Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The subject of the portrait is Aslaug, the reported daughter of Sigurd and the shieldmaiden Brynhildr, from Norse Mythology. The shadow of a wing falls across her visage to imply her moniker, Kråka (‘Crow’), given to her by a pair of peasants who discovered her orphaned and stolen away in a harp. They hid her beauty--a trait of nobility--by rubbing her in tar and adorning her shoulders in a long cape. 

Aslaug's dress of layered netting and shells refers to her battle of wits with the legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok, in which he challenges her to meet him “neither dressed nor undressed, hungry nor full and alone nor in company.” She arrives dressed in a net, biting an onion and with only a dog as a companion. Impressed by her ingenuity, Ragnar proposes marriage to her.

Available as a print at Canzine: Festival of Zines and Underground Culture--Sunday, October 20, 2013

Thursday, July 25, 2013


"I'm Jojen Reed, this is my sister Meera. We've come a long way to find you, Brandon and we have much farther to go."

-Jojen Reed; Game of Thrones: Dark Wings, Dark Words (3.2)

Jojen and Meera Reed are the children of Howland Reed, Lord of Greywater Watch and loyal vassal of House Stark. Jojen was bestowed with greensight, the power of prophetic dreams, after being visited by the Three-eyed Raven in a near death experience. The velvet-voiced Thomas Brodie Sangster portrays the wiser-than-his-years Jojen to perfection on HBO's Game of Thrones, and as her brother's protector, Ellie Kendrick adds charm to Meera Reed.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Man Has Said

“The Red God takes what is his, lovely girl. And only death may pay for life. You saved me and the two I was with. You stole three deaths from the Red God. We have to give them back. Speak three names and the man will do the rest. Three lives I will give you - no more, no less, and we're done.” 

George R.R. Martin, 'A Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings'

Monday, January 14, 2013

Queer Lodgings

“He is a skin-changer. He changes his skin: sometimes he is a huge black bear, sometimes he is a great strong black-haired man with huge arms and a great beard…Some say that he is a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before the giants came. Others say he is a man descended from the first men who lived before Smaug or the other dragons came into this part of the world, and before goblins came into the hills out of the North. I cannot say, though I fancy the last is the true tale… I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears: ‘The day will come when they will perish and I shall go back!’ That is why I believe he once came from the mountains himself”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: Queer Lodgings

The imagery conjured by this passage has remained with me for nearly a year and a half. Countless projects have seen completion before this one, but ‘Beorn’ preceded them as a nearly polished idea in my subconscious. Despite its simplicity, illustrating the transfiguration of Beorn into a black bear was immensely challenging. The ambiguity of this ‘in-between’ stage was compensated for by fog and light. Intending for this to be more than portrait, I knew I had to introduce a conceptual element. I capitalized on the shapeshifter’s affinity for animals by encircling his body in an ethereal current made up of birds. Although Beorn had a particular love of bees, they didn’t translate as well from a visual standpoint. 

As this was an experiment of traditional and digital means of picture-making, constructive criticism is much appreciated :D

I am mightily excited for Swedish actor Mikael Persbrant's portrayal of Beorn in the second installment of Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug. Although I did not take visual cues from Persbrant in this portrait, the duality of his facial expressions recall the kindness and ferocity of a bear. Excellent casting choice.