Words have magic!
Add an illustration to that
(or in the other order)
and you have something of wonder,
that could stay
with someone for years!
I KNOW this
because I have always loved children's books,
I poured over them,
taking the imagination destination ride,
devouring and committing
most, almost all of them, to memory.
Knowing early on...
the craft of
poetry and pictures was
an art form, unrivaled!
Dr. Seuss, was my unknowing mentor,
my illustrative rhyming hero!
Never really wanting to be him,
only to indulge in his delightful tales
read out-loud at any age
to 'anything' with ears!
(mostly my cats)
If we are lucky, we remember
who we really ARE
and are designed to be...
as children and THEN hopefully as adults
(and whenever that path becomes muddy)
we can look there for the answers,
to that ever guiding star,
leading back to our earliest passions!
I loved to write,
it was my natural language
(more so then the verbal one.)
And I was a devoted critic of illustrations
Only because I knew what I liked!
(Bright colors, heavy outlines)
Although, my wide eyed angelic drawings
called Krippets were adored by my small hometown,
(yes, that is glitter in their hair. geeez!)
my fellow college students and professors saw them
as an artistic failure and an embarrassment.
(Paintings with Rainbows? Seriously)
But, I managed to graduate
after teaching awhile, here and there
I took the chance and stepped out on my own.
Eventually, turning from a love for
highly realistic and detailed oils,
to a series of surrealistic and a dramatic images
in an exploration of religion and sexuality.
(Also, fairly angelic in nature...hmmm?)
Which, I worked on incessantly for years (and years,)
seeking that unattainable perfection...
until I finally, pulled them off the stretchers,
rolled them up and hid them (to date)
in my closet!
I was surprised in 1990
that I could actually sell my inspirational poems!
Ones taken directly
from my heart wrenching, self serving,
semi sniveling journals and with great shyness (and risk)
page by page, calligraphy by hand, placed on torn paper,
and mounted on mat board, I labored with love!
(My hands still hurt to remember that time.)
When I got over my antiquated philosophy
that "computers were the "anti art."
I found I had an amazing tool with which to
not only write,
but enhance my designs...as well as Voila',
print them myself and by the dozens,
with just a touch of a button (and a mouse)!
Then a series of petrogylph like characters found a following
with the use of bright whimsical color
and meaningful sayings.
It seems, I had created my first faceless stick people
that would become simple symbols of joy
dance and...all of "humanity."
As an avid cat lover, couldn't resist
adding some smirky feline designs and poems
called Brat Cats,
Then I rescued my first dog
and was 'puppy inspired.' (For life.)
Meanwhile, the non gender petrogylphs
became decidedly female,
with animal print clothing
and could only be called, Wild Women.
Faceless femininity, celebrating
our 'getting older and our getting bolder',
and the 'girlfriends' we travel the journey with.
Here, I found they had more meaning
more appeal, when I added
a ryhming poem to them!
The serious poetry continued
but in the background
and more for my private journaled musings!
And then for the Magnetic Women series.
In an effort to be taken more seriously
as a painter, maybe even a FINE art painter
(cause for some reason,
I bristled when called an illustrator!)
An ethereal and less controlled style
and I wanted to tell short cryptic clever stories
with these (again) faceless ladies!
Which have proven to be my all time
favorite style and series!
With ten total in the collection,
I have yet to part with any of the originals
at this time.... for ANY price!
In due course, I found myself
with my own card/print company.
I wrote, designed, published,
painted, framed, marketed, packaged,
and 'schlepped' my sh—-, um, work
around to art shows
and retail stores across the country...
A contract with Blue Mountain Art
helped for awhile!
Then suddenly, it was twenty one years later,
and I was tired...very tired!
At which point, I was up to ten different collections
and possibly over 400 published designs.
(The Wild Women designs at nearly 90!)
Although, I continued to love children's books,
collecting them for my 'childless home'
and displaying them in my office.
(Which resembles a small children's library!)
I had no plans to ever write one!
Everyone seemed to want to do that
and it was too much of a cliche
to even utter it out loud or consider!
Yet, through a series of magical events
this is exactly what I was meant to do...
what I was always destined to do
and it took this long to know,
this long to believe...
this long to begin!
And I am doing so because
two English gentlemen
saw a white/pink polka dotted rabbit
on a Wild Women painting
last April, at a show and asked,
"have you ever thought
about doing a children's book?"
I don't remember my answer...!
So, I find myself
beyond humbled (and terrified) by the opportunity
to 'maybe' create images and words that
will be held in such long lasting and equal wonder
as 'Green Eggs and Ham' and 'Ping' did for me!
In an attempt to document this journey,
(and return to the practice of writing)
I have revamped my blog page... (finally!)
And this...is the first page of that story!
Pam Piper Rain