Sunday, October 16, 2016
"Cleindori" was the typical Marion Zimmer Bradley heroine. Tall, thin and graceful, with a wavy crown of flame-red or strawberry-blonde hair. She was based on the girls of Pre-Raphaelite paintings of the 19th century. She was what real Darkover fans thought they were, in their own secret imagination. And she was always a victim: of abuse, rape, violence, rejection from society, and sometimes murder. She lived in a proper attitude of combined sensuality and terror.
Marion Zimmer Bradley lived a difficult life and made things even worse for those around her. I'd love to see a biography of her. From what she told us she grew up in grinding poverty somewhere in New York State, picking strawberries as a child laborer. She was part of the hippie and Pagan community in California's Bay Area and was the center of a tangled web of eccentric and weird people in her home compound, "Greyhaven," which I visited in 1985.
"MZB" was mostly friendly to me, and I was honored that the author of the books often publicly said that my work was the closest to the image she had conceived of Darkover. I did a fair amount of professional work in the Darkover world and countless units of fan art. This fanzine cover for a zine named "Moon Phases" is for an issue devoted to the character "Cleindori" who is a psychically empowered director of a "Tower" where the psychic stuff goes on. She gets murdered in a melodramatic way I have forgotten. I haven't done a Darkover art piece in a long, long time and have no plans for any. Artistically you can see that this one comes from my "Barry Windsor-Smith" period of work.
Original art is black ink on illustration board, 8 1/2" x 11", January 1987.