Saturday, February 2, 2013

"I saw the angel in the marble…" Michelangelo

Last week I was working intensely on deadline to deliver the black and white drawings for an upcoming picture book I am illustrating - DALE, DALE, DALE/ HIT IT, HIT IT, HIT IT (written by Rene Saldaña Jr.) to my publisher.

As usual, I'd prepped. I'd paced. I'd thumbnailed. I was having a blast! But, I needed a little extra push when it came to spread #10 -  a drawing which included lots of toy marbles.

Partially exhausted, I felt I had not fully captured the magical essence of "marbles."

I remembered the enigma of little boys who carried around bags of marbles at recess when I was little. I internet-hunted marbles and learned about "shooters," "pee-wees," "steelies," and "agates." I stared at the small velvet pouch of vintage marbles that my mother bought me when I first got this book contract, and then - I poured the marbles onto my desk.

They rolled … everywhere.
I grabbed a small empty photo frame and corralled them.

I thought to myself, "These are beautiful. I have two more beautiful marbles in my jewelry box I will add to this collection."

I added two more marbles.

Hours later, I couldn't help thinking, "I'm sure there is one more marble in this house."
I stopped drawing and looked around. Now where?
 If I could find it, what a great sign that would be!

I looked down at my little marble corral and saw it.
One more marble.
Engraved around the edges of the wooden frame were these words:

"I saw the angel in the MARBLE and I carved until I set him free." Michelangelo

I had forgotten. Trust that you have the skills to listen. The book will draw itself. As with all art, a book becomes what it wants to become.

What an exciting process!

Happy GroundHog Day!
Carolyn Dee Flores/Illustrator

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