Something different for the North American Review

This month, I was asked to illustrate the story “Wretchedness” by Silas Zobal for the North American Review literary magazine.

These folks are great to work for in that now that they know me, they’re happy to just send me the story and receive a completed illustration on deadline.

Lately I’ve been giving them pen & ink/ink wash illustrations, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at the assignment. I decided to try something different using mixed media, which I haven’t played with recently.

The magazine is printed in black and white, but I’m sharing the color version with you as well because I rather like it. The color version came about by accident. When I have leftover acrylic paint, I sometimes quickly slather scrap paper with different colors, and save them in my tray of collage materials. I grabbed a sheet that I thought would translate into a nice medium toned texture in black and white, but I really like the accidental color version.

This may be too abstract for some tastes, but sometimes I really need to take a vacation into that realm. This has given me some good ideas for other pieces I want to play with on my own. In the context of the story, the image makes sense as a man lying in the snow, although on its own it may be too abstract to read that way.


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