swords to plowshares
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Large 13 x 19" limited edition of 250, signed and numbered in gold, printed on archival watercolor paper.




“Swords to Plowshares”—one of my personal favorites that I’ve illustrated for Magic: the Gathering. A small print of this hangs in my studio library. The assignment was challenging, but I was in love with the concept. The art direction prompt from Wizards of the Coast was: “This spell neutralizes a creature. We'd like to show it in an abstract way, though. Show an Escher-style tessellation of a warrior with a sword becoming a farmer with a plow.”

Many hours were spent sketching, designing and redesigning the symbolic, tessellated area, until all the elements pieced together in the puzzle-like fashion I was looking for. You’ll find the symbolism layered within creating a visual effect similar to the well known Rubin’s Vase. The warriors were inspired by Russian artist Yevgeny Vuchetich’s powerful sculpture, butted up to the hilts of the two swords are dual hands pulling the swords apart. Other elements include; butterflies/transformation, skulls/death, fire/destruction, plows, bundles of wheat, the spark of life, doves…

I utilized several mediums within this piece: thick, encaustic layers, embedded pieces of ragged, porous, paper towels. Acrylic washes were first, then building up with oils and encaustic and embellishing with touches of 24K gold powder. 

“... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

Swords to Plowshares - Limited Edition Print

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