I had a lot of fun making this one.
Puddleglum is a character in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis. He was a marshwiggle with an amusing pessimistic outlook on things. Yet, in this scene, he turns out to be the hero.
From left to right in this image, we have the evil Lady of the Green Kirtle, Puddleglum the Marshwiggle, Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb (both visitors in Narnia, from our world), and Prince Rilian (aka the Black Knight). I love this scene in the book because of the many parallels to some things we experience daily.
But first, the technicalities.
- I’ve gotta apologise to you guys for the excessive appearance of serpentine imagery, especially for those of you that are offended by such stuff. The thing is, the Lady of the Green Kirtle in the story was actually a snake in disguise. That’s why I hid snake-y elements in her palace.
- Yeah, the mist she sprinkles on the fire is from a box labelled ‘DECEPTO SPRAY’. It’s not in the book, I just put it in there. Not very Narnia-ish, I know. J
- The lop-sided camera angle was an attempt to capture the tension of the moment as the Lady’s enchantment takes hold.
- The centre of the image, where the focus of the optical perspective would be directed eventually, is the space between Puddleglum and the fireplace, accentuating the fact that his singular act of looking at the fire is what makes this scene important. If he had not noticed it, the heroes would have fallen into the Lady’s evil hands.
- Yup, Eustace Scrubb is made to look like Will Poulter, the guy that brought Eustace to life in Walden Media’s adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Really, the guy was awesome in that role. He’s obviously much older than the Eustace in this picture, and he probably would be too old to feature in the next movie when it kicks off production, but… well, I just wanted to put him back in Narnia. I mean, that guy was GOOD! He’ll always be Eustace Scrubb … until some other guy comes along, obviously.
- Puddleglum looks like he’s stepping on Jill’s foot. Noticed that late in painting.
- If I were doing this again, I’d make Puddleglum look more strange and interesting, and less like a grumpy old man. But, hey, everyone has their own interpretation of how this guy should look.
- In making this image, I started off with green as a base colour, to set the stage for a gloomy and evil atmosphere.
ONE MORE NOTE FROM ME ( 🙂 )
- Rillian looks like the hero in this painting (in my opinion), mostly because he’s the only figure with the most detail on here, and is the one in the foreground. Actually he’s the male version of the ‘Damsel-in-Distress’, as he’s the one being rescued here.
Kinda reminds me of our lives. We may look like we’re the ones running the show an’ all, but actually we’re not. God has placed wonderful people and experiences along our way to shape us into the people we are today. They’re in the background, like Eustace and Jill and Puddleglum in this picture. And, of course, God is right there, making it all work out for our good because He loves us no matter what.
In another quote by C.S. Lewis, the man that wrote the book upon which this scene is based, he wrote about God saving him this way:
‘In [Surprised By Joy: another book by Lewis] I wrote that ‘Before God closed in on me, I was offered what now appears a moment of wholly free choice’.
But I feel my decision was not so important. I was the object rather than the subject in this affair.
I was decided upon.’
C.S. LEWIS (1891 – 1963)
Thanks for stopping by! See you next time.
P.S.: There’s a whole lot more I’d love to tell you about this image, and what it means to me. You can check out my article on my other blog, ‘Why so Puddleglum?’