Illustration – A Promise Kept – Treasure the Little Things.

Many decades ago, I made a promise.

This week I learned that promises made to ourselves are important….even decades later.

Every five years or so, a thought will cross my mind. “Please draw Miss Hickory.” Every time it came into my mind I either ignored it, dismissed it, or had an excuse of why I was too busy. Mostly I pretended not to hear it.

When I was 6 years old I picked up a book in our school library; Miss Hickory, a novel by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey. I did not have the skills to actually read it, however, I already had definite opinions concerning the illustrations. Even then my life as an artist was already determined. I also had a serious balance of logical thinking as well, and was insulted that a creature made of twigs would have high heels, a knitted sweater, and –  just how did those flowers stick in her nonexistent hair if she had the head of a hickory nut? At the age of six I promised myself that one day, when my skills were better I would draw Miss Hickory as I saw her in my mind.

So, last week upon waking, when I heard “Please draw Miss Hickory” for the umpteenth time, I thought about it and said, “Yes.”

Drawing Miss Hickory was an opportunity to listen to my six year old self and in return, she opened the door to valuable information as I sketched and painted. Nothing is a mistake, everything is a valuable key. Our conversation gifted me a greater understanding of this incredible journey called life.

From my perspective…….

Listening to our thoughts is important. Within ourselves is a wealth of information, the library of “Us”. Parts of ourselves hold the keys that are the story of “ourselves.” Some we want to keep, some we need to update or “take to the cleaners.” Some have been a huge asset in our creative lives, and all need to be known. When we don’t listen, out fear of something “bad” is a lie. This is when we find it difficult to live comfortably in our own skin. A good friend of mine once said “Think of yourself as a corporation and you are the CEO.” This is so wonderfully creative and true. Will we listen to the “essential workers” of our corporation? Or be a petty tyrant, a bully. Or look outside of ourselves for answers.

I have never read the Miss Hickory book, but I have ordered it. Miss Hickory is a Newbery Medal award winner.  After completing my own illustration, I read reviews about the book – both good and bad, some replying it was freakishly dark. The book will arrive on Monday. It should provide either more opportunities and illustrations, or simply a good laugh and an opportunity to a close the door.

In this time of less distractions…….take the time to listen to yourself. You are an individual, a “one of a kind.”  That is what makes you a miracle.

– Thank you

    1. Thank you! That illustration has been in my mind for a long time, and it’s not a popular style today, but it’s exactly how I wanted to see it way back then. Wikipedia said it was written in 1946, (I went to a small school) so you probably haven’t!

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  1. I love your drawing! And now you have me very intrigued by “Miss Hickory”. I’ll confess to never having heard of this book before. After reading your post, I know I want to read the book, too. Miss Hickory sounds like an interesting character, but your six-year-old-child questions have made me very curious, indeed. Already I think I like YOUR “Miss Hickory” better than the original simply because your questions seem so very logical. What media did you use for your drawing/painting? The details are exquisite!

    Like

    1. Hi Judith! Thank you! I found out that Miss Hickory was written in 1946. The book was delivered a few days ago and so far the story is interesting, although at present the character is a little distressed about winter arriving, :). It is quite a long book for being so little, about 122 pages. The font is so tiny I have to use a magnifying glass! O well, I will finish it and possibly create a follow-up illustration. For this illustration I used multiple mediums. First I sketched it, then applied conte crayon, then pastels. Next, I transferred it into Photoshop and painted washes with a variety of brushes. I am so glad you like it, and thank you so much for your comment!

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    2. I’m going to look for Miss Hickory through our library system. Not sure if I’ll be able to find the book there or not. I’ll keep looking. The story sounds very interesting. I sympathize with the little chick already. I hate winter! Glad our weather here is finally warming up. Thanks for telling me a little about your process in creating that gorgeous illustration. Interesting!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. I hope you you find it and are able to get the book! The illustrations are really charming, probably why they made such an impression on me.Thank you Judith, I am so pleased you like my work. It’s never the same method twice, and always an adventure in finding out what happens at the end, so to speak 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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