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zancan's avatar

The Book

Oil painting on canvas 100x81 cm ( 39x32 '' )

This painting was done during the year 2007; it took me a lot of time before I could showcase it. There were scanning issues, but also a certain angst about it.
You will probably not feel comfortable about an image that has this personal a meaning, and that also has a darker mood than the previous ones I painted, almost unhealthy. I also believe that nobody is going to want a print of this! ;) ... that's why I wanted to provide you with a higher resolution file, for the small details and the dedication poured on it to be appreciated.

Some close-ups and additional information can be seen on my website on this page.

Thanks a lot, for watching !
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© 2008 - 2021 zancan
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WorldsToBe's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star-half: Impact

I believe that this piece of art deserves all the admiration one would give the mona lisa or seeing the last supper in person. Your vision of the reader is true and comes from your heart. He is how any avid reader would feel reading a good book. Although there is a theme people would find graphic or dark it cannot be denied or more appreciated that the impact it has on viewers is deep and strikes true in them. Your painting is indeed the peek of majestic stucture. Do not down it. People who buy this print will enjoy it for years to come. I didnt want to give any originality stars because it wouldnt do it justice, but in order to tell you how I felt about this work the computer said I had to put down something. The originality of this work of art comes from your heart, and your heart has glow and spirit and the most originality any masterpiece has if not more. Good job. Good job.
TheAspenintheWillows's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

Wow. I stumbled upon this piece in a friends favorites and was blown away.

As a writer and musician I know very little about visual arts other than what I like. However, this is more than just liking a piece. This is finding that one song in millions that will make you cry.

The colors and the blending of them is stunning. The light in the center draws you into the picture and makes you feel as if you are a part of it. We all know how it feels to find a good book and be completely oblivious to our surroundings. So, I applaud the artist on taking a simple thing, one that everyone has felt, and turning it into a world of color and magic.

This is something I would be proud to hang on my wall. I look forward to seeing more from the artist.
zancan's avatar
Thank you for sharing those emotions you felt. ( and thanks for the excellent grade ;) )
TheAspenintheWillows's avatar
You're very welcome and thank you for the inspiration. :nod:
Calyptra's avatar
:star::star::star::star::star: Overall
:star::star::star::star::star: Vision
:star::star::star::star::star: Originality
:star::star::star::star::star: Technique
:star::star::star::star::star: Impact

I came to this picture the usual way - jumping from one deviant's favourites to another, checking out the deviant who created the much favourited piece every now and then. Until I came to `zancan's profile and this particular picture of his caught my eye. Sitting alone in its own box, the preview of a lone Oberon of sorts grabbed my notice immediately. The moment I saw this work of art I knew I hadn't made a mistake coming here.

The picture more than just grabbed my eyes. It grabbed my heart. The moment I saw it, I said to myself, this is exactly how it is when a person finds a good book. You read and you read and you get immersed in it till there isn't just a person and a book. There is just a book.

The figurines around him, are like people. They don't understand the world he's in, how he feels right now. But the person doesn't care. To him they're just statues. He is already in the world of make believe, where all he hears, sees, reads, sleeps and eats is the world inside. The forest is silent, the foliage continues to grow undisturbed, letting him be, absorbing him within themselves. His body is slowly, tenderly being devoured by the vines creeping delicately up his feet, while his mind is already captured by a stronger Liana, which in turn crowns him for his absolute engrossment. The forest behind, meanwhile is darker, with more secrets. And the throne will sink further and further into it, until they are inseparable.

Of course, what he holds isn't just a book. It's a fixation, an obsession. The subject's gloomy brow almost seems to indicate that there is a mystery within what he holds that is yet to be solved. It intrigues and frightens him at the same time. And some part of him may want to break away, but he is already hypnotised. Sinking further into the chair, he is trapped. His now vacant eyes tell me he's already gone where noone can reach him now.

I don't know much about technique, being a writer myself, but the picture feels so alive I couldn't help but give it 5 stars. And of course, the vision and the originality are both fantastic, and nothing less than 5 stars was deserved. The impact of course, can be seen by how absurdly long the critique is, and how I keep staring at it, letting my eyes travel over the whole scene repeatedly, unable to take in everything, but trying my hardest to.

I apologise to readers and to the artist for the length of this critique, and how long winded it may seem at times. It was all just an outpouring oh how much this moved me. I also apologise for not being very objective. Then again, this critique came more from a non visual artist to a visual one, so it becomes difficult to restrain the words.

And now I very much look forward to keeping a watch on the artist for more such inspiring masterpieces. Keep up the excellent work!
zancan's avatar
There might be multiple layers when reading a picture. The one who knows for sure the meaning it hides prevents himself from the wonders of imaginative voyage. That makes me entranced at the heartfelt words someone who randomly arrived can put down, after immersing himself, melting with the image, making it his own. This was more than a fair critic; thank you for writing it.
Calyptra's avatar
Oh my, thank you so much for that! I'm glad you liked it. The artist liking the critic's work is one of the best compliments :)
PeculiarMuse's avatar

I'm guessing you put a piece of your soul in this, didn't you? All creations must require it but some get a bit more than others.

So this is a confession. I've had your painting as a background image for some four years. I don't know if you approve of such things but there it is. Don't remember how I came upon it, just this thought of 'oh, this feels like home'.
I can't tell you how many times I've pulled all my documents down to look at it and imagine myself just being there.

I'd breathe in the calm air, squint in the twilight, brush aside some vines and find out what he's reading today. The slight frown in his face is always about the book of the day. Today it's likely a murder mystery, and he's approaching the end with the great reveal, unable to tear his eyes from the page.

He cannot leave the place, must have been angry about it once. What happened? Great change in his world, and he's the only one left, the last guardian? Or is he exiled, and life continues somewhere close but unreachable? I think these days he's come to peace with it. If you think about it, what more do you need from life but a book and a quiet place to read it?

I’m sorry. I really don’t know anything about painting techniques or composition, and cannot offer worthwhile critique. Just thought you might like to know I love it.

Also, please don’t say I have to take it down. It means very much to me.

NamelessSaint's avatar
Greetings!  I have a group :iconthe-fanart-society: that has a folder for conceptual arts such as this, and I was wondering if we could host this wonderful work.  May we?  
Tr1nks1e's avatar
This image is so intriguing, I can't help but stare at it. It reminds me of the feeling of being depressed, but also of being lost in a book. Melancholy - that is what it is! AMAZING!!!!
harmlessjoe's avatar
Artwork such as this belongs in The Louvre.  There are just no words to describe the beauty, the surrealism, the strong connection not only to the reader of the book and the book itself, but with the individual viewer and this painting.  Everyone who sees this is connected to the painting, each has a strong emotional or spiritual attachment to this painting.  The words I try to find to express my admiration for this work are just not in me, just beyond my reach or thinking.  This is a powerful thought provoking painting.
Thank you for creating it.
This is simply a masterpiece. The color is so rich, love everything about this piece.
Cathelinde's avatar
Actually, I have a little question: Why is this piece of art called "The Book" and not "The Reader"? The artwork is very original and accurately captures the mood of one when reading, but it seems to me that the central focus is the reader and not the book. I am not really an artist, and I really admire this piece of art, but I am a little curious. Will really appreciate if someone clarifies! Thank you.
OndrejHrdina's avatar
Maybe because it was the book that made the reader stay...for me it's great name
one of the greatest paintings ive ever seen. i cannot wait to have a print in my apartment!

Amazing work, inspiring, and as a painter  and writer i saw plenty of bright thoughts, brought through an intellectual spirit and professional technique!

novus41's avatar
excellent work
LaedyRose's avatar
Beautiful and thought-provoking.
M0LE's avatar
I respectfully disagree with your own view of the work...  Honestly, I would have gone even darker myself, since some things are dark but still should be shown.  The study on your site with the idea of the blue paint was a neat too, but perhaps for another project...
Perfect. Simply perfect.
Taglanis's avatar
This piece is brillant!
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