I haven’t had time to write or paint much since the beginning of January. Like most of us, I have a full time job, and it’s been busier than usual, so I’ve been negligent in posting here.
But then I remembered my mother’s stories.
She invented bedtime stories for my brother and me, which we loved, about a family of turtles that lived in a swamp. The baby turtles were named for us.
I repeated the stories to my own sons.
When we moved back to the USA, Mother finally wrote the tales down and I made a series of illustrations for one of them. We actually found a publisher, but they went out of business before we went to press. So the illustrations have no home and have languished in my closet for years. I think I will be fun to show some of them here. I won’t attach the storyline, because a book may eventually happen, and I want the story to be fresh … however, the illustrations give the plot away to a large extent.
The ranger at the nature center in the James River Park in Richmond, Virginia, let me take their turtle outside for a series of sketches and photos on which I based my illustrations. In keeping with the nature theme, I painted on wooden panels, leaving the wood grain visible.
Here’s the first one, “The Good-Bye.”