This ravaged heart illustration was created for an audio CD cover called Ordinary Miracles by David Rosen. The illustration required three hearts, one inside the other. The outermost heart had to look as if an explosion had blown a hole in the center. Through the exploded opening a second heart would be visible inside, and this second heart would appear to be scratched open. The scratched opening would reveal a third heart, shattered. As the shards recede, we see a blue pearl from which light radiates. Where all the damage of the hearts symbolizes emotional distress, the blue pearl represents the blue pearl of a Kundalini Awakening.
The full explanation of the symbolism of this illustration is complicated, as was the process of creating it. For this to make sense visually, each of the first two hearts would need to have a front and a back. So, the red heart has a back wall that is a darker red. The green heart would also have a green back wall, but this one was lighter to contrast with the blue heart, which was portrayed as solid shattered pieces. As each heart was smaller than the one before, the details of each had to be carefully considered.
The pearl had to be a light blue, but it also had to suggest a pearl-like sheen, while still looking round, and being very small. The light rays radiate through the scratched openings in the green heart because if these rays originated closer to the middle, the effect would be lost, virtually covered up. This is a very busy illustration and it was quite a challenge to bring about the desired visual effect, without going too far, and to layer everything so that it made sense visually.
This was probably one of the most challenging illustrations I have ever done because the illustrated materials did not relate to real life substances with specific characteristics that can be visualized and rendered accordingly.