Hang in there, my two papal pals, I’m crossing the finish line on Flight with this post.
The next two drawings, 16-17, have the cat entering a darkened house and following a ghostly form up the stairs. Originally, the figure on the stairs had defined features. Though I was happy with her appearance, I erased the details to create the more ghostly form.
I’m not sure when the idea of transforming the leaping cat into a crow or the ghost into a white owl-like form occurred to me, however the story of Noah releasing first a raven, then a dove helped shaped this idea. The raven didn’t come back. Smart bird. Note that the crow is always drawn against a light background and the owl against dark.
The next two large drawings are flights through the present -also back through time. The first is a field ready for harvest, which is at the core of Halloween’s history. Initially, Halloween was a harvest celebration in which bonfires played a ritualistic role. Hence the large fires in the distance. The next drawing, hopefully, brings home the point that this flight isn’t a straight shot from town A to town B (credit me for not saying “as the crow flies”). In this image, the owl is returning to its ghostly form. Whether or not stone circles were sacred places, I have used this circle to convey the other key aspect of Halloween’s past, remembrance of the dead.
By eliminating the background, I wanted the last four drawings to be separated from the previous three expansive landscapes. They continue the story, but are clearly a different chapter. The cat is again a cat, has returned to earth and found a home. I added the drawing of the girl (Emilie!) carving a pumpkin to indicate that a year has passed. Having brought the cat home the previous Halloween, I wanted to convey that she now senses a change in the air and, correspondingly, in the cat. She is gazing, not at the pumpkin, but forward towards the cat in the facing page. Here, on the final page, we are finally looking directly into the cat’s face at a very close distance. Though it doesn’t meet our gaze, I wanted its eyes to look fully alert. And, of course, the series loops –ending as it began.
For all who have toughed it out through these first posts, Kudos. Kudos. Unfortunately, like a bad penny, I will inevitably return to talk about this series. There’s Nietzsche here. Joseph Campbell? Of course. Even aspects of the Buddha’s journey to spiritual awakening. Hmmm.