaging didn’t work out the way I’d thought it would! The rose is adapted from a jewellery design I’ve been playing with, using hand-assembled lasercut petals.

Ink over acrylic, pt 3

Further to last, you won’t be seeing a scan of the failed print after all – it occurred to me that I had some clay shaper tools lying around, and that they might work nicely for applying printer’s ink by hand. It turns out that yes, they do, so I laid some of that over the outside frame and the central oval, and will leave the webwork light and ghostly.

This will make it take even longer to dry, of course, but never mind that.

Cartouche network

I did this as a substrate for mixed-media pieces – specifically, I wanted one to put on the cover of my laptop. It’s done from katsura onto some rather nice Indian paper (this piece has cornflower petals – I also did plain white, grey, and medium grey-blue, and haven’t decided which I’ll use yet) without dampening it.

Originally, I was intending the network to be much more vine-like, but I’m not unhappy with the way it turned out.

Cartouche network on cornflower paper