The second image from this story shows when she was burned as a heretic for 'wearing men's clothing'. In fact, she was only wearing military armor, as commanded by God, in order to fulfill her mission to relieve the French of 100 years of occupation and oppression by the British. She was horribly betrayed by the king who she fought to crown and restored to power. In reality, she was burned because a corrupt bishop who sought an archbishopric and British conspirators felt threatened by the power she had over the people and her military victories. While she was being burned, she was desperate for a sight of the cross, which a monk graciously held up for her. She passed away moments later.
Joan of Arc is one of my very favorite people in history. Her life is one of the world's most well documented and just about everything she did, said, ate, and wore has been recorded. At the age of 17, she led the French Military and seasoned battle veterans (included the horribly disgusting serial killer Bluebeard) to win major battles and end the 100 years war and occupation of France by the British. Her life is filled with miracles, trials and horrible betrayals. An amazing book to read on her life is by Mark Twain "The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc", who considered it his best book. It is the only book that I feel does her story justice.
So after playing around with an image I didn't like... I re-did it. In color. I like it much better.
Christmas is nearly here and my cards this year play on the cell phone phenomenon and what if Santa partook of some of the dubious things that have come of it all. So far in this series (not sure if there will be others) Santa taking a selfie and Santa taking a food photo.
I am very pleased to say that I have finished the first draft of a YA fantasy novel based on Arthurian literature which I have been a fan of forever. Very excited about my story and have put it aside for a couple of weeks in order to get a fresh perspective when I come to edit it. I know I have to change the beginning (too much backstory) and weave what I need to into the main story, but overall it works. I have a sequel or two in mind as well! So, while I wait I am playing with the new software (see previous post). I played with doing a cover for the next chapter in my graphic novel (Paris Ballad). Here it is: It looks significantly different than the previous ones which were bolder looking. Not sure which I like better. Still, it works on it's own.
Getting to the finish line is always so hard. I think it is for a few reasons. I am on the 7th iteration of creating the illustrations from my picture book "Way to Go, Kid!". I love the story. So, it is a good start - but as I get to the end of illustrating - I find I am not entirely happy with it. Early on, in the initial versions, I rushed it and did it too fast - plus it was all in watercolour - the pages too large and unworkable for me, and the page numbering and double page spreads - not as well planned as they needed to be. This time I have it much better. I am mostly happy with it, though as I near the end and have spent so many years on it I find myself still not as happy as I'd like to be. Everyone else likes it. They liked the last version too. The problem of course is as time passes and I learn more, I learn things I think could make it even better. My technique improves over that time resulting in a lingering dissatisfaction that ---it could be better. It is a never-ending cycle and the only standard I can ever meet is - good enough, which like most artists is not good enough! I can't wait to begin to send this baby out into the publishing world. I also think that is also part of the problem of finishing it. I have no excuse not to send it out for judgement into a very small and selective world and that too is nerve-wracking. And of course, it is saying goodbye to the creative portion of the work. Saying goodbye in many ways to the story - at least for a while. That said, I have a good 2-3 weeks of work left on it but I am going to try to enjoy every single minute of it. Then on to a story that is more Middle Grade chapter book than anything but it has been patiently waiting for my attention.
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”
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