I’ve always been inspired by the spot illustrations that are published in the pictorial archive collections published by Dover Publications. Dover is my favorite publisher of art reference and vector clip art books. I often sometimes think about what illustrations of my own creation I would donate to a pictorial archive. This month, to draw out motivation to get a project going, I started to draw a few samples, yet then I rebelled against that idea and just settled back into my normal style and routine. I don’t like to just sketch something small for pretty’s sake, I want to tag a story on it!
I just cannot leave well enough alone, can I? Even I complain to myself about my prolific sketching like I do my own writing — especially when my comments on friends’ blogs and Facebook pages lead to me leaving them books to read each day (or just about) — how can I expect anyone to have enough time to respond in kind? Because I really would LOVE IT if someone would write like that back to me, but no one does! I forget we live in an instant gratification world. I get on my Twitter just to put some temperance in practice. Keeping my prose to 140 characters really forces me into a better editor.
Maybe I should, instead, draw my words. Leave miles of sketches instead of trails of words to mark my passing? Is there a social network online for that? I’m already a proud and totally OBSESSED member of one for making patterns and color palettes, oh… but wait, yes, there is my DeviantART but I do not count it as a community I’m a part of everyday.
What I intend is to get my priorities straight and give my blog gallery a make-over here. For now, let this post be a preview of the scribbling I’ve been up to as I seek to fumble around with my pencils at the future and come up with some structure to present my creations upon.
Any and all comments, replies, even critiques are highly desired and downright required here! Please! Don’t make me beg. My ego needs some massaging. I live like a hermit. I miss having a group to collaborate with. I could scream right now with delight if something I drew DREW your attention and inspired you to write a line or two or a thousand.
An Assortment of Character Sketches & Studies of Pop Culture Icons Real, Somewhat Unreal, plus Some Yet to be Discovered for Your Enjoyment & Amusement
She was intoxicated by the perfume in the air, or was it the over saturation of perfume she sprayed into her hair that made her want to faint away on a cloud of petals and be carried away by the wind…?
Teasingly, in snaking spirals, her hair tried its escape. It first moved as a tickle up her throat, then a caress up her cheek, widened into cinnamon roll curls that flattened as she flung her head back into the air — the air so thick it could have been a pillow that humid day when every piece of fruit, every pore of skin sweat beads like tears… the only rain to fall.
But it wasn’t the perfume, not the heat, it was death sliding his gentle hand into her limp fingers, and she twitched and smiled without laughter, her eyes turning to Heaven as he spun her about. She flew away with him before the body fell and all decayed. She never had time to see herself rot or bury in a box or be the subject of so much fuss and mourning. He made sure all she would ever know now was the flying and smiling, living as if never born without ever knowing the dying.
Her hair had to be covered, for like another living being it was, with a whole body and spirit and growing mind it had, one that had to be held down with blankets of scarves. It hated the light, threatened to tear off her head when she dared walk in the sun. But for the creäture to make that kind of escape, it would surely die. Once off the scalp, it was like anyone else’s hair, but dry like hay and wheat. There was a time when she did cut it, but her roots rebelled, quivering like little demons, stabbing at her as they pulled themselves up and down. So she let it grow again, the roots stretched and the locks braided together, forming the creäture, with each strand of hair like a blood vein pumping nutrients to keep it alive. Yet it did not grow heavy, and even rewarded her for keeping it safe from the sun. The hair promised to gift her the love of her life… but how?
The hair had a habit of scaring away any man or woman, even children, who dared come close enough to her to become a companion. It seemed the only way she’d ever find rescue from her hair was to have her own head cut off, and this was the conclusion she was coming to the night the hair almost strangled her while she slept. The hair wanted to see the world, you see, but it was trapped in the girl’s turban and could only be let loose in the dark. She had the voice and body, the hair had nothing but gumption, and she did not want to be anywhere but home. They struggled for years until one night a tribe of gypsies came to town, and it seemed perhaps an opportunity could be had with them, one where both girl and her hair could make their wishes come true.
She was no pioneer woman, she was a city gal seeking adventure and independence, but more like escape from the troubles of home and a whole list of disappointments, she’d rather not say all about for fear it would give all her luck away in the tellin’.
She dressed up fairly nicely and could pass for a society woman, but underneath the satin bow and lace trim, she packed her own set of pistols and wore a pair of bloomers under her crinoline. Fashion was only necessary to impress the rich and attract a man fool enough to make a girl into a bride, but on her side of the road it was all “no man necessary” and just give her a horse and some place to sleep. Even if its nothin’ but a shack, she’d make it a palace by the end of the week. That’s pretty much what she did for the lucky town that first failed to receive her kindly. First look at her and the folk all took her to be soft, but her sand was hard and as smooth as gold. None of them knew that gentle smile would carry so much gun power.
“Hey there Lonely Girl… Lonely Girl!” It seemed like Eddie was singing just to her every night. “Let me make your broken heart like new… Oh, my lonely girl, lonely girl… Don’t you know this lonely boy loves you…?” She was just as pretty as the other girls, got just as many tips, worked as hard, didn’t get paid as much, but she was the youngest, the one who never had a boyfriend and who didn’t care not to, not ever. “
“Ever since he broke your heart you seem so lost… Each time you pass my way/How I long to take your hand… And say don’t cry, I’ll kiss your tears away…! Hey there lonely girl,” If she had a heart she’d swoon like she used to. Instead she chomped on her sugarless gum and took each next order with the lackluster interest she’d give checking off a grocery list. “Oh my lonely girl, lonely girl…” She ought a give that jukebox a good kick in the can! And where it counts, too.
That was where he turned her on. Once. Made her forget she was a waitress and living in this hell hole town. Even when a cockroach skidded across the floor tile, it was as if it did so all romantic-like just for them, as that bastard reached for her neck and whispered…
“WHERE’S MY GREEN PEA AND HAM?!!” It was Miss Sally again, the crazy old hen. Comes here every hour before close for the same thing, even when it’s not the soup du jour and the cook still has it ready for her, but tonight he’s got off and everyone forgot. There was no getting around this one. Miss Sally was about to take aim at her. “You!” She spat into her uniform, “you made him leave! Go get him!” For some reason Miss Sally had this idea She and Jake were going steady. “Now, Miss Sally, you know that ain’t true, so’s just sit yourself down and let me see what I can get you…”
“…don’t you know this lonely boy loves you… You think that only his two lips can kiss your lips, And make your heart stand still. But once you’re in my arms you’ll see… No one can kiss your lips the way I will…” She almost forgot Miss Sally was waiting while she searched the back room for that can of that gruesome green sloppy soup that woman couldn’t get enough of. At least she ordered it to go and she didn’t have to cook it, gave it to Matthew to stew and stepped out into the music again to take another order, only to see her past coming back to haunt her… “Hey there lonely girl, lonely girl… Let me make your broken heart like new!”
Bastard. There he was. In from the rain. Dripping black leather, sharp smile, that long black hair making his pale face shine like a moon at midnight… the beloved monster that made her give up all men in the first place. She would’ve jumped up and embraced him like a demented harpy eager to get her orgy on, but instead she did the human thing and ignored him. Let him work for love for a change.
She’s not the last of her kind, she lives on a neighboring world, really, something like Earth and really, really not too far from ours. In fact, we might meet her someday, that is, if we can get over our fear of bugs. This High Society Queen is all the rage among her large clan of people who worship Cicada-headed humanoid Gods as supreme. The number seven is their holy number. Every cicada is honored. The seasons of the cicada are celebrations. The births and burials of cicada are sacred. Everywhere you go, everything is designed and influenced by the way cicadas look. The crown this queen wears is a fully functional one — both a ceremonial crown and a helmet with goggles and gear allowing her to breath underwater, underground, and withstand temperature extremes.
The Cicada people are human beings, often going as far as modifying their faces and body parts to appear more cicada-like, and they have genetically modified the creatures to breed and grow into extremely large cicadas to become household pets. I do not know much more about them. I will have to draw more of them to understand them. One other thing I do know: they love to hum loudly.
Ophelia was once a man named Oscar Wilde, a man who never really died because his readers never let him, so his name escaped in his words and the seed of his soul grew back into the mind of his mother. When Lady Wilde died, the soul of a woman — the woman he was meant to be — grew out of the grave and called itself Ophelia. Delighted that she was in existence, she set forth to create another soul like herself but did not know the process of how she was made. So she chased down a poor fellow with a starving wife and a crippled daughter.
“My life was constructed out of letters and ideas. The body of the man I was is no more, but it was in the body of the man I was that lay my fortune. The only means to fortune’s bounty for me now is to become now what I could not be as a man. I shall have to be twice the storyteller I was when I wore trousers. You, sir, I mean to better and make my man. Your wife and child, once well, I will employ as servants…”
Too poor for hat or cap, he rubbed his bald and dirty scalp, his eyes locked crooked, and simply he did reply, “I… I cannot stay dear lady, for the half-moon calls me crazy and I am bound to be carried away. Can you not see my bones, mum? For surely I must die if I stay here to watch me wife go.” He stumbled out his own door and slowly walked down his front steps as if he were newly blind and stepping out for the first time. A white carriage waited him down the street, and lost he was into the night, never seen again.
Rosella did not consider her husband a real husband. Her daughter was never hers to begin with either. She had lived a life of pleasure until taken ill and put her career behind her. Grown bitter and bored, she spent days and nights painting her face and curling her hair, letting the little daughter play with her cosmetics and hand mirrors. But then the illness took the girl and all magic threatened to die at long last.
“No, no, no,” Ophelia moaned, “it is only sadness — this despair is your only illness — come away with me and I will show you. The way to life is to make magic. The way to live is to give up home and be magic.”
And so they drifted. The little girl was given to a good home in the reality of the 1980’s, but they, Ophelia and Rosella, they live everywhere in every time. If you hear a giggle on the wind, that’s Ophelia in transit. If you see the reflection of a dour young woman in the glass of anywhere you are, that’s Rosella still bored and wishing to get away with more.
Gloria Swanson I sometimes call Gloria Swansong because of the way my way of speech tends to slur out my words. Or perhaps it is because while I speak someone’s name, or the name of anything, I am already giving it a metaphor in my mind and it comes out automatically.
This leads me to believe I could talk easier in poetry. The very idea of that — speaking poetry instead of straight English, just a strict language of poetry — excites me and makes my heart flip.
It would drive everyone else nuts, but not me.
Just a sight from home I want to see before the summer dies on me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the little stories I wrote with my drawings. They were all created spontaneously here tonight. I can write things off the top of my head. Unedited. I’m never bored with the characters I come up with. Wish you were here for me to tell a bedtime story to…!