Some images stick with you. They show up over and over again in your work, evolving and changing with each reincarnation. Here's a little walk through the strange twists and turns of one of the images I can't seem to give up. It started with this drawing in my sketchbook. It started with a spark of inspiration from Illustration Friday with the prompt "Shiny" which immediately made me think of magpies snatching up little shiny things. [caption id="attachment_1249" align="alignnone" width="426"] Stage 1 - Drawing[/caption] The sketch eventually became an etching and the idea began to solidify. It wasn't just about a bird grabbing something shiny, it became an illustration about the ways we hold onto things even when it is to our detriment to do so. [caption id="attachment_1246" align="alignnone" width="440"] Stage 2 - Etching[/caption] Which leads us to the horse. I began thinking about the specific things that I hold onto, even when holding onto those things hurts me. One of those things my the need to be absolutely right, which automatically makes me better than others. Especially when I'm right and you're wrong. So I added a horse on top of my etching. If you look closely you can still see the outline of the bird in the print below. [caption id="attachment_1248" align="alignnone" width="440"] Stage 3 - Etching and Monoprint[/caption] I entered the high horse print into a show where it was sold. This is great if you are supporting yourself through your art (like me), but also sad if you really liked it and maybe kind of wanted to keep it (like me). A friend really liked it also, but since the horse was gone I ended up creating a custom version for her. This time with a buffalo. [caption id="attachment_1247" align="alignnone" width="443"] Stage 4 - Etching and Monoprint[/caption] Then the image just sat for awhile. I graduated from school and didn't have access to a printing press to create any more etchings so I pushed it to the back of my mind. But it wouldn't quite go away and I thought about it more and more until I decided it was time to create another high horse. I pulled out an old relief cut print that hadn't worked out quite right and painted and collaged on top of it. [caption id="attachment_1250" align="alignnone" width="426"] Stage 5 - Linocut, Acrylic and Collage[/caption] I don't know if this version will be the last one or not. Maybe it's an image I keep coming back to because I still haven't totally given up my high horse.