Monday, April 28, 2008

Children and Nature

This illustration began with a single tree drawn in pencil and scanned into the computer. Once I had the tree in Photoshop I created a landscape that reminded me of chilly autumn evenings when I was a child playing outside until sunset and supper time. My visceral nostalgia for those days got me thinking about my own children and how seldom they romp around in the grass and trees - the temptaions inside the house of computers and tv too often keep them entertained but sedentary. Are they learning about the world second hand through books and screens instead of absorbing the smells, textures and temperatures of nature? I worry about their lack of excercise. I worry about their lack of freedom in this potentially dangerous city. I worry. My response to this is to illustrate my worry through the medium of - what else - my computer. I was as happy as a pill bug under a plant pot for many hours while I worked at my computer on this illustration.

But now my skin is looking a little pasty and I think it's time to log out of my virtual garden and into the real garden where my son and I are going to edit some weeds, insert giant Atlantic pumpkin seeds and watch them zoom bigger through the summer. (If the cut and paste worms don't delete the seedlings) I can't wait to file/save the pumpkins to pies and jack o' lanterns in the fall.

If you click on this image you can see it at a more reasonable size.


  1. Great illustration Jean! It's a different world these days. I think that the kids are generally less active, for so many reasons. With our protection and encouragement, hopefully they will be able to experience some of the great outdoors like we did when we were children.

  2. i really like the atmosphere you created in this illustration, cheers!

  3. How talented you are! I love this picture, so full of movement and joy!