Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cover reveal for A Peek at Bathsheba (audiobook edition)

About the image: 

My book, A Peek at Bathsheba (narrated by Justin Harmer) includes a sighting of Bathsheba at the mouth of a cave, located just above the Kidron valley, near Jerusalem. I was inspired to paint the scene. My watercolor is homage to A Woman Bathing in a Stream, painted in 1655 by Rembrandt, immediately after he painted Bathsheba at Her Bath

During the history of art, most artists portrayed Bathsheba as a fleshy, mature woman. They often placed her in a lush outdoor scenery, such as a royal garden, with flowing water or with a fountain. Spotting a forbidden woman in a setting reminiscent of the Garden of Eden is a tempting fantasy, and quite a departure from the biblical account, that states she was bathing on her roof. Artists go after their own heartand so, indeed, do writersto suggest the emotional essence of the story.

Rembrandt places his figure not in a garden, but in a cave with a pool of waterwhich is at once an outdoor and indoor scene (and in Bathsheba at Her Bath he presented her in an indoor scene, in her bedroom.) 

Unlike paintings done by other artistsdepicting Susanna and the Elders, Bathsheba, or the goddess Diana, who were all spied upon while bathingthis painting does not show the peeping man. Instead, Rembrandt supplants him by you, the viewer. Also, the woman in his painting is in control of the situation, rather than a victim of it. 

Rembrandt worked mostly with a grays, browns, and blacks, setting objects back by plunging them into this dark tone, and bringing them forward by shining a bright light directly upon them, creating stark contrasts. The resulting image is sculptural in nature, and strikingly dramatic.

My watercolor painting is inspired by his art. It shares a similar spirit of intimacy, and maintains a loving respect for the model. It also illuminates my vision for the story. 

I strive to maintain a sculptural feel for Bathsheba, but take the freedom to play with a splash of colors, so as to draw contrasts between cool and warm hues. I create a variety of textures, using a loose, spontaneous brushstroke. This I achieve by applying puddles of pigments over Yupo paper, which (unlike traditional watercolor paper) is non-absorbent. I let these puddles drip in some places, and in other places, I lift and shape them into careful designs, using various tools. 

About the text:

A cover is more than the background art. My challenge is to balance the following pieces of information, one that will do it without clutter.
I used different colors for different text fields, from cool to hot, which separates them from the background, and makes them appear at different distances from the viewer. This way, the text itself appears to form a space, which is deeper than the plane of the cover. It appears to float in the cave, behind Bathsheba and in front of her.

The font selected for the titleA Peek at Bathshebadepicts a regal, dynamically slanted, and rather grandiose handwriting style, just the way I imagine David’s penmanship in his private diary. 

 The complete trilogy:
The David Chronicles (Boxed Set) 
EbookKindle  Apple  Nook  Kobo  Smashwords

Volume I: Rise to Power
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple ★ Kobo  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon ★ Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon  Audible

Volume II: A Peek at Bathsheba
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords
PaperbackAmazon  Barnes&Noble
AudiobookiTunes ★ Amazon ★ Audible

Volume III: The Edge of Revolt
EbookKindle  Nook  Apple  Kobo  Smashwords
Paperback Amazon  Barnes&Noble

"I am so enamored with the sensual style and delicious delivery
 that this review is a purely emotional response as I have just put it down. 
I feel like a devotee."