This was supposed to accompany a short story about a sordid Midwestern romance-gone-wrong, replete with twisted views on faith, dusty gas stations, and .45’s.
There’s a part in it where the characters dip into a pond to literally wash the blood off their hands after committing a murder. It’s this kind of weird baptismal scene, but it reminded me of Ophelia’s death in Hamlet; long associated with love and insanity, it’s inspired a lot of painting, with Millais’ probably being my favorite.
The sanguine color of some of the red clay (and cow ponds) in central Oklahoma where the story takes place dovetailed kind of nicely with the scene. Because, you know, blood and stuff.
The most shocking part of the story was when the writer pulled the piece from the publication at the last second, meaning this will probably never see the light of day. However, it was still fun to draw! Many thanks to Jeremy for the opportunity and art direction.