Tam Lin

I have the biggest heart-on for the Tam Lin story and the discussion around it.

-Tam Lin- by Jill Karla Schwarz

-Tam Lin- by Jill Karla Schwarz

This illustration for Tam Lin came into my life when I was around 10 years old – on the blessed day when I discovered the library’s collection of the Time-Life Enchanted World series books – and I instantly became fixated on it. It wasn’t good enough to lend the book every few weeks; I had to have it with me all the time. So I did what any rationally-minded 10-year-old would do: I undertook my own reproduction, painstakingly copying every. freaking. leaf. and every. freaking. shading line and pleat and strand of hair, using the time-honoured grid method to enlarge it to A2 size (approx. 16.5″x23″).

Then out came the trusty poster paints and… I hated it. It wasn’t perfect. So I redrew it and started again. And it still wasn’t perfect. So I redrew it, again. Every. Freaking. Line. And left it at that. When I visited my childhood home last year, I found all three copies under the bed with the rest of my art paper stash. No small surprise, they weren’t as awful as my hyper-critical inner judge would have had me believe.

“Moorlough Shore” came on while I was writing this entry and struck me as appropriate accompaniment. Ignore the ridiculous video and the ridiculous silver pants and just soak in Caroline Lavelle’s voice (it was 1995 and we all made the best fashion choices!)

8 thoughts on “Tam Lin

  1. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Snazzy new design! And uh, I don’t know who that guy is, but he totally gets a waiver for any kind of pants he wants to wear (or not wear).

    I can’t even imagine trying to draw that. Headache forming.


  2. Magic Mentha (@MagicMentha) says:

    Wow. I love it. I love this artwork and I wish I could see your three versions. And WOW I love the blog look. The banner is just amazing. So cool. I’ve never seen anything like it. I need to go look at some of my old drawings. I love seeing the interesting things my daughter draws, though she isn’t as into it at the moment.



    • submerina says:

      Strangely, I quite like the unfinished grid version with just the linework; but then, I’ve always been fond of partially-finished work. It would be interesting to compare P’s art to yours at that age – it’s uncanny how often the child’s work will be similar to the parent’s even without their influence.

      It took a LOT of fussing, but I’m really pleased with how the header turend out – all the Princesses together like that. I think it really captures the facets of the Princess of Swords very nicely.


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