Marly in Ice-Land

Even when beleaguered with arctic weather and a recalcitrant cold that’s driving her slowly bonkers, Marly Youmans can’t but be the consummate scribe. This is her on the weather right now in Cooperstown.

‘Because I am dreaming of hot weather and a thunderstorm over Lake Otsego instead of ice and ice and blebs and icicles and rimed crystals and simple prisms and stellar or sectored plates and dendrite crystals and triangulars and plate crystals and fernlike stellar dendrites and bullet rosettes and crystal needles and hollow or capped columns and double plates or split plates and snow and snow and did I say ice and snow? Ah, the alien, barely inhabitable realm of Yankee winter with its radiating dendrites–so strange, so insane, so cold-and-virus laden, so ingenious in its complex miseries, so full of barkings like a seal, so many-kleenexed, so white, so starry, so shivery, so interminable, so Narnian, so White Witchian.’

At which point, she posts a snowy chapter heading, one of those I made for Thaliad (see above) that is a good match for the ‘Yankee winter’ she’s lamenting.

Read more from the marvellous Marly at her BLOG. In the United States Thaliad may be found at Phoenicia Publishing, and in the UK would-be-purchasers can order it from good local book shops, or from Amazon. And while on matters ‘Thalian’, if the five-star reviews at Amazon don’t tempt you to open your wallet, then cast an eye over the scrumptious review of it at Tom Cat in the Red Room, which would be enough to make me walk barefoot through snow to my nearest store to get a copy. Fortunately I don’t have to, as I have not one but a little cache of Thaliads on my shelves, a perk of being its cover artist and decorator.

3 thoughts on “Marly in Ice-Land

  1. Ah, thank you Clive! I can’t say that Marly’s writing makes me feel better about the winter we are enduring here, but it reinforces my own conviction that limitation and starkness often inspire the creative flow — and Thaliad is certainly one result!

    • Hello Beth. Not only have you been on my mind today because I’ve been posting about Thaliad, but also because I’m up to my knees in inked collage papers, snipping out and assembling vignettes for Glimmerglass.

      Working on the decorations for Thaliad last year had a lasting impact on my drawing and on my thoughts about book design. It helped me pare down ideas to simple though meaningful shapes, and although I’ve done no books since, I was able to dive straight in with the current project, because I already had the invented visual ‘language’ in place for it.

      No snow in this part of Wales right now, though it might yet come. Today we have a respite from the rain, and the purple and saffron crocuses are ablaze and thrumming with winter-drowsy bumblebees. I’m happy to keep company with snow only in the illustration currently on my desk, where a vignette-ified robin stands atop a crisply blanketed yule-log, while plump flakes swirl around him. I’ve let loose the inmates of the Glimmerglass ‘bestiary’, and Marly’s creatures… and more that have joined them… are now scattered across its pages! Some have even built nests!

      Sending love. x

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