Sometimes, not often mind you, but sometimes things come easily. For the longest time I envied story tellers. Wordsmiths like my old friend Stephen Cosgrove weave wonders book after book, each better than the one before. I have had some of the best times in my artists’ life working with these people. Yes my illustrations added fun visuals, but they are what my art professor would call “Graphic Blandishments serving narrative”.
Now comes the easy part. Recently I was in a local cafe and sitting near me was a little boy that looked to be about two years “reading” a children’s book to his Mom. He was really getting into explaining to her that the last page was a picture of the elephant walking to the next story. ” What is the next story?” Mom asked. The boy thought a minute and then told her “I‘m not sure. I’ll make it up tonight.”
That’s when it dawned on me! While I can not create the words like Stephen, my drawings can supply a visual framework that viewers of any age can use to create what has to be the best stories ever…their own. In the piece titled “Santa Cruz Cottage” the little bear and his Mom are walking out of the frame and into whatever the viewer makes up at the time. Or the lady bugs on the Sunflowers’ leaf are on a picnic. It isn’t and never was My Story. I imagine a child looking at one of my pieces on their bedroom wall and drifting off to sleep night after night with story after story in their head. Every time that happens a little banner pops up somewhere saying Mission Accomplished!
Go back and look at some of my pieces in the gallery and tell me your best story.