Monday 30 June 2008

Artwork Mondays: Salome + the Head of Extinction

For this Artwork Monday, I'd like to show an older concept drawing from the heady university days I spent enthralled with Symbolist Art.

For a while I played with compositional elements from works and themes of favoured by the Symbolists and other mopey fin-de-siecle proto-goth artists, and attempted to add a pantheon of science-based creations. Lord Extinction was one such attempt, I wanted a monstrous figure who ate species and D.N.A. and in my second post here on The Flying Trilobite, I showed his first drawing, also seen here in miniature, in Lord Extinction Yawns, (right).

I drew the Lord Extinction character again, this time aiming to mimic the popular Salome-and-head-of-John-the-Baptist theme. Here is Salome + the Head of Extinction.

Okay, deep breath. I am actually showing this one online.

I look back on this piece as a major muddle. It had one of the figures of the Candle-Women that appear in my work every so often in the role of Salome. I attempted a bit of gothy clothing with the fishnets, a a strange (in my head, witchy) crescent moon sickle. There's a little trilobite helping her out for revenge, perhaps for its brethren that escaped Extinction's maw in the previous drawing. The Candle-Women originally started out as Rapa Nui (Easter Island) statues, and evolved into candle-headed enigmas.

This was in a confused stage of my life, coming out of non-organised, egotistical Pagan-ish beliefs, and re-focusing on the scientific past that had enamoured me as a child.

I'm showing this piece because for me, the confusion is all there. Extinct creatures. Original characters from my imagination. Muddled religion and paganism. An artwork style of the past that I desperately tried to inject with originality. Gothy fashion just standing there irrelevantly. Ahh, university!

For me like many people, it was a time of figuring myself out. I'd like to think that journey hasn't ended, and in another 10 years, will I look back at a simple drawing and see so many echoes of my past exposed in graphite?

I thought the line work was pretty decent, though it may not survive jpeg compression. Recently I revamped the Dimetrodon-Sphinx from the corner of Lord Extinction Yawns; perhaps Lord Extinction will one day rear his magnificently ugly head as well.

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All original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow. The contents of this blog are under a Creative Commons Licence. See sidebar for details.


traumador said...

I guess she had an old fashioned idea... a candle instead of a light bulb

Glendon Mellow said...

Ohh...I heard the snare drum & cymbals on that one...!

The comment verification code for me right now is appropriately "fhahaa"!

Michael Parker said...

Request! Please don't take this as a plug for my blog or anything but, I had commented to you before about getting some of your work tattooed on were for it.

So here's my request; take a look at my blog post: ...and if you would, toss me some ideas. I'd really appreciate it. Right now we are thinking of getting complimentary tattoos of some kind of symbiotic relationship...we're both nerds that way...and I'm a big fan of your work.


Heather Ward said...

Interesting concept. I like the candle head.

Have you done any more work on the Dimetrowoman?

Zach said...

The candle-head is actually very cool. If you "melted" the body a little bit as you did the head, I think the candle-head could be a great Silent Hill-type monster.

I should really blog about this sometime, but I'm fascinated by "disturbing" imagery. There's a big difference between fear and disturbia, and that difference is difficult to convey. Many of the creatures in the Silent Hill series (and film) convey disturbia. There are lots of paintings that convey such a feeling, including The Scream (of course) and a few other works which I can't recall right now.

I have struggled for years to come up with a great disturbing character design, but too often they come out looking contrived. But with some tinkering, I think the candle-head could be really distrubing.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hi Parker,

I saw your blog posts about it, and I'm honoured you'd ask. Generally I charge for custom art, tattoo or otherwise. Feel free to email me about it, and the ideas the two of you are interested in so far.

The Mobius strip is great, by the way. And congrats on the upcoming nuptials! As a happily married man myself, I highly recommend it. :-)

By the way, Heretic's Altar is now happily added to my blogroll. I love a plug, especially when it's relevant. Feel free to link away in the comments, people!

Glendon Mellow said...

Hello Heather!

I am playing around with some rough background concepts for the Dimetrodon woman, but nothing concrete so far.

I hope to purchase a small tablet this summer, and maybe throw that image up on ImagineFX in the future. I'd like to try out a bit more digital work.

Right now, I am trying to finish a piece for a client, so I am risking life and limb and making the Devonian predator woman wait.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Zach!

I think I know what you mean by disturbia. Perhaps the Candle-Women are more denizens of my past artwork I'd need to develop.

It's a tough one for me, since I don't always feel my creations are very 'dark' or creepy, but I get that reaction from many of the more ... shall we say conservative? people in my life.

I do enjoy strange creative things. I remember a project in high school saying that the four biggest influences on my art were the Muppets, the Star Wars Trilogy, prehistoric life, and mythology.

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