Smoke & Mirrors – Absolem
16″x12″x1/8″, oil on Jack Richeson toned MDF panel board
Based on Lewis Carroll’s caterpillar character in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
I’ve always wanted to illustrate a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I own a small variety of editions, perhaps 4 or 5 copies. One is very old and one is very new (found in the discount section of Chapters). My process involved reading the passage where Absolem appears and trying to visualize the scene. His color or species was never mentioned, so I decided to loosely base him off a swallowtail caterpillar. I also decided to give him a little rabbit or cat-like face, just for fun. After all, Wonderland is a magical and mysterious place, so Absolem’s appearance could shift around.
I started the oil painting in March 2018 and did not get around to finishing it until March 2019. I was just not feeling the initial under-painting, pictured above on the left. The concept sketch on the right was created in Feb 2018 and it was a bit too cartoony for what I was visualizing my in mind. Sometimes I like bits and pieces of my in-progress work but rarely does the whole image come together in the first shot.
Smoke & Mirrors – Absolem will be exhibited at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, April 25 – 28th 2019. I will be in the Artist Alley at table #5223 . The painting will be in the 2019 Art Book as well. Be sure to stop by my table and say hello. A framed giclee print of Absolem will be at the Calgary Expo in the Charity Auction. All proceeds will be going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.