Monday, October 13, 2008

Illustration Friday - String


New sketchbook. New illustration. And you might be wondering what this has to do with this week's topic. Well, let me take you back…

Many. MANY years ago… when I was young… er… younger… I had a lot of time to explore the outdoors. Snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, toads, bugs… all manner of things that hopped, crawled, slithered and scurried… these were the citizens of my domain. My father encouraged it for the most part and so did my mother as long as I didn't make her look at any of it of take it inside.

One of my fondest memories was taking a piece of string and tying it to a cicada and letting it fly. It was like the most expensive and fantastic toy ever. And I had a few of those gas-powered model airplanes that was a much more expensive, but none were ever as fun. And as much fun as the "Flight of the Cicada" was, I only did it once… then I untied the string and let it go.

Cicadas are a part of summer. Sometimes, you hear their songs long into the night. And while I am now grown with a family of my own, I still hear them, even though the leaves are beginning to turn and the days are growing shorter… even here in the Sunshine State.

41 comments:

Marcus said...

spitzenmässig (as we would say in german): idea and drawing!

Jedediah said...

Very cool illustration! I wish I could keep a good sketchbook, but I always end up hating some of the things I draw and subsequently end up tearing out pages. Pfff. Growing up in New Mexico, cicadas will always remind me of Summers spent running and exploring outside. Thanks for the memories.

isay said...

what a lovely illustration and memories. lucky you that you heard their singing.

Kris-Tea said...

Great skecth!
Thanks for your comment :)

Tomás Serrano said...

I´ve liked your story (and illo). What is "mocando"?

yoon see said...

Very beautiful & detail piece!

Josh (musarter) said...

Thanks for cruzing by my blog. I hope I did not burn that image into your retinas.

You have a great blog. I like all commentary. The Obama video ruled, although I do not know if it is pro-Obama or McCain. Oh, and all uber-geeks should also be into the Sarah Connor Chronicles too.

By the way, nice illustration too.

linda sarah said...

This is so beautiful - and I loved reading your story too - what an incredible thing to do!!! Fantastic work and lovely storytelling:-)

Danyell said...

Hope you didn't tie the string too tight!

Beautiful drawing though. I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciate how lovely insects can be.

Paula. said...

Ilike your blog, is beautiful :) and thansk you for your coments ;)

Teri C said...

A beautiful illo and love the story! You were creative even then. What fun!

Cecilia Levy said...

really good! nice story, too. I'm glad you untied them...

Zórdís said...

Rememberings are the most "bjútífúl" things we carry on. ( I have nice memories with spiders and their legs .... )

Very nicely drawn illo and great story with it!

Ginger*:)* said...

A truly beautiful illustration. We had many cicadas in Indiana where I grew up... now in NH we are entertained by deer, bear and frogs. This fall or late summer we had an invasion of crickets and grasshoppers in our forest that created such a racket they sounded like machinery.

Your illustrations throughout your blog are wonderful.
I especailly like PACKED... although we moved over 3 years ago, I still have found myself packed away.

Alina Chau said...

awesome drawing!!

ROSÁLIA LERNER said...

Nice work and words.
H'llo from me
Rosalia Lerner from Brazil!!

SENTA said...

Such a beautiful illustration and great story, and what a sweet boy to let him go when you were done playing with him! Aww!

Bobo said...

This is a beautiful, details illustration, and a wonderful story behind it, though I feel quite sorry for the poor cicada!

kj said...

what a great story, mike. i will always think of you now when i hear the cicadas singing...

:)

Michael O'Connell said...

i do want to assure everyone… that no cicadas were harmed in the creation of this story… dizziness is another matter…

and thanks to all the wonderful comments… sometimes, my job makes me feel so unappreciated…

Shugar said...

Aahhh that's a lovely memory. My husband once shared with me that he used to do the same with dragonflies that he caught... its like a living mini kite??! hehehe
BTW, thanks for visiting!:)

Bella Sinclair said...

Wow! That's a great illustration of a cicada! It should be in some entomology book. I had never seen nor heard a cicada until I moved to Tokyo. Their singing can get incredibly loud, and I have on occasion mistaken them for weird butterflies or really tiny hummingbirds. They're really brown/green colorful and big! I would have paid to see you flying your cicada. That must have been something.

My childhood dog used to hate flies with a passion, and sometimes I'd tie a dead one on some string and swing it around her head to tease her. Not quite as fun as flying a cicada.

Jeff said...

Excellent work, sir. I heart Cicadas.

Christine Lim Simpson said...

Hi, thanks for your comments on my blog. I enjoyed your story. Keep drawing too.

By the way, how did you discover my blog?

Cheers

studio lolo said...

A most excellent drawing! (Are you sure he flew away? I'd like to believe you.)

marcello murru said...

Michael :
Very nice style of drawing, for me a discovery of your blog.
Thanks for posting, but this time I don't like my work on "string", what in Italy we say spintarella.
I'm Happy you understood the humor sense of this joke.
regards
marcello

cata said...

Oh! I have great memories as well about exploring and playing with frogs!!!
Love your story and beautiful illo.
Arrivederci,
Cata

ray said...

Thanks for stopping by and visiting. I know how busy you must Bee. he he he he, okay I couldn't help it!!! Thanks so much for your nice comments. I have to tell you I don't much care for bees, But I really am very, very fond of yours. Such detail and beauty in this illustration. I can tell you enjoyed the process and that you studied it. You did your thing on this bee for sure. I love the black line work against the creamy buttery yellow background. It's just beautifully illustration my friend. Great work!!

Danielle Barlow said...

Oh, I'm a sketchbook junkie - I love your illo!

Flying Colors said...

Nice take for string, "Flying Cicadas", sounds right!

Also nice drawing of the actual "bug" :)
Have a lot of sunshine!

Katie said...

Really nice illustration. I walked by a cicada once. It was apparently unable to fly so it was on the ground. When I walked by it made its cicada noise. Scared me! It's really loud when they are close by.

Ellen said...

Thanks for reminding me of a great memory we both share! VERY awesome sketch BTW!

ArtSparker said...

Enjoy this illustration and the rest of your blog...I have been thinking I wanted to read some speculative fiction, as it's called to be respectable, reality just a bit too much, even though, yes, indeed I am going to vote. Glad you let the cirtter go.

Alicia Padrón said...

Loved that story. Nothing like out childhood memories, right? Great work :o)

Kate said...

Love it! I've got some lovely cicadas for you right here:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_yU_EDF9JQvI/SJu94v0o1BI/AAAAAAAABXE/EryQTKXDILQ/s1600-h/CicadaHorizontal72.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_yU_EDF9JQvI/SJ6aXbLo7cI/AAAAAAAABYM/vwj3EUitfhY/s1600-h/Cicada_2_72.jpg

They always remind me of summer, too. All gone now...

Rrramone said...

Sweet drawing. I have so many memories of cicadas growing up. Used to collect their shells in huge bags. :-)

Brine Blank said...

That's pretty nice...I had collected a jar full for doing a painting during the summer scourge...unfortunately they very much tended to lose their vibrant green and turn into an almost black...I really like the fact you let it cover the entire spread instead of forcing it onto one page...

joseph's art and stuff said...

excellent work, love the bug!

ValGalArt said...

very beautiful Michael! you made a beautiful image and i love the story of your youth :)

md said...

nice story but even a nicer drawing really like the wings. good to see u back too

pati @-;-- said...

What a fancy toy ;)

I love you illo.