Cairn Picture

Pen, ink,

Watercolor &

Gold leaf


"Freeze this moment
A little bit longer
Make each sensation
A little bit stronger
Experience slips away..."

I had been itching to work with gold leaf since I had picked up "The Essential Klimpt" at Waldenbook's from the bargain rack.

The pattern on the model's blouse lent itself nicely to my experimentation. The Cairns in the background were an afterthought, inspired by the cover art from Rush's CD "Test For Echo", which I was listening to in the studio at the time.

In the mythology of ancient Greece, cairns were associated with Hermes, the god of overland travel. According to one legend, Hermes was put on trial by Hera for slaying her favorite servant, the monster Argus. All of the other gods acted as a jury, and as a way of declaring their verdict they were given pebbles, and told to throw them at whichever person they deemed to be in the right, Hermes or Hera. Hermes argued so skillfully that he ended up buried under a heap of pebbles, and this was the first cairn.

Obviously my dancer has more of a Gaelic or Celtic feel about her. Chalk it up to my Irish blood and the love of long, flowing hair. I think, in the story I made up for her in my head as I painted this piece, she was a ghost. Like a banshee or will-o-the-wisp. She was more than a little inspired by the conjuring sisters in Tanith Lee's "Kill The Dead".

Kill the dead? How can you slay that which is already slain? Sometimes the dead refuse to stay quiet.
For there are times when the dead have a destiny that must be fulfilled. There are times when those who must walk defy God and Nature to do so; those are times of horror and haunting.
Then one must call the exorcist. There is work for the slayer of ghosts in the backlands of the world. There is work for the Ghost-Killer.
It is the story of two sisters who defied him. One did not belong on this earth, one did. But which was the one he must kill? Which was the one he must silence? Here is the moment caught between the notes of a song. A hauntingly familiar tune.

Author C.E. Murphy owns this original. How cool is that?
Continue Reading: Hera