Friday, May 7, 2010

Suburbia Illustrated

I grew up in suburbia. (Pause to allow murmur of shock and opprobrium to subside.) I hasten to add that it was different then. Less privileged, more innocent, and considerably smaller. My sketchbooks since then contain suburban imagery as a kind of leitmotif, a journey with destination, the destination being either the countryside or the city. The city neighborhood I live in today resembles a suburb of two or three generations ago, which may be why I love it. Houses midcentury and older. (Ours is circa 1900 and was built as a lake cottage.) This drawing is part of a series I've been working on for some time for an editor of children's books at Farrar Straus. Maybe I'm trying to rediscover my childhood. It's what we all do. If I can I'd like to describe those remembered voyages by car, preferably without text because the drawings are the story. One page will leave off where the next one picks up and the child will follow along with his finger, scrutinizing, as I did, the variety of domestic landscapes along the way.

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