As I’m on holidays for another couple of weeks, and I was doing some art in the garden with the kids this afternoon, I kept going and made a few tiny images for the start of this year’s 52 Week Illustration Challenge on Facebook.
Week 1 is Fancy Dress.
I went naturally to my cabinet card portrait collection where there are plenty of people in both fancy dresses and in ‘fancy dress’ in the sense of costume. There I saw lots of kids who had been hauled, strapped, tied or stuffed into their best clothes for portraits; many of them looking dubious about the whole experience. So I thought I’d borrow their misery for a few little ink and wash drawings.
A little boy in fancy dress, from a cabinet card portrait. It was hard to say if he was in his best clothes or in costume. The clothes are somewhat smart but also very oversized, especially the hat!
A little girl who would rather be playing with her dog in the garden
A little Scottish lad in fancy dress looking very miserable
I went away with some good friends in the September holidays for a long weekend, and began a range of art and craft projects which I promised to post here. I’ve been too busy until now to look at them further but now it’s Christmas holiday time, and I had a great time the other day, getting things out to play with in the studio! Hooray!
As part of my continuing fascination with vintage cabinet card portraits, I had drawn at some children from old photos and added shadowy blob shapes of old world beasts and imaginary creatures into their formal poses. I hadn’t by any means fully thought out the ideas I was exploring, and I still haven’t. But I added some watercolour detail with a fine brush the other day and scanned them. So here they are.
I will probably do some more with this, and see where it goes. I think monsters take time to form properly. These are only partly menacing, and it’s unclear whether the children are aware of them or not. They may be allies, or the monsters may even be generated by the children themselves.