anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Cold

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Illustration Friday - Cold


This week's Illustration Friday topic resonated with me for many reasons. First, I've had a nasty cold for over a week, and I finally had to take a day off yesterday to stay at home in bed. I felt like I needed to wrap myself in down and fleece because it's been beastly cold where I work, something to do with the ventilation system that recirculates air. All it really does, as far as I can tell, is blow freezing air during the cold months and hot air during the warm months. By the middle of the week, I was so thoroughly chilled, I was certain I would crack into thousands of pieces if someone were to give me a pat on the back. To add to my discomfort, it had been pouring rain almost continuously all week. Not that lovely rain that feeds the flowers and leaves everything glistening and clean, but torrential rain that washes away dirt roads and topples stone walls. I know...complain, complain. It's just that I'm not really a cold weather person.

The rain did, however, provide me with a couple of fascinating encounters with the avian life in my neck of the woods (quite literally), during the few times it let up. As I wrote yesterday, we had a visit from a few hundred migrating birds, who covered our driveway and trees for a short while before they continued on their journey. This morning, I came downstairs to find a dozen or so wild turkeys outside our front door, pecking away in the garden for seeds and berries. I tried to be stealthy as I grabbed my camera, but they sensed my presence and took off pretty quickly.

What does any of this have to do with my illustration? Well, with the cold and the rain and the birds, I kept hearing the song "White Bird" in my head. I remember it from my teenage years, but I can't remember who wrote it and/or sang it. Jol thinks it might be a Pentangle song, but I wasn't able to track that information down in my admittedly cursory search. I did, however, find the lyrics, some of which I've included below. So..my drawing started as a remembered song and ended up as an enchanted peacock-like creature in a magic snow field...and like magic, the sun came out just as I was finishing it! Really!

White bird
In a golden cage
On a winter's day
In the rain
White bird
In a golden cage
All alone

The leaves blow
Across a long black road
To its darkened sky
In its rage
But the white bird
Just sits in her cage
All alone

White bird must fly or she will die
White bird must fly or she will die

White bird
Dreams of aspen trees
With their dying leaves
Turning gold
But the white bird
Just sits in her cage
Growing old

White bird must fly or she will die
White bird must fly or she will die

The sunset comes
The sunset goes
The clouds roll by but the earth turns slow
And a young bird's eyes do always glow...

71 Comments:

Blogger Catnapping said...

there's always magic to be found in your illustrations. and the colours are good enough to eat.

i hope you feel better soon. maybe someone will draw a picture of chicken soup for you. i can already smell the garlic...

stay warm, okay? don't try to do too much.

7:27 PM  
Blogger onclejohann said...

How fortunate to see the geese and turkeys at such close range. The only close encounter I've had was this afternoon when my squirrel bit my finger thinking it was a nut. Glad to hear you're taking care of that cold. No need to hurry back and aggravate it all over again. Now I have to thaw out after seeing your "cold" illustration.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous sarahc said...

pretty!

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Ginger *:) said...

Ah yes, the rain, the rain,the rain. For the first time this evening I saw a hint of gold beyond the ever present clouds. 8 straight days of rain... floods, homes swept away ... roads closed... rivers threatening, and that cold raw feeling. Your beautiful illustration and song wiped that away in an instant. This peacock is glorious!

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jaimie said...

This is lovely. The details in the tail and the colors are wonderful.
I'm in N.H. and suffering the same dismal weather. At least this forces me to stay inside where I've been working on my Cold topic submission.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous kikazinha said...

Hi, beautiful Carla.You are getting better.It is 1 am here and I am so bored because I am working and wantend to go out...I read about you loving TNYT.
One of my illustrators-friends-links at my blog works for them.
I also love plain black coffee...;-)

7:53 PM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

Your entries/posts are SO wonderful. Beauty and literature and reflection and heart. The peacocks are gorgeous (more esthetically pleasing than the wild turkeys, probably.... I saw a Northern Flicker yesterday and was surprised and pleased to identify it. My DD who lives on Boston Harbor has used the rainy days to knit and bake. But she ALREADY has cabin fever. I hope you aren't in flood territory... I am still trying to figure out why New Hampshire floods but Vermont doesn't. (Or at least doesn't get on the nightly news.)I hadn't heard so much about CT... Hope you feel better soon.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Mick said...

Another beauty, Carla. Many years ago as I was sitting on the deck of a house I used to live in, a huge bird came flying over, gliding to a soft landing in the back of the yard. It was a peacock! she made a nest on the ground beneath my shrubs and stayed three whole days! This image brought it all back to me. :)

10:04 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

So pretty, he looks very mystical.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Enchanting and beautiful...gives me a dream-like feel...

12:55 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Your peacosck is so majestic and the gorgeous tails full of jewels that match the snowflakes. Really very nice.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Eren said...

I love how this peacock looks so magical. The detail is beautiful. Glad the sun came out...hope you feel better soon!

2:23 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

This is beautiful and very magical!!

2:51 AM  
Blogger isay said...

it is my wish to go back later on, can't do it now!

5:44 AM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I love the filled line work - like a stain glass window which is also cold!

6:33 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

hi Carla - from the searches I've just done it looks like that song was done by a band called "It's A Beautiful Day"! You were working magic...

And the picture is glorious too.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mustashrik said...

a beautiful bird ;)

7:18 AM  
Blogger Melissa said...

This is a great piece!
I love the colors and the overall feeling.
Your other Illustration Fridays are great too! I will def. be back to see more of your artwork.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous andrea said...

This looks like a Christmas card but quilted. Lovely lovely. Do you ever print your digital pieces -- or have them profesionally done?

9:58 AM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

The artist is It's A Beautiful Day (ironic, huh?). I can relate about the weather, if not the affliction. It seems summer ended with a thud while we had rain for one straight week here in NJ. The sun finally graced us again yesterday. But enough about the weather...this piece is gorgeous! The frosty border and background looks cold to the touch. And the peacock is majestically beautiful, as a peacock should be. As always, your colors are spectacular.

10:03 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Thank you all for your supportive comments! They would most definitely brighten up any cold and rainy day for me:>

Mick, that must have been an amazing thrill to have an actual peacock in your yard! Where did you live???

Ginger, Jaime, Sultry, Amy...I know about the rain! Ugh! It's actually very nice outside mow, so we're going to head out for a while. Work can wait.

Caroline, I think you might be right about "It's a Beautiful Day." I did find that in my search, but it didn't ring a bell...I'm going to dig a bit deeper to make sure. Maybe iTunes has a clip and i can confirm it. Ah...the things we do to spend time, eh?

Andrea... I am actually going to look into having professional prints made of some of my pieces. I've never really thought about it until recently, but I think a few of the pieces I've done would look quite nice as prints on good paper. My next project is to try to get back into painting with acrylics...haven't done that since my son was a wee one...many, many moons ago!

10:13 AM  
Blogger bruno côrte said...

Gorgeous bird! The tail its fantastic.
Another beauty, Carla.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Pusha V said...

Nice one. A peacock in the snow now that is original :) And also nice colors. Sorry to hear that you caught a cold. Hopefully you will get better. Cheers.

10:40 AM  
Blogger JacqueLynn said...

The colors and pattern and theme all just work together beautifully in this. I think this is my very favorite.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Teri C said...

utiigBeautiful sketch and text as always Carla. It is a pleasure to visit your site.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Angel Devil said...

Wowee. Nice. I want to wear this! Your use of patterns is incredible.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Leigh Anne said...

It's interesting you mentioned Pentangle, even though the song isn't done by them, because your illustration is very evocative of their musical style.

2:30 PM  
Blogger LunaGraphica said...

Very, very beautiful!

2:36 PM  
Blogger vfm4 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:14 PM  
Blogger vfm4 said...

this is so beautiful, the pattern reminds of Russian illustrations from the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Jugendstil and they had it from Japanes woodcuts.. very very lovely..
I.Bilibin is the illustrator's name

6:47 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Very beautiful and serene. Snow can be like that-silent and still. I love how you treated the snow. The feathers seem to just float. Very stunning image. You know how to use colour Carla. Cheers!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Julie Kieras said...

The peacock is exquisite. You should print it for a Christmas card - if you're into the whole card-giving thing. :)
Yes, the rain can stop. It's enough to drive Ernest Hemingway insane!

10:43 PM  
Blogger christina said...

Carla,
I keep loving your posts--each one more than the last. This one is gorgeous!!! You really should do a children's book. Your illustrations would be perfect for a fairy tale book--they have a certain delicate jewled quality to them..

I hope you're feeling better!

Wild turkeys are so much fun. They make me laugh. They are really truly ugly birds, aren't they?

And lastly, thanks for tagging me. I want to play! I'll be posting my answers tomorrow!

11:39 PM  
Blogger bee'nme said...

Carla, thi is one of my favorites of yours for a variety of reasons - the detail, the color, the peacock's stance, the cold sky. People should really click the image to see it larger - it has such rich detail - pattern within pattern. And the song lyrics are haunting and beautiful. All in all a sheer delight to see and read!!

11:42 PM  
Blogger indigo said...

Goodness, the detail you put into this illustration. It's gorgeous!!

11:48 PM  
Blogger GoldenOwl said...

I only saw Majesty ...and after your poem a queen. I liked it very much.

2:45 AM  
Blogger isay said...

hello carla!

i hope you are already feeling better! as for me-i'm getting well despite of the on and off sore throat....i will try to go out today, though. it's one week autumn holiday over here.

i didn't had time to read earlier...nice lyrics and your illustration is beautiful. you are really very good with details. it looks like a king turkery in its pose.

let us both send away our colds and all! best regards.

5:25 AM  
Blogger rubio2d said...

Hi Carla!
What a lot of work inside! Powerful and bright bird! (here,in Spain we call him "Pavo Real")
Love this sky background and the snow in the ground.
Nice and beautiful work.
I always like the words you post for these entries! Nice blog too.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Aaron Paquette said...

I'm glad I happened onto your site. This is really unique work. Thanks for sharing it!

1:55 PM  
Blogger F L E E said...

oh, hope you're feeling much better now!
there's always this innocence in your illustration.
keep up the god work!

2:14 PM  
Blogger Afterthoughts Ltd. said...

Beautiful piece. Sorry about the cold, I had one myself this week.

2:47 PM  
Blogger merlinprincesse said...

Been on your site fromm Andrea's one. Like it. You both are nice artists and illustrators. And you both give me the desire to draw and paint again. (You know, for now, I just have time for photo...) Think I'm gonna try to participate in one of those illustration contest...Just for fun. Nice work again.

3:54 PM  
Blogger FromThaBrook said...

very creative and unique, a wonderful piece

8:04 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What a beautiful peacock, the colours are excellent.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Toni said...

Well Carla you think this cold is going around our blogs?
Just getting over mine. It really put me out for a few days and just lingered.
Your illo is beautiful. I especially love the colors.
Purple and blue are two of my favorite together.
twice I saw peacocks roaming free. Once in California and once here in Pennsylvania while Don and I were checking out antique stores.

9:27 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

This picture makes me feel good. I like your choice for the sky. Beautiful!

1:59 AM  
Blogger kikazinha said...

Hi, I just came for a quick visit to ask if you are already recovered from your cold.

What I like about the song/poem you wrote here is that it reminds me of people who stay in relationships and bonds all their lives feeling "dead" inside.
And outside they are so perfect, such good mothers/fathers,wives,husbands and perfect in the eyes of the community.
It is like when you have given up yourself and just stay there... sometimes we don´t realise that our works, our lives,the choices we make,the world around us seems like what we should have and be, and though something is saying we are a misfit, we stay in our golden cages and watch life goes by.
We must be rebels, not in the sense of being an antagonist, but in the sense of not letting ourselves accomodate and adjust,we must question ,for if we settle down we stop being creative.
Life feeds on creation and creation is fed on life.

6:35 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Hi Carla,
Thank you; I think I'm really beginning to feel much better! I actually had enough energy yesterday to work out and that made me feel even better.

I think your interpretation of the song makes a lot of sense. This song is from the '70's, and I remember it seeming very metaphorical even then. I think we do place oursleves in our own golden cages out of fear or just complacency. It's good to be aware of that and break free...I do agre with you:>


8:45 AM

8:47 AM  
Blogger constanthing said...

A majestic looking creature, I admire the details in your work as usual. Hope you're feeling better too, take care!

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Edric Hsu said...

Wow, nice beautiful details on the cloak of the Peacock and also the sky background!
Hope you're feeling better from the cold! :)

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful bird. I love the colors.
wynlen

12:08 PM  
Blogger Gerald said...

The mixed media with textures turned out well. I'm sorry about your cold...it has been going around here as well. Hope you recover soon. Thank you for the warm comments :)

12:30 PM  
Anonymous elaine said...

Incredibly striking - this and Lost remind me of Indian minatures - lovely!

2:24 PM  
Blogger holly said...

very pretty!i love it!

4:29 PM  
Blogger kinky konijn said...

Just checked your drawings, lovely
the colors really did blow my mind

Correct me if i'm wrong, but i think
you're very romantic!

4:34 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

Carla you are now linked to my site. Thanks for the ongoing support.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Tony LaRocca said...

"Travelin' along, it's a song that we're singing, common get happy..." no, wait, that was the Partridge Family. Forget it.

Beautiful picture. I love the look as if she's wearing a long elegant overcoat.

9:16 PM  
Blogger anthony said...

i have seen several of your illustrations, and left some comments too. however, this week you have outdone yourself. this is a very beautiful piece.

10:18 PM  
Blogger marica said...

oh, I'm so sorry you had a cold...I'm just getting over a bad cold too and it's horrible!!!
so...really reaaly nice illo...the bird is so....magic and elegant!!

3:04 AM  
Blogger Chuang Shyue Chou said...

Magnificient piece! The jewelled feel of the feathers is beautiful.


Is this done electronically?

9:21 AM  
Blogger carla said...

Thank you! It's a digitally created collage made from a hand drawing and some left over Christmas paper. I drew the bird with a micro pen, scanned it, and then colored it in photoshop. The background is from two different kinds of wrapping paper which I scanned and then cut to size and shape to put on their layers of the collage. I made the snow from a crumpled silver foil paper which I manipulated with a variety of filters and effects in photoshop.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Dennis West said...

Hey Carla, as always thanks for your kind remarks on my IF entry. I really appreciate your comments. Your entry this week is great!

I don't know if this has happened to you or not, but anyway -- you've been tagged!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Hi Carla,..as usual, this is a gorgeous piece of art.
In response to your question on mine, this series is all watercolor on 4.5 x 7.5 panels. This latest one was tweaked a little in photoshop because i'm using it as an invitation for a friend's gallery event.
I'm happy that a great artist like you appreciates my work. :)

7:23 PM  
Blogger Sybille said...

Beautiful painting. I like the contrast between the icy blues and purples and the splendor of the peacock. Reminds me of the snow queen for some reason.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Leezy said...

This has to be one of my favorites yet of your work. incredible. I am mesmorised by the peacock's feathers. The detail and style in this piece continues to proove your wonderful talent!
It's wonderful.
What I also love, is how you arrive at your illustrations. The stories are just as colorful and illustrious as your art. Tahnk you.

7:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Wow girl, I so love to visit your place! The Ill. and your post are just wonderful! Hope youe feeling better!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

This is just gorgeous Carla. I love the color! Hope your cold is much better.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Misty Mawn said...

Your work is AWESOME!!! Beuatiful bird!!! Hope you are feeling better!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Ms. Momma said...

Very beautiful!!! I love all the different textures and patterns you used. Gorgeous!

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a wonder how things and circumstances helps us in manifesting our inner desires. I like how you translated your current situation into something that will inspire other. Keep up the good work.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Wong Online PoKér Hu said...

It is great to see this kind of things are manifested by the feelings inside of us. I am amazed by how people make a great deal out of something ordinary. It is good and relatively a better way of forgetting what may happen.

6:28 PM  

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