Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Illustration Friday: Exotic

This is my take on the decorated window frame of a rustic Russian dacha, or summerhouse. I don't think the design motif I chose is particularly Russian, though. I would love to learn about these children and tell their story. 

I had great fun doing a whole picture in graphite. I haven't used a regular pencil for anything besides laying out a design for decades. I was hungering for color early on, but I knew I didn't have time to do this picture in colored pencil. 

Every so often I'll take a look around the internet at these little fairy-tale houses. They are mostly small and inexpensive, lacking electricity and running water.  The owners live in them in the summer to escape city pollution and have gardens. A large proportion of Russian vegetables are raised at the dachas.

I want my very own, falling down dacha. I couldn't read the Russian captions in Wikimedia Commons where I found these pictures, but I think this one is for sale.

To me, this poor, decaying porch has a kind of beauty it never had when it was spiffy new. I think its beauty has become more like the beauty of natural things, where beautiful patterns are everywhere, but are usually somewhat broken and irregular. 


These next shots are from the Etsy store, AlenovPhotography, where you can find lots more dacha windows to inspire longing and dreams.

I love the juxtaposition and layering of patterns in these pictures--the lace curtains with the lacy cut-out wood, the leaves and branches reflected in the glass, the potted flowers.


And that wee window pane opening out! Note the onion domes in the reflection.

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