The Serpent Rings © Rodney Matthews Studios

Trinity, Redbubble and Magnum's The Serpent Rings


It's been a few weeks since my last blog, so there's a lot to catch up on ...

First, Trinity, the album you probably thought would never see the light of day, is now actually available to pre-order!  

Trinity Packages

Second piece of news is that Sarah and I decided to launch some of my more popular designs on Redbubble.  Red what?  No, I hadn't heard of it either, but having done our research on global online marketplaces with ability to provide print on demand, we found Redbubble to be one of the most trusted in terms of print quality and consistency and are rated for their customer service and speedy delivery.  None of us are perfect - not even us ;) - but we've decided to give it a go, because it really is time that we provided the t-shirts and other goodies that you have been asking for!

At the moment you'll find 213 products on Redbubble featuring on of the following seven artworks:

  • The Heavy Metal Hero
  • The Dragon Lord
  • I'm Late!
  • For a Year and a Day
  • Mirador
  • No Means of Escape
  • GameHut logo

Check them all out here.

Mirador Shower Curtain The Heavy Metal Hero T-Shirt The Dragon Lord scarf I'm Late! babygrow

And finally, the cover artwork for Magnum' forthcoming album 'The Serpent Rings' has been revealed.  So, I thought I'd take the opportunity to tell you a little bit more about the artwork ...

Part of Tony Clarkin's brief was to include the Storyteller, in his purple robe, as a reluctant warrior kneeling with his sword.  Tony also mentioned false prophets and a hall with pillars with a light source giving a smoky or indistinct background.
The Serpent Rings pencil drawing © 2019 Rodney Matthews Studios
As you can see, I settled for a symmetrical layout with four pillars.  In numeric terms the number '4' represents the Earth (with it’s four corners, etc).  I wanted a key rune or something to be inlayed on each pillar.  So,  I chose to represent the four elements as defined by Plato, Aristotle and others, i.e. "Earth", "Air", "Fire" and "Water".  I also wanted to include an additional element, Aristotle's fifth element - "Aether" (or The Void/Eternity).  This extra symbol, "AE" is represented on the front outer ring of the "initiation" circle on which the Storyteller is kneeling, offering his sword and commitment.
The Serpent Rings © Rodney Matthews Studios

At the warrior's feet, on the ruby red centre of the circle, is a broken hour glass (from 'Storyteller’s Night') representing the ending of time and space and an acknowledgement of Eternity as the destiny of mankind.

The staring serpent has four rings around its neck and its forked tongue has flickered into view. The tongue itself (together with the snake) is universally recognised as the metaphor for a lie. In my view, the most convincing lies are the ones that include a measure of truth to make the message palatable, hence the one side of the forked tongue being blue for truth and the other red for lies (or vice versa!)

Each of the windows in the hall has have a beam of diffused light – red one side and blue the other. There are many questions here (for the fans), not the least of which is the nature of the snake – is it friend or foe; and what relationship has it with the Storyteller, if any?

With my head full of graphic musings concerning elements, time and eternity, I went into the little ancient church in our village to assist Sarah with her flower arranging task for the day.  Finding myself with an idle moment I climbed the few steps to the pulpit where a gigantic Holy Bible was left open at 2 Peter 3:8.  I started to read: "But do not forget this one thing friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day."  A comment on eternity! Then, in 2 Peter 3:10: 'But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare."

Heavy stuff, eh?

Next week I look forward to giving you the big reveal of my most recent painting - a Christmas image for a project that I am working on with Oliver Wakeman!

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