Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
Trapped In My Own Life by Cynthia-Blair Trapped In My Own Life by Cynthia-Blair
self-portrait of the magical child’s* shadow side.

Exploring the light and dark
Self doubts and limiting beliefs
All those demons that hold us back
From our true power ~

dedicated to all those who don’t have the courage to believe in themselves, or the beauty of their dreams.

Details:
24x36 oil on canvas
Model: me (ref)
All else: props and symbolic images from a variety of sources

*note: the cups represent the Tarot card 4 of cups , I’m not a drinker.
*magical child refers to an archetype...an archetype refers to a generic version of a personality.


Note: I included a Quick Explanation of the symbols I used and what they mean, (in my Scraps) for anyone that's interested:
Add a Comment:
 
:icontheskaldofnvrwinter:
TheSkaldofNvrwinter Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this is awesome, brings to mind Luis Royo to a certain extent
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I'll have to check him out...
I was trying a updated color palette with some inspiration from illustrator Brom, love his style :D
Reply
:iconemilydragonflywolf:
EmilyDragonflyWolf Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Good job Cynthia!
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I don't often do a self-p...like, on canvas. Glad you like it! :D
Reply
:iconchriscrowell:
ChrisCrowell Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012   Traditional Artist
Love it Cynthia!That's a great canvas size you worked with too.Great symbolism and what a painter you still are.Incredible!
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks, Chris! This one was an experiment using a different color palette and some more dramatic lighting, along with fantasy and symbolism. Not the approach I'd use for every subject, but fun to explore :D
Reply
:iconomnicron8000:
OMNICRON8000 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012   General Artist
I like the symbolism and how each symbol still looks like it belongs in the scene.
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! It is dreamlike with all that mist and fog, that helps.
I enjoyed doing the dramatic lighting, so I'll probably subject some of my portrait subjects to this treament in the future :D
Reply
:iconomnicron8000:
OMNICRON8000 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012   General Artist
Yes, I imagine with how capable you are of subtle lighting that the chance to finally use more boldly contrasting colors was a nice break!
Sounds good = D
Reply
:iconladyjart:
ladyjart Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow my friend..Intense..Great work..:)
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! I feel that way often!
I guess I'm my own worst enemy and best friend at the same time :) Sometimes it's good to step out of your own way
Reply
:iconzuzanagyarfasova:
ZuzanaGyarfasova Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
I couldnīt open the explanation,but itīs interesting painting. :heart:I love the way you painted the clock behind you. Did you use a photo as the reference or did you paint yourself just from the memory? I am not sure if I have alredy asked you before (sorry if I did and donīt remember :D),but are you left handed?
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :hug:
I think you have to click on the right where it says .pdf or something...it is a .pdf, but when I upload those to DA it's always a bit odd.

There were different photo references for everything, and it was all symbolic...I used a photo of myself from when I was taking down Halloween decorations last Fall. I wrapped myself up in the barbed wire and instantly that idea about being "trapped" hit me. The blood was added for dramatic effect, though :shh:

No, I'm not left handed, but I took some license with that, and the right hand didn't have a key or anything, I just added that, and the clock...about time slipping away, lost love and opportunities passed. I live alot in my head, and often prefer fantasy to reality, so I'm actually being pretty honest and unflattering.
Reply
:icongintmfgb:
gintmfgb Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
Cool !
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks! :D
Reply
:iconsesquipedalianism:
sesquipedalianism Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
wow this is really awesome :D i love the meanings behind the picture, makes it so much more in depth. i can really relate to this. the barbed wire does look a tad painful though XD
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! :hug: Yeah, I do feel that way! And I know I'm not alone...so many people feel trapped in their lives, I think.
I did exaggerate the expression of it, the blood. I didn't really bleed for this, but it certainly gets the point across with more drama. :XD:
Reply
:iconsesquipedalianism:
sesquipedalianism Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
youre welcome :D and ha yeahh the blood definitely emphasises the point :P though did you pose with the barbed wire? because thats gotta hurt a bit... spiky stuff
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
yeah, I did use barbed wire, this was pretty pliable though, except for a few scratches :)
Reply
:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Absolutely LOVE this! I'm such a fan of symbolism, you see it all the time in art from the pre-1800s. I read your explanation in your Scraps and I found the meanings very interesting (glad you posted them!) Really great pose, very strong and powerful- I like the details in the throne too =] Just a thought, but what if the light source was angled rather than straight down? Anyway, I think this would look cool as part of a series of paintings =D
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! :tighthug: It means alot, this was a very personal one.

This was the first time I experimented with more dramatic lighting, but since I put the pieces of the image together (I don't own that cool chair!) I had to go with the the forward/down light. But I played with color temp, as the face and chest are warmer colors, as you get farther away colors turn cooler. I used a much cooler color palette than normal, too. There was alot of influence from Brom's paintings in this one, especially in the lighting.

I agree, it would be fun to expand on a series. I do love using symbols, because they communicate universally, across the centuries (at least in our Western culture) Even color symbolism can change according to the culture. Tarot symbolism and runes, I wouldn't expect most people to understand, but it's kinds cool if people intrepret it their own way, too.:D
How are you doing with your work? I love your dolls one...somewhere I have some photo refs of really cool very creepy baby dolls, I'll send them to you if I can find them on my HD. :)
Reply
:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I can see the Brom's influence, and it totally worked for the piece. Lol, I didn't know that color temperature changes with distance. Thanks for sharing =D I completely agree about your take on symbolism. I use it quite often in my work as well, and even if a person is not educated in one area of symbolism, they may be able to understand the general idea by looking at the rest of the piece's elements. And even if they don't comprehend the symbols at all, it's okay as long as they think it looks cool, lol.

As for my own artwork, I think I'm doing alright. I've received both positive comments and constructive criticism from my classmates/professors and other people I know that are going to art school. I'm in my last semester, so I'm taking 4 studios and then a writing intensive course (no matter your major, you have to take this course to graduate from my university...) . My studios are Sculpture I, Graphic Design II, and Illustration IV and V. Illustration is my main area of focus, so I put most of my efforts into those classes. I just completed a piece I've been struggling with, even after the class critique. I usually do pieces that have a darker atmosphere to them, and the one I finished was mainly painted with blues and white. I got good feedback, but people kept insisting I add more darks. I did that afterwards, but I'm very disappointed with it. I wanted it to be mainly white, but maybe it needed the darks =/ I added dark blue-blacks, but now I'm told to add purples. I'm hesistant, because I used a purple glaze in photoshop over the piece. Plus, I'm already straying from my original idea. I'm looking at it as a learning experience, however. I wanted to make it a part of my portfolio, but I'm not sure if I should. My plan was to make a portfolio with 15-20 pieces in it over the summer (I already have 6 or 7 pieces for it). I feel like not including it puts me behind in my plan, lol. I think I'll just say it's finsihed for now, put it on the backburner and continue forward with other pieces, then return to it when it doesn't stress me out, lol. But besides that piece, I'm going to begin the next project sometime tonight. It's going to be my Senior Show piece, so I'm excited for it, haha! I've got my fingers crossed for it to be successful. I also want to make a portrait over my spring break next week of one of the guitarists in Exist Trace. It will be her birthday the day I go see the band play, and I thought since I bought a VIP ticket, I should take advantage of that and make her something for her birthday, haha. I'm thinking of working with watercolor, because I did a watercolor portrait of Sandra when she was in the Black Veil Brides back in August for a friend of mine, and I think it turned out pretty successful. I'm glad you liked my dolls painting by the way! I've always wanted to do a picture with a creepy little girl and creepy dolls, lol. And that would be awesome! If you ever get the chance to find the doll pictures, I would love to use them for references for future pieces =D
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Color temp does change with distance, as in landscapes...gets softer and bluer.
But not necessarily in a figure like this one. I used it as Brom did, where the center of the spotlight is warmer colored, and as you get towards the edges of the light it gets much cooler.

The idea that makes symbols so cool is you don't have to know what they mean for it to communicate. People know what a pentagram means on sight without knowing what it's symbol definition is. Symbols get built into a cultural conciousness, so-to-speak. In the case of the pentagram, it wasn't always the sign of the devil, the church changed its meaning centuries ago, from something good to evil.
A circle around a pentagram contains and protects. The circle symbolises eternity and infinity, the cycles of life and nature. The circle touching all 5 points indicates that the spirit, earth, air, water and fire are all connected.

There are some big time Illustrators starting to combine traditional and digital together, so don't think it's wrong. I think Scott Fisher is one who does : [link]
I hope you are doing digital illustration at achool as well as traditional...It's going to be necessary for all pros in the future to be good at both. Hey, I combine both...I compose ideas and design a painting first in Photoshop, paint it on canvas, then take a photo and bring it back into PS for more tweaks and changes, then finish the painting on canvas. Even if the end result is traditional, Photoshop was an indispensible tool in creating and tweaking ideas.

Art directors look for a consistency of style more than subject matter, I'd say :)

I will look more for those dolls, yes...I'm pretty sure I grabbed the jpgs, they were so cool :)
Reply
:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Brom does some really interesting subjects, and I do love the way he uses color =] He definitely is a good reference for colors. And I never knew that about the pentagram, that's fascinating. I suppose you can parallel that situation to the swastika and how the Nazis had twisted its original meaning of peace into hatred. I looked at the link, but I couldn't see any of Scott Fischer's work. I googled him though, and wow, I love his work. I agree it is very necessary to learn digital as well as traditional. I don't draw digitally (mainly because I don't know how and was never taught), but for my graduation gift my parents are buying me a macbook pro, and they already bought me photoshop cs5 and some other programs that came in the adobe suite, so I was hoping to use the summer to practice. I have a tablet I use when I paint digitally at school, but I never really had the chance to draw with it. I have Corel Painter X for my laptop (windows), but everytime I try to use it, my computer overheats and shuts down after 10 minutes, lol. Do you make the complete painting in photoshop first? Such a long process it sounds like, but that's probably why your work always turns out great, lol. And that's good to hear about art directors- I've been panicking lately because I haven't been sure if my artworks' themes are too dark for potential clients to be interested in hiring me. I'm excited to see the doll pictures, haha, thank you for going through the trouble =]
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
It's pissing me off, I can't find those @#%%!! dool pix! but I did find a treasure trove of more here: [link] or just google "creepy doll babies" I could have been on Flickr, or Etsy, or anywhere when I found them...all I remember is that I wasn't looking for dolls...I just came across the photos...maybe it was someone here??

No, I don't bother nmaking a very complete Photoshop mock-up of a painting, I do only as much as I need, to get size and proportional relationships correct, or to get the "mood" going, with some lighting efx. I use it for play time, it helps get my mind thinking about endless possibilities :D
Mainly I want to get down to the real fun part, and that's painting it on the canvas...everything else is just prep.
If it were a digital painting, I'd take my time and be very careful.
My 5 BVB commissioned paintings are the best example I have of combining traditonal (the actual figures were painted on canvas)and digital (the backgrounds with the fire were all digital). And the art director requested it done that way, so they could change backgrounds if desired. I did have to add some fire colors reflected on the figures, too, or it wouldn't have "worked" together.

Even at RISD I can't find any good digital painting classes yet(and I took their speedpaint class, but I want to go for finished looking art) so I'm on my own with it. I bough Painter 12 and set it up on a Mac with my tablet and Photoshop, so now I have a "painting" computer. I need to get a good book and practice Painter, it does more than Photoshop but its harder to learn, the interface is quite different (and so many options!) gahhh. Now I just need more time to practice it!

No, your artwork isn't too dark...there's a big market for that. Anything that evokes an emotional response in the viewer is more memorable. Your best work is always what inspires you, anyway.

I'm going to keep looking for those damn dolls! maybe they disappeared into my computer, now haunting me...
anyway, both of those links should give you some fun :D
Reply
:iconelainaunger:
ElainaUnger Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Ah, sorry it took me so long to reply to this, haha! Thanks for the link, I looked through a lot of the dolls and they would definitely make awesome references.

I think it's great how you can utilize both photoshop and traditional- that's what I've been trying to do as well recently as I learn more about photoshop (and I plan to do more with Illustrator and learn Corel Painter over the summer). It must be interesting to work with an art director, because then you have someone telling you what to do then it being entirely yourself. I hope the director gave you some lead-way with your art, but I'd imagine that they would since they're working for BVB, and they're a pretty chill band, haha.

I totally understand the whole photoshop thing. A lot of it is really learn-it-yourself. I think I'm pretty lucky that my professor and a few of my classmates have been walking me along with the program, but I know at a certain point I'll have to go it alone if I want to take it to the next level. It seems like you are probably at that point, but as you said, getting some books would be big help. My professor let me borrow his Painter book for a bit, and it has so much helpful information inside, it would really be beneficial to invest in one.

Glad to hear there's a market for emotion-invoking art haha. I want to use the summer to make more art so I can have a concrete portfolio for my future website, and I was thinking of looking into joining an art guild of some kind.

Haha, don't let those dolls haunt you! They'll probably turn up when you're not looking for them, lol. But thanks for putting in the time to look for them! The links you sent are plenty awesome as well =]
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The Art Director sent me the ref photos to paint from (nice hi res ones) and told me certain directives, like each one had to be individual with no background, so they could play with them as needed. Then later he wanted a "fire" background. As to style, I assumed right from the start they wanted my style of realism, else why hire me to do it? And the likeness had to be good. Of course I sent progress scans, so I'd know I was heading in the right direction. :D

I need to send more time with Painter myself...I haven't had the time in awhile, and I should dedicate like an hour a day or something. The new PS CS6 coming out looks like they're competing more and more with Painter.

I think there will always be a market for art that evokes emotion...we are emotional beings, our feelings rule us, usually over our intellect (if there's a clash) LOL :D

Stupid creepy dolls...they're loose in my computer, like evil gremlins...they've gone underground. :XD:
Reply
(1 Reply)
:icongabbygetscared:
GabbyGetScared Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
So cool!
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:icongabbygetscared:
GabbyGetScared Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem :)
Reply
:iconwayinovermyhead:
WayInOverMyHead Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
This is amazing!!
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!! :hug:
Reply
:iconshakratothearson:
ShakratotheArson Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012   Writer
This is amazing, the symbolism especially, gotta be one of my favourite pieces by you. I especially like the Tarot card cups.
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much!! I mean, I'm not a celeb likee most of my models :XD: so it means alot :tighthug:
But I do think most of us feel that way, at times...trapped, y'know?
Of course I took it to this mythological dramatic level, to make it more dream-like fantasy.
Yeah, Cups are actually my suit (and yours) if you're Scorpio/or a Water sign...they rule the emotions.

I figured most people looking at it would think I was drunk and got tied to a chair :XD:
(what really happened at Snape's birthday party, LOL)

How have you been?
My Vday sucked, romantically...but that holiday is always incredibly awkward.
Reply
:iconshakratothearson:
ShakratotheArson Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012   Writer
You're very welcome!! You're extremely talented, your pieces are very enjoyable even when it's not a celeb model.
You're right, we all do sometimes, you portrayed it well. Fantasy is always fun to work with though.
They would be mine then too. I didn't know that, but I've always felt a stronger affinity for Cups.

People are silly like that :XD: A fun piece though might be to do what really happened at Snape's bday, a contrast with the meaning of this one, drunken Snape tied to the chair.

I've been quite good actually! I am sorry to hear about you Vday, I'm sure there's someone waiting out there for you though. How've you been besides that?
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Oh, I've been really great! Better to be alone than wish you were alone, I say :XD:
I'm terribly picky about partners, I'm afraid :)

I'd love to come across a drunken Snape tied to a chair :mwahaha:
Not that I'd take advantage of him in such a vunerable spot, oh no ...LOL
Reply
:iconshakratothearson:
ShakratotheArson Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012   Writer
That's good!! And a great turn of phrase you have there, very true!
There's nothing wrong with having high standards, if you don't, who knows what you'll end up with.

Oh I know you would :pat: Suuuuuure :lmao:
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
True enough! I've made plenty of mistakes.
you're right...I so would take advantage of him. The temptation would be too great, hehehe.
Reply
:iconshakratothearson:
ShakratotheArson Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012   Writer
We all have, important thing is to learn from each experiance.
No shame in it! Or lots, depending on how you look at it ;)
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
The main thing is to learn and move on, hehe...what's that old saying?
Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me :D
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconscotsdragon:
ScotsDragon Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012
Lots of symbolism and very pretty...
I liked how eyes wandering anywhere stumbled across another little item/symbol :)
I also didn't initially see the barbed wire, so... that was a "o.o" moment.
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Hey, thanks!
It's a rather big piece, so the symbols aren't as clear in smaller size...but it was great fun playing with them. I was quite honest about it but laughing at myself at the same time (as usual) :XD:

I changed my color palette quite a bit and used lighting in a way I haven't done before...it adds to the "drama". The whole concept came from me taking down Halloween decorations in November (the barbed wire) and of course, playing with them :XD:
Reply
:iconscotsdragon:
ScotsDragon Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012
D'aww...

I like the dark look to it..
(For some reason, it's reminding me of Charmed looking again)
Haha, it's always interesting to know where inspiration for something was found/triggered :P
(Though sometimes it seems really odd and only makes sense if the individual can explain how their mind made leaps and connections between things)
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
I do like the dark feel it has, too...very fitting :XD:

Our minds make some strange connections and flashes of things at times...many of those ideas I throw away, but if they "work", I go with it. My best ideas always come to me when I'm in the shower, driving in the car, in bed right before going to sleep...places I never have a pen or paper to write them down :(

I guess it's because the mind is freed up , and day to day reality is suspended so other thoughts can come through...
I shouldn't do that in the car, I guess, but driving gets boring sometimes. Where do you get your best ideas?
Reply
:iconscotsdragon:
ScotsDragon Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012
Awww...
That's always awful. I make a point to have a pen on me (or at least nearby) at all times.
(I'll use my pale white skin as parchment if I must! xD )
[Also, there was an interesting waterproof notepad invented for in the shower... Don't have one, but they seem useful/nifty]

I believe driving (at least in somewhat familiar areas, or along generic roads) is one of those things the brain tends to do on auto-pilot unless necessary.
Uhh.. hm.
My best ideas probably come from emotional turmoil :P
If I'm torn up over something, or raging against something, or even sometimes just thinking a lot about things.
Usually get a short line (more commonly a pair of lines), or just the urge to write things out.
[I also occasionally get beautiful flashes of imagery, but.. my proficiency is in writing, and my drawing skills wouldn't be able to reproduce what was in my mind properly, so I tend to leave those. There's one in particular that I froze in my mind just because I liked it. So I guess I'll have to practice at some point and make that one a reality...]
Reply
:iconhappyaggro:
HappyAggro Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012
Takes a bit of guts to portray yourself like this. Kudos.
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
aww..thanks! :tighthug:
It was just one of those lightning bolt ideas that came to me as I was putting away Halloween decos, the barbed wire.
I was almost going to do it naked...as in being stripped bare, having nothing to hide kind of idea, but then, I felt it would be too distracting (in people's minds). Most people wouldn't understand.
Reply
:iconelisevampirebite:
EliseVampireBite Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012
Wouw It's beautiful :heart: Wicca?:3 -x
Reply
:iconcynthia-blair:
Cynthia-Blair Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks so much! :hug:

Not really...I'm spiritual and into things that help bring out your intuitive/psychic side, like the Tarot (I don't use it for fortune telling, it just helps expand your deeper thoughts and understanding)...I am drawn to things more ancient and occult, I suppose, but I don't think of it as "dark".
So the whole painting has alot of symbols in it...I included a quick explanation in my scraps: [link]
Reply
:iconelisevampirebite:
EliseVampireBite Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2012
my respect for you is giganticccc :heart:
Reply
Add a Comment:
 
×




Details

Submitted on
February 24, 2012
Image Size
608 KB
Resolution
800×1200
Submitted with
Sta.sh
Link
Thumb
Embed

Stats

Views
3,173
Favourites
129 (who?)
Comments
105

License

Creative Commons License
Some rights reserved. This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
×