"Cleo and the Reluctant Steed" - mixed media on canvas paper, 16" x 20"
I recently started keeping a sketchbook. Random ideas, drawings and what-nots. Cleo and her giraffe appeared in my sketchbook early one morning, before caffeine had kicked in and while clear thought was still a bit muddy and elusive. I thought they were going to be just one more idea languishing in those pages, but the image of the giraffe kept sneaking back into my mind over several days, so into the studio I went.
As his face began to take shape, I was surprised and a bit tickled by how obviously put out he is by the notion of being ridden. And how unaware of this his heavily-crowned rider seems to be. I wish I could say that I have an exact plan for the personalities of my characters, but I am completely at their mercy. As with my recent comments about abstracts, if I try to paint these characters in a certain way, they completely rebel and refuse to cooperate. It just doesn't work out at all.
I think that's part of the magic of art - I am enthralled by its unpredictability. Ok, enthralled and frustrated sometimes, but I keep coming back. Because really I want to meet all these beasties and their companions. I want to hear about their adventures and watch them ride (or fly or swim or run) off to their forever homes, where they were meant to be before I even drew them in a sketchbook.
Thank goodness all of these creatures are housebroken. Maybe that's part of the magic?