THE PROJECT DESCRIBED…
In January of 2013, I took a course at George Brown College in Toronto on illustration for Children’s Books. This was the first formal studio courses I’d attended for marks since 1983. It was a great experience and I learned a lot in terms of composition and technique as a result. My work for this course led to a series of works related to Paul Gallico’s novella, THE SNOW GOOSE, first published in 1940 after the evacuation from Dunkirk. Subtitled “A Tale of Dunkirk,” it was a story about Philip Rhyadher, a reclusive artist, who while tending a lighthouse on the Essex coast in the last years before the outbreak of the Second World War, was approached by a girl of the marshlands who had found an injured snow goose that had been blown across the Atlantic from Canada. Rhyadher heals the bird and allows the girl, Fritha, into his life. A closeness between them develops as the years pass, with the snow goose being at the centre of their platonically loving relationship. Fritha becomes a woman who grows to love Philip, only to have the events of 1940 come between them.
No spoilers beyond that…
This story won awards when released in the U.S. in 1941 and helped Gallico establish himself as an author of note, creating later books like THOMASINA, and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. THE SNOW GOOSE itself was adapted into an award winning film for the Hallmark Hall of Fame in 1973 with Richard Harris and Jenny Agutter and while it does not appear to be available beyond the world of YouTube, audio books are more accessible to modern audiences.
I chose this book as the core work for my study in the class, developing several works around it and spending a lot of time researching the time, the location and extrapolating on ideas I was developing for the costumes. I even created a music mix to listen to while working on it, using music from JOYEUX NOEL by Philippe Rombi in a rearranged form intermixed with radio passages from Churchill and Chamberlain to add more weight to the work. Ironically, the music did so well in my mix, it was hard to remember it coming from that wonderful and so tragic film. It is available from Virgin Classics (0946 338279 2) and helped greatly in the creation of the final pieces below. I would also recommend you seek out the progressive rock group Camel’s album from 1975, THE SNOW GOOSE, inspired by the book. (Label: Decca – Universal Special Imports. ASIN: B00005V1B2)
I think the idea for doing this came from driving into Toronto one day for the class an seeing in the distance black oily smoke rising from a fire on the docks in Oshawa. It reminded me vividly of one of Peter Scott’s illustrations for the original edition of the book in 1941 and one thought jumped to another and the images below were the end result. I think my work on it in turn helped bring about the creation of MANNA later on.
SKETCH OF PROPOSED SETTING FOR STORY. 10×8″ graphite on acid free cardstock. Copyright C.A. Seaman, 2013.
THE LOST PRINCESS. 11X14 in., graphite on acid free paper. Copyright C.A. Seaman, 2013.
I had never drawn a goose in my life. I used the same techniques I employed creating a piece I never put in the aviation art show of a Bristol Monoplane. The clouds were blended graphite with a white eraser being used to bring up the details.
RHYADHER’S BOAT. 9×12 in. graphite pencil on acid free cardstock. Copyright C.A. Seaman, 2013.
This was a study of Philip’s boat, which figures prominently throughout the book. I made the sails a little transparent, as I had noticed in some of the photos of small sailing craft I studied, you could see the shadow of one of the sheets through another when the light was right.
FRITHA AND THE LOST PRINCESS- four different versions. 12w x 16h in. graphite pencil on vellum (60lb.) stock. Copyright C.A. Seaman, 2013. Other versions in watercolour, coloured pencil and mixed media and pen and ink on illustration board.
Here, after creating various thumbnails showing other compositional possibilities, was the first run at the final piece, sized the same as the hand-in work but done as a graphite tonal study. It remains one of my favourites. Fritha is as scruffy as Gallico describes her, with a dirty face. Mind you, if you saw the marshlands on the Essex coast, it would not be hard to imagine her this way. They look really wet. The overalls and top are all frayed and worn. Gallico never went into detail on her clothes, but I imagined one described as wild-looking as Fritha could look like this when she showed up on Rhyadher’s doorstep with this little bundle in her arms.
32 replies on “THE SNOW GOOSE”
I’m also writing to make you know what a awesome experience my friend’s daughter had visiting the blog. She discovered such a lot of details, not to mention how it is like to possess a great helping style to have many others quite simply fully grasp specific very confusing issues. You undoubtedly surpassed our expected results. Many thanks for producing these invaluable, safe, revealing and even cool guidance on your topic to Lizeth.
Great post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!
You could certainly see your expertise within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. All the time go after your heart.
I quite like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment! Lynnette Merrill Erie
I love how your website looks, thanks for the post it was nice read. Genvieve Derick Graniela
Hello. fantastic job. I did not expect this. This is a remarkable story. Thanks! Beverie Hill Rivard
Excellent site. Lots of useful information here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks for your effort!| Rozanne Carlyle Ruskin
That is a good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post! Dniren Douglas Krischer
Some really quality content on this site, saved to favorites . Kassia Antonino Godding
Simply desire to say your article is as astonishing. The clearness in your post is simply excellent and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work. Adena Stanton Rozella
Excellent, what a website it is! This weblog provides helpful information to us, keep it up. Neilla Ron Chen Jeane Rorke Cathey
Hi there, all the time I used to check blog posts here early in the daylight, because I love to learn more and more. Alice Aldon Glantz
WOW just what I was searching for. Came here by searching for meta_keyword| Almeria Orlando Upton
I think everything published was actually very logical. Seline Andrey Verge
I am in fact grateful to the holder of this site who has shared this wonderful post at at this time. Stormi Gar Sanson
This is exactly what i was looking for, thank you so much for these tutorials Genna Russell Niko
You can definitely see your expertise within the article you write. Brianne Alf Pauly
Totally a shocking blog. The means you have actually created is impeccable. I have actually been looking concerning some truly interesting blog sites online when I discovered your blog site. I just wish to value your initiatives. I am a regular reader of blogs and very often find terrific works like your own. The world will never forget your terrific efforts. I go on inspiring myself regarding composing and attempt my finest to write something very fascinating. Dorita Cazzie Thierry
You have brought up a very wonderful details , Thank-you for the post. Kittie Quint Janela
Wohh precisely what I was searching for, regards for posting. Poppy Llywellyn Craggie
I think this is a real great post. Really thank you! Fantastic. Doria Maximo Lark
Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you are a great author. I will always bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice evening! Perri Wolfie Larner
Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, great written and include approximately all vital infos. I would like to look more posts like this. Cherin Gare Idalla
Hi there. I discovered your site by way of Google while looking for a comparable topic, your website got here up. It seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to visit then. Clary Clarence Goodwin
Awesome post. I am a regular visitor of your site and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the excellent site. I will be a regular visitor for a long time.
You completed several good points there. I did a search on the theme and found most people will go along with with your blog.
What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how regarding unpredicted emotions.
I consider something truly interesting about your site so I bookmarked .
You made some good points there. I did a search on the subject and found most guys will approve with your website. Bari Bobbie Gilemette
Thank you for your article. Really thank you! Cool. Remy Garfield Tien
Nice blog here! Also your website loads up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol Jorey Gran Athiste
WordPress was used for this website. Once you figure out the interface, it’s very quick to set up pages using their amazing array of templates.