Jan 17, 2010

Illustration Friday: Wilderness

"Tim enters the enchanted glade.": (From: "How Tim was Lost in the Forest and Never Seen Again.") Please click for big.

Not that it's related to this illustration, but after seeing spindlemaker's and dthaase' work, I realised that I always think of this poem by Wallace Stevens when someone says "Wilderness".

Wallace Stevens was an insurance salesman..... never a more un-poetic vocation there was - and yet that didn't stop him at all. "Anecdote of the Jar" is a strange poem, indistinct, as if it is feeling its way around the subject matter, before slowly petering out. Yet I think his poem succinctly sums up how we (as humans) try to make order out of chaos. Cliched it might be, the concept of making unnatural order out of natural chaos, but it stops us going mad - assuming we aren't already... just a little bit mad..... even slightly cookoo.... there are no trolls under the bridge, are there....?

Anecdote of the Jar

I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.

The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.

It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.

Wallace Stevens


  1. Oh, your pictures are just magical!

  2. awesome! what a cool concept and incredible depiction

  3. Amazing!! Really capturing concept and illo!

  4. Beautiful Andrew - the rendering on the bubble is amazing! I'd love to read this story...

  5. Gee..... I am blushing now..... but seriously.... this was fun to do, I always had a thing for terrariums and the idea of sticking a huge landscape in one always appealed to me as a kid. So I think this is the genesis of this.

    Thanks for all your kind comments!

  6. Wow! And let me say this.... WOW! Andrew you are amazing! I'm addicted to your work. This is wonderful!

  7. I dig this orb-work. The way the light is bent, making the wilderness even wilder looking. Particularly the ground effect of the leaves/petals, the smaller trees and the light seemingly emerging from the orb rather than the sky.

  8. Fantastic work, excellent interpretation of the theme of the week!
    Would be happy to invite you to visit my site www.ruisousaartworks.com.

    If you have time you can also see my idea on the theme of the week

    Thank you and greetings

    Rui Sousa

  9. Thanks Jack, I am blushing again. Ajikas: thanks for the insightful comments. I'm impressed how you analysed the work! Picked up the refraction etc.

    Rui: I'm heading over to your site now! Cheers again.

  10. I haven't read this poem in a long time, but it is indeed a strange poem. I really like your interpretation of it....the idea of the bubble, and what's in it being bright and alive, and what's not in it dim and distant. Beautiful light!

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