Monday, October 29, 2012

X is for Xaphania

This week's entry for AlphaBooks is the leader of the rebel angels, from The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I love Pullman's trilogy (His Dark Materials-- my series "Her Odd Materials" is a tribute of sorts). I'm especially grateful that he created an "X" character so I could squeeze this in before AlphaBooks ends! Xaphania is both ancient & young, radiant & forbidding... she plays a pivotal role in the book, but it would be something of a spoiler to specify.

I have to say this one was quite a challenge, & I'm not really happy with it, but at least I tried to work in a few "X"s with the wing forms & crossed limbs & digits. And yes, in case you were wondering, all angels appear naked in this book.

Acrylic on text ~5" x 8" with some Photoshopical tweakings. The text is mostly obliterated, but here's a pinch of it that I particularly like:

And if you help everyone else in your worlds to do that, by helping them to learn and understand about themselves and each other and the way everything works, and by showing them how to be kind instead of cruel, and patient instead of hasty, and cheerful instead of surly, and above all how to keep their minds open and free and curious… 


  1. She's angelic in a man-o-war kinda way.

    You sure have read a lot of books, that's impressive in itself. So what's Alphabooks do after the alphabet comes to an end?

  2. Oh goodness, I have never heard of this book. I am in awe of your artistic gifts and you are so erudite!

  3. Wow. Did it take you long to remember this "x" character? I would be tearing my hair out and losing sleep over some of the letters in the alphabet if I had to recall all the books-- much less, all the Characters-- in the books I've read. You have an amazing memory!

  4. Thanks for your comments, y'all! I can't believe AlphaBooks is almost over! I do hope Ben & the gang start another alphabet project. This was the third one I've participated in, & it's really been a hoot, even on tough days like this one. If they don't, I may do it to myself. (I've done that before too.)

    I am a voracious reader, but actually I do forget a lot! I did quite a bit of thumbing through my favorite books to get character ideas for AlphaBooks. Trust me, that part sometimes took longer than the painting, because, well, you open a good book & .... :-) Especially because some of them I hadn't opened for years. It was fun, though!

  5. Lovely! I've neglected to visit for too long, but really enjoyed scrolling through your recent posts. Wonderful, wonderful!