Well, college has gotten a bit more difficult with Maths, English and ICT now being thrown into the mix and it’s knock-on effect has resulted in less posts. But, I’ve at last managed to get something done after a long delay!

Our last project in college was about bookmaking, preferably with the ‘book’ not being in the traditional vein of what books usually are. Well, after experimenting with a few different ideas, I settled on an idea that stemmed from a chapter in a book by (I think) Clive Barker. I thought it was from one of my fave books ever and that is The Thief of Always but, having just looked it up, it appears not. The chapter, if I remember correctly, is called ‘Leaves From The Story Tree’, so if anyone can enlighten me, I’d appreciate it. It may be from Everville, but I really don’t know. Anyway, I liked the idea of a tree where each leaf on it was akin to a page from a book. Originally, I thought of putting a story on the leaves but, being a huge John Waterhouse fan and having written some verses about some of his paintings over the summer, I decided to do something based on him.

I won’t go into the details of how I came to the final idea for what became my final piece but, after a few fiddly attempts at creating the leaves, I finally came up with something I was happy with. Each leaf practically became a little book in itself with a front and back cover and a painting and verse within. The front of the leaf was a detail of a Waterhouse painting and the back had it’s name and the date of when it was painted. These two leaves were stitched together on one side and inside the leaf I concertinaed down an image of the full painting, on the back of which was the corresponding verse. The opposite side of the leaf where the stitching was, I joined together using velcro, which meant it could be opened and closed properly.  The tree itself was simply made from black wire twisted together and then attached to a piece of hardboard just to stop it from falling over. Hope all that makes sense; if not, the images below should explain better.

I did the veins of the leaves using thread, most of which (after my tutors suggestion) I left hanging out of each leaf, just to give it a rougher, more organic look.

If your interested, here are the verses I wrote (with a little influence from Tennyson for the The Lady of Shalott) and the paintings they are from. Not great poetry, but I had fun thinking them up.

A Naiad

Is it pleasure or is it pain you bring the sleeping shepherd boy?
Or first one and then the other?
A Naiad’s embrace and her sensual joy
Would death he then discover?

Hylas and the Nymphs

O Hylas! was the love of the nymphs too much to bear?
What became of your life in the sightless depths?
Was there aught else but a cold despair?
With a heart that remained of love bereft?

Thisbe

Thisbe, do you wear red for the blood that was your fate?
It blushing the fruit of the Mulberry Tree
Did the crack in the wall you love where love was spake?
Or more so the death that set you free?

The Lady Clare (Study)

A sketch of the Lady Clare
Wistfulness on a face so fair
What colour do you wear?
What colour rose in your hair?

Echo and Narcissus

Would Echo curse the daffodil thrown
That led the eyes of Narcissus
To see reflected a face, his own?
The hearts desire of Narcissus

Boreas

Oreithyia, the North Wind about you blown
By a love elemental at Winter’s end
Where walked you among a new spring grown
Swept away for the heart of Boreas to tend

The Lady of Shalott

Laid bare on the river’s dim expanse
That floated past the spires of Camelot
Was the pain of the Lily Maid’s broken romance
The Lady of Shalott

Well, I think that’s it for this post. I’m sure I’ll think of something I should have added later on, but there you go.

I’m outta here,

Jimbob