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Art and Apparel

A blog by Sara O'Neill

The Zodiac Series: Taurus (20th April - 19th May)

Dependable / Persistent / Loyal / Patient / Generous / Artistic / Possessive / Materialistic / Jealous / Stubborn

That's me, apparently, Taurus - and in someways surprisingly accurate. I’m not particularly into astrology, but when I read the Taurean characteristics, many of them seem to ring true: stubborn, materialistic, greedy, artistic, self-indulgent, likes beautiful things and so on. Somewhere in there is a truth and from it I have decided to put together a series of fashion illustrations based on the signs of the zodiac.

There is something wonderfully visual about astrology and researching the characteristics and personality traits of each sign evokes an image in my mind of how each should look. I love adding flowers and soft washes of colour to my pencil drawings, so will be adding the representative flower to each image. The Taurean flower is the ‘sweetly scented damask rose’ and I love the juxtaposition of the roses with the bull skull (my inner goth added that)

Taureans love ‘physical pleasures and material goods, for those born under this sign revel in delicious excess. They are also a tactile lot, enjoying a tender, even sensual touch.’ I wanted to give the girl a seductive, but slightly languid look (Taureans are prone to laziness, apparently) and the image a luxurious texture. Fur is ideal for this (I even style my scribbles) Unfortunately fur is also a pain in the bum to draw- in this case I wanted it to be a shaggy Mongolian fur rather than a silky rabbit or fox fur (I refuse to wear or use real fur in shoots- is it bad that I draw it quite often???) I did struggle with the fur for a while, which was irritating because I was happy with the hair and face, both of which were completed at the time and as I over-worked the fur there was a possibility I would ruin the whole image. It came together though. Phew.

The Taurean ruling planet is Venus, the goddess of love, therefore the main colour associated is pink (apparently ‘utilizing these subdued pastel colours, will keep your tempestuous nature in check’ Hmmmm….) My current obsession, as is evidenced by recent work, is to add a coloured halo of some sort behind the subject- I think it grounds the subject but still allows the image to work as a placement print.

This image will be available as an A3 print, large birthday card (although possibly not useful in this form until April??) and a tshirt print. The original will be part of the ‘Graphite’ exhibition, opening in the Ulster Hall in April.

This image was created with the assistance of the music of Fleetwood Mac, Leonard Cohen and Faith No More, coffee, Eggs Florentine, two A3 pencils, a mild North Coast winter's day and a Father Ted boxset.

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