In Week 2 I began to feel glimmers of my inner artist really showing up for the party. Above was my interpretation of Star, which was a breakthrough concept piece for me, since I was illustrating a Native American legend.
If you break a cottonwood tree small branch at the circular growth line, and it is not too green or not too dry, you will find a star.
Image from: My Wishing Rock blog
The Arapahoe and Cheyenne tribes believe this is where stars are born and the wind sends them up into the sky. I love this and that is where my concept piece was born.
Another legend says this is where stars hide during the day. The Lakota use the cottonwood in their Sundance ceremony as the tree of life because of this. — reference: Mom off Track blog
The idea of the three trees is taken from three of the cottonwoods I grew up with along the drive to our barn (and I used a reference photo to capture some of the branch placement.) I have a strong affinity for these trees because the sound of their leaves in the wind winds through every childhood memory of outdoor play like a ribbon through my hair. The sound transports me every time, and now I have another reason to love these trees.
The above image was my favorite for this week. I was trying new things – this was my niece having a hard time of it when she found her daddy’s jeans hanging on the line. It is one of my favorite moments. Faces and emotions are not easy to capture. I vow to work this next year to do better with them.
Some Christmas humor for you. Stitches – the cat we can never forget. And she has been painted and poetry written about her. Very inspirational but quite a clown.
There was one Christmas that is seared into my memory. Early morning and we are preparing to join family when this cat starts yowling….
Stitches my cat
Was found with a mat
In a place on her coat where the kitty cat sat.
She meowed and she cried,
And she poked at my side,
So I knew I must try to help her sore hide.
I brushed her hair,
But the knot was still there,
So we searched for scissors to cut the spot bare.
Sheri started to snip,
And she made a small clip,
But Stitches screamed out and tried a quick nip!
It became very clear,
Though the thought was not dear,
That a vet was the one who could help her poor rear.
So a battle we waged,
To get her encaged,
And that’s hard to do when a cat is enraged.
We drove with the cat,
To the vet and we sat
And waited until she removed the large mat.
The cat was now quiet,
But the bill was a riot,
For the price that I paid, I could’ve lived at the Hyatt.
That’s the end of my tale,
It all ended well.
Do you want a nice kitty, I have one for sale.
©Charlotte Franck - Christmas Day 2007
That was one expensive vet trip, but it was also strange – driving through the Castleton mall area and not a soul in sight. Felt apocalyptic!
This one was published in a children’s book…
What does an artist do when she blows 2 tires on her new car and her sister and family, Sunday soup in hand, come riding to the rescue in their clunkety van? She draws a thank you!
Note: Coup Fourre is a reference to a rescue card in the game of Mille Bornes, which the kids insisted would have helped me a lot. I told them that they were my coup fourre.
Their unabashed joy in the whole situation made it not so bad. A month later, their poor van gave up the ghost itself, but it was useful for several family rescues over the years.
Note: It has only been recently that I learned to illustrate. Much thanks to a class I took during my graphic design degree. Thank you, Jacob!
I am learning, as I open myself up to more spontaneous illustrations, that I never know where it will take me. It scares me sometimes, yet the time is right. There is this desire to expand that must be satisfied.
When the business blogger sent me an article called Taming the Multitasking Dragon, it only made sense to have a busy dragon. In the end, I left him to stand on his own, no extras, but along the way I learned that researching dragons was not that easy. I mean – no one has actually seen a dragon!
You can look up vintage dragons, you can look up current art on dragons, but in the end, you can do whatever you want with a dragon. I also reviewed bats wings, goats faces, eagle’s talons. The tail was a mix of reptile, squirrel and imagination.
Somehow he ended up pregnant looking, but that was ok. One observer really wanted to just “poke that fat belly.” Yeah – you try that! He has fire!