Myths, Legends & Folklore
Art Contests Accepted Artists
Artist Charleen Brinson
Bowling Green, Kentucky USA
Of Stone and Flame
I’ve always been drawn to the realm of fantasy. Even as a child, I would create elaborate worlds where any creature I could imagine came to life. In the beginning, there was only happiness, but as I grew older and became attune with the darker side of life – the fear, hunger, and sadness – that I realized that it doesn’t take much for someone to wind up completely alone. This work, Of Stone and Flame, focuses on a forest creature made of rock and flora whom has awakened to his once beautiful home being engulfed in flame. With one slow blink of a rocky eye and a heavy sigh, this elder realizes that all hope is lost and there is nothing he can do to stop the chaos.
This piece was inspired by an older gentlemen who lived alone in the apartment complex I lived in. No one came to visit him, though he told me that he had family in another state. He always sat out in a lawn chair with a hand over his mouth, pondering about something. Sometimes, he would greet me as I walked by and other times he was completely consumed by his thoughts, sitting there as still as a stone. His hair was combed back and little wisps would dance on windy days and that hand would slowly move up to smooth them back in place, then return. The small rock placements on my figure were where his age spots were and the cracks in the stone were his wrinkles. I always saw him sitting there even as the sun went down, and he would only move his chair to turn and face the fiery sky. Unfortunately, I moved before I could show him the finished piece and I highly doubt he resides there now.
For this work, I used colored pencil as it is the medium I have become most comfortable with throughout my career. The importance of this piece, regarding its depth and detail, is that I layered the pencil from darkest to lightest, much like one would do with an oil painting. It was important to not only capture the reflecting on light from the flames behind the figure, but also the texture of his skin. I had to often ask myself how the moss would grow, what weathering would have done to the creature’s skin over time, and what textures I could add to give the entire piece a realistic feel.
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