Sorry it's been so long between updates. Things are very busy at the moment and I've had very little time to spare for the labour-intensive and lengthy process of creating new artwork - in Poser or otherwise.
However, I've been wanting to explore something that's been buzzing around in my head for a few weeks and as it was something I could do quite quickly in Photoshop on an existing piece of artwork I've taken an hour or two to do it. Sorry it's not brand new stuff, but I hope it'll be enjoyed for what it is anyway.
I don't know why, but recently I've been increasingly drawn to the extreme. I've always had a penchant for multiple or quadruple amputations, as those of you who've followed me for a while will know, and for the complete removal of the limbs. But occasionally the depiction of even such total amputation (in characters like Membra
) sparks a need to explore the results of even more reduction. Ruth was very obviously an example of this recently (and don't worry, I haven't forgotten her story - I will return to her both in writing and art when I have more time to spend on her!).
A while ago I took a character I'd originally pictured in my 'Model' series - the one-legged and one-armed Jessica
- and showed her wish to 'balance' her limb-loss and make herself symmetrical
. The resulting vertical symmetry resulting from bilateral fore-quarter amputations and a double hemi-pelvectomy was deliciously extreme, and I thought she was quite beautiful, the sinuous, slender elegance of her body enthroned in her nest of supporting cushions. So much so that, despite the fact that I'm not usually drawn to mastectomy, I did some further variations of the picture that took her quest for minimalism still further
with the removal of her breasts and/or eyes.
I left Jessica for a while after that and did some other pictures, but every now and then I'd glance through my gallery and see her nestled in her cushions and smiling, and my thoughts would return to her and wonder whether she might be content with how she was or whether she might want to make herself even more symmetrical, even more minimal, whether she might want to rid herself of even the few 'appendages' that remained to her.
came along, and extreme torsification - headlessness, quintuple amputation! A couple of people asked if I could reduce Ruth still further with a hemi-corporectomy, but I knew that Ruth's story and her success as a character relied on her retaining her mobility. So that wasn't really an option. The seed was planted, though, and the mention of the story 'The Surgeon's Tale' in the discussion under 'Reduction...
' gave me an idea that's been nagging me for a while now. Jessica, because of the nature of her amputations, is already less active than Ruth and something about her comfort and contentment, lying in her cushions, made me wonder if she might lie there wondering (as Paulette, the protagonist of 'The Surgeon's Tale' does) how much of herself she could eventually dispense with - how minimal she could become.
I re-discovered 'The Surgeon's Tale' in my bookcase (it's the opening story in Vol. 29 of The Pan Book Of Horror Stories if you can track it down) and re-read it. It was as compelling a read as I remembered, and the descriptions of Paulette, particularly in the latter part of the book, are truly terrifying and fascinating, thrilling and seductive all at once. I couldn't get the image out of my head.
So I've just uploaded the results
. Jessica's 'story' continues. There are a few variations and alternatives - hopefully to suit all tastes - as she moves from her original state of limblessness to a hemi-corporectomy (amputated at the waist), eyelessness, then an extreme hemi-corporectomy (amputated below the chest) and finally headlessness. What sort of a life can she lead in her 'final' state, I wonder? Like Ruth, she's practically sense-less. Like Ruth, she could probably communicate through touch and simple 'signalling'. But unlike Ruth (who is as mobile as any person with the level of limb loss she has) Jessica is almost certainly incapable of very little, if any, independent movement. Immobile, blind, deaf, dumb...
I'd like to think that she has a rich inner life and a tender and attentive partner who cherishes her, loves her, and keeps her happy and entertained with gentle, tactile stimulation and communication. I wonder if she's still content?
Anyway, although these pictures depict an very extreme situation, I hope people like them! I don't know why I'm occasionally attracted to such extreme levels of 'loss'. Am I alone in this? Or do some of you - those who enjoy and kindly comments on my work - have similar feelings? I'd love to know!
As always, thanks for reading... And all comments are very welcome, here or on the pictures themselves!