A couple cocoons blissfully under blankets in their curtained arbour, marked by the sun and the moon. Articles of clothing lie about the floor: a man's tennis shoes, socks and shirt, a woman's necklace and kicked-off high heels: In front of the bed is an knocked-over chair, from which hang the woman's stockings, and her bra. On the table to the left lie the man's tie and spectacles, a bud-vase with its rose, a magically lit bottle of rose liqueur, and two glasses, one overturned. Rose liqueur spilling onto the table and dripping to the floor from the upset glass suggests the flowing and release of passionate embraces. Meanwhile, the flying angel shoots flowers onto the wallpaper in rivulets of blue and red light, and lilies stream from her feet.
I wished to convey, without pornography, that furious passion so common in Hollywood, but rarer in life, of a couple tearing each other's clothes off and knocking over the furniture amid unbroken kisses. The two of cups: earthly love, hence the bra. (Lest we should complain, the detail is too earthy, need I point out, that a bra is two cups?)
Yet, I am no master of drawing: so it was the drawing itself, which chose to mutate according to its own whims. Somehow the lady's stockings got carefully lain on the knocked-over chair. And however active I intended the blankets to appear, the end result is of a couple blissfully sleeping and quite cuddled up. Rather than actors in a Hollywood love scene, might these simply be messy artistic people who can't be bothered to hang up their clothes?
The angel: As it is traditional after Rider Waite Smith for the 2 of cups to show some lesser version of the great angel pictured in the lovers card, I wanted a cherub over the canopy. It was not supposed to be a real angel, but rather, part of the moulding in the bed furniture, something to leave ambiguous the existence or non-existence of angels. But then from her outstretched arms spring handfuls of flowers, flying and fixing onto the wallpaper. So, is the angel real or unreal? While flowers belong on wallpaper, and might have been with or without angels, some have magically fallen off the wall and are collecting on the floor.
Love, passion, magic, miracles. With dreams and lovemaking: a barrier is bridged, be it the veil between real and unreal, between earth and heaven, between prose and poetry, or day night, male and female. With the miracle of love, comes the explosion of color into the greyness of ordinary life; a heretofore-unknown splendour dusts the world like a veil of rose light, and we see as through "rose colored glasses". Or, perhaps is it rather, that the muddy veil of clouded vision finally lifts to reveal the truth of beauty underneath? For many of us, love and sex is as close as we will get to Nirvana, to the experience of God.
Original drawing in colored pencil, water-color pencil and water, and gouache overlaid in PhotoShop with several differently-hued versions of its own negative; creative erasing.
Special thanks to: aoife, mari_hoshizaki, Moongold, Aerin, Major Tom, Violet Gargoyle, Jewel, Trogon, crystalmynx, jema, Tarotlady and Lawguy51 for their wonderful feedback, and encouragement, and extra special thanks to Jean-Michel David, for his tremendous ideas and inspiration, as well as help in editing the text.
Firemaiden, 42 is an aspiring opera singer and lives in Berlin.
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