365 Days of Clones


Progression of Han Shot First on Flickr.

Every once and a while I get asked how I know when a photo is complete. If I’m honest, it’s just a feeling I get.

Here are three versions of my latest shot; “Han Shot First”. I thought I was done with the first image, but Han’s face didn’t look quite right (neither did Greedo’s). The second image was looking good (I even submitted this one for my interview on Innerspace), but something just wasn’t right. It wasn’t until I went back and added an extra layer of crowd in the Cantina that it looked complete for me.

What do you think?



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In case you missed the original broadcast, here is my interview with Teddy Wilson from Innerspace on the Space Channel.  http://bit.ly/1mNnUfVhttp://



Han Shot First on Flickr.

Here is a recent remake of my Trooper vs Trooper photo I did a few years back. My original is one of my favourites but I’ve always thought there needed to be more spectators… I also thought having Han and Greedo would be fun. Do you like this version or my original better? Let me know!



Cantina on Flickr.

Here is another version of my Cantina scene I created for the third image in my 12 Months of Hope, Empire & Jedi. I couldn’t resist doing a version with Boba, Han and Chewy! I think I may even have a version with Greedo too! What do you think? Like? Dislike? Let me know!


12/12 | The Death of Vader on Flickr.The twelfth and final photograph in the series is entitled “The Death of Vader” and is based upon Jacques Louis David’s Death of Marat.  Jacques Louis David has always been a favourite of mine and throughout my “12 Months of Hope, Empire and Jedi” I have finished each movie sequence with one of his works.  “The Death of Obi-Wan”; my homage to David’s “The Death of Socrates” was the final image in the “A New Hope” sequence of images, while “Oath of the Skywalkers”; my homage to “Oath of the Horatii”, was the final image in the “Empire Strikes Back” sequence of images.  It seemed only fitting to complete the final movie sequence; “Return of the Jedi”, with “The Death of Vader”; my homage to David’s “The Death of Marat”.   
I have wanted to recreate David’s “Death of Marat” for sometime now and the moment of Darth Vader’s death in Return of the Jedi seemed to fit well.  I am aware that compositionally my version is not exactly the same as David’s original, but I wanted to be true to the film as it was the last image of my series.  Vader finally passes in Luke’s arms while on the ramp to the Imperial shuttle.  I felt that I needed to show the ramp and this obviously caused some issues compositionally as in David’s original, Marat is depicted in the bathtub moments after his murder by Charlotte Corday.  I am also aware that Vader should be missing his right hand as it was cut off by Luke only moments before his death, but I felt that without it, the image looked incomplete.
Once again I would like to send out a BIG thank you to those of you who have followed my projects over the past three years.  I am continually humbled by the emails, comments and world wide recognition I continue to receive.  Thank you all once again. 
What do I have planned for 2014 you ask… Once again I have been playing around with a few ideas, but if I’m honest, I haven’t narrowed it down as of yet.  I guess you’ll just have to keep on the look out! 
Enjoy! 
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Visit our Cast of Star Wars Characters at www.365DaysofClones.com.

12/12 | The Death of Vader on Flickr.

The twelfth and final photograph in the series is entitled “The Death of Vader” and is based upon Jacques Louis David’s Death of Marat. Jacques Louis David has always been a favourite of mine and throughout my “12 Months of Hope, Empire and Jedi” I have finished each movie sequence with one of his works. “The Death of Obi-Wan”; my homage to David’s “The Death of Socrates” was the final image in the “A New Hope” sequence of images, while “Oath of the Skywalkers”; my homage to “Oath of the Horatii”, was the final image in the “Empire Strikes Back” sequence of images. It seemed only fitting to complete the final movie sequence; “Return of the Jedi”, with “The Death of Vader”; my homage to David’s “The Death of Marat”.

I have wanted to recreate David’s “Death of Marat” for sometime now and the moment of Darth Vader’s death in Return of the Jedi seemed to fit well. I am aware that compositionally my version is not exactly the same as David’s original, but I wanted to be true to the film as it was the last image of my series. Vader finally passes in Luke’s arms while on the ramp to the Imperial shuttle. I felt that I needed to show the ramp and this obviously caused some issues compositionally as in David’s original, Marat is depicted in the bathtub moments after his murder by Charlotte Corday. I am also aware that Vader should be missing his right hand as it was cut off by Luke only moments before his death, but I felt that without it, the image looked incomplete.

Once again I would like to send out a BIG thank you to those of you who have followed my projects over the past three years. I am continually humbled by the emails, comments and world wide recognition I continue to receive. Thank you all once again.

What do I have planned for 2014 you ask… Once again I have been playing around with a few ideas, but if I’m honest, I haven’t narrowed it down as of yet. I guess you’ll just have to keep on the look out!

Enjoy!

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Visit our Cast of Star Wars Characters at www.365DaysofClones.com.



11/12 | Las Ewoks on Flickr.

The eleventh photograph in the series is entitled “Las Ewoks” and is based upon Diego Velàzquez’s Las Meninas (the Maids of Honour).

Diego Velàzquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV and arguably the most important painter of the Spanish Golden Age. His Las Meninas was his crowing jewel so to speak and is one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting. The work’s complex and enigmatic composition raises several questions about the reality versus the illusion and seems to create an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. I have done my best to re-represent some of his illusions in my recreation.

As the title suggests, Velàzquez’s painting depicts the young Margaret Theresa; the future Holy Roman Empress, German Queen and her Maids of Honour. I have chosen to replace Theresa with See-Threepio as she is surrounded by her Maids of Honour; similarly, Threepio is surrounded by the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi. Threepio is seen as a God by the Ewoks. If you look carefully you can see that he is starting to “float” (with a little help from Luke of course!) In comparison, Theresa would have been seen as a God like being to the people of Spain. Teebo and Logray have replaced the two Maids of Honour (doña Isable de Velasco and doña Maria Augstina Sarmiento de Sotomayor). The two dwarfs have been replaced by Artoo Detoo and Wicket. These switches seemed to make sense as the older of the dwarfs is stoic and wearing a blueish dress, while the other is very curious and poking the dog with her foot. Similarly, Artoo is depicted standing straight and Wicket is poking Paploo; who has replaced the dog, with his spear. Leia and Han have replaced Theresa’s chaperone and bodyguard. Luke has replaced Velàzquez who has been thought to be painting a portrait of the King and Queen who are depicted in the mirror in the background (I have replaced them with Yoda and Obi-Wan as Force Ghosts). Finally, Darth Vader can be seen entering or exiting the Ewok hut, similarly, there is a mysterious figure who is either entering or leaving the room. Not much is know about him, but it is thought that he may be related to Velàzquez.

Enjoy!

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Visit our Cast of Star Wars Characters at www.365DaysofClones.com.



10/12 | Death of Yoda on Flickr.

The tenth photograph in the series is entitled “The Death of Yoda” and is based upon Henry Wallis’ The Death of Chatterton. Wallis is a Pre-Raphaelite English painter from the 19th century.

The subject of Wallis’ painting is the 17-year-old English early Romantic poet Thomas Chatterton. In 1770, Chatterton poisoned himself with arsenic. It is this moment, just minutes after his suicide that Wallis has chosen to paint. Wallis was well known for his hidden symbology in his works and I have done my best to include a couple items as well. Some I will discuss and some I will not.

I remember watching Return of the Jedi and wondering if I would see Yoda again. I was very pleased when Luke went back to Dagobah to continue his training, but I remember feeling sick to my stomach when Yoda gave himself to the Force. When I was thinking about recreating this moment, I knew I had to find a painting that would show how I was feeling when I first watch Return of the Jedi. Wallis’ painting of the Death of Chatterton; although not very well known in comparison to the works of the “Masters”, has always shown great emotion and I knew it would be the prefect inspiration for my remake.

Chatterton has been replaced by Yoda. I have done my best to pose Yoda in a similar position. This was a very tricky task as Yoda is not as “posable” as I would like. Having said that, I am please with the end position. I am particularly happy with the fact I was able to “close” Yoda’s eyes with the assistance of my favourite photo editing software! I have added Yoda’s cane to represent his age and frailty; showing that he is close to death, similarly, Wallis has shown the arsenic which has taken Chatterton’s life. I am very much aware that in Return of the Jedi, Luke is by Yoda’s side when he passes and Artoo is outside of the Hut. I have, however, chosen to include Artoo to Yoda’s right as visual it made more sense than Luke. I wanted to emphasize the peacefulness of this moment and felt that Artoo would not be a visual distraction to the viewer as he could replace Chatterton’s chair and cloak. I have, however, included Luke’s X-Wing helmet to show both Luke’s presence as well as to show his importance to Yoda and the Jedi. The helmet has replaced Chatterton’s box of unfinished poems and writings, his last thoughts so to speak. Similarly, Luke has been trained by Yoda (and Kenobi) and is their last hope to continue the Jedi tradition; although Yoda does mention something about “…another…”

Enjoy!

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Visit our Cast of Star Wars Characters at www.365DaysofClones.com.



9/12 | Princess Odalisque on Flickr.

The ninth photograph in the series is entitled “Princess Odalisque” and is based upon Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ Grande Odalisque. It has been said that the anatomy of Ingres’ figure in his painting has two or three vertebrae too many. Studies have shown that the curvature of the spine and the rotation of the pelvis would be impossible to replicate in a real female. I guess it’s a good thing that I use toys and not real figures in my work!

Grande Odalisque was completed in 1814, nearly 200 years ago and represents Ingres’ shift from Neoclassicism to Romanticism. The painting depicts an odalisque or concubine lying on a bed. In my work, I have replaced Ingres’ odalisque with Princess Leia dressed in her slave outfit worn in Jabba’s Palace and on Jabba’s Sail Barge; Khetanna.

The opening scenes from Return of the Jedi set the mood and tone for the third film in the original trilogy, so I have attempted to fit as much symbolism into the photo as I could. If you look carefully you can see Jabba has replaced the curtain to the right while Threepio has replaced the cushions to the left of Leia. I have also included Boushh’s helmet as reference to Leia and Luke’s failed recuse of Solo from his carbonite tomb as well as Artoo’s drinking try in reference to the great escape on the Jabba’s Sail Barge at the Sarlacc Pit. Leia’s chain is also included to point to Jabba’s imminent death.

Enjoy!

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8/12 | Oath of the Skywalkers on Flickr.

The eighth photograph in the series is entitled “Oath of the Skywalkers” and is based upon Jacques-Louis David’s Oath of the Horatii. It has been argued by many art historians that David’s Oath of the Horatii is the most well known Neoclassic painting.

Oath of the Horatii was completed in 1784 and depicts the Roman legend about two fighting cities; Rome and Alba Longa. Three brothers from Rome; the Horatii, agreed to fight three brothers from Alba Longa; the Curiatii. All three Horatii brothers seem willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of Rome and are shown holding their arms in a salute. David’s work had a huge impact when it was created as the French Revolution was looming and it depicted loyalty to the state.

In my creation, I have replaced the three Horatii brothers with Artoo, Threepio and Luke. At first this may seem odd, however, I have always seen these three characters as one; especially the connection of Artoo and Luke as well as the obvious connection between Artoo and Threepio. They seem to complement each other. Artoo and Threepio are also unwilling; at least Threepio, partners in Luke and Leia’s plan to free Han from Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. The father of the Horatii brothers has been replaced with Leia as I feel she is the figure head of the rebellion, similarly as the father is the head of the family.

Some of you may be wondering why there are three lightsabers and why they are all different colours. David chose to paint three different types of swords, one for each brother. I have chosen to show Luke’s three lightsabers. The blue lightsaber was inherited from his father; Anakin Skywalker, through Obi-Wan Kenobi. The green lightsaber was the one Luke builds for himself; something traditionally done by Jedi (or after one looses their hand while holding their lightsaber. The red lightsaber represents Luke’s dark side. Something he would struggle with in Return of the Jedi. Luke also had a very brief forced apprenticeship with Palatine when he was forced to replace his green crystal for a red one.

I felt this scene needed to be depicted as it was both an ending and a beginning so to speak. It was the ending of the Empire Strikes Back when all hope seems to be lost, but it is also the beginning of the future where the heroes planned to rescue Han.

Enjoy!

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7/12 | Creation of Luke on Flickr.

The seventh photograph in the series is entitled “Creation of Luke” and is based upon Michelangelo’s most famous section of his fresco in the Sistine Chapel, The Creation of Adam. It is believed by many art historians that Michelangelo’s work rivals only Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa in popularity and fame.

The Creation of Adam was completed in circa 1512 and depicts God’s creation of Adam. In the Christian faith, Adam is believed to be the first man (Eve was believed to be the first woman). The image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become one of the most iconic images of humanity and has been reproduced countless times, including of course my newly created work. In my recreation, God had been replaced with Darth Vader and Adam with Luke. It is my belief that Luke’s transition into a Jedi; although guided by Obi-Wan and Yoda, was strongly influenced by his various encounters with his Father and “Creator”, Anakin; more commonly know by his Sith name, Darth Vader.

The scene I have used to help with my recreation is the infamous lightsaber duel on Bespin; specifically Vader and Luke’s encounter in the ventilation vents of Cloud City. It is at this point in the Empire Strikes Back that Vader reveals himself to Luke with one of the most well known lines in movie history; “… I am your Father…” Although I have had to play with a few details; like the direction of the scene, I thought this particular point in the film fit perfectly with the theme of Michelangelo’s work. I hope you agree.

Enjoy!

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6/12 | The Birth of a Jedi on Flickr.

The sixth photograph in the series is entitled “The Birth of a Jedi” and is based upon Sandro Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, originally commissioned by the Medici family of Florence. Botticelli’s masterpiece depicts Venus emerging from the sea as a fully grown nude woman.

As the title suggests; Venus is the central figure in Botticelli’s work, she is being “born” from the sea. Similarly, Luke is being “born” from the swamp. Although Luke did receive some Jedi training from Obi-Wan, it is my belief that he did not truly become a Jedi until he met and trained with Yoda on the desolate planet of Dagobah. The figure to Venus’ right has been replaced with Artoo; this seemed appropriate as she seems to be an assistant of sorts, much like Artoo is to Luke. The flying angels to Venus’ left have been replaced with Yoda. Again, this seemed to fit for various reasons. Venus’ vessel; the shell, has been replaced with Luke’s X-Wing. The trees and shoreline have been transformed to a more appropriate “swamp like” setting; including the addition of the snake which was originally found in Luke’s bag. Finally the relatively sunny setting of Botticelli’s original has had the addition of some mist to help create an authentic swamp feel.

Enjoy!

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5/12 | Leia Leading The Rebels on Flickr.

The fifth photograph in the series is entitled “Leia Leading the Rebels” and is based upon Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, a painting that was created to commemorate the French Revolution. Delacroix has created a triangle composition bringing focus to Marianne; the woman who personifies Liberty.

Liberty leads the people of France over their fallen friends and family; similarly, Leia leads the Rebels after the Battle of Hoth. Both Liberty and Leia are atop of a mound of corpses, acting much like a pedestal from which our leading ladies stride. Liberty holds the tricolour flag of the French Revolution while Leia holds a flag that symbolizes the Rebellion. Notre Dame can be seen in the background of Delacroix’s masterpiece. Similarly, the Power Generators of Hoth can be seen in the background behind the smoke. The addition of the X-Wing was my way of adding Luke into the scene. During the Battle of Hoth, Han and Chewbacca take Leia and Threepio in the Millennium Falcon after a passageway collapses and she is unable to make her rendezvous. Luke than proceeds to Dagobah in his X-Wing. As this was the case, it made sense that Luke would not be in the photo. Based upon this logic, Artoo should have been replaced with Threepio. In an ideal World this would have been the case, however, Threepio was too tall and the composition did not look right. I replaced him with Artoo and the shot seemed to flow a little better. Threepio has not been forgotten, he has been placed behind Han and Chewbacca.

Enjoy!

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Just having a little fun playing with some water drops on Star Wars Day!  May the Fourth Be With You!  

Enjoy! 

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4/12 | The Death of Obi-Wan Kenobi on Flickr.

The fourth photograph in the series is entitled “The Death of Obi-Wan Kenobi” and is based upon Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Socrates. David focuses on the story of Socrates death. As the history books tell it, Socrates is given the option of death or exile, he chooses death… Like most Renaissance paintings, The Death of Socrates is open to interpretation.

After looking for countless hours for a painting or photograph that depicted a one on one fight, I could not find one that I thought would have translated well to the duel between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Instead, I have taken a little creative license to show this critical moment of A New Hope. Although this is not true visual recreation of the infamous lightsaber duel, it does contain all of the same meaning. Kenobi replaces Socrates in the centre of the scene at the moment before his death. He is surrounded by the usual suspects so to speak; Han, Leia, Artoo, Threepio and Chewbacca. Similarly, Socrates is surrounded by many of his followers. Luke, Kenobi’s last pupil, takes the place of Socrates’ most well known student; Plato, and sits in shock, perhaps questioning his master’s choice of death. Finally; Vader holds his lightsaber in place of the deadly hemlock, both items chosen by the soon to be dead.

Enjoy!

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