Tag Archives: Tale

Work in Progress: Saint Tewdrig

Related Post: A Raven Above Press’s Welsh Saints Project.

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The other day, I started working on my Saint Tewdrig illustration for A Raven Above Press’s Age of Saints: An Illustrated Guide to the Saints of Wales.

The illustration isn’t due for a few months, so I have lots of time to perfect the image. I recently learned that the book with be in full color and that each illustration with have it’s own page, so that’s very exciting. :)

I really like how Saint Tewdrig is turning out so far, and I can’t wait to experiment with color!!!

Saint Tewdrig Pencil 1

Saint Tewdrig Pencil 2

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


A Raven Above Press’s Welsh Saints Project

Related Post: Experience of APE.

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Last October, while attending APE (Alternative Press Expo), I visited A Raven Above Press‘s table and met owner Lorin Morgan-Richards. I was thrilled when he contacted me this April, inviting me to be one of a number of artists to illustrate a book on the history of Welsh Saints!! 

This book is one in a series of Welsh art books published by A Raven Above Press and will be released at the 2014 Los Angeles St. David’s Day Festival – National Day of Wales. It will be researched and written by Peter Anthony Freeman and will feature illustrations from about 30 talented artists from the U.S. and Wales. I am very excited to participate in this project and can’t wait to see how the finished product turns out! :)

In June, I finally received the list of saints for the artists/illustrators to choose from and was pleased to find a number of very intriguing choices. In the end, I choose Saint Tewdrig for the following legend:

“On returning to secular service due to military necessity, Tewdrig is given the prophecy that he will be successful but will be mortally wounded; that a vehicle pulled by two stags, yoked, will appear and carry him towards his destination of Ynys Echni, but that he will die in peace three days after the battle. Wherever the stags halted, fountains gushed forth, but as they approached The Severn the wagon was broken, a very clear stream gushed forth and here Tewdrig died.”

The deadline for my illustration is January 1st, 2014 — so I have plenty of time to research and experiment!

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Below are some research images of Tewdrig.

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images!!

1 Death.of.Tewdric

2 tewdrig

3 tewdrig

4 tewdrig

5 tewdrig

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Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas


Note on “The Nutcracker”

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the following images or video!!

One of my favorite operas is Jacques Offenbach‘s The Tales of Hoffmann (Les contes d’Hoffmann). This opera is a fantastical retelling of the life of the German Romantic author E. T. A. Hoffmann,  casting Hoffmann as the protagonist of his own stories.

Placido Domingo performing the “Chanson de Kleinzach” aria.

Désirée Rancatore performing “Les oiseaux dans la charmille.”

Through The Tales of Hoffmann, I developed an interest in Hoffmann and his stories, quickly leading me to Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny. In Freud’s essay, he uses many of the same Hoffmann stories as Offenbach, but in this case to prove a psychological point (not that Offenbach’s opera isn’t deeply psychological). If I remember correctly, Freud even mentions Offenbach’s opera.

Portrait of E. T. A. Hoffmann

I’m sure you are all wondering, “What does all this have to do with The Nutcracker?” Well, little do most people know, E. T. A. Hoffmann wrote in 1816 one of the earliest versions of The Nutcracker story, entitled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Nussknacker und Mausekönig).

Alexandre Dumas was also a fan of Hoffmann, employing allusions to Hoffmann’s stories in The Count of Monte Cristo. Dumas even went as far as creating a revision to Hoffmann’s Nutcracker in 1844 called History of The Nutcracker (Histoire d’un casse-noisette), or The Tale of the Nutcracker.

9780143104834

Towards the end of the 19th Century, Hoffmann’s Nutcracker was adapted to ballet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, perhaps the most famous incarnation of the tale. I write this post because my dad purchased tickets to the San Francisco Ballet to see The Nutcracker at the end of the month. Perhaps later I’ll add my thoughts on the production to this post.

Tchaikovsky’s music is always wonderful, if not a little too overplayed for the holidays. A lot of people tend to associate The March from The Nutcracker or The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy not with Tchaikovsky, but with the thousands of Christmas commercials that use these pieces. This also happens with The Chinese Tea Dance from The Nutcracker with Disney’s Fantasia and The Sleeping Beauty Waltz with Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

I believe the most creative and exciting production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is Mark Morris’s The Hard Nut. The Hard Nut is set in 1950s America with a very retro feel inspired by the comic artist Charles Burns — a strange but brilliant compliment to the classical music. I hope to one day be able to attend a live performance.

Advertisement for The Hard Nut.

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For more updates, don’t forget to follow me on tumblr and/or twitter.

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Copyright 2012 by G. E. Gallas


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