Archive for September, 2012

c. Susan Sorrell Hill

The Illustration Friday word of the week is imagination.

I have no idea where my ideas and images come from. If I did, I think I might be tempted to change my address and live there permanently…

Most of the time, they develop as I draw. If I’m really lucky, they drop in fully formed out of nowhere (now here) while I’m doing something entirely different…taking a shower, falling asleep, driving, doing yoga, daydreaming.

My imagination teases me with thoughts of “…how nice it would be if the source of Creativity was more reliable and on-call…” But maybe I would lose something important in that scenario: a sense of grace, of gratitude for the unexpected blessing of a visit from the Muse.

I suspect that the lesson here is a bit like that biblical story about keeping the oil lanterns full and the wicks trimmed, because the hour of Arrival could happen at any time… Moral (short version): Be Ready, pencil in hand…and be infinitely grateful when something wonderful passes through “this mortal coil.”

This one: “He wondered what it would be like, living under the sea. Certainly it would be quite different. See a larger image in my Etsy shop here.

“Make Believe”   (watercolor, pen & ink, colored pencil)

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c. Susan Sorrell Hill

Recently, I was gifted with a new (to me), very fancy drawing table, and I splurged on a new drafting chair to go with it. Both are gorgeous…fine wood, beautiful design, excellent craftsmanship and high functionality. I was delighted, and couldn’t have asked for nicer studio furniture. My little “droid,” a small set of wooden drawers which hold some of my painting supplies, and my file cabinet fit neatly under the table. Perfect!

The table and chair sit squarely in the middle of my eleven-by-eleven foot studio. They definitely Take Up Their Space. And the longer I own them, the more certain I am: that table and that chair are secretly in collusion with identical purpose: to keep me firmly on the non-productive sidelines, preoccupied with admiring their Beauty and not daring to think that I could paint anything half so worthy of Their Perfection. I felt their effect immediately. How could they have become such fast friends and cohorts so quickly? I asked myself.

If you don’t see the connection between the art I’ve posted this week, and my sad story about the new residents (and their antics) in my studio, all I can say is, “Maybe you’ve never been visited by the dreaded Artist Block…” Lucky you.

“Untitled” (snowstorm scene from my unpublished book, The Emperor’s Pear Tree.)   watercolor, pen & ink, gouache

The Dastardly Duo

On an entirely different note…

In imitation of bloggers I admire, like Holly Ward Bimba over at Golly Bard and Julie Danielson over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Why Stop at Six?, and to preserve some sanity in my ever-more-busy blogosphere, I’ve decided to begin answering my lovely commenters here on the blog, instead of in private emails. Of course, If you ask me very personal questions or want very personal answers, I will still continue to reply in an email if you’ve linked your address to the comment form. Thanks for understanding…and for leaving such lovely comments!

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c. Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Why Stop at Six?
Original drawing by Sir John Tenniel for Louis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This week, I’m seriously honored to be featured over at Julie Danielson’s wonderful blog about children’s books, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: Why Stop at Six?

Read the feature here…and while you’re at it, browse around a bit too. I think you’ll be thrilled to find so many interviews and features of both published and aspiring illustrators. Her writing style will make you feel like you’ve just had tea and cookies with your best friend, and I bet you’ll immediately become of fan. (Of the blog! But you might like my art too. Tee hee.)

Says Julie (aka Jules) about her delightful blog…

All you really need to know: This blog, dubbed “7-Imp” by the rest of the blogosphere, was co-founded in 2006 by two folks, Eisha and Jules. As of 2009, Jules is officially blogging solo. I’m a librarian. I love to read. I need books like I need air and water. And when I post about a children’s book, I pledge to go beyond the word “cute” to describe it.

Like John Tenniel’s work? See all of his original drawings for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland here.

SusanHAnd lastly, see my new Alice in Wonderland painting, “Mad Tea Party”, which soon become one of the permanent mastheads on the Seven Impossible Things blog. See her post about it here.

"Mad Tea Party" c. Susan Sorrell Hill

“Mad Tea Party” c. Susan Sorrell Hill

**Update 8/26/13**  See the new Seven Impossible Things masthead featuring my “Mad Tea Partyhere.

Thanks for stopping by!

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