This illustration for Tam Lin came into my life when I was around 10 years old – on the blessed day when I discovered the library’s collection of the Time-Life Enchanted World series books – and I instantly became fixated on it. It wasn’t good enough to lend the book every few weeks; I had to have it with me all the time. So I did what any rationally-minded 10-year-old would do: I undertook my own reproduction, painstakingly copying every. freaking. leaf. and every. freaking. shading line and pleat and strand of hair, using the time-honoured grid method to enlarge it to A2 size (approx. 16.5″x23″).
Then out came the trusty poster paints and… I hated it. It wasn’t perfect. So I redrew it and started again. And it still wasn’t perfect. So I redrew it, again. Every. Freaking. Line. And left it at that. When I went back “home” last year, I found all three copies under the bed with the rest of my art paper stash. No small surprise, they weren’t as awful as my hyper-critical inner critic would have had me believe.
Of course, Tam Lin up there is so him; so very much so that it makes me wonder again if I’ve always been drawn to a certain “type” because of his presence (even before I was aware of it), or if his appearance is somewhat due to my natural inclinations. It’s how consumed I was (and am) with certain images that makes me favour the former probability. I found the complete series of books at a used bookstore near where I used to work a few years ago and could barely hold my pee from sheer excitement (re-reading them now, it is amazing to discover how decidedly pro-pagan they are.)
Until he returns, I guess it’s back to obsessively staring obsessively the ink off the page!
“Moorlough Shore” came on while I was writing this entry and struck me as appropriate accompaniment. Ignore the ridiculous video and the ridiculous silver pants. It was 1995