Wednesday, February 20, 2008

no use crying over broken eggs

This year I set aside some time to paint an egg for the Open Field Egg auction. It's similiar to Robert's Snow with different artists creating works of art to be auctioned off for charity, except it's an egg (not a snowflake) and the money goes to a school (not cancer research).

I'm trying to make it a point to do an egg every time I am asked, and to do a good job with it--at least attempting to make it an art piece of value. The egg auction is in honor of beloved children's illustrator Trina Schart Hyman (she founded the event). Trina participated in the first Robert's Snow, shortly before her death--ironically from cancer. Her snowflake was probably one of the last pieces of art she created. The least I could do was to at least try to paint an egg of quality for her namesake auction.

So with my recent trip to China as inspiration, I decided to paint a lantern scene--glowing red lanterns floating in the dark sky with crowds of people walking and gazing below--it was going to be detailed, intricate, beautiful...

until I broke the egg.

Luckily, the smart people of the Open Fields sent two eggs just for these type of calamities. But now I was running out of time. I had spent too long with the broken egg, now there was no way I could do the in depth lantern scene in the time I had. So, I had to quickly come up with a simpler design:

Which is an illustration of part of a poem by the Chinese poet Li Po:

The birds have vanished down the sky.
Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me
until only the mountain remains.

It is one of my favorite poems, so for the time I had left, I was satisfied with the egg. But I think the lantern one would've been better. Oh well, maybe next time.