This October I'll be part of an exhibition at the D'Amour Museum of Art, celebrating the new Dr. Suess museum. The show will feature cats and their hats by more than twenty children's book illustrators from the Western Mass area. Here is a page from my notebook. I'm trying to decide which cat to paint!
So I'm packing up, putting things away, cleaning like crazy. I hemmed the pants that have been sitting in the corner for a month, packed up my great aunt's costume jewelry collection (on the floor since the new year), and weeded out my sock drawer. I took care of travel arrangements for school visits coming up and started my taxes. My schedule is made.
Now TO PAINT!
But for some reason it took me awhile to nail down the back jacket. Desmond's new friend in the story, Gloria, is peering over the fence at Desmond... here are some of my zillion different attempts to get her pose and gestures right:
PS This is a book about a shy kid who hides and comes up with creative ways to disappear into the background because he is afraid of being noticed.
At first my idea was to have Desmond hiding in a bush, fruitlessly shielding himself with a branch, and Gloria turning to notice him:
Then I thought it might be better visually for them to be on different planes, with Desmond up in a tree and Gloria down on the ground, to underscore their different frames of mind (Gloria being extroverted, and Desmond being introverted):
But something still didn't feel right... so I flipped the image of Desmond so that Gloria notices him as she passes. I thought this better showed how effortlessly Gloria sees him (she doesn't turn and is not looking right at him), which tells us about who she is and tells us more about him, that his efforts at hiding are in vain: