Mama’s Holly Bush

#watercolor #illustrate #minihabits #nopressure #overanticaption

My Grandma told me a neat story about a holly bush. It intertwines her past, present, and future.The story really resonated with me, and it wouldn’t leave my mind until I brought it to life as a children’s story. So, I wrote it. Now I’d like to illustrate it.

What is the story? Well, if I told you now, I’d have no incentive to work towards getting it published! So bit by bit I’ll chip away and hopefully be able to show you something exciting soon!

For the illustrations, I’m using old family photos and my own memories of our place of origin. My family is originally from the good ol’ south, and I wanted to really bring alive the areas we all grew up as children, with all the plants, pine trees, boiled peanuts, and iced tea.

The first line of the story reads: “Grandma was once a little girl.” It needed a picture to go with it.

For this picture I decided to go with the one of Great-Grandma holding either Grandma or Unlce Pat outside their house in Georgia. Instead of the baby in the picture, I substituted the only childhood picture of Grandma -the cute baby holding the puppy.

What you see here is about a week or two’s accumulation of 10-20 minutes here and there, plus three hours. I finished this first page on Saturday night. Let me tell you, it took forever to make myself work on it -I tried to squirm out of it in so many ways!. When I finally won the internal wrestling match and sat down to work on it, I wanted to throw it away and restart, just like the Fiat picture.

I didn’t like it, I saw other ways it could have be better. I knew I was being waaaay too uptight about the picture….

The baby turned out a little more chubby than I would have like, but overall, I am grateful for how she turned out! And Mamma’s expression isn’t all that bad.

….I told myself “Self, that’s fine, you can restart, but first, finish it and really mess-up -maybe you’ll be surprised at your work, and maybe you’ll be even happier having to start over again, and maybe even, a little more relaxed!”

It worked and turned out even better than anticipated.

I think my favorite part is Mamma’s expression, the rooster, and the happy, plump, content ‘hanging’ of the baby (my Grandma) in Mamma’s arms.

But now, I’m okay with doing it all over again…because what I thought was awful, turned out better than I anticipated. Thanks to low anticipation of the right kind, I have a lot more confidence that a redone page, executed with less internal constraint and pressure, will end up looking more like a happy story-book page.

You can see a slideshow of the picture from start to finish above:

So, I don’t want to share too much yet, but I thought I’d give you a little peak at what has been keeping me busy over the last week.

Also, I’d like to do another post sharing the painting and drawing and calligraphy hobbies of others. Share with me a little bit about you and a picture or two of your work (and you you’d like) and you could make it into this months ‘Fruits of Others’ post!

Thanks for reading!

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