Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Leaf Reader

I kept going back today to my yesterday's blog post, The Imaginary Village Perspective, as there was something there I was reminded of.   I studied it over and over, wondering what it was that intrigued me so much.   During dinner it hit me that this sketch was a little piece of something I had forgotten and lost a long time ago.   It was my pleasure in creative illustration, stuff from my imagination.   When I gave up oil painting in the mid 1980s, I began playing with air brush techniques (remember airbrushes?) on watercolor paper.   I wrote manuscripts for children and illustrated them, as well as creating small clay sculptures to help me with shadowing.   I accumulated a number of illustrations and sketches before I suddenly found myself in the "real world" of raising kids as a single mom, and had to punch a time clock in the publishing industry.   Those illustrations and sketches are still in an old wooden ammo crate in my studio, under layers of clay dust.   So glad we don't have cockroaches in the Pacific Northwest!   They all look pretty good, still.   Thought I'd share a few.


  1. Wow- nicely done. Did you ever publish the manuscripts? I guess people use digital airbrushing now. I'd almost forgotten about airbrushing!

    1. Somewhere I have only one of the manuscripts, and I think it was nearly finished. The others made it only as far as an outline, or a chapter or two. The one I still have (don't know where) and the accompanying dolls I made to go with the story got a marketing professor at WSU excited; he wanted to work with me to promote them and maybe market them to Disney. He'd helped the guys who created the Teenage Ninja Turtles prior to that. In my youthful irrationality (and maybe out of fear of success), I dropped the ball and walked away from it. I still have twelve of the porcelain dolls and a couple of the original illustrations from that story. However, I did end up signing on for illustrating the VHI physical therapy kits a year or so later, and altogether made a few hundred thou in royalties over thirteen years, so I don't feel too bad.

      I still have my airbrush. It was a lot of fun, and could do stuff I don't think I could ever do with digital, like wrinkle up paper, spread it out and airbrush at an angle, then press it with an iron. Then do a sketch over it. Also airbrushing 3D artwork!