Monday, October 17, 2005

Show and tell


























Here are two of eight illustrations I created for a Scott Foresman reading program. Jane is a young girl whose family is moving from their home in the country, to an apartment in the city. Jane isn't very happy about the move, in fact, she's quite upset. The illustrations walk the reader through Jane's move as she and her family pack up the truck and drive through a scenic country side. The landscape changes from a background of wildflower painted rolling hills to a busy cityscape of highrise buildings and congested traffic. In the end, Jane's new room was just the same as before. The only difference is tall buildings peek through her window now.

I didn't have much time to create the illustrations, and I wanted to photograph an actual family in the process of moving. Just by coincidence, a family directly across the street from us was moving in the same day I started creating sketches. I wanted to go over and introduce myself, explain what I do for a living, then take pictures of them while they unloaded their moving truck.

The people in our neighborhood tend to be a bit uppity. We've never had much luck doing the new neighborly thing. My wife has went as far as baking cookies and writing out little welcome cards to new neighbors only to have cool distant waves returned. So I've resigned to keeping my distance and doing what the other neighbors do — force a smile and wave. I just wonder what went through my new neighbor's minds as they unloaded their valuable possessions from the back of a moving truck, with me standing watch across the street taking digital photos of them in my black ball cap and paint covered jeans.

8 comments:

The Archivist said...

I liked the drawings. They're very good!

As for what the neighbours thought... no clue.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

Great drawings, Don!

Ah the joys of some neighborhoods, huh? Sorry they don't know how to play nice but at least they helped you without even knowing it.

rindambyers said...

ENJOYED the drawings...I SYMPATHIZE with your wife, however. I've done the same with the cookie thing/trying to reach out and be neighborly thing, and OOOH, the CHILL! Found out that everyone around us is fighting with everyone else around us and nobody seems to have the time of day to be friendly a teensy bit to pacifist, a little odd, artistic, newcomer types like my husband and I. Sigh. It doesn't mean there aren't nice people in this town. They just don't seem to live around us.

I WISH your lived next to me. I would CRY if someone in this neighborhood close to us came over with cookies. I could even put up with the weird picture-taking dude in her yard for that....! You have a lovely lady, there.

rindambyers said...

I meant your wife in the above commment. SORRRY!!! I'm very tired today on the computer, got to rest my eyes now...

Campfyah said...

Your illustrations are awesome. The family was probably think weird thoughts, but hey if they were worried, they would have come and said something.
Your wife actually did the cookie thing...wow!!!!

Jez Chill said...

Did you take a picture of your neighbor writing down your description and putting 911 on speed dial?

Ray Dillon said...

LOVE the colors and soft rendering. Great expressions. Great details. Great all around, man!!

I'm inspired!

Wawa said...

Great drawings. That's too bad about your neighbors and the cookies. Most people don't even bother doing that anymore and it's a shame not to know the folks you're living next to every day.