Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wheat Whales

 The last few days an idea has been rattling around in my head, and this morning I painted two illustrations around it.

Wheat Whales: Imagination
Wheat Whales: Reality

Kids don't stop to consider impossibilities, and that's one of the things I like about them. When I was about six I was convinced a hill in our town was a buried dinosaur. The adults were too dumb to realize it, clearly, and I planned on being wildly famous once I dug it up. 

"It's a Hillosaurus!" I would proudly proclaim, adjusting my mustache as the camera bulbs flashed.
"My God, the Dunn girl is brilliant! First she grows a mustache and now this. Fetch her the nobel prize!"

Just as I hoped to be a great paleontologist without going to college or understanding science, this kid is imagining himself as a "whaleboy" driving a herd of humpbacks across the vast country. As a child when I wasn't spotting dinosaur graves, I was enthralled by cowboy and prairie life stories. I loved Pecos Bill and Calamity Jane, books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Kirsten, my American Girl doll.

Nice tea parties Samantha, but
Kirsten fought a bear and found a dead body.

And so this morning I penned this sketch, and was encouraged by Amy's enthusiasm when I described my imagination/reality idea of two illustrations showing the same scene differently.

Wheat Whales pen sketch

I may do one or two more of these "imagination centered" paintings. In the meantime I'm going to go buy a shovel--I have a hill to dig up.


  1. I remember thinking everything could be a dinosaur bone. I loved pretending to ride everything, too. And I can't even tell you how much I adore this painting. I'm seriously considering ordering one of the Wheat Whales 8x10's for my bedroom.

  2. I continue to mistake large fallen branches for dinosaur femurs...or dragon teeth. It's more fun than plain ol' branches, right? I'm so glad you like this one, Jaime! :D

  3. When I was a kid, some friends of mine and I managed to convince ourselves that we were actually magical beings and we watched for "signs" in the sky. Way more fun than just putting on your sunglasses. :)

    The wild west was rad! Being a theatre major, I looked for summer theatre jobs every year. I once had to turn down an AWESOME wild west gig because it didn't include housing. They wanted to cast me in a Daniel Boone stunt show as his wife, Jemima, who fought in battles on horseback WHILE HEAVILY PREGNANT. So they were going to teach me how to ride AND shoot while wearing a preggo belly. How badass was SHE?

  4. Whoa!! She sounds like one serious bad ass chick! That would have been awesome, I get the need for housing though. I have a good friend who is working a summer theatre job right now at Storyland in NH and she had to migrate from NC for the gig. Housing is really important for shows like that!

  5. Dude. Storyland in NH is so awesome.

  6. Right?? What an awesome job to have! Can you imagine being able to put that on a resume?


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