Tuesday, 20 May 2014

ABC

I've just wrapped these chaps up in stiff card and sent them on their way to Australia, along with 40 others, including such exotic creatures as a numbat, a quetzel and an ibis, painted with what I can only describe as love (erm, and paint...).  They're going to form part of some Antipodean alphabet puzzle books.  Working on this thoroughly enjoyable project reminded me of learning the alphabet too. I vaguely remember a long frieze on the primary school wall with the letters and relevant pictures, A for Apple, etc. Can't remember what we had for X, though...  for this commission it was an Xray fish, but I'd never heard of it before.  Thinking about it, it's quite stunning really, isn't it, how young brains are able to learn a sequence of 26 letters when there's no pattern to latch onto, no rhyme, tune, story or logic, just a list of discrete components that have to be learned in order?  I'd struggle with an equivalent now....














11 comments:

  1. These illustrations are an absolute delight C. I can remember practising my ABC with my Nan, which I'm sure took forever to sink in. Now there's the American ABC Song, though of course it relies on using Zee instead of Zed to make it all scan. I don't know how long it's been around, probably forever, but I certainly wasn't aware of it as a youngster. My Mum's party trick was reciting the alphabet backwards in the form of a rhyme, I could never get my head around that one.

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    1. Ah, thanks TS! It's been my favourite project of the last year - drawing and painting around three different animals a day just kept it feeling fresh!

      I don't know the American ABC song but I have tried reciting the alphabet backwards a few times, though not in rhyme form like your Mum! I found it a good way to give yourself a mental work-out but need a lie-down afterwards....


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  2. Great pictures, C. Love your work and must get me some one day. I'm always on the look out for good books for my 3 year old granddaughter, so maybe something with your illustrations could be recommended? ;)

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    1. BTW...my favourites are the cow and the croc (or is it an alligator?) but that's a purely subjective response based on my love of cows and crocs.

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    2. Thank you SB, I appreciate the support. Re. some books for your granddaughter, leave it with me!
      Nice to know you like the cow, she's one of my faves too. The croc is meant to be an alligator but I took a liberty with the colour, he's a bit too green. Then again these were never meant to be tooooo realistic, were they?!



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    3. Thank you..titles should suffice for my search, m'am. :)

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    4. I'll be in touch :-)

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  3. You are fantastic...that's all.

    We had a xelephone for x. I remember that and remember it being somewhat confusing.

    It's been fun watching the boy learn all this stuff and now he's reading now. (Last night he almost dumped a little jug of chocolate milk out on the couch trying to read the ingredients).

    I love the appropriately squared off tail of the gator but where are his teeth. :)

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    1. Thanks for that Erik, but I wish I was!
      It must be fun watching the boy learn, as you say. The speed at which we learn stuff when we're young is incredible isn't it? So much capacity. I wish I could say the same at this age...

      I thought you might wonder about the gator's teeth! I was specifically asked not to include any scary teeth on any of the animals for this project. I wish I'd sneaked a few little crooked ones in though... he looks a bit gummy :-(

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  4. Lovely critter drawings, they all have a personality too ;o) So, in book illustration you still send the original to be scanned? That must be so rewarding - actually getting to produce something start to finish on paper like in the good old days. All of my work has to be submitted digitally these days, and cleaning up scanned work can take so much time I often draw straight into photoshop.... so I no longer have a plan chest full of built up work to reminisce over when I am bored. Sad really. Last year my Back-up hard drive died and carried off 3 years of work to the grave. I had never gotten around to printing anything out for my own record (always in a rush and usually out of at least one colour of ink!).

    So, you could in theory have an exhibition of your work when all the originals are returned? That would be cool :o)

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    1. Ah thanks, Yve, I enjoyed painting them so much and I hoped that would come through in the finished pics.
      I know a few who submit their book illustration work digitally but mine are purely paint on paper so, yes, they have to be sent off and professionally scanned (and then the publishers' designers might clean them up or tweak them in Photoshop if needed). It is nice to have the originals but, oh, the storage! I am rapidly running out of room. But yes, not only could I have an exhibition in theory, but in practice too, and have done, a few times. It was a great way to sell off some of the work too, but I found it ridiculously stressful (and expensive) doing all the preps, framing, etc. Then never knowing if you're going to have to bring the whole lot home again and need even more storage space for them, now being framed.... So in some ways I can really see the advantages of digital storage - although that's awful about you losing 3 years' work, and must have been absolutely galling. If only there was a happy medium!

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