Before we left on holiday I thought it would be a good idea to do a drawing a day to illustrate and celebrate our summer adventures. But, to be honest, in the back of my mind I knew we’d be lucky to get a single drawing in. Instead, we actually almost met the impossible quota! We fell about a week short, which is a pretty healthy amount considering that holidays are meant to be spent doing holiday things such as steeling a snooze in a hammock, taking a shower, or staring straight at the setting sun with eyes glazed after a glass of wine. You know, all those things exhausted parents enjoy if they ever get lucky enough. No, not that kind of lucky.
So, I was surprised that I didn’t really have to get the drawing whip out. Norah was more than happy to comply. But, of course, it had to be done HER WAY. The struggle for paper territory started from the very first drawing. She wanted to have all of it. And what she didn’t draw she insisted on coloring in! The nerve… So this drawing together idea of mine was quickly relegated to the ‘wishful thinking’ drawer and we labored away separately, but still united by our love for the visual arts and a deep appreciation for color and form. Yeah, something like that. Just roll the tape already.
By the way, I know it’s almost the middle of September and holidays have long come and gone, but I’m really behind on my blogging. So there’ll be a couple of holiday posts, which is a great remedy for the holiday blues anyway.
This was our first masterpiece. Norah really did her best to give me some room, so it really was the closest drawing we have to a joint effort. A detail described by Norah was that in the top right corner a girl falls out of a plane but is soon rescued by the bird. The bird couldn’t actually fly, but had a parachute. The story unfolds somewhere in Africa.
Jealousy between the children was often an issue during the holidays. This depiction of a raging Norah was inspired by her reaction to papa taking Anton for a walk, ALONE! How dare he, indeed? It was a truly memorable scene. In the midst of all this, I still manage to get my tan on and roast a marshmallow on the barbecue under the tight supervision of a bbq ghost. Sweet deal.
Anton is a sweet boy, anyone will testify to that. But what nobody knows is that at night the gentle babe becomes possessed by the head bobbing demon. And I get to witness the demonic transformation, night after night. The head bobbing, the bed squeaking, the bed wheels rolling, the chanting… There’s no sleep. Very little sleep. Even on holiday. But more on that later.
After day 5 the split was finalized. From this moment onward we drew separately, which worked out in our favor in the end, because we were able to make more art by drawing concurrently, and because we had the whole sheet to let our imaginations run wild. Here, in our final artistic collaboration, we see a cow that is all dressed up and made up. She belongs to Norah, because Norah must never run out of cheese.
Day 6 was technically an off day at the beach, but no one needs to know that. Papa and Norah are in love here, while mama is nowhere to be found, as usual. Although, if I look extra sad, I might get an invisible role behind the rainbow or inside the fortress. There’s also a pear tree, a sun that is too hot, and a cloud that is happy because it gets to rain a lot on people.
What is it with kids and dairy? This was my rendition of Norah’s obsession with all things dairy. And there was a lot of it! In France,there were two full on isles for yoghurt alone. With fruit, without fruit. With mashed fruit, with pieces of fruit. With jam, with grenadine. Full fat or half or diet. From sheep or goat milk. Then the flavors: vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, lemon(my favorite!), caramel, dulce de leche, coffee, figs, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry,… And the cheese, my God, the cheese! If you are lactose intolerant there’s always the wine cellar or the ham isle where you can hide out.
Here Norah drew herself ‘with a little breast’. I see 3 people inside the house, so it’s safe to say that I’m in the picture this time. Although it could be a surprise birthday party for her, in which case they are all school friends. Oh, shucks!
It was a very unfortunate fact, but I injured my knee less than half way into the holiday. Turns out, too much Zumba can and will cheat you out of fun times if you are past 35. After that, I was forced to spend a lot of time sitting down. So what better thing to do than draw some more… I limped to the local magazine store and managed to score some very bad watercolors that came bundled with a magazine. The seller boy warned me about the quality, but we both agreed that I had no choice. I based this drawing on the only pic of Norah I had, which was a little passport photo of her as an infant. She wasn’t too pleased with her baby face, but she didn’t mind seeing herself all decked out like that.
I had a dream about a little antique Chinese music box I had retrieved from a dusty cupboard full of very old cameras and binoculars. When I opened it, a little plastic boy began to dance in it to an old tune from the 30’s. He was very vigorous and moved his red arms up and down. I tried to capture him as best as I could, but it’s not quite right. Anyway, although I don’t quite understand it, it gave me something to draw.
Still in the rainbow period, but this time all united under the multicolored light stripes. If there are too many people, that’s because her friends are in there somewhere as well. And don’t be so bold as to think you can tell who is who. Anton is the last one on the left, the black ball with a horn. Told you.
In closing I also thought of my dad during this holiday. Particularly about a shaman mask he gave me and that has since been lost due to circumstances beyond my control. I often wonder what happened to that mask. It looked something like the one I drew. An old shaman with white hair and horns. Frightening and yet enticing, like any new beginning…