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May 25, 2008
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The Book by zancan The Book by zancan
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 !
Add a Comment:
 
:iconcalyptra:
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!
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
165 out of 167 deviants thought this was fair.

:icontheaspeninthewillows:
Critique by TheAspenintheWillows Oct 28, 2009, 8:06:52 AM
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.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
213 out of 218 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

Please sign up or login to post a critique.

:iconharmlessjoe:
harmlessjoe Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2014
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.
Reply
:icondeanmarshall:
DeanMarshall Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014
I adore this :) 
Reply
:iconkst2007:
kst2007 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2014
This is simply a masterpiece. The color is so rich, love everything about this piece.
Reply
:iconcathelinde:
Cathelinde Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
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.
Reply
:iconxyrlei:
Xyrlei Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Maybe because it was the book that made the reader stay...for me it's great name
Reply
:iconbeyourselfmert:
Beyourselfmert Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconthecoyoteking:
thecoyoteking Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2014
one of the greatest paintings ive ever seen. i cannot wait to have a print in my apartment!
Reply
:iconabuhijleh:
abuhijleh Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014

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

Reply
:iconnovus41:
novus41 Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
excellent work
Reply
:iconlaedyrose:
LaedyRose Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Beautiful and thought-provoking.
Reply
:iconm0le:
M0LE Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
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...
Reply
:iconoceanickhan:
Oceanickhan Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2013
Perfect. Simply perfect.
Reply
:icontaglanis:
Taglanis Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013
This piece is brillant!
Reply
:iconbenediktjust:
benediktjust Featured By Owner May 15, 2013
Beautiful - Wonderful - Thank you for showing your imagination.
Please keep on doing that !
All the best for you,
Benedikt
Reply
:iconchione-in-the-snow:
Chione-in-the-Snow Featured By Owner May 12, 2013
Absolutely lovely
Reply
:iconstorm-angel-marais:
Storm-Angel-Marais Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2013  Student General Artist
amazing , i thought it was digital.. :o
Reply
:iconcelestegealach:
CelesteGealach Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2013
Can you explain the symbolism of your piece? It seems to have alluded me.
Reply
:iconeuphoricanomaly:
euphoricanomaly Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2013
This is just unreal talent! Amazing work!
Reply
:iconjadedangel322:
jadedangel322 Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it is wonderful and would make a beautiful print.
Reply
:iconedouard-h:
Edouard-H Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
This is clearly one of the most amazing and inspiring pictures of dA, thank you so much omg.
Reply
:iconzak05:
Zak05 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Masterpiece!!!
Reply
:iconmidnytesunshine:
MidnyteSunshine Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
amazing. Absolutely Brilliant!! <3 this guy :3 hehe
Reply
:iconhat3me:
HAT3ME Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think if art has no meaning, theres no soul. Also, please don't think that someone wouldnt wan't a print of this, Why did you think I clicked on this drawing and favoured it. . .
Reply
:iconjwojwojwo:
jwojwojwo Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
I LOVE it. <3
Reply
:iconbenpouss:
Benpouss Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I love this picture. Like when i see certain painting in museum, it stirs something in me. A great piece who talking to me. Thank you.
Reply
:iconddossena:
ddossena Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2012
Brilliant, that is creativity!
Reply
:iconjascorpio9:
jascorpio9 Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2012
It is amazing!!!!
Reply
:iconhouk:
houk Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
Amazing job!
Reply
:iconhouk:
houk Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012
Amazing job!
Reply
:iconaquaassassin:
AquaAssassin Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Student Writer
This is absolutely gorgous, I'm glad you shared this! :heart: May it go into my computer-wallpaper folder?
Reply
:iconlordras:
Lordras Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Great piece. You have captured a snap shot suspended in time. Clearly this painting should hang in a gallery!
Reply
:iconlululetti:
lululetti Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
It's really amazing!
Reply
:iconrbow:
rbow Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2012
Beautiful work!
Reply
:iconsabinanore:
SabinaNore Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2012  Professional General Artist
Your painting has been featured in The Surreal Dozen, Art Essential's art feature!
Reply
:iconsasan-ra:
Sasan-ra Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
Amazing :) you're really talented !
Reply
:iconmistresskurumi:
MistressKurumi Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love the statues and how stoic the man is.
Reply
:iconayuttt:
ayuttt Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Cool *__*
Reply
:iconmar-tea:
Mar-Tea Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Don't want to leave without a comment, but putting emotions into words is even harder in a language, that's not one's own... As usual it's between the very personal meanings a watcher finds one that suits him as well. So I reckon it's your soul in that ivy-poisoned, lonely place we're looking at? A part of mine knows a place like that as well, and wants to curl up to the feet of yours, even if I know, one time one will not have the strength left, to leave... Doesn't actually say what I'm thinking, I'll leave it here anyway, in loss of better words...
Reply
:icongerpian:
Gerpian Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
OOOO GOD!!.. awesome.!! .. oil painting!!.. i thought it was a digital painting! ... very very nice !:D
Reply
:iconi-luuurrrve-movies:
I-Luuurrrve-Movies Featured By Owner May 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Incredible... I love the colors, the form, the balance, everything about this painting. Personally I believe this deserves a DD, it's really that impressive. Thank you for sharing your art.
Reply
:iconmarcgosselin:
marcgosselin Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Stunning!!!
Reply
:icondeathcon7:
Deathcon7 Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Student Writer
This is amazaing, Zancan. I think the rule holds true in all art: that which you least wish to share, is that which will be most appreciated. Thank you for sharing this. You've easily become one of my favorite artists.
Reply
:iconjobe3do:
Jobe3DO Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
These paintings are done very well, they are really breath taking!_X
Reply
:iconsackofsquan:
sackofsquan Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
wow
Reply
:iconmatbuk:
Matbuk Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2012
www.whoartyou.net. A free artistic contest in Milan.
Reply
:iconkakobrutus:
kakobrutus Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012
Featured in [link]
Reply
:iconblanket86:
blanket86 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2012  Professional Traditional Artist
Amazing work :-)
Reply
:iconavolendi:
Avolendi Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
After reading the dark impression versus the comments and critiques I got interested in looking at this artwork in a more in depth manner.

The most prominent part of this dark mood described feels to be related to the 'crown' of roots. They feel like symbolizing chaos, things that are overwhelming and suffocate the mind, constricting. The roots at the foot might be a more physical restriction. The statues facing away has been mentioned and their expression, cold and turning away, though their incomplete form also feels connected to the chaos. The one in the background feels like a pressure looming overhead.
The man is still in the light, though behind the chair the plantlife grows near. The wildgrow of the plantlife feels to resemble chaos, covering much. This could also represent time, taking more as it passes. Things slipping from memory? The light in the distance, combined with the statue, might be past things slipping out of reach. The throne and chair give me the impression of being in a high place, but finding it a harsh place. The book gave me the impression of something to be lost in. The man is intensively reading it, unaware and even neglecting his surroundings.

After reading more on the website I found some more details like the worrisome look and details about the book. Still it feels like there is still more meaning to be found that I don't see. Hopefully I'm at least somewhat correct in trying to find the deeper interpretation. In any case beautifully done and I find it leaves me with a impression that is hard to describe, but heavy.
Reply
:iconhorsea9:
horsea9 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012
Maybe it was meant to be dark or unhealthy but it still reminds me of myself when I find an interesting book - I hide away and forget about everything :)
Reply
:iconestella-sparkles:
Estella-Sparkles Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2012
I am in love with this painting.
Reply
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