IMAGE OF THE WEEK
Back in the days when illustrations were covered with transparent vellum, protected with cardboard and delivered by mail – I was commissioned by Hamilton College of Oneida County, NY to do a series of illustrations for their alumni magazine. Featured were the award-winning essays of that year’s new admissions. Those essays were bubbling with ideas and full of promise, as diverse as the students who wrote them.
I don’t often get to do editorial or magazine illustration. It’s a nice change from my usual book illustration, and lots of fun, especially if the subject is – well, subjective. This particular essay certainly was, as a college girl’s galloping adjustment to the her new college life is vividly described. Somehow within the wheeling chaos, she finds a calm center in writing the very words of this essay – like a cat curled up in the center of a storm. Trying to draw this mental construct led me to sketch little symbols of this girl’s many activities on scraps of tracing paper, which I then slid around to arrange in something like a juggler’s arc around her – or is it a small cyclone? I sifted and rearranged until things looked right.
Eventually I got the original illustration, painted in gouache and measuring about 10″ wide, back from the magazine’s production department. I gave it to my vet as a gift in return for a substantial discount on placing a pin in my cat’s broken leg. He hung it in his waiting room, where the receptionist’s boxy desktop also served as a cat bed – and there was no lack of chaos.
That old cat’s long gone now, and the girl in the painting long ago graduated. I remember them both fondly . . . though the cat, I must admit, was annoying.
Order Computer Girl as a POSTER this week, and get a free greeting card (of the same image)! $10 for the poster and card, shipping included. Order your poster here!
Wishing you a good week,
D Yael Bernhard
Author / Illustrator of
THE HUNGRY HAGGADAH: A Passover Story in Rhyme
JUST LIKE ME, CLIMBING A TREE: Exploring Trees Around the World