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The Scratching Log - Honoring Contest Fan Artists - Karyl Cunningham

By rath8325 - Posted on 19 September 2011

Third up on the sunning rock to be bathed in the warmth of praise and honor is Karyl Cunningham, who stunned me with her unusual and energetic entry depicting a scene that rarely if ever shows up in Ratha fan art.  Her creativity is unmatched only by her persistence in battling time constraints, unco-operative materials (dried-out acryrlic paints) and other adversities.  So, you are being honored also for your determination in meeting the challenges as well as your artistic ability.  /CB


Contest fanartists - Cunningham


Your name: Karyl
 Your age: 27
 Title of your entry: The Death of Meoran

What media did you use for this artwork?  Arcylic paint
 Tell us a little about your process for creating this work.

 Well, the process was a bit of a struggle from the point the pencil
 sketch was finished. I found out at the last minute that my acrylics
 had mostly dried out, so made a run to the nearest store to buy some
 more. Except the new paints turned out to be poster paint. So, just in
 case I didn't find anything else, I made some mess of an underpainting
 to at least get something started. Then the planets aligned and a
 voice shouted down from the heavens "thou shalt paint" and lo and
 behold, Jo-Ann's was having a clearance sale on their acrylics. So I
 painted over the messy excuse for an underpainting, and ultimately
 decided to forego detail in favor of the sense of the tense emotion of
 the scene (admittedly in part because it was getting pretty late and
 close to the last night for submissions, and I didn't want to fall
 asleep in my paints).
 What inspired the work, and/or what were you trying to convey?

 There was one scene from the Ratha books I had read that always stood
 out in my mind, and that was the scene where Meoran tries to attack
 Ratha, and gets a nasty surprise when she shoves a firebrand into his
 jaw to protect herself. It was always strangely vivid, even more so
 than the other scenes, and since I don't have my own copy of the
 books, that made it the perfect scene to capture for the contest.
 Plus, I don't think I've ever seen anyone draw out that scene before,
 so I wouldn't have anyone else's version in my head already that might
 block out my own sense of the image.
 When did you first read the Named books, and how did you discover them?

 I can't remember how long ago I first read the books, but I know it
 was thanks to our local library. My sister was rather obsessed with
 cheetahs at the time, and had borrowed a copy of Tomorrow's Sphinx. I
 thought it sounded neat, so next chance I got, I borrowed it too, and
 found the Ratha books alongside it. Our library doesn't have them all,
 but they had enough to get me hooked. ...Okay, I was hooked by the
 first one, I'll admit.
 What's your favorite book in the Named series?

 I'm going to go with the first for now since it's the one I've read
 most often. Sadly it's been too long to really give a clear and actual
 favorite, though.
 Coffee or hot chocolate?

 Depends, am I trying to get warm or wake up? If it's the dead of
 winter, I'm a definite fan of hot chocolate. Of course, sometimes I
 also mix the two.
 Ereader or print?

 Both. There's something nice about the feel of a real book, and of
 course I grew up on them... but for travel I think an ereader would be
 nice, especially one of the ones that has eink technology, with a
 non-backlit LCD screen, so it's more like reading on paper and gives
 less eye strain. But I do like the idea of being able to carry a few
 hundred books with me at once without breaking my spine.
 Firekeeper or Herder? 

 Firekeeper, all the way. I've always been a fan of sitting around the
 fire, and I don't think I've got the attention span to be a herder.
 Thakur or Bonechewer?

 I seem to remember being a bigger fan of Thakur when I was a kid. Not
 that I disliked Bonechewer, but Thakur had a bit gentler a style I
 Ratha or Thistle-Chaser?

 I really need to read that book again to know for sure...
 Do you have a link where people can view more of your artwork?

 I have a few actually. For the vast majority of my art there's this
 For my craft items that you can actually buy:
 And, for my photography portfolio:

Random image

Clan Ground Firebird cover

Join other Named Series fans on the Ratha Series Forum.  Hunt up information in the Fire Den, read the new Twitter creation, "Ratha's Island", or strut before the clan to introduce yourself in the Fire Dance.

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