These scratchboard illustrations are part of a collaborative project between my husband and I. He wrote a collection of short stories and asked me to create an illustration for each one during the first two years following our marriage.
He submits his stories individually to various publications but unless he publishes the stories as a collection himself the likelihood of the illustrations being used alongside the corresponding story is slim. Two of the stories have been published in literary magazines, but each sans illustration.
So this is just part of the fun for me of now having a blog. Whether or not they ever eventually get published… I can publish them here!
Of course the pictures would make a lot more sense in context, but I hope you enjoy them even without the corresponding plot lines.
Scratchboard is clayboard with an even layer of india ink over the surface. You simply scratch through the top layer to reveal the white clay below. It’s fun to work in reverse, drawing the parts that are white and leaving the black areas untouched.
If you’d like to give it a try the following link will take you to Amazon.com. (I belong to the Amazon Affiliates program so if you click on it and buy any products on Amazon, I get a small percentage of the sale. )
I learned when penciling in the basic forms before scratching that any erasing leaves behind a smudgy mark on the black that doesn’t really go away. Maybe if I repainted some india ink over the smudge mark? But I didn’t want to risk the ink running into any of the fine crevices that I had scratched away. Any ideas?
I can tell you about the inspiration for the story for this illustrat0ion because it is my story. (It is the inspiration, my husband’s story is not about me. When I was a little girl probably about 8 or 9 years old, I was in the woods behind my house playing alone. There was a stream that we liked to try to dam up to create swimming holes and that is what I was working on. Moving the largest rocks you can under the midday sun quickly gets to be hot and tiring work. At one point I took off my shirt to be able to feel the breeze and sat down on a log. Just then a swarm of bees that were traveling en mass looking for a new hive (we asked around later why there would have been such a large number of bees flying together like that) settled all over me. You’ve seen pictures of bee handlers that wear a living bee beard? That was me, but the beard was everywhere! Not only is this terrifying, I am also insanely ticklish. I was covered with literally hundreds of bees, crawling in and out of nostrils, armpits, over my lips and closed eyes, up and down my rib cage. I don’t know how long it lasted but it felt like an eternity! I sat as still as possible and concentrated on my breath because although my heart was pounding wildly I was afraid to breath too heavily. I thought I was being punished because little girls shouldn’t take off their shirts out of doors! Later my uncle explained to me that if I had been wearing my t-shirt most likely some bee would have gotten caught under it and in stinging me would have begun a chain reaction of attack. Thankfully, God has created us with the instinctual reactions of fight, flight or FREEZE, and the appropriate one kicked in for me that day!
Thanks for reading!
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