Since November I've moved to the Isle of Wight for 5 months. While I'm here I'm working on a few projects and a new book.
I'm also entering the Folio Society annual competition, which I enter every year. This year is Mansfield Park. It's a very difficult novel to get to grips with. Firstly, the heroine - Fanny Price - is a very problematic character. She is shy, quiet and often makes things more difficult for herself by being very passive, and willing to take the backseat. On the other side of her character, she is very judgmental of people she finds 'unworthy' or lacking 'moral fibre'.
On my first reading of Mansfield Park (I actually started by listening to the audio book) I found it very hard to have any sympathy for Fanny. Then, on reading it again I came to the realisation that Fanny may be acting in this way because she is depressed. Constantly sidelined by her wealthy relations, made to sleep in the cold attic, having only one true friend at Mansfield Park could be the result of her mental state.
Finally, I read the book one more time with this idea in mind - Fanny Price is suffering from depression - and the whole of her character opened up to me. I began to understand her - I could see where she was coming from. She had a deep pain inside her, and she needed to let it out.
This understanding of the central character in Mansfield Park has definitely influenced my drawing style for this project. I'll post the final spreads when I can.