I've been thinking about what inspires me to create - and how interesting it is to connect seemingly disparate images or concepts. Funny, too - how a story can set my mind in motion.
I've been wanting to create a series of Icons for a long time. It all started with inspiration from Russian Icons and ancient mosaics, religious themes, etc... and it has broadened.
I completed two new Icons in the past month or so - the Queen of Sheba and a piece I'm titling Rayhanna - she's a djinna.
I recently read "The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye" - a book of fairy tales by A.S. Byatt. It started that crazy mind of mine going...reading more about Djinns [genies], female Djinna [there are lot's of them!]... and on. I wanted to create a Djinna with the pattern of cesm-i bulbul in the background.
It's a specific Turkish technique of creating glass - usually a spiral of cobalt blue and white [the nightingale's eye]... but my Djinna just HAD to be yellow and olive with orange hair...so my color scheme got out of whack. So, it's not really true to form, but true to me.
I've had a thing for all things Turkish for about 18 years. And, it's probably one of my favorite places on earth.
I've had a thing for the Arabian Nights for ever... I have an amazing book from my childhood and the images from the Aladdin story are easy to conjure up... especially with an Eidetic memory!
The Queen of Sheba married King Solomon. One of her parents was a Djinn [probably her father since she had very hairy legs!]... and there are stories of how King Solomon enlisted the services of a Djinn.
In Turkey, Solomon is Suleyman...like the Magnificent! Topkapi palace... the Harem...you know. Weird, isn't it? I had the two images in the works for weeks and didn't even think about a connection.
I'm still in the Icon phase... I have three pieces in the works - Ariadne and Theseus [and the labyrinth], Mother Nature and St. Sophia [Hagia Sophia - back to Istanbul again!][Sophia is wisdom].
I never got around to St. Helena, but it's still percolating.