IMAGE OF THE WEEK
© DURGA YAEL BERNHARD
This illustration was one of a series, commissioned to illustrate a Chinese folktale titled “The Magic Brocade” for an educational textbook. In the story, a young man goes on a classic fairy tale quest in which he must face many dangers. Guided by a wise man who lives in a humble hut at the entrance to a mountain pass, the young traveler learns he must cross the “mountain of fire” in order to reach his goal on the other side – a young princess who bears the magic brocade.
A brocade is a richly-woven silk fabric which is often a vehicle for stories. I found myself wanting to stylize all the illustrations to make them look embroidered. Fire is easy to stylize (indeed, it’s harder not to), but embroidery tends to look rather static. I wanted images that move. So, I tried to strike a balance. And in the end, the young man reached his goal without coming to mortal harm, and all was well.
How often must we cross a mountain of fire – or a valley of vicissitudes – in order to claim a great treasure? Children relate instinctively to these powerful metaphors. I’m privileged to interact with them as an artist, and to give ideas visual form. I liked this particular story, and I hope my readers did too. Maybe next week I’ll post an image of the brocade . . .
Order Mountain of Fire as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)! $10 for the poster and card, shipping included. Order your poster here. Your can also order a six-pack of cards for $15. Order greeting cards by filling in the title here.
A good week to all,
THE HUNGRY HAGGADAH: A Passover Story in Rhyme
THE JEWISH EYE – 2016 /5776 calendar of art