Projects and Life Updates

Katie Wakelin illustration - Old Norse

To begin with, have a new painting =) This was inspired by a vision of the underworld as Ragnarok approaches, as seen by the seeress in Vǫluspá stanza 36:

From the East there flows, through poison valleys,
a river of knives, Fearful it is called.

There is such wealth of imagery in Old Norse poetry that I have not yet mined, but since revision time is coming up I thought I’d think back and put some of that wonderful inspiration to use in a series of illustrations. I think I want to try my hand at depicting a full skaldic verse next, which may require me to bend the 2D screen into 5D shapes, but I will do my best! The intricacies of kennings, extended metaphor and mythological allusion in Old Norse verses is absolutely stunning, and generates a huge number of mental images at once. I hope I’m able to condense some of them at least into visual compositions!

This is the first thing I wanted to tell you all about. The Old Norse series, along with the Girl and Her Cat illustrations which I intend to continue adding to, form something of a tribute to my time at Cambridge. The architecture and physical location through the girl’s flying castle, and the wonderful world of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic via Old Norse poetry. I hope to cultivate distinct styles for each series, so as to practice working consistently and flexibly while allowing my personal touch to show through in the work. I want the Old Norse series to be slightly more cleanly rendered, with a sleeker, polished look, while A Girl and Her Cat is more painterly, with brighter colours and bold, rounded shapes. We’ll see how it goes!

Secondly, I am now home for Easter – yay! This means time to relax, play video games, go on long walks, oh yes and prepare for revision and finishing my dissertation… Ahem. Those things aside I plan to start submitting job applications this holiday, so fingers very much crossed! And of course, painting painting painting =) I’m looking forwards to it!

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