Thursday, July 12, 2007

snow into july: canaries and emily

the idea for my snowflake for Robert's Snow 2007 has been developing in a wandering sort of way. i find that blogging as i go, i have less of an idea how to tell the story.

i scanned in my pencil sketches and have been resizing the girl and the bird.

here is how the sketch of the front looks at the moment. i have been swapping out reference images for the background landscape.

as an illustrator, i have been looking for a text to match with my idea. words for the swallow to bring. i thought of emily dickinson's "hope is thing with feathers" and got a copy of the full poem.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I 've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

i love the way research brings ideas together making connections that build into a narrative. i wanted a winter landscape and there in the poem "the chillest land." but--wait--my bird is a swallow, it doesn't sing. (it actually makes this call, which is a bit like the sound of scissors opening and shutting.)

i like my idea. i like the swallow, the sketch, but i like the poem, too, except that it needs a songbird, like a canary. this had me caught, i thought that my idea was forking into two options. i stewed.

then i remembered i had the whole back of the snowflake and started to plan.