Friday, January 30, 2009

Good Bones

something a bit different.........
I think the drawings, the sketches, the Good Bones beneath a beautiful painting might be me, and this is simply my old fashioned, classicist opinion...a painting is only as beautiful as the drawing beneath it...otherwise it is akin to draping a sadly askew skeleton with Armani..the akimbo elbows cannot be disguised with beautiful paint.
Posting a bit about other illustrations ( other than pet portraits ), the process of book illustration..... the wonderful Uri Shulevitz in Writing With Pictures, wrote about the text and pictures in a picture book being like pearls strung into a necklace....words, pictures, words, pictures...that words needn't describe what pictures show.....and if the words are especially delicious and perfect, one needn't illustrate them. Each adds to the entire story. I love this. This is so much harder to do well than it may sound.
Neither words nor the pictures stand alone well to tell the story. In One Monday Morning by the delightful Mr Shulevitz, the book begins.....One Monday Morning......just that, and the only way we know that it is a rainy, dreary Monday morning in New York City is by the illustration. I always knew I wanted to draw and paint but Mr Shulevitz, by explaining picturebooks in this way, has influenced me more than any professor may have done. I am self taught and hope that my education as an artist and an illustrator has been serendipitous, that I have found my teachers when I need them. Thank you Mr Shulevitz......I think of your words as I work on every book, I only hope that I am slightly more successful with each book.
I am working on a story I fell in love with immediately, it has been edited and changed here and there since I first read the initial manuscript but the Good Bones remain and have been improved upon and I am about to begin painting.......the fun part. The drawing is the work, the labor! Painting, sloshing about with color is pure joy. My father, no longer with us, a philosophy professor, was also a sculptor, and a Fanatic about draughtsmanship. He instilled in me that any piece was only as good as the drawing beneath it. As a child I spent hours drawing at his feet as he carved tree trunks into horses and women and children. I would tire and let him know I was going to bed and he would look at my drawing and, on occasion, insist that I stay and fix the foreshortening, the foot, the length of the arms...until I got them right. Thank you Daddy wherever you are. I only hope that you would think well enough of my drawings that I might go to bed, finally......

The drawings here are from the picture book Pobble's Way by Simon Van Booy, to be published by Flashlight Press.
These drawings are the hopefully good bones beneath what will be paintings for this wonderful children's book.
Check back for a finished painting......soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And this my dear, is truly why your work sings! You sketches are gorgeous!