So last weekend I attended my daughter's Parent's Weekend at UVa (home of Edgar Allen Poe who pretended he was rich but he was really po, Faulkner, Couric... Jefferson?!!) and Grisham's home town. We visited their small yet classy Art Museum. Of course we saw the Jeffersonian architectural drawings of all his campus "Grounds" buildings and quadrangle "Lawns" landscapes which are so beautiful and smart. And freshman here are not freshman. They are 'first year'. And sophomores here are not sophomores. They are 'second year' etc. etc.. And don't you ever forget that... you parents, you! But ooooh, ooooh, ooooh..what's this?
Did I see a coupla Goya? Original Hogarth? Original Odilon? Odilon of Poe(dilon)?
Yes, some of my favorite illustrators of yore were making appearances that weekend. I have always been a sucker for Goya because his simple illustrations tell stories. Pierrots. Pastiches. Pasquinades.
And Hogarth's while they are far from simple say multitudes about society and politics in yester England. I never imagined his Gin Lane and the Beer Street to be so 'libational.' Water in London and the like was not water back then. It was 'im'potable, impossible, unthinkable, undrinkable. So Hogarth made a caricature about how booze embodied and 'de'souled society.
The downfall of it all. Happiness in a glass. A glass half empty perhaps but nevertheless an underclass with a glass of libation and liberation even if fleeting.
But these illustrations are black and bleak.
I've tried black and white but I can't seem to stick with it. I love color. Lots of color. Color is hope and ...
I must try something new. So I've looked at some of my favorite NEW illustrators and have decided to try these awesome monochromatic techniques. But I adore these artists who stay in one color range and I simply have to try it.
And more white space.
It is like writing for me. I love to try new things that I read that I love. I don't think I am ready to leave the picture book arena altho I would love to attack middle grade illustrations. As long as there is humor, heart, cleverness, structure and sophistication...
So tomorrow I have the day off. The day to finish that rough draft of my Halloween doll story since we are coming up on that Hallowed Day, the day to lay out the colors and ideas for portfolio illustrations and to scrutinize and fine tune my pig dummy. And maybe find a few new Mother Gooses to 'besterdize' my collection of Up in the Air Verses.
Lots of irons in the fire. But that is me...
And I started the art and it is going to be a fun challenge. Working in confines. Like writing picture books. I love challenge. That is creativity!