I mentioned in “The Many Faces of Daedalus” how I liked to re-examine or even re-use old art to try and perfect an idea or turn it into something new entirely. Fenris Devouring the Sun is one of these pieces! The colorful background of this piece is in fact a very old monoprint of mine depicting the Sirens from the Odyssey. I never did anything special with this print, and when I finally pulled it out of my student portfolio a decade later I still enjoyed the vibrant colors but I was deeply unsatisfied with the clumsy linework. Experimenting, I turned the print this way and that to see if a different orientation suggested a new picture.
The results excited me. As the hair and faces of the sirens my lines were wholly unsuccessful, but as the body and rays of the sun and some suggestions of Fenris’s fur, they were perfect! I hastened to design Fenris around the lines I liked from my old monoprint and then soaked the old print in water and printed upon it with black. In fact, this image from the “ABOUT HEATHER” page shows me carving Fenris from humble typing paper with my trusty X-Acto knife. In the background at the far right, you can see my old monoprint too!
Then I continued to experiment, using watercolor, COPIC marker, india ink, just anything I could think of really. The result, I’m pleased to say, took a Juror’s Choice Award at the 2012 DOOMSDAY show! It also got the following comment from the judge:
“Heather Landry’s Fenris Wolf is a high-intensity nod to the near universality of end-of-the-world archetype across cultures.” -Rob Millard-Mendez, juror for the DOOMSDAY show
So there you have it, a successful makeover of a very student monoprint. Have any of you had good luck with revisiting a piece?