Ellen Cornett

Starting on the next drawing with a broken mirror and a billy (or bully) goat. I'm very excited to get to the billy goat, but think I'll make that the last piece of this. Marylou's face has really taken on a look this time. She seems more tattered and more animated. I think I like this version of her the best so far. While I was working a couple of fellows from a Montreal jazz quartet, B's Bees came through to go to the main gallery where they are performing tonight. Absolutely delightful young men, and I got a lovely serenade for the last hour of my drawing day.


Mama's gonnay buy you a looking glass. Finished this one up today. I have planned that Marylou is going to be in exactly the same position, in the same size and in the same part of the page in each of the eight drawings. And some of the gifts will be repeated, though there will be changes, like the diamond ring. But I want to create each drawing as a new and unique piece. So I'm not treating the drawing of Marylou or the mockingbird, or any other part with a formula. I am very curious to see how pieces evolve over the series.


A cloudy day that threatened rain, but super peaceful in the Montpelier Library. Steve Williams, a resident artist out there stopped in to chat. It's always fun to talk with him, and particularly to talk materials and process. A lot of work done on Mama's Gonna' Buy You a Looking Glass.

Lots of visitors today. Best of all Jody Pratt stopped by. It's always fun to see her, and especially outside of class when we can chat. Made a couple of new friends and saw a lot of school children who are probably on spring break. And one adorable little girl who loved the bunnies, and I think wanted to climb up into my lap and help me draw. Her dad didn't let her. :^(


So Mama's Gonna' Buy You a Diamond Ring is done. I have loved my time at Montpelier this week. Hope I get more visitors next week!


I took a day off to teach and do some laundry! But back at it today. Now I'm working on And if that mockingbird don't sing, mama's gonna' buy you a diamond ring.


There was a jazz concert in the main galllery at Montpelier while I was working today. Several people stopped by to ask questions and see what I was doing. At one point, I looked up and there was Stuart Diekmeyer! So nice to see a friend.


A late start on Tuesday because I lingered over breakfast with a guest from out of town. But once I got to Montpelier, it was lovely to sit quietly and finish the first drawing of the series. I think they will take longer as time goes on and I add more characters, and I'm hoping to be able to keep up.


And then the magic happened...


I got to Montpelier at 10:30. Everyone was very welcoming and lovely and I settled in to work on the first of the Hush Little Baby drawings. And it was heaven. Something about working away with nothing else calling to me--laundry, emptying the dishwasher, whatever--is so liberating. I met a young man who was looking for someone to review his portfolio of digitially created manga drawings. Spent about 15 minutes with him and hope I offered some good advice and encouragement. 


This is where I ended for the day.


Beginning on Monday, April 10, I will create a series of eight carbon pencil drawings illustrating the lullaby, "Hush Little Baby" in the Library at Montpelier Art Center. This will be part of a solo exhibit I have in that space that runs from April 8-May 28.


I love the lullaby for its silliness and because it seemed like fun to add all the things that Mama is going to buy the baby to keep her from crying. In the beginning I thought of using a photo of a real child, and then perhaps one of my daughter's old dolls. But, in the end, I defaulted to my doppleganger and muse, Marylou. She was given to me when I was born, and has done a lot of modeling over the years.





The first sketch I did was of Marylou and the mockingbird.

Then I figured I had to compose the whole collection of gifts so the second sketch shows Marylou surrounded by all her gifts. I changed the last two verses to "And if that dog named Rover, don't bark, Mama's gonna' buy you a meadow lark. And if that meadow lark has flown, you'll still be the cutest little baby in town." In the original song the last gift is a horse and cart. But there are already a cart and bull AND a billy goat and I didn't like having all those beasts of burden in the drawings. And I know from other research that these songs and poems are fluid things that take well to a little amendment here and there.


And then I went back and figured out how to insert the six drawings in between. I'll be posting photos of the drawings as I work on them.


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