Saturday, March 21, 2009

Illustration Friday: Subtract


The Crow by Abby Kimball


I click my pen.

Click click.

I lick my lips.

Lick lick.

I stare out the window.

The teacher talks

'cross the Y and an X.'

I see a crow outside.

My mind instantly goes back

to the second grade when the teacher

told us that the crow was beautiful once,

but to save mankind

was burned by the sun.

I remember I cried.

I still think crows are beautiful.

I pulled from my thoughts.

'Abby, what do you think?'

I look to you.

You mouth 'subtract 4.'

I say that.

I look at you.

Your chair is leaned back

and you're smiling.

I'm the crow.

I smile.


Here's how I arrived at this. I went to poemhunter.com and looked up poem lyrics that contained 'subtract.' I hated most of them and decided on this one because it had a crow in it and I could imagine the finished art. I liked the feel of it too. Then I went in a different direction and used an image from my greeting card program and I scanned it in sepia tones on a paper bag. I added paint and colored pencil and eventually overworked the hell out of it and called it a night. That's what I get when I don't draw my own image and use my own words, but hey...it works, right?

Happy weekend everyone!

49 comments:

  1. hahaha, how funny! That's not a beauty mark, it's debris on my scanner!
    It can stay.

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  2. lo, what a haunting image, debris included. i love it, one of my favourites to date. we have to take a poem to art lesson next week to illustrate...dunno what to take....

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  3. lo, what incredible little pieces of cactus art you have done for each one of us( am posting mine tomorrow)...the love just flows out of them, and each is so personal...i love you for who you are my lo.

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  4. Maybe this is what this sketch should be called, Debris on my Scanner. tee hee... She is quite lovely.

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  5. ooh.beautiful writing and the sketch too. amazing job done for this topic!

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  6. What a perfect example of how not doing things by rote actually works out. There is definitely a lesson the art, the poem and the story behind it. Three lessons all interwoven. Ok, that's addition, not subtraction.......WAIT

    Sometimes when we seek to cast away we end up with more than when we started......

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  7. Wow, what an image, very nice work. Just read about your header....it's nice that someone wanted it so.

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  8. I think it is fantastic.

    New England, how about New Manitoba? You know that you won't have to dig far to find your very own Venus of Willendorf.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

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  9. oh lolo, the expression on her face. she is pensive, sad, wise, and accepting all at the same time. and the blue hair and blue around her. blue is a sacred color, as you know, and that adds even more spirituality to this piece.

    i look forward to your IF's every week. what a talented friend i'm blessed to have!

    ps i wish i were present when human being sees this IF...i'm sure she will love it.

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  10. Beautiful hon - I love this one!! Her eyes are stunning. LOL scnner debris - been there!!! Sarah

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  11. You are so funny. Honestly.

    Cold, smold, what is wrong with freezing your ass off. I don't understand.

    I just heard we are expecting a snow storm this week, can you fucking believe it?

    Oh well, and our license plates read welcome to Sunny Manitoba (or at least they use to).

    Love Renee

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  12. Oh, it always comes back to creating your own spin on things! I love the colors and the poem! You always have wonderful work and I love your use of blues!

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  13. beautiful and I love the blue in her hair

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  14. You are so resourceful and clever. This is just great and I know ho you love crows.

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  15. I like the picture very much and interesting idea to find a poem to go with it from that site. Maybe you can write your own poem?? Keep it short.

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  16. Well, I think it is lovely - beauty mark and all. How clever of you to have reworked the picture so beautifully. It is yours now, definitely.

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  17. She looks beautiful, as does the crow! I love the colours and feeling :)

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  18. Whoa!!! So dang powerful! Brilliant combo! :)

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  19. Nice concept and very well designed.
    Really great work!
    Congratulations!

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  20. This is a wonderful illustration! Love the color palette.

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  21. A lot of work to get this beauty. Success. Your teachers would all be proud of you.

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  22. Your supper sounds delicious. Rare or not at least it is a happening....

    How are all the patients? Who are you taking care of now. Do you still have the elderly lady?

    I wanted you to know that I felt so sorry for you about the weather out there that I almost made myself faint. Because you know how sympathetic I am. har har

    Notice now that I think I am getting a gift, I am all chipper.

    Love Renee xoxox

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  23. renee, lolo sends good gifts and cards. i pace around the mailbox and jump up and down when i know something is coming my way. just thought i'd add to your excitable anticipation...

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  24. Well, the debris on your scanner surely did not subtract from the beauty of this piece. The colors are gorgeous, and that poem! I thought you had written it.

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  25. I really love your pastels!

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  26. special cactus monday post for you my friend with hugs and wfs.

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  27. you are heading into new(ish) territory with these portraits. Love your take on Frida.
    Regards,
    N

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  28. Must say that I like both the poem and the image--not your words/not your image--but yes, created something quite evocative. I'm thinking perhaps I should try reading some poems for inspiration too.

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  29. Wow what a beauty in more than one way!
    Love the explaination of the technique you used! Indeed making a whole new drawing would have been faster but I guess this process of working with some excisting material must have been wonderful as well. The result is stunning!

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  30. lolo, this is terrific! I'm fascinated by your gathering inspiration from another poet. The intertwining of spirits makes for a wonderful piece.

    Happy Monday!

    p.s. thank you for your generous comment on my IF post.

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  31. PS EXCELLENT poem. I forgot to say that. Eep!

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  32. beautiful work and love the poem:)

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  33. it worked very well, nicely done

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  34. beauty mark...hee hee!

    love it Laurel....

    BTW... just remember what happened to the monkey who fell off the bed...lol!
    but it would be fun!

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  35. you are so talented! I have been facing the "I-can't-draw-to-save-my- life- blues" so I haven't posted in a while. I hope to get my courage back.

    love crows, love poe, love your art!

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  37. Thanks for your humourous comment on my blog!
    Your treatment on paper and of the topic is lovely..overworking the hell out of things really works for you.

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  38. Fab image - what a good idea to use that poem as inspiration. It was quite a difficult topic this week!! Love your new banner!

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  39. Wonderful illo and amazing colours,love it and great interpretation of the poem

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  40. You painted a perfect visual poem version of a written one! Your visual I feel has more of a life of its own than the poem does- leaves more room for the viewer to read more into it. Beautiful!

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  41. She's deserving of a beauty mark, regardless of how it arrived.

    Very thoughtful response to "subtract" Laurel, especially considering how hard and unforgiving the word can be.

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  42. Neato! The whole thing works so nicely... the poem, the image. What a cool process you went through to come to it too! You are all about the process, girl! A true artist!

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  43. Enjoyed enlarging this to get a feel for those layers. Great.

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  44. i agree crows are still beautiful, especially when they are created by your hand.

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  45. breathtaking...
    the way the painting goes with the words... WOW!

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