anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Monster & Inspire Me Thursday - Monochromatic

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Illustration Friday - Monster & Inspire Me Thursday - Monochromatic

The Gorgons of Greek mythology were so hideous that the mere sight of them would turn anyone who gazed their way to stone. They were, according to the poet Hesiod, so frighteningly repulsive to the senses that they "were not to be approached and not to be described." Medusa, the only one of the three who was mortal, was born beautiful with a head of luxuriant, shining hair. The lusty Poseidon took a fancy to her, and disguised as a horse, seduced her in the temple of Athena. Enraged, Athena transformed Medusa into a monster whose most common portrayal shows her once beautiful hair as a mass of writhing snakes.


I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved, -- a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.

- Louise Bogan (1897 - 1970)

(9 x 12 - micron pen/colored in photoshop)

3/26 edit - I am also submitting this for the Inspire Me Thursday challenge to create a monochromatic piece. I had originally planned to do this completely in shades of green, but somehow a bit of greenish-orange sneaked in...


Blogger Princess Pepper Cloud said...

this piece is my favorite of yours so far, you have managed to make Medusa extremely alluring, each snake has it's own beauty, wonderful detail. The color choices are of a time gone past, very Arts and Crafts...

5:05 PM  
Blogger Rowantree said...

Carla, you make progress every week with micron pen, beatiful work !

5:12 PM  
Blogger Sinclair said...

I love the detail.

5:15 PM  
Blogger cosmos said...

Very Cool Indeed!

5:24 PM  
Blogger disappointed said...

the beautiful gorgon

from Ovid, Metamorphoses
book 4:1181-95 from Thomas More translation

Beyond all others she
was famed for beauty, and the envious hope
of many suitors. Words would fail to tell
the glory of her hair, most wonderful
of all her charms

from The Muse as Medusa
by May Sarton

I saw you once, Medusa; we were alone.
I looked you straight in the cold eye, cold.
I was not punished, was not turned to stone -
How to believe the legends I am told?...

I turn your face around! It is my face.
That frozen rage is what I must explore -
Oh secret, self-enclosed, and ravaged place!
This is the gift I thank Medusa for.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

I love this fierce female monster. Wonderfully active snaky detail.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous James said...

Lovely and scary. Should I be looking at it in a mirror?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Katili said...

Great, many detailed drawing. She looks really poisonous and dangerous, this is a monster I would not like to meet.

6:15 PM  
Blogger The Tart said...

Beautiful Carla... the green shades are really cool.

Her eyes are great... I would love to have those eyelashes!

The Tart

6:25 PM  
Blogger Ian Sands said...

Are you sure that is Medusa? Cause it looks a lot like someone I know... :P

The work you put into all those snakes shows. Great job.


7:19 PM  
Anonymous Detlef said...

Carla, very nice illustration, I took precautions though and viewed with sun glasses....and I survived to tell the tale.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Tony Sarrecchia said...

Beautiful piece. One didn't want to get those old god/goddess mad at them.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Rick Lovell said...

Lovely muted palette, wonderful patterns in the reptilian locks. Beautiful and scary, like most legendary women.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Alison Ashwell said...

a very lovely medusa

8:23 PM  
Blogger Michael O'Connell said...

as usual, a wonderful illustration… the detail is amazing… i'm glad i looked at the larger version… the subject seems to have been hand picked for your style… the medusa, not monsters in general…

8:50 PM  
Blogger Liz Jones said...

Great job!! Love the poem, too!

8:54 PM  
Blogger Rrramone said...

Wow, talk about your bedhead. :-) As usual, wonderful work. I have to say that I am still in love with the tattoo drawing, my favorite yet! But Medusa is very stirring. Great job.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Teri C said...

Your detail work always blows me away. It is just awesome!

8:55 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

unreal how you can always create a piece that uses the theme in your signature style as well as educate us about the past! The poem is beautiful to equal your work!!!

9:09 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Such great detail ,Carla!(makes my hand hurt just to think of drawing it)

9:26 PM  
Blogger The Unknown said...

Wow! It's beautiful and such amazing detail.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing, even your Mudusa's have a beauty about them. You are the queen of details. REally great piece Carla!

9:38 PM  
Blogger constanthing said...

How elaborate! The snakes have such intricate patterns on them, you wield the micron pen superbly!

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

I've always been fascinated with the Medusa tale. Your drawing is beautifully executed and matches the mental image so well.

10:23 PM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

I love the Gods of the Greek Mythology! And the bad ones too! This drawing is wonderful!

10:51 PM  
Blogger kg said...

holy toledo - such fabulous detail! perfect color scheme, too.

11:03 PM  
Blogger mel said...

beautiful illo as usual. can't help myself looking at her, will i turn into stone now? ;)

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Because of B said...

so many lines thrown in with such perfection! :)

reminds of madhubani style of art in India.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful details and great composition. i love these snakes, almost can hear sssss...

12:19 AM  
Blogger KaRLa said...

awasome Carla!!! very nice version of Medusa is sooo great

1:07 AM  
Blogger Shano said...

Even your monsterous illos are beautiful!

1:17 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

This is BEAUTIFUL!! Love the delicate detail on the hair, very unique interpretation of Medusa!

1:38 AM  
Blogger isay said...

I like looking at the big picture eventhough i was having goose bumps. I don't like Medusa's hair-and you have been effective in your illustration-she's really become a monster with those hair. I agree with all of them-you have become excellent in using the micro oen and in doing very detailed kind of atwork. i am envious.

6:16 AM  
Blogger isay said...

i forgot to tell that i also enjoyed the poem.

6:17 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

I love the detail and the uniqueness of each snake. Beautiful job!

7:13 AM  
Blogger cream said...

Lovely perm, Carla! Who's the hairdresser?

Great stuff!

7:42 AM  
Blogger rubio2d said...

Great medusa, the snakes look like some kind of jewellery.
Fantastic illo.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Aidan, 5 years old (Krista's son) said...

You look like Medusa before she was transformed to a gargon. Your hair is pretty.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Alexa Brett said...

Carla, how I enjoy the details in your work! I feel that your art is an extension of your poetic sensibility. It transports the viewer into a river of thoughts and beauty.

10:57 AM  
Blogger oziskin said...

Amazingly detailed work, I really like how the snakes have different patterns and movement. Plus your writing makes your blog very interesting.
And thank you for visiting my page and taking time to comment :D

11:24 AM  
Blogger the heartful blogger said...

Wow, the shades of green really make this drawing. Wonderful.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

I love that tangle of snakes - really wonderful. In fact so wonderful I'd love to borrow it.... not sure what I'd do with it but they are amazing!

You have failed on one count though.... we're not all turning to stone ... or did I speak too s....

12:03 PM  
Blogger modroom said...

Great serpents and intricate detail indeed! Hope they're permanent colours for the wash-and-go gal on the move.

12:08 PM  
Blogger modroom said...

Caroline's stoned.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

This is a wonderful creation, an effctive Medusa. Enjoyed the poem, too, very much.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

Very nice. She has the wildest hair! Brandi

1:46 PM  
Blogger LDahl said...

Great snakes alive!!! I love the theme, but will I love the nightmares that it will give me?*shiver* hehe!

1:50 PM  
Blogger TXArtcGal said...

I've had bad hair days like this before! Now I know...monsters take me over!! Fantastic job...both for IF and IMT! (you are a great inspiration for me!, if I only put my thoughts I'm having onto canvas!).

2:34 PM  
Blogger RedRaider756 said...

Hey Carla, its been awhile since i commented on your work, so i figure ill do it now, I like it, looks gread

3:02 PM  
Blogger Violetswalk said...

Carla!!!!! this is INCREDIBLE!!!!!!

3:15 PM  
Blogger violetismycolor said...

she is wonderful...esp love all the greens!

4:54 PM  
Blogger bee'nme said...

I'm always impressed by your work - on many levels. I'm fascinated by the detail...I know I've told you that before, but goodness, this is a tour de force in detail! Really "beautiful" if you can say that about Medusa. Greay poem - I always feel significantly taught when I come by and see your posts. Kudos Carla!!

6:04 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Your design work keeps getting tighter and stronger. Nice one.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Snakes usually creep me out, but these these little patterned creatures are gorgeous!! I love the limited color palette. In the larger view that little one with the tongue near her eye is a cutie!

8:52 PM  
Blogger melba said...


Love your Medusa. The details in her snake hair are so amazing. You amaze me every week.

I really appeciated your comments last week on my blog. Sometimes I think I am boring everyone with all my talk of fear...but really I blog for me and to make connections with other women.
I think sharing honestly will help us all achieve our dreams.
Thanks for the continued support.

Thinking of you fondly,

9:45 PM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

once again another wonderful illustration!!

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

I love this! Your Medusa is a beautiful monster. I really like how you tell the stories to go along with your illustrations. Simply enjoyable. :)

12:01 AM  
Blogger emmyschoonbeek said...

wonderful, medusa and the storie,
I love it very much

12:11 AM  
Blogger khya said...

Wow, this piece is amazing!!!!! I love it, you must have spent soo much time doing her hair, it's amazing! And thanks for the story.

2:51 AM  
Blogger georg said...

Your Medusa is wonderful - a beautiful monster. I love the details and the colour.

2:51 AM  
Blogger khya said...

I really must learn new words to flatter your work, amazing comes up way too often, I'll go take a look for some synonymes ;-)

2:52 AM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

I thought about Medusa... What I was trying to convey is probably more like Medea.
I like the baroque texture you've gotten in your illustration. So much patience and detail.

3:24 AM  
Blogger firstborn studio said...

i am bound to repeat the sentiments of others here...holy mackeral...62 comments!!!
i will simply say...intriguing and call it a day!

8:00 AM  
Blogger Nan said...

Fabulous! I'm always amazed at the detail in your works. Each snake head with it's eyes and tongue, not to mention all the patterns. The coloring is very appropriate for the reptilian Medusa. Thanks for the lesson, too. Your students are lucky :-)

8:18 AM  
Blogger Valaine said...

She is very detailed - I am inspired by your intricate detail work! I like the color choice. My son said she'd be even better if she had boar's teeth and scales? ^_^ also I like the position you drew her in istead of face forward, very nice work!

9:16 AM  
Blogger creative kismet said...

I knew you would do a beautiful monster! I love all of the detail of her snakey hair. The monochomatic theme work wonderfully with this! Superb!

10:04 AM  
Blogger cristosova said...

Your style works just perfect for her hair and expression!
I always thought Medusa´s fate to be unfair, the poor soul had not much done to deserve that...

10:49 AM  
Blogger Roz Foster said...

The details on the snakes is overwhelming --in a good way. You've really got a knack for detailing with that Micron of yours. How long did this take, I wonder? The image--particularly her writhing, ornate snake hair brings across the meshing of beauty and hideousness of Medusa so well. Beautiful work!

I enjoyed how even the moment in the poem seemed to be turned to stone.

I love your literate, knowledgeable posts.

12:34 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Luckily I've recovered now.... still love those snakes!

2:17 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Ahhh yes--Medusa! She scared the hell out of me in "Clash of the Titans"! Still does actually. Lovely work here nevertheless.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Leezy said...

Ooooh, what a beautiful illustration Carla, and such gorgeous shades of green (a color I am most afraid and uncomfortable of working with). i can see the devilish look in her eye, but I can't stop looking at her ... just like Medusa ... resist the temptation, but how can I not look at her?

PS: I added my article about acrylics for you, it is under Monster II, hope it helps.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Gabe said...

This post is splendid (art and poem). I feel like I just got a dose of the old story teller camp fire reality. Thanks.


5:39 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

This is so beautifully drawn. It must take you such a long time to put so much detail into your work.

6:34 PM  
Blogger kikazinha said...

Carla, it is me the bad-blogger ;),
I am sorry I've missed your comments and never came to visit you again.
I feel bad, because you always have time to really look at my work ( what is essential is invisible to the eye...S.E.) and to write in your blog things that always teach us something new.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous illustration Carla! Very nice indeed.

7:53 PM  
Blogger tiffinix said...

Oh Carla! So beautiful - the eyelashes. Everything a must to look at big!! Wonderful - wonderful!!! I love all the patterns of the snakes and her expression. Just amazing!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Twisselman said...

This is my third try at leaving a comment... Wouldn't be s'prised if the first two eventually show up. Got a '' server error...
Anyway, great illustration... wonderfully intricate nest of snakes... and with personality... Really like her engaging eyes... Very spooky...
As usual with your posts, educational, to boot.
I had some really insightful things in the comment(s) that was (were) lost.

10:51 PM  
Blogger HARDWAX said...

Writhing, churning, undulating snakes, brought to life with your impeccable skill, the beauty in the detail, puts me in awe of your skill. The poem is haunting, the narrative informative as usual.

3:08 AM  
Blogger Joy Eliz said...

This is such a perfect marriage of your style and 'monster'. I really love it.
It just hit me...your style reminds me of the design on 'Rachael Perry' skin care products. Which BTW I absolutely love!

6:17 AM  
Blogger Lee said...

amazing detail and I love the color scheme :)

6:47 AM  
Anonymous catnapping said...

you've managed to make medusa, beautiful. i love this work.

6:53 AM  
Blogger Aravis said...

I had never heard that version of Medusa's history, the bit about being a beautiful mortal seduced in Athena's temple. Those gods were nothing but trouble.*G* You did a beautiful job, and the monochromatic theme worked well for this piece. Thanks, too, for sharing that poem.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

I must admit I considered doing Medusa, but after seeing yours I know there is no way I could improve upon it. The colors are perfect and I could get lost in the labyrinth of snakes. What detail! Even for an ugly monster, she is quite beautiful.

11:20 AM  
Blogger albina said...

Lovely drawing, Carla! Wonderful details. Medusa has always been one of my favorites monsters – what a price for a girl to pay for seduction by gods…

11:55 AM  
Blogger juliemc said...

love the detail...and the green hues.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Suzan said...

WOW this is beautiful. the detail of the snakes are amazing not to mention the look on her face. Great job!

12:30 PM  
Blogger Lu*** said...

I love the charming hair of shining serpents and that pretty face of as sad woman as her story. Wonderful illustration!!!

1:04 PM  
Blogger String said...

Ahhh, to be able to turn offenders to stone! Good choice, although combing hair would be a bit strange!

1:11 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Fantastic Carla! The detail in this is amazing! Quite possibly my favorite work of yours!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Sea Angel said...

Awesome, Medusa is my favorite Gorgon. =)

3:55 PM  
Blogger wynlen said...

Great hair!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

A classic illustration in a somewhat Art Nouveau style (think Beardsley)! The limited colours really bring it out perfectly - the differently textured areas. She looks great with that heavy mouth and eyelids. You have really captured the essence of Medusa - not easily done! :)

7:11 PM  
Blogger Wee Cottage said...

Wow, Medusa has always facinated me. This is a wonderful rendition of her. Great job. I love the colors you have used.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Tatiana said...

Wow you already have so many comments! That's really great.

I really like this piece. It's wonderful that you could make the piece work for both sites. This is a very lovely piece. The colors are wonderful.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Gise said...

It´s the most beautiful monster of this site!!! Wonderful piece of art!Love your excellent work.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Oops late in getting around to everyone this week.
Carla I always love reading your Greek mythology writings. I learn so much. I love her hair. It's awesome and kind of kinky. Oh and great take on the IMT. Don't you just love being able to do two challenges in one post.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Kala said...

Gosh this must have taken you ages, exquisite detail in the snakes, a very strong image!

3:43 PM  
Blogger Courtney said...

beautiful, love your take on ms. medusa. you should illustrate a book of myths.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Ooooh! Very nice! That is the best medusa I have ever seen. Excellent work Carla.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I really don't have anything great to say, other than I love your Medusa. I really just wanted to leave the 100th comment. I still can't believe that some people get so many. Good for could you not feel good after all this positive energy. :)

6:41 PM  
Blogger scribblesk said...

Waht a great take on Medusa! I can feel myself turning to stone!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Wow! This is beautiful and inspired.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wonderful and dynamic representation of Medusa! And you are the comment queen! I do not think I have ever seen so many on one post! You definitely deserve it. Your work is always well executed.

9:44 PM  
Blogger lindaharre said...

103 comments.....thats got to be a record of some kind:) thank you so much for your comments on my blog. i really appreciate it! i have admired your work and thank you for looking at mine! ~L.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

Oh my, and to think you responded to me? How do you manage it all?
At first I didn't notice that her hair was snakeful. I saw green and thought I was looking at Mucha ...then the eyes came out as did the little tongues. Jealous is green and its eyes and tongue wither truth.
Thanks for giving us such depth, creative outlook and divine information. Since I can't join your classes I am glad to come here and learn!!

4:27 AM  
Blogger Kaladda said...

I love the colors on her. Nice work!

2:47 PM  
Blogger fenris said...

this is.. fascinating, certainly holds your attention! can see the 'hair' writhing...

3:59 PM  
Blogger Rectite23 said...

beautiful work as always!

5:39 PM  
Blogger aoisart said...

Lot of work for Medusa's "lively" hair!!

9:47 PM  
Blogger irene said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, and for always taking your time to give a well thought out comment. I see that I have had the same idea as you, combining IF and IMT this week:) Yours is truly beautiful with exciting details!

2:35 AM  
Blogger Rita B. Fox said...

Wow, this way I like snakes, Very beautiful done.

I do write as well,
for more than 3 years, mostsly in English, sometimes Dutch, as I am Dutch, Just started to draw in March. I hardly did anything before.

But love doing it.

6:34 AM  
Blogger V said...

I love your illustration of Medusa.

It all reminds of that fantastic movie "Clas of the Titans" I was fascinated by Medusa in that movie.

Wonderful work!

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, hi, i haven't been here for a while and i just "love" your banner. Too bad u r all the way in the US, otherwise it would be only wise to commission you to paint your kind of floral patterns on our wall.

1:55 PM  
Blogger Ellen said...

Carla, this is wonderful! I love the detail and the color you chose. I am in awe of your ability to set pen to paper....I would love to be able to draw. And what a cool thing to be in the Inspire Me spotlight! Congrats to you....

11:50 PM  
Blogger Mike Thompson said...

Incredible piece, Carla!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Persephone said...

Haven't stopped by lately, but I really like your monster interpretation, particularly the beautiful detail in her "hair." You always do such meticulous work.

11:08 AM  

once again your attention to detail amazes me.

4:09 AM  
Blogger LudaChristian said...

love it... she looks mean, though. i wouldn't want to bump into her in a dark alley.

6:53 PM  
Blogger diosaperdida said...

I love her! I have a thing for fish...and snakes.

1:13 AM  

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