This post was inspired by Brenda.
Jack has been working on drawing rats for the last few days (he is studying the Bubonic plague in school) and we have been thinking a lot about them. He doesn’t want them to be cute so we have been thinking about what makes things cute. He doesn’t want them to be mistaken for mice so we have been thinking about the differences between mice and rats.
Here’s some new stuff we’ve learned:
Rats have longish, lozenge shaped heads. Their ears are small, like little cupped leaves, and are set back on their skulls. Their eyes should be drawn smallish and are best when smoldering with coal-like intensity as if lit by some inner demonic desire to spread the plague. They are sort of hunch-backed with wringing little claw-hands and long naked tails.
There are so many issues with rats and we have worked through many of them in the past few days.
My friend Dan used to always say that his son Shane was his favorite artist and he would send me drawings Shane had made of spaceships and laser guns and weird robots locked in conflict. For a while, I didn’t get it. My own kid was still a baby and I didn’t understand the power of watching a child make anything but filled diapers at the time. Then, when my own little artist-in-residence was able to use crayons, I started to experience that magic of this little person who you thought you made suddenly being able to make and see things that were so amazing. Perhaps the element of love makes Jack’s art all the more incredible to me but I think anyone would see that they are cool.
Watching him bent over his drawing book has often prompted me to draw as well, to loosen up my stroke, to experiment, to be as cavalier with my finished works as he is. Nonetheless, we have gathered every drawing and doodle he has done in to a bookshelf of binders, each labeled “The Art of Jack Tea Gregory“. We have filled many big fat volumes and he has filled another few dozen sketchbooks.