IF: Midsummer Night

Here you have it!  My first official post for Illustration Friday!  I’m excited to say I actually did it.  Maybe I put too much effort into my first post-(I’m hearing Danielle Duncan’s eyes rolling around in her head)-ok perhaps I put way too much work into it.  I won’t post how long exactly.

I’m excited to see this as a starting point for me.  I have a decent handle on drawing, but I need to learn to paint as confidently as I draw.  I’m excited how this one turned out, and I’m even more excited to do more and improve my speed.

Sometimes I believe that I can do great work without practice.  But in fact, I believe the best artists in the field rely less on natural ability, and more on sheer hard work.  I’m interested to see how this applies to my life as I continue to paint.  I know that if I set my mind to it, I’m sure to gain confidence in this area.

But, I must talk about the inspiration for this piece! The theme “Midsummer Night” brought a wash of wonderful memories growing up on a farm, and tirelessly playing outdoors after the sun went down.  My husband, Robert, and I went back to my parent’s place recently, and I was able to again experience the natural beauty of the rural countryside after dark.  I enjoyed how dark the night actually became, and the glow of distant cities light up the horizon.  And so many stars!  I truly miss seeing stars.

But what I remember most about summer nights were the sounds.  I would lie awake in my bed as a child and listen to the cacophony of sounds all night long.  We have a small pond in our back yard, and our nights would be filled with this symphony of sound: crickets, toads, bullfrogs, bugs.  It’s like Pavarotti to me.  I had to illustrate, in my own way, the dramatic bullfrog wooing his mate, by singing in the moonlight.

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  1. I love your frogs…such a lovely midsummer night illustration.

  2. I can just HEAR that frog singing! Nice illo.!

  3. This is really nice, and I agree that much of great art comes from hard work. At some point, you’ll have put in enough hours that the pieces will come quickly, but that’s only because you’ve invested a lot of time learning what works and doesn’t. I’m not quite there yet, but still working on it!

  4. Maryann Harrison

     /  June 30, 2011

    I am IN LOVE with this photo =O) SUPER AWESOME!!!! xoxoxo!

  5. Great start to Illustration Friday! I can almost hear their croaking melody. Looking forward to seeing more of your slick illustration style.

  6. Jacque Milius

     /  July 6, 2011

    I can hear that frog singing to me now! Mandie, I’m always amazed at your work!!! I’m excited to see more 🙂

  7. Brian Ramsay

     /  July 11, 2011

    Well said, Mandie! I also have the same memories of lying awake in the summer with the windows open (no AC) and hearing the toads and insects go nuts.


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