I’ve had this gourd sitting on a cabinet in my studio for about a year, and have had these three bear heads for at least that long. I couldn’t figure out what to do with either the gourd or the bear heads. Then one day it seemed that they all belonged together and here is the result.
After taking Lucia’s calligraphy class I find myself incorporating more lettering, and I particularly like the older-looking scripts. On this gourd I’ve written three letters in a medieval script: ‘A’, ‘R’, and the ‘TH’ dipthong (for which I fudged the script). ‘ARTH’ is an old English word for bear, and bear is one of the most revered animals of the ancient world and the hero King Arthur is his namesake.
After pencilling in the lettering, I began to sketch the bears and found that I really liked the look of the graphite on the gourd. Especially since this gourd has a particularly beautiful natural honey color as well as interesting mottling. In an attempt to continue an Old English look, I added the scroll work.
Originally I was planning to paint the bears but decided to leave them as drawings. The graphite was a bit too light, so I went over the whole thing with a .005 Micron pen.
Amber beads are the final touch. Baltic amber is well known, and the bear is a familiar symbol in the Baltic region, so it all fits together (for those very few who will understand the symbolism).