Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Mad Hattress

Here’s a fun friend for our favorite red-gloved lady!

The thing I miss most next to my family where I grew up was, believe it or not, the main library branch. I find it hard to believe that living in New York State that the libraries in our area are dismal compare to a Midwest “rural” area. My Mom LOVES books. I think that is where I got my love of books. Her idea of a great time was for my Dad to drive her to the main library branch about 30 minutes from our house and get lunch at the Country Buffet on the way home. My Mom didn’t let my Dad forget that she was a “very cheap date.” When my Dad retired, she teased him that she wanted to move into the condos behind the main library branch and buy a scooter so she could drive back and forth to the library whenever she wanted.

Mom is now alone, in an independent living facility just as far away from the main library branch. Mom’s mobility is curtailed by the situation (no Dad to drive her), and various health issues. Reading is her salvation. So, the day after we fly into visit her, we whisk her to, yep – you guessed it - the main library branch (minus the Country Buffet – we take her to Olive Garden now instead). The great thing is I get to be like one of those game contestants. I run around that amazing library and grab as many books as I can before Mom gets worn out picking out books for herself. Typically 15 to 20 minutes. I have found so many cool books to inspire my art and also ones to get me unstuck with a problem-some project.

This trip was no different. I found some great books on kimonos, cartooning, purses, hats, shoes and high fashion. I didn’t have the time I would have liked to peruse the books, but I quickly made some sketches and even did a couple quick watercolors. This is the first one I did. It was inspired from a small black and white picture from a newly arrived book on fashion: “Fashion Today” compiled by Colin McDowell. It is one of those coffee-table-sized books with large glossy pages that is heavy enough to be used as a boat anchor if was somehow rendered waterproof. It had a fun collection of fashions from the 50s onward. The inspirational photo was fun with the model wearing this enormous open wire hat. It was interesting how in this huge book of full page photos that this little one captured my attention. Perhaps it was the softly whispered phrase of “I’m late! I'm late! I'm late!” that caught my attention ;).


kerrip said...

Love the top hat - she has the same wonderful attitude as all of your sassy ladies!!! And I agree about the library. I think the one in Colonie is very good, but it's such a fabulous resource that they should all be great.

janie said...

wonderful, my sister wore a black top hat for her wedding with a dress in the style of an old fashioned riding habit!I kid you not
She did look stunning but wonders what she was thinking now looking back:)
I have tagged you for an interesting idea, I hope you don't mind but I thought you might enjoy it.
Check it out and see what you think.