One of the many things I do to stem writer’s block and keep the creative juices flowing is surfing (insert link) deviantART. Just by checking out the most popular submissions over the last eight hours every couple of days is more than enough to give some flash of insight into a story arc that may be waiting to burst, or un-stall one waiting to carry on. It may not be a full-fledged story, but a component on one I’m currently working on – scenery scenes are spectacular for this. In my own way, I’d like to recognize these artists for truly amazing artwork, be it photography, ink on canvas, or manipulated photons in digital form.
|Canaan by Ranoartwork|
In doing the research for the upcoming novels in the Ochra Cycle, I'm always on the lookout for good, thematic scene pieces like this one. In this particular case, it provides a stunning visual for a part of the plot that had thusfar been very vague. I know I want to "go there," and yet the "there" that I'm referring to was never fully realized; it is much later and not a priority. That said, this piece nailed the spirit of what I was looking for.
When my eldes daughter first saw Canaan by Ranoartwork, she immediately squeeled "Aladdin!" Truth be told, this was one of my first thoughts as well, until I started overlaying my story's plot points. The rendering of the colours and the scale are utterly gorgeous. It shows a city in the midst of an utterly desolate landscape, a sky with no clouds. The buildings in the foreground enhance the perspective that this is all part of a larger city. What we see here is perhpas a central religious site, or a caliph's palace. The people in the foreground are small, lacking detail and seem to be either observing themarvel of this palace, or heading towards it as if on a pilgrimage.
In my story's case this is no longer a place of safety and security, not a place for a pilgrimage, certainly not a setting for anything from Alladin. It is one of the focal points for the overall plot lines, a city far removed from the main setting of the storyline, a city state with a deep undercurrent of something dark and sinister - a trope that could be applied to any epic fantasy! This piece helps reinforce that imagery for me. The grandeur of the palace is a symbol of power and dominance, a will to overcome the elements and create something where humanity would otherwise never survive. There is beauty to be found as well, of course: the architecture, the grandeur, the people and their culture, not all is corrupt and malignant.
I simply find Canaan to be a terribly well executed scenery piece, depicting a foreign culture and architetcure. It draws you in and makes you want to tell the stories that occur in the back alleys, the politics and trading of favours and goods that make this city equally the cesspool it may be forced to be, as well as the oasis it strives to be.
For anyone interested, here is the link: Ranoartwork's DeviantArt gallery.