anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Night

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Illustration Friday - Night


Night appears in literature in many forms, often representing the darker side of our existence - obscurity, the subconscious, terror, the unknown, and even death.

In Greek mythology, Night is personified by the goddess Nyx, the daughter of Chaos. She was one of the first divine beings to come into existence, and by her brother Erubus (Darkness), she was mother to the Moerae (the three Fates), Nemesis (justice and divine retribution), Hypnos (Sleep) and his brother Thanatos (Death), Moros (Doom), the Keres (goddesses of violent death), Oizys (Misery), the Hesperides (Deceit, Friendship, Old Age) and Eris (Strife). She was both helpful and harmful to mankind, bringing either sleep or death.

In his Theogony, Hesiod describes Nyx's residence:

"There also stands the gloomy house of Night;
ghastly clouds shroud it in darkness.
Before it Atlas stands erect and on his head
and unwearying arms firmly supports the broad sky,
where Night and Day cross a bronze threshold
and then come close and great each other."
(Hesiod, Theogony, 744 ff.)

Night is also associated with the mysterious remote beauty of the stars against a black sky, and here George Gordon, Lord Byron uses such imagery to describe his love:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that 's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

So take this illustration (ink and Photoshop) as you will, either the primordial dark Goddess Nyx, or the serene beauty of whom Lord Byron waxed poetic. I was going to be ambitious this week and try painting my illustration in response to the challenge Dennis West put up, but once again, I have way too much work to do and too little time to do it...sigh...

70 Comments:

Blogger Caroline said...

This is a strong image Carla. It has a wildness hidden in its fabric.

She seems pensive, perhaps as Nyx she is the muse of all who seek to accept change, even when it includes death. Though if she is Byron's love maybe she worries that he'll knock her off the pedestal his adulation placed her on.

The textures are rich though the colours are subdued.

5:47 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

You came ungummed with a snap, didn't you:))!
Love this, does her one eye represent the moon? On the larger view, you can see the flower, like a pin, holding all the moving lines together, and the ying and yang curls that fold together like wings.
Yeah you go girl!!!
I'll tell you a secret:
My name means night...
Lame secret, but as a girl I thought it was pretty cool...I was a goth chick before there were such beings:))) I just had a thing for myths, I think you do too!

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Marion said...

Very nice illo!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

This is a really interesting post because when we are consumed by overwhelming darkness we often forget the beauty of it. Conversely, when the night takes our breath away and seems to whisper profundity, we often dismiss our fears of it. For me, this week's topic has been especially interesting because I've been living the last four nights without my fiancee. We don't often spend time apart, so this hasn't been easy. Your description has really crystalized for me my approach to night, with and without him. Even if he's fallen asleep on the couch and I can't get him into bed, just having him nearby eases the darker sides of the dark. When he's around I look forward to night, as a time to hole up in our little dwelling and just exist together. When he's not, night makes me feel exposed and vulnerable and distractions are few and far between. So thanks for your homage to our fickle friend the Night. I'm just glad that tonight brings the fairer of her two personas, cause he's finally coming home.

By the way, I really like the illustration...in particular the inky texture of her hair and the paleness of that demon/goddesses face.

6:10 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Thank you for your comments, Caroline and ldahl. I just doodled this lady and she looked kind of blank and enigmatic, so...there was my Night illo. I had some grand aspirations for this week involving Tennyson's "Ulysses" with a Grecian trireme, an aged Penelope, and a setting sun, but I just didn't have the time to put it all together. And yes...the gum was very hard, Idahl...I couldn't even get myself going to translate my origianl idea, so I just let go and here I am :>

6:11 PM  
Blogger carla said...

Thank you, marion and Megan! Megan, I know what you mean about being away from your fiance. I just hate it when Jol goes out on his tours...everything seems out of phase for me! I don't revel in my solitude like some women do...I just miss his company! I'm happy for you that Nick is coming home...BTW, I did read your lovely post to him...awwww:>

6:15 PM  
Blogger raim said...

Lovely like always Carla.
Thanks for your comment.

6:27 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

the overall image is great. my favorite part has to do with the various pen and ink patterns you did. the patterns give it a collage feel.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Okay-I learned somethings here. I found the greek mythology part very very interesting. The illo is a beauty I must say. The one eye covered is a nice touch. She looks like she is wrapped in the night. High marks on the different textures-(applause-applause) Very lovely!

7:20 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

I can sense the fun you have when faced with a new IF topic: how your mind looks to the classics to find a thread you can weave into a fabric of picture and words. (The warp and the weft?) I always look forward to your offering and this one pleases as they all do. Her hair is fantastic and really makes me want to keep looking.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Tony LaRocca said...

Beautiful as ever- though Nyx seems to be made of hair (or speghetti)As ever, the world is full of cycles and similies- Night is winter and death and sleep.

8:22 PM  
Blogger christina said...

This is beautiful, Carla. I like the pen and ink feel to the drawing and then the textured backround--I also love the poem by Byron. I think I once memoried that in high school long ago. Truly--you MUST go illustrate a book!!

9:23 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

Really wonderful! Both the illo and the writing. Inspiring and thought provoking.

10:37 PM  
Blogger The Tart said...

RECORDS, are playing in that complicated hair....so lushy.

I can hear the music of your art!

Smooch,
The Tart

10:59 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Well Carla still working on mine ....
I like to think of night as beautiful so I find Lord Byron's poem beautiful.
For me your illustration does have a mystique about it this week.
Love how you do the patterns and the way they flow, add texture and depth.

10:59 PM  
Blogger kg said...

marvelous detail. another nice one.

(and i have always liked that poem...)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Julie Kieras said...

I choose Byron over the darker interpretation! :) I've long loved that poem as well... When I read "she walks in beauty," I always picture "beauty" as her garment - a girl so beautiful that she needs to wear nothing more...
I love the details in her hair also - I always enjoy the intricacy of your illustrations... I don't have the patience or craft for that! (yet!?)

11:18 PM  
Blogger miragee said...

Wow, her body is embroidered with hair-like lines. Very poetic image. Besides, whenever I read your posts, I learn a lot about the classic works in literature. Thank you Carla!

1:47 AM  
Blogger diosaperdida said...

wowee..this is super..magical, even....

1:49 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

This is beautiful!! I love it Carla!!! By the way, I finally post Mid summer night .... i used it for this week IF illo. Thanks for your inspiration!! It's an experimental piece ... appreciate your feedback.

Again lovely illo, always enjoy your works and writing! :)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

This is beautiful!! I love it Carla!!! By the way, I finally post Mid summer night .... i used it for this week IF illo. Thanks for your inspiration!! It's an experimental piece ... appreciate your feedback.

Again lovely illo, always enjoy your works and writing! :)

1:54 AM  
Anonymous aynaku said...

thank you for your comment... I like very much the textures in your illo, and enjoy the perfect writing. For me, writing in english is a bit challenging sometimes...

2:41 AM  
Blogger F L E E said...

i like the "textured" look.
and i like what you wrote too!

3:33 AM  
Blogger The Unknown said...

Wonderful illustration and words. Thanks for mentioning me at the beginning just after terror and right before death.
love

4:57 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Carla, you leave me searching for words! I love your work so much and wish you had the time do all you would like to do. Through you I feel like i'm back in school and loveing it!

8:06 AM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

There is nothing more serene then the Night. It is the direct counterpart of Day on many levels. It has it's own sounds, colors, it has it's own world of creatures. And like myths from the Daylight, Night has it's share - good and evil. I prefer the good but look forward to the mystery of the antagonistic evil. Your illustration provokes both aspects of the Night.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Leezy said...

I love the black and white in this - sort of a night and day contrast. Very ethereal Carla, really lovely!
You continue to amaze me how you arrive at your illustrations, too.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Catnapping said...

it's like there's a whole nuther story going in her hair. amazingly beautiful illustration.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

your pattern pieces are my favorite, so easy to get lost in those lines.

8:11 PM  
Blogger melba said...

I can just tell that you are an amazing teacher, one of those teachers that stay with you through out your life - you are so passionate about literature. It is beautiful to witness.

9:21 PM  
Blogger kan said...

you have so much talent in the hair department...the creativity there is fabulous....i always look forward to the next post...will stay tuned

take care

9:23 PM  
Blogger Tony Sarrecchia said...

I am in awe of the amount of detail you put in to your linework. Your work is amazing.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous hartini said...

Carla, your ink work is magnificent!!! :D So much detail and so beautiful! Love it! Also enjoyed your write up on the Greek mythology - very interesting and appropriate add-on to the illo. Truely enjoyed your work, as I do always :)

11:57 PM  
Blogger isay said...

lovely ink illustration! you have a wonderful touch of patience in making tiny details in your art. i love it's flowing style and the fine cut of the edges.

2:53 AM  
Blogger kinky konijn said...

the details in your illo are great.
I think the image would be even
stronger without the background
there is something dreamy in her eye...

5:26 AM  
Blogger youcantryreachingme said...

I realllly like the style of your illustrations! Night, And the tag goes on, and Remote (II)... they realllly remind me of the works of a friend here in Sydney who I've lost contact with. The similarities are amazing.

I'll definately spend some time in your archives!

6:48 AM  
Blogger the_nessie said...

Poli orea.. which means very beautiful in greek. Her face reminds me a bit of the actresses in the old silent movies. Really dramatically and expressive!!!

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Dennis West said...

Hey, thanks for your kind remarks. Don't worry about "wimping out", it's probably pretty presumptuous of me to challenge everyone else while I'm most desperately in need of help myself.

But anyway, I'm going to do another challenge this week. Probably not dealing with media.

I really like your piece for this week. and I especially like the thought you put into all your entries. It makes them so much more than weekly one-offs -- you should publish an anthology!

3:52 PM  
Blogger coffee81 said...

the woman looked very sexy to me :)

2:46 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What I want to know is when are you going to write your own novel? Another great illo!

4:52 AM  
Blogger David said...

I love the lines/texture on this figure. very cool.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Maria Antunes said...

wow this is really great! Very cool and different! Lovely! :-)

6:56 AM  
Blogger Niko said...

Wouwww it's great, i love it, it's so beautiful

7:41 AM  
Blogger Sp00kalot said...

Wow Carla! Thats really COOL! I love the detail!! Great talent!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Kyra said...

This is gorgeous! Now I have to go explore more of your art. :)

9:01 AM  
Blogger The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Beautiful hair...as always....what is hidden in that hair?

Your soul exposed maybe.

Great portrait!

9:33 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

It's really lovely - the line work is exquisite.

10:01 AM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

You know, when I look at this beautiful drawing, it makes me think of one of The Beatles' song: Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds... Very cool!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

I don't know how I managed to miss this....once again you've mastered lines, color and texture. I also meant to ask you what kind of pens you use, or if you use INK ink. I love the Micron drafting pens in many different weights. You?

12:44 PM  
Blogger R.Soler said...

Hi Carla, Thank you for your visit,
I like your ink drawing too!!!

5:02 PM  
Blogger ecm said...

An impressive, expressive take on "Night." Your work is very lovely. Reminds me of the art nouveau movement only with a modern slant. Keep up the great work! :-)

Thanks for visiting my blog, too!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Very nice illustration. Great textures. May I know how you rendered the texture?

The background seems a little out of place though?

8:29 PM  
Anonymous rose said...

Very pretty. I like the way the line work looks against the background.

9:22 PM  
Blogger PaintMonster said...

wow super fine detail illustration!!
great take!!

9:42 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

Nyx? Uh, wasn't she in Fleetwood Mac? Nah, forget I said that ;).

I really enjoy the concept of drawing "Night" as an entity, but even more, I love the way you've used contrasted tonalities here! The juxtaposition of soft blended painterly hues against the textured black linework is sooo effective!

2:23 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Beautiful to look at, beautiful to read. Amazing!

2:30 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

I love that this is literary as well as literal. You always manage to explore new things, new ways of seeing a topic or of expressing yourself artistically. Your work, as always, is beautiful.

3:26 AM  
Blogger Kim Carney said...

I love to be bewitched by your illustrations and learn something wonderful through your writings. As always, a perfect entry.

3:56 AM  
Blogger manomecchi said...

Woww!very beautiful!nice illo!!

10:22 AM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

Don't you just love those .005 pens? I can tell we have a love of detail in common, and those pens allow for lots of detail!! I actually need to replace mine - I use them so much. You know, the more I see of your women, the more I think you should put them all into a book or a set of post cards/greeting cards. Each one is different in her own way, and even though the literary notes add to their mystery and beauty, they do stand alone quite well. I would love to see them compiled in some way.

10:52 AM  
Blogger chan wah said...

Wonderful words and illustration. I love the patterns on the fabric and they are very oriental too.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh Carla. Simply stunning as always. I just love what you do with lines. This is so powerful.

3:29 PM  
Blogger bee'nme said...

Carla - I often wonder when you make your images if you linger over the line work - almost theraputically, or if you wisk through it with a brisk pace. Regardless, the details and patterns of it are mesmerizing and effective. love ly as usual, and ny IQ goes up a notch with every visit to your site :o)

6:24 PM  
Blogger Virginia Valle said...

beautiful work :) a lot of work :)

8:51 PM  
Blogger Happily Ever After said...

I want to be She. With her confidence, beauty, grace and inner companionship.
You draw with strength.
You speak as a friend.
Thank you.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Corrine Nelson said...

very interesting!
i like it a lot

10:28 PM  
Blogger atomicvelvetsigh said...

kinda looked like a lovely self portrait to me 8) like the textures of the hair and how she was wrapped by it. And great placed with the poem by George Gordon.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Miyuki Mouse said...

Hi Carla! Thank you for leaving a comment on my LiveJournal the other day...

Wow, this illustration is quite lovely and inspiring, but the text that accompanies it adds another dimension altogether. I love your entire entry! Thanks for sharing :)

11:54 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

very nice texture in the hair!

7:31 PM  
Blogger Sybille said...

This is brillaint. Love the colour choices and the "independence" in the expression. Love it.

1:56 AM  

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