Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dreaming Majnun

"One night Majnun prays to Allah, thanking Him for making him the pure soul he now is and asking God's grace. He sleeps, and in his dream a miraculous tree springs from the desert, from which a bird drops a magic jewel onto his head, like a diadem."

This is what inspired this picture, it is part of an Arabic love story "Layla and Majnun". Look it up on the web if you want to know more about it. A friend did a cover for Tournaments Illuminated, the magazine for the SCA based on this story and after seeing what she did, and reading this part of the story, I had to try my hand at something sudo-arabic in style.

Another first for me and picture number 14 or 15 for the year. The leaves on the grey tree are gold leafed. It doesn't show well in the scan, but in person it is cool. There is more space on the right side of the picture but my scanner was to small to get it all. The whole things started out on a white page and is 9 x 12. The Arabic writing says "Majnun layla" or at least that is what it is supposed to say.

Opinions and comments welcome.



  1. 14 or 15 ... did I tell you how jealous I am? My muses are still wintering in Puerto Rico. ;)

    Beautiful, as usual! I'm sure the gilding is stunning in person. (I feel like gilding is definitely one of those have-to-see-to-believe sorts of things.) For some reason, I really love the little tree in the bottom right-hand corner. I've no idea why, but I'd adopt that little tree if I could (and even make a good-faith attempt at remembering to water it! :)

  2. Finally a comment on this. Granted not realy about the picture so much but still...
    Funny that you pick that tree, of all the things in the picture that is the one thing I made up totaly. While it is all my work the background and figure had references that I used to base them on, but not that little tree. :)

  3. sorry i do not comment more on here but it often takes a lot of retries to post anything due to that word thing. i remember when you just had to have a e-mail that they would send a instant thing to and you hit a link and wham done.

    anyway. one of the things i am wondering is is the paper really like that or is that a water colour effect for the parchment look. it is really hard to tell. it looks like watercolours to me.
    Also i love the rock formations. you can see a bit of the chinese influence there. (i do so lovbe how you can trace some of the influences from one culture to another artistically. I have an awesome book on Chinese art and there was a period where a lot of the early stuff looked purely celtic which makes sense since there is archeological evidence that the ancestors to the druids and the influence for the religion may have come from northern china.

    the figure is the only thing that betrays that it is Islamic. all the reference to that period of art i have has the figures almost androgynous and they have that slight wavy nature one finds in a lot of again Chinese art. (where everyone must have an attractive form of scurvy for they bend like strange willows)

    Also the little tree is cute but i like the bigger ones and would plant them in my yard and let them grow up fine and strong. but then i am terrible at pruning plants anyway. heck i know thet trimming my mini roses would prolly save them but i am simply terrified to do it. of course they may die if i do not do so anyway.

    Also i note that this is number 14 or 15 of the year. i sorta shot past you for the momment kinda. i finished 18 pieces this week for that book. and while mentally i am all reved up for more art my hands say no. my back says no and my legs say no for all the sitting in one place on my futon couch bent over a piece of plexiglas on a cardboard box using a liner brush for almost all of it... i really need my art desk back. and my place needs a severe cleaning.