Thursday, March 24, 2011

Garden party

This is one of my earliest paintings featuring Autie Ro and her three lady friends. You'll see more recent paintings of them in two posts I put up in February.
I look at this painting now and I see how raw the characters were at the start - but that's how these things develop! As a teenager, I was very unsettled by early Tintin drawings. Tintin's unpolished finish, his lopsided face and wonky hair looked all wrong. It was like the face of your brother suddenly becoming unfamiliar. (I took Tintin very seriously as a teenager.)

The characters have developed since those days - and that's the real beauty of designing characters. It's like watching Tony Hart (or whoever it was) making Morph out of clay - it starts as an amorphous lump, becomes a little guy, and suddenly the "it" becomes a "him". Once that happens, you're home and dry: the character will tell you who he or she is, and you don't have to do any work. You just provide the sweat.

That makes me sound like a madwoman. But as I always say to my husband, which would he rather have - me making up these characters, which occasionally brings in money and keeps me happy and out of trouble,  OR having to engage the services of a mental health professional, which costs money, as does the medication that he or she invariably recommends? There really is only one answer to that.

I think you can expect to see a lot more of Auntie Ro and her ilk.

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