The Riddle of the Planets

The Riddle of the Planets

I began this drawing with only the concept of planets circling a face.  I didn't think there would be hair, but then there it was.  I used a photo of actress Emma Watson as the basis, but found when working on the mouth the face began to resemble Madeline Kahn.  Once I felt it was finished, I set to naming it, and that's when the submining began.

Ok, so it's a face, no, a head, with planets around it.  Are the planets revolving?  If so, in what direction are they revolving?  Is she the center of a solar system?  Are these moons?  Are the planets, the orbs, still?  Are they creeping towards her?  Are they too close?

Words that came to mind while trying to come up with a name included "revolution," "hope," and "angel."  But I didn't want to take for granted that the event depicted here is a positive one.  The orbs do feel a little too close for comfort.  The woman reaches out to us with her eyes, waiting for something, perhaps.  Again, I think, hoping.  But it isn't a hope of optimism.  It's hope for a deliverance.

Planets in my past work have represented a landing place.  Somewhere those little folks who fly through the air on balloons can land and rest.  A place where I can find a sense of grounding.  This doesn't seem possible here.  There are six orbs.  Why?  Will they leave?  What is their motion?  Is there a sea of planets with only these six visible?  Her hair is in motion, right?  Is it?

With so many questions, I thought The Riddle of the Planets was apt, though I take for granted that they are, in fact, planets.  The Riddle of the Orbs?  Nah.  I'll stick with calling these objects planets, not moons, orbs, or atoms.  They are barren.  There are no small folks flying about or landing, no hitching posts for their balloons even if they were present.  Just a stark set of six (a number that feels uncomfortable), too close for comfort, with very little guess as to what the outcome might be.

What do you think?  What does this piece mean to you?