Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just Dance....

Yesterday I drew some squirrels dancing for The SKETCHABLES! 

"Fall is for squirrels. The joyous abundance of nuts falling off the trees.. makes them want to dance. You've seen them move- with the ease and lightness of Astaire. Their swooping tails like the chiffon of Ginger's dress...  strike up the band with some sweeping melody and watch the show. It's pretty colorful! I love Autumn."

Today they danced through my brain to that Gershwin tune...

You must look at these and think of this....

I certainly do and did as I drew them.

It is one of my very favorite pieces of Disney Animation.
The squirrels are so perfectly- exactingly, anthropomorphic.
So human in expression and gesture and yet -
so, damn, squirrel like.

I especially love the girl. And her "Gek-oop sound"
And her shuddering cry at the end ------ heart breaking.
Gah! I love it!
It's one of those pieces of art that I watch and grip my hair in my fists and think,
That's how good I wanna be!

Well, House of Mouse.. you never made the sequel
that you were supposed to!!
So in my mind- 
They meet again in an Arthur Murray Studio..
go for coffee after the lesson...
and go all Fred and Ginger- off into
the sunset together.

Ah- L'amour among the acorns...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"My Friend Jane"

"My Friend Jane"

The month of August was spent in quiet - reflective family time.
Early this summer, my 11 year old attempted to read Sense and Sensibility. She was given this lovely edition from Penguin classics as a gift.

She is all too aware of my fervent ardor for all things Austen. I think she was trying to bond but wound up being frustrated. She couldn't get into it. I told her, I read them in college. Wait. You'll get them, you just have to live more.

Then my husband decided this summer was the time to Explore the Final Frontier. A Star Trek marathon that lasted a month. No, no. This would not do.

So - I started a marathon of Jane Austen films 3 weeks ago.

Oh- we are all a flutter in the Light House.

The happy conclusion is we have bonded. The talk is all merriment of balls and bonnets and barouche boxes.
Her long curly blond hair is now her greatest feature and no longer the bane of her existence. She has pulled it to the side with a ribbon and gone off to school in these...

Which she says "Are so Jane..."

When she was 8,  I was writing a PB idea called "My Friend Jane". She had a group of friends that made me think of what it would be like to be young girlfriends, about 11, back in the Regeny period. Girls are girls at that age. All silly and BFF's no matter the language and the dress.
The book was narrated by "Lizzie" - about her friend Jane who preferred the feather of her pen to a feather in her hair. The idea was to be a book about friendship- but in the end- the back page was a letter, telling you it had all been written by your friend Jane, who urged you to take up your own pen.

I abandoned the idea after Jane Austen was paraded about with Zombies and Sea Monsters. I read a book called "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" that made me have to take a cold shower.  I thought Jane had been overexposed and commercialized past the point of tribute. (tribute, homage - I am all for - check out "Lost in Austen" -TVseries- brilliant)

After this month- I am secure in my feelings for Jane. She is a constant. 194 years after her death, the characters she created are still as real to the right reader or viewer as they were when she wrote them. 

She has been a true friend and I am all gratitude for my daughter's introduction into her society.

These illos are all older works.. you can find them back in the blog... way back. I would do them differently now. But I think sharing Jane with my daughter has fulfilled the need to pay tribute to her- just pass Jane on.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

THE SKETCHABLES! are Back from Summer Vacation!

When Dante was writing his Inferno... with those nine circles of Hell -
he forgot one - Middle School.
Maybe he didn't forget.
Maybe he just couldn't bring himself to revisit it.

The lock. The locker. The class changing.
The pimples. The puberty.
The crushes. The heart break.
The bad hair.
The growing pains.
The friendship hop scotch.
The Gym classes.
The way your parents become idiots over night. 

(Or at least "weirdos")
The intensity of feeling that we experienced in middle school- just never happens again. EVERYTHING is the most important thing ever.

They'll get thru it. They'll run that 3 year gauntlet- and cross the finish line.
The prize on the other side- a firmer grasp on knowing who you are- and who you can be.
But - Oh boy, I don't envy them at all.