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Abstract...Midnight on Egdon Heath by © Janis Zroback

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Abstract...Midnight on Egdon Heath by 

Midnight on Egdon Heath" is part of the Thomas Hardy Collection.

Watercolour on Arches Paper

The entire opening chapter of The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy, is devoted to a lengthy description of Egdon Heath, the setting of the novel. The heath must be significant in terms of the themes and the continue progress of the novel. Hardy made the heath so significant, that it can be look upon as a character like any other in the novel. The heath’s constant correlation with the plot and its “personality” even transformed it into the major antagonist of the story. In the opening chapter the heath is introduced just as how a major character of most novels would be introduced with detail. In fact, the way Hardy devoted the entire first chapter just to describe it gives it the level of importance that is over any other characters in the book. This seems to suggest that the heath is like the “ruler” of the story, it is the King, and it is more powerful than any person is. The heath demonstrates the idea that fate is more powerful than the desires of individuals .GE..

I chose to depict what I feel to be the “dominance of darkness” that is clearly ominous, and Hardy also says of the heath that it could “retard the dawn, sadden noon…and intensify the opacity of a moonless midnight to a cause of shaking and dread” It is also inferred that the Heath itself creates the darkness.. “the heath exhaling darkness as rapidly as the heavens precipitated it” ….being someone who also uses colour, even to depict fear, I have included powerful hues to intensify the feeling of doom.

The Heath is said to be eternally waiting and “unmoved” in its “ancient permanence”. It is suggested that the Heath’s existence dates back even into times of legend—“its Titanic form” and will last until the “final overthrow”, or Armageddon. Egdon Heath is as indifferent to man as it is to time. It may even be hostile, as “Civilization was its enemy” . Even in its indifference the Heath is mocking towards humans. The Heath is “inviolate” and “even the trifling irregularities were not caused by pickaxe, plough, or spade.

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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  • © Janis Zroback
    © Janis Zrobackabout 6 years ago

    Man cannot change Egdon Heath for it is indifferent to man. Hardy uses Egdon Heath as a portrayal of the larger scale of things, that is, the universe’s indifference to man.GE

  • newbeltane
    newbeltaneabout 6 years ago

    fantastic! Love the colours and textures.

    Steve ;-)

  • Thank you so much….glad you like it…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • synthpaintann
    synthpaintannabout 6 years ago

    Awesome:good to be reminded as well , of the phraseolgy of this great writer. Thought provoking .blowing the strings of the harp with melliflous tones

  • I’m so pleased you like this little tribute to Thomas Hardy, one of my favourite authors….also The Return of the Native is one of his most powerful novels….thank you so much…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • David "Oz"  Osterczy
    David "Oz" Os...about 6 years ago

    Well Janis, you’ve done it again! You never cease to amaze.
    Must be a Canadian thing and with the NY Ranges playing the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight?
    This could get interesting!
    Please check out some of my new uploads as I value your opinion greatly.



  • Well Spike, I was actually born outside of Canada, so it may not be exactly a Canadian “thing”…I think it’s more a Janis “thing”… :)))
    I’m glad you like it…thanks so much…and long live the Leafs…may they win tonight.

    – © Janis Zroback

  • hilarydougill
    hilarydougillabout 6 years ago

    glorious artwork, wonderful imagery and fantastic colours. glorious picture. hugsxxx

  • Thank you so much Hilary…I’m really happy you like it..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Janis Zroback
    © Janis Zrobackabout 6 years ago

    We see an image of a giant creature of darkness breathing out darkness. The atmosphere or tone created here is verging on evilness. The Heath is as hostile as it is gloomy. The place is “full of a watchful intentness, for when other things sank brooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen”. The Heath is personified as some sort of nocturnal predator and in the later progress of the novel, we see that the Heath is indeed hostile, perhaps “indifferent” would be the appropriate adjective, to the characters.

  • Racheli
    Racheliabout 6 years ago

    Fantastic image Janis, really “ancient permanence”
    Gorgeous depict “dominance of darkness” ! to my eyes it is half abstract.:-)

  • You are right as usual is a semi-abstract work….you can see the forewarning of the gods of thunder in the clouds….thank you so much.

    – © Janis Zroback

  • taueva faotusia
    taueva faotusiaabout 6 years ago

    otherworldly feel…love the profusion of colors!!!! another fantastic work!

  • Thank you so much Nesi…I do have a few dark paintings here, but on the whole I use a lot of colour…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • DavidROMAN
    DavidROMANabout 6 years ago

    I love the colors and the way the light spills out from the background. Just a lovely water color!

  • Thank you so much David…now sit back and enjoy my latest journal posting…it’s fun. :)))

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Taylorabout 6 years ago

    beautiful and brooding

  • Thank you so much Karin…if you have never read the book…it’s wonderful..

    – © Janis Zroback

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