Monday, June 27, 2011

Illustration Friday: Midsummer Night

When I think of "midsummer night", I may have fleeting thoughts of Shakespeare, magic and fairies, but they are quickly replaced by the image of the "night lights" we used to keep beside our beds on those warm summer evenings. Midsummer meant staying up late to catch our jarful of lightning bugs (we Hoosiers never called them fireflies), and making our mother promise she'd set them free to fly home after we were asleep.

There was always a book or two on the nightstand with them; it was likely to have been Charlotte's Web, which  holds its own against Shakepeare just fine, in my mind. Keep your fairies and magical forests—I'll take lightning bugs and the Zuckerman barnyard any old midsummer's day.

Note: Obviously, this isn't my usual detailed drawing, and it's less than three inches in size. It started as a little thumbnail sketch for a bigger piece, but I kind of got attached to it. Somehow, a tiny, quiet drawing seemed to best capture the image in my memory.


For more about fireflies, or "lightning bugs", visit this site.

23 comments:

  1. I love love love it. It brings childhood memories to my mind too. In fact, one of the few memories I have of my grandmother involves lightning bugs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sweetly evocative of a warm summer night. So blue and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such sweet memories. I'm a child of southern Illinois, and we called them lightening bugs too.
    Your drawing might be small, but it's a great image.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a nice little drawing...it has such a comfortable feeling to it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. an adorable drawing... I can see the attachment.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Simple is often the best and this drawing is absolutely delightful.
    I'm from the UK and I don't know fireflies or lightening bugs - I think I have a gaping hole in my life experiences!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Sarah, love this, nice story and great interpretation for the theme.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's perfect! So poignant...Sarah, in an instant you brought me back to summers as a kid when warm evenings, on freshly cut grass, we played kick-the-can or stick ball in the glow of house lights and fireflies (or lightning bugs). After chasing cans and fire, it was in the house to don light cotton pjs, slide between cool, crisp sheets, journey through books like Charlotte's web or James and the Giant Peach then watch the fireflies fade away... Thank you for most lovely moment!

    And you mentioned process... one dog at a time. Each pup leads to the spirit of the next...they just ooze joy.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It captures the image perfectly, I'd love to see some fireflies in real life, we don't have them here!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks everyone...I was a little hesitant to post my little sketch, but I'm glad it evoked some memories for others. A couple of you have mentioned not having fireflies...sadly, we don't have them in California, either. As a child, I'm sure I thought that everyone had them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Sara! Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. Your work is beautiful! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. the simplest ideas are often best. When I was younger ( I hate to say when I was young) I was fascinated by these "flying lamps". Even after many years I can exactly remember the place we were catching these bugs and even the smell of midsummer nights!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I didn't know fireflies as I was growing up in Scotland but I'm not immune to their magic as an adult (in the US) and I got to see how my kids loved them. Sweet little drawing and very evocative.

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's really a beautiful little drawing! I wish I had done that as a child. Come to think of it I still have a bug lantern in the garage from when my kids were little. I might just try it!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Your illustration is very effective at this size, as if we are secretly observing the activities of the lightening bugs on the nightstand, while the occupants of the house are asleep

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like the idea of a tiny, intimate drawing for such an intimate memory. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is just such a sweet drawing. And it conjures up so many fond memories. You are so talented Sarah.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Sarah, the drawing is so comforting and sweet. I love it. But, you know what? Your childhood memory is even more precious. Having missed out on lightening bugs, I'm Inclined to view your experience as dreamlike as Shakespeare's faeries!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Quite charming just as it is.

    ReplyDelete
  20. the size of the image matches the subject well and appropriately.
    ....perhaps the book could be Stuart Little?


    .

    ReplyDelete
  21. Your blog posts are all so interesting and well written! I've enjoyed reading about passion flowers this afternoon, and reminiscing about summertime. I like your style with the colored pencils, very clean and vibrant and creative!

    ReplyDelete