Art Walk 3: Elementary, My Dear Bergeson

Today’s Art Walk has a new theme and timeframe: elementary school.

If you are just starting the Art Walks, welcome. Briefly, this series reviews my art from years past. You do not need to read episode 1 or episode 2 before this one because the content is not chronological. 1 & 2 are thematically grouped to the effect of “Memoirs of a Teenage J-pop Fan Artist.”

Watson’s comment is how I chose to continue the unintentional Ohno (Satoshi)/”oh, no” title art trend (and thereby render it intentional). “Misquote” refers obliquely to the fact that canonically, Sherlock never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

I know exactly the drawing to start. Cue Inigo Montoya: “I am waiting for you, Vizzini! You told me to go back to the beginning, so I have.”

As far as school art goes, this is the beginning. When I drew it, I tried to figure out how to do aerial perspective. (I would not have used that phrase then, but I could tell that things look smaller further away.) See the speckled area on the left? I envisioned the neighborhood in the valley visible from my backyard. The small green dots are trees and the larger green patches yards.

In this picture, also from kindergarten, I like that I can see the process—that I built (drew) the snowman before I dressed it and drew hair before putting on the hood. The second is harder to see, but click to enlarge, & look closely at the hood. Part of it is green because the yellow marker blended with the blue. I also like the snowman’s funny expression. (Perhaps I could have used it as the “Oh, no” for the title image.)

There’s no date or grade on the back of the next one. I think it’s from either first or second grade. (Click to enlarge.)

“Frottage” derives from frotter, French for “to rub.” I arranged leaves, laid a sheet of paper over them, and rubbed crayons on it to make the textures of the leaves.

The next pictures are from my early days as an illustrator, long before Racing Pajamas. My elementary school had a small publishing center (basically a cubicle); students could bring a story or essay, select a book cover, and design a title label. A staple-bound book would be ready a few days later.

This is perhaps a desultory illustration to select because the setting is a bathroom, but if Marcel Duchamp can claim to turn a urinal into art, I can show a kid’s drawing of a loo and draw less criticism. (Pun always intended.) I am impressed with the commode & the toilet paper dispenser; all the components are there in decent proportions.

Other projects involved filling blank, pre-bound books, for instance, the fifth grade immigration project. Students learned about waves of immigration to America in conjunction with family history. We read Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse; the next two drawings are depictions of towns in the story.

Unlike everything above, the next two pieces were done in art class (also fifth grade). The first is a scene made after learning about Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings.

This puma on scratchboard was from a different unit. The directions of the fur were a good challenge.

Thanks for walking. See you again.

Bubblegum

The painting shared in my previous post is finished. It’s called “Bubblegum Pop,” which is a style of music as well as what occurs when someone blows too big a bubble. (As usual, click the thumbnail to enlarge.) I may paint another version down the road, one that’s a little more… spontaneous? Brighter? Fresher? The right word will come. Or maybe I’ll do a drawing; I thought of using my Prismacolor markers, but they’re still in Florida. (I couldn’t pack all my art supplies in the car and still have room for an art show.)

Acrylic, 9″ x 12″

I’m adjusting to my new studio space (aka the card table in the corner). This week, the painting table will become the proverbial drawing board as I set up for the next project–once again resuming John Churchmouse illustrations. (Poor mousie–he’s been on and off the drawing board and the writing desk umpteen times since the idea came to me in 2011. But his day will come! This could be the year!)

Pre-Thanksgiving Morsels

Instead of turkey, how would you like lamb chops and frog legs for Thanksgiving this year? Oh. Not so enthused? How about the meal menagerie before instead of for Thanksgiving? Take it or leave it–that’s what I’m serving today.

First on the menu, some lamb–a snapshot (yes, it was taken with a camera) of a scene from my latest commission, The Littlest Sheep. Our protagonist, alone, struggles against the wind and rain to climb the mountain.

LS_climb

Second menu item: frog legs. The first leg is that the autumn issue (37:3) of Frogpond (The Haiku Society of Ameria’s literary/poetry journal) arrived the other day, and page 40 is garnished with my first professionally published short poem:

H_FP37.3

(This is the one that rocked the poetry reading opening night of the haiku conference I attended this summer.) The second frog leg is that today I received an email accepting a haiku for the next issue, too.

Have a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving!

Gallery & Goats

Good news from a budding artist-entrepreneur: I’ve just been approved to sell work on Artfinder.com. Artfinder is a gallery/sales hub that links fine artists with international customers including businesses and collectors. I think it will be a good venue for dispersing the nudes I’ve amassed from years of figure studies. Eventually I hope to design a sales gallery directly on Draws the Eventide, too.

Here is the link to my AF shop (also listed on my contact page):

http://www.artfinder.com/genevieve-bergeson

It also delights me to announce that the illustrations for Do You Have a Pebble in Your Pocket? have been digitized and therefore are truly finally complete. The author does not have set publishing plans, but meanwhile, enjoy this preview. (The left piece has now appeared in three main stages in this log: sketch, wash, and final painting.)

An Artist in Retrospect

I’m sure a number of people think Racing Pajamas is my first book. In some respects this is correct. Yet a few weeks ago, I realized… *pause for effect and grammatically incorrect use of ellipses*

…I’ve been creating books my entire life.

Not just writing stories. Not just drawing pictures. Actually making books.

Certainly there were the fill-in-the-blank “About Me” books from kindergarten. (The teacher gave everyone blank, white books and had pasted sentences like “My name is … My hair is … My eyes are … I like to …” The students finished the sentences and drew the pictures and covers.) In first grade, my class received such white books again, this time completely blank; I wrote and illustrated a trip to the zoo.

Then there was the Eastbury Elementary publishing center. Every year it printed an anthology of student writings (poetry, narratives, etc.), and every student had a contribution. But the really special thing was that we could get our own stories bound individually. Now and then, the teacher would send students, usually two at a time, to the publishing center with a story we each had written. We chose a binding/cover pattern, a title font (which was printed on a white sticker), and a “This book belongs to” sticker. Later, we received our books, each paragraph on its own white page, waiting for our illustrations.

Now for a special treat–here’s mine from second grade: The Wolf Named Acorn.

It’s great fun for me to read this again (and chuckle at the childlike things I came up with, like red wolves hunting zebras and antelope). It’s also neat to note my artistic decisions and development even then. For instance, look for these as you read:

  • A wolf ear poking out from somewhere on almost every page
  • Aerial perspective (bird’s-eye view)
  • The Protestant birthday cake (orange on St. Patrick’s Day–for some reason, this one really tickles me.)

What else do you notice? Leave a comment–I’d love to know what you see, too!