anonyrrie: Illustration Friday - Play

Friday, August 11, 2006

Illustration Friday - Play

I bet with every Wind that blew
Till Nature in chagrin
Employed a Fact to visit me
And scuttle my Balloon --

- Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886)

These are the pages I did for Beth Berst's Journeys Book, The Story of the Cadmium Yellow Balloon. The theme of her book is playful; there is a yellow balloon, and where it goes and what it does it up to each artist who continues its journey each month. Although this topic seems lighthearted, it's also metaphorical. Our own lives, like the "life" of a balloon, are subject to so many variables. Beth puts it so well in her description of the book: "A balloon can be fragile, just like people. A balloon floating in the sky can easily change its path, just like our own lives. One minute you are simply floating along, and suddenly stormy weather can disrupt your life. Or the winds change and you find yourself in a whole new direction. Life is uncertain. Just like the trip of a balloon."

I wanted my balloon to soar freely over beautiful open land, and as the wind played with its path, it would attract the attention of a goldfinch who was building her nest. She'd see the string as a perfect piece to weave in among the twigs and bits of feather and leaves, and the balloon itself would mark the nest and stand guard over her chicks. I'm hoping that when the baby birds leave their nest, my balloon will be once again be released into the air to continue its marvelous journey...

(micron pen/watercolor)


Blogger Teri C said...

Oh Carla, it is perfect and beautiful and playful! I love it!

11:43 AM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

It's wonderful that you could use this meaningful artwork for this theme! I think everyone will relate to your message and the ideas you have imparted to us! Beautiful, clever, thoughtful and playful!!!

11:56 AM  
Blogger frank h said...

So nice story Carla - as always
and your illo is clear and warm - as summer air
Flowers and bird are beautifully done

12:21 PM  
Blogger Michael O'Connell said...

well done carla… beth's words so wonderfully compliement your beautiful illusrations…

12:25 PM  
Blogger The Tart said...

I love that yellow!! Very uplifting ... perfect for the weekend ... have a groovy one!

The Tart
; )

12:28 PM  
Blogger Liz Jones said...

Love it-- and what a cool, fun project! Nice work!

12:34 PM  
Blogger susan said...

how lovely! there is nothing more playful than a balloon!

12:42 PM  
Blogger String said...

Lovely and bright! Perfect end to summer...(at least it feels like it here!)

12:47 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

Oh my son loves balloons. I can't wait to show him this pic on the computer.

It is so light wonderous and delightful.

Great job

1:33 PM  
Blogger claudine hellmuth said...


2:17 PM  
Blogger The Dark Lord Omz said...

absolutely beautiful.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

I still love this oh so much Carla. :) Both images are beautiful as stand alone pieces of art, and together they balance each other nicely. And I love the idea that the balloon's string can act as a part of the blanket to nurse the baby birds into this world and to keep them safe. I could not have thought for a more sincere and sweet use myself.

2:35 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Inspired as usual, Carla. I love the way you've tilted up the picture plane in the first part of the diptych. I love how you've married image to concept.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Zara said...

Great images, great response to the theme 'play'.

5:26 PM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

check out all that cheery yellow - nice and airy; still another style of art!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Wonderful, Carla! And so perfect with Beths the yellow, too!

10:16 PM  
Anonymous James said...

I do love goldfinches. Charming piece, Carla.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Momma Pajama said...

Beautiful drawing and story, Carla!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Amy Zaleski said...

Nice to see this piece again. I love the landscape you created! And great use of yellow - a hard color to work with sometimes!

9:58 AM  
Blogger michael dailey said...

this is just a wonderful piece all the way around period

10:07 AM  
Blogger Joy Eliz said...

How fun and happy! Love the yellow:)

2:23 PM  
Anonymous carra said...

How wonderful to see you quote Emily Dickinson! She's one of my favourite poets, as are you. I love the yellow here!

3:29 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

What a wonderful idea.

We must be in a path of an air current because we often find runaway balloons snagged on trees and tripping across the field at the back of the house.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Sweet Pea said...

This is so delicate and sunny - nice work :)

4:45 PM  
Blogger BionicBuddha said...

The vibrant yellow is a great summer colour. It is so vibrant and happy and the illustration is uplifting and warm.

Thanks for sharing!

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Detlef said...

The colour is really lively, and I like the framing of the bird and balloon.

6:17 AM  
Blogger melba said...

I love this! and the metaphore of the balloon. the bird is perfect!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Hi Carla, It has been a while. I love the yellow in this. It is so uplifting and refreshing. Well done. Cheers!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Robert McLaughlin said...

Hi Carla,

A beautiful piece. And I think Emily Dickinson somehow mourns the loss of happiness with this poem.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Within Without said...

Hi Carla. Came here from Andrea's blog. I too am amazed and surprised at the yellow's impact.

Beautiful art and a fantastic description by you about what you set out to do. You more than did it!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

And do you notice, when you keep a balloon inside after a few days it withers and shrinks...after a few more it's almost down to nothing. Sometimes there is no joy like sticking a pin in a balloon! Beautiful line work as always.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Andrew Thornton said...

The thing that I love best about your work and Illustration Fridays is that there isn't a pressure to maintain one singular style. Each week there's the potential to see yet another facet of each artist. I love that this is just another glittering side of your work.

The moment I saw your illustration I thought of a scene from Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory. I'd like to think that the little birdie rescued the balloon.

Great work as always!

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mike Sgier said...

Great use of color!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Rrramone said...


11:55 PM  
Blogger Jana Bouc said...

Wow! I think this is my favorite of yours so far. I really like the whole concept, the two panels and the bright primary palette you used. The drawing and line work is also wonderful. Terrific!

12:13 AM  
Blogger georg said...

A yellow ballon and philosophy - great! Beautiful image and story too, I love the colours and it's a good idea to divide the image in two parts, so we have both the general view and a very near view..

Thanks, for lifting my day!

4:37 AM  
Blogger steve said...

Excellent work Carla! Love seeing the sequence of events take place here.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

beautiful illo Carla!

8:56 PM  
Blogger Ces said...


12:44 AM  
Blogger CILENCIO NO SE CALLA said...

your wives have a lot of grace... I like them a lot. I ship you a kiss Cilencioso

1:50 AM  
Blogger The Unknown said...

OH! Beautiful and a wonderful idea.

3:10 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

Wonderful to be able to play with such an awesome journey's book. yellow is such a playful fun loving color.
hard to get depressed with yellow.
Right now I have lots of sunflowers in my garden to perk me up.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Jorge Noujaim said...

Great Illustration!! very narrative.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Brandi said...

This is just so pretty. I could so get lost in that fantasy land!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I loved the story and your beautiful illustration, wonderful!

3:00 AM  
Blogger Madamebogg said...

Aw, cute little finch. Birds are great o draw!

3:17 AM  
Blogger miragee said...

I am very interested in your art project. It sounds interesting! I love the illo with the open land a lot. I think it's beautiful!

3:37 AM  
Blogger Mise said...

Hi's lovely. I've always admired people who can draw and paint ..I can't, but I can enjoy it vicariously through people like you. :-D

4:09 AM  
Blogger Ellen said...

What can I say that hasn't already been said?! You are truly talented!

9:39 AM  
Blogger Jeope said...

I definitely know this fella. Nice goldfinch, Carla. In my books, you will never go wrong with a bird.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Princess Pepper Cloud said...

Carla, this illustration is wonderful. Now I will be looking in the sky for that yellow balloon!

4:36 PM  
Blogger scribblesk said...

Frolicsome and sprightly! Love it!

10:59 PM  
Blogger albina said...

Wonderful color combination, and I love the diptych format. Very joyful illo.

11:39 PM  
Blogger Natura said...

Great story and beautiful interpretation. Love the limit gamma colors, perfect for the emphasis of the composition :)

1:02 AM  
Blogger Ian T. said...

Exquisite! I love everything about this - the choice of subject matter and framing, the limited palette, the textures - to an almost irrational degree. Fabulous!

2:35 AM  
Blogger untamechildofnature said...

If life is going to be so easy and smooth on my journey, I will not have the chance to learn from my mistake .I want to have a more colourful journey so I can experience a more meaningful life.I love the way you wrote everything in your blog including the illos.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Cez said...

Beautiful story and!!!!

10:20 PM  
Blogger tiffinix said...

Gorgeous!! Absolutely wonderful colors. I love them both! The patchwork hills but yet the bird with the balloon! They both are just wonderful! I would love to have that bird one on a t-shirt.. It is just so beautiful!

10:16 PM  
Blogger melanienyc said...

this is fabulous!!!

3:44 PM  
Blogger silverlight said...

I very much appreciate your artistic expressions.

2:33 AM  
Blogger johnnynorms said...

joie de vivre indeed! lovely composition, beautiful fresh colour.

8:48 AM  

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