Ellen Cornett

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I'm lumping these all together because I think you'll be tired of seeing the stages of rendering the goat, and Marylou, and so many of the repetitive characters again.


Here is Mama's gonna' buy you a meadowlark finished. The very last, and very scary part was adding the string from Marylou's wrist to the the meadowlark's neck. I used a 6B pencil and it makes a very dark, not erasable line. 

Two days worth of drawing. I started the last drawing on Friday,May 19, and this is what I'd finished by the end of Monday, May 22. I changed Freddie's expression once again. I wanted everyone but the meadowlark facing the viewer in this last drawing. 


And done! The last piece of this, again, was the string. I asked friends to weigh in on whether the string was broken or untied to release the meadowlark. The explanations for the votes were wonderful, and the untied string won.

Because I am thinking now this ought to be a book, I did a final (9th!) drawing of Marylou all by herself. Finished it today back in my studio.

I think she'll be the cover art and the first page of the lullaby.


So what have I learned. Oh my gosh--so much. I re-affirmed that, though I am a solitary person, I do love chatting with people for five or ten minutes. Several friends stopped by during the seven weeks I was at Montpelier. I got to know some of the resident artists and found people I want to keep as friends after I move out. Only once did I have to ask someone to move away from the unframed drawings lest she smear the pencil. And I only found a couple of smudges that might have been someone absolutely unable to resist the impulse to figure out if they were looking at a print or an original drawing. Easily fixed with a kneaded eraser, though I wish folks would not touch artwork. 


To my amazement, I enjoyed drawing Marylou the 9th time about as much as I did the first. And I think I was able to treat it as a new challenge each time.


If I decide to illustrate another cumulative story, I will plan to move and change things more from panel to panel. Where I did that in this series, I think the drawings became livlier and more fun.


And finally, this of course, was a series. And working in the series, to paraphrase Susan Rothenberg, is the best. You flow from one day to the next without any of the doubt and hesitation that attends normal art making. For me at any rate.


I am so grateful to Montpelier Art Center and all the folks there for their warm welcome and enthusiasm for my work. What a lovely way to bridge the time from spring into summer.

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