Inspired by... Stone mattress by Atwood

It's again the 10th of the month and time for the "Inspired by" creation! But what is Inspired by? Every month awesome Marsha and I choose a subject to be inspired by. It can be for example an idea (link)a product (link)a poem (link)a movie (link) or a book (link). Or anything! Then we make something inspired by that theme or a piece of art and share it with you and each other on the 10th of the month. You can browse the past "Inspired By" posts from here (link).

So the great wheel of time has turned so that it's time for the last Inspired By this year. Next year will be making a new twist to the posts, but this one is still with the same idea. Having a common source of inspiration and then we make something inspired by that. It can be something big or something small or something in progress. We make the rules. 

As December and Christmas might be time for books and reading, we chose to go with a book. I suggested Margaret Atwood, as I really have liked the previous books I've read by her. Marsha asked me to pick a book to see if her local library also has it. I looked through the books my local library had and read a bit about the books but I have to be honest, I chose this particular one as a suggestion because of the crow in the cover. Well, party, as I found the idea of small tales also captivating. But the crow had a role in the choice, too. 

The book is described by the author as "tales" removed "from the realm of mundane works and days", evoking "the world of the folk tale, the wonder tale, and the long-ago teller of tales" (link to quote). It consists of stories of different lengths, all with a flair of fantasy in them. Somehow there's an air of magic realism but not in the same way as Gabriel Garcia Marques, for example, more like a hunch or more like it's in the minds of the people the book is about. I'm not writing a book review here so I won't tell that much more of the book itself, you can find a plenty of reviews online if you wish to read more. And maybe Marsha has told a little bit more? Here's the direct link to Marsha's post (link).

I had the idea about what I'd do, or rather, what I wanted to include in my project after I had read the first story. What I remember about my first Atwood read, is the way she made the characters alive and "flesh" and also the crime mystery styled layered way to unravel the plot. (My first read was the Blind Assassin) It's also the only book so far a complete stranger has started to talk to me about. I was reading it in a bus stop and the lady next to me said "I beg your pardon, but that's a marvelous book". We started to talk about it a little before the bus came, but that to a Finn is quite a strange thing to do. To talk to a stranger and break their concentration - the only excusable reason would be something like "I beg your pardon, but your trousers are on fire". 

So when I had read the first short story, I already knew I would be doing something connected to the characters. At first I was thinking of drawing the fantasy characters of the first story (it's about a fantasy writer) but as I was reading on, I really liked the main characters of the stories so I chose to go with them instead. The final piece to the puzzle came when I happened to lay the book on top of a shop catalog. Oh and ah! I could use ready images as a part of my characters! I've done that before, but more over Linda Brun (link) is the master in this! I have one of her original artworks hanging in our living room (link) and that's a source of constant inspiration! 

I decided on four characters I wanted to depict and made a series of ATCs with them. There's actually two characters of the first story, then there's a lady from the last story and a man from one that was titled "The dead hand loves you". In case you've read the book or are going to, the characters are Constance Starr, Jorrie, Jack Dace and Wilma. 

The background of each card is made using acrylic paints and the "finger paint" technique I showed in my Facebook live sometime ago (link). Then there's some stamping and doodling on top but the main point are the characters that are made using a magazine cut-out and book page and catalog triangles. I wanted to keep the characters some what sketch-like, that's why I only used the heads and not the whole person. I added some doodling and coloring to the characters as well. 

The hardest part was to look for the right faces. All in all, I think I found some good ones. They may not depict the right age of the character, but have some air about them. For example "Wilma" is an old lady, living in a splendid retirement home, but the picture shows a young woman. This is how I imagined she'd looked when she was younger. 

Every card also has a quote of the character in it. I typed those with my mom's old typewriter and added to the cards as the last detail. I tried to choose quotes that were a) short enough to fit into the card but also b) revealing of the characters mind set or define them somehow. 

Once again I had so much fun doing the Inspired By project! I enjoyed reading the book, I enjoyed the puzzle work it always sets my mind into and I really like the card series I made. As always, they are free for grabs! Just send me an email if you'd like one or swap one! 

So there you have it - my take on the Margaret Atwood's Stone Mattress. Now I urge you to visit Marsha's blog to see what she's been inspired by in the book! Or maybe it let her to a whole other route altogether! Here's the direct link to Marsha's post (link).

Thank you for your visit today and have a great Sunday! 

Materials: Prima Marketing, Copic, Sharpie, Faber-Castell, Ranger, 7 Dots Studio

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