Monday, June 10, 2013

Children: Works-in-Progress

For the first week of summer break from my job as a substitute elementary school teacher, Illustration Friday decides on the topic, children. There's no escaping the little darlings, it seems.

Not surprisingly,I decided on a botanical interpretation—my potted succulent, Echeveria, commonly called "Hen and Chicks".  Doing a bit of research online, I found this description which made me chuckle as I thought of my own adult children:

"The plant’s well-known common name, Hen and Chicks, was derived from the vegetative offsets, or new plants that mature Echeveria will produce. The mature plant, the hen, develops numerous offsets, chicks, which surround the mature plant until the offsets are mature enough to support themselves.  In nature, the offsets break away from the hen once they are mature, but they can also be pulled or cut off and transplanted....  The hen actually benefits from the removal of offsets since much of its energy is used to supporting the chicks."

As often happens when I'm drawing, I realized that I liked the look of the work-in-progress, with parts left unfinished.  So, I decided to post this as it is. After all, doesn't the beauty of children (and maybe the occasional frustration, if we're being honest) arise from the fact that they're "unfinished" works?

Feel free to comment and share your thoughts as to whether you find unfinished work interesting or frustrating. As for your thoughts about whether you find children interesting or frustrating, let's save that discussion for another time—it is my summer break, you know.


  1. I often wonder the same thing... when I see finished artwork that has a section here and there that appears to be unfinished, and it just adds to the mood and overall feeling of the piece. Did the artist plan to leave those areas unfinished, or did they walk into the studio one day to work on it, and think 'hey I like it just the way it is'. (?!)
    Your drawing would be really beautiful and eye-catching hanging on the wall just the way it is now! And it DOES help tell the story of the chicks being works in progress themselves! I like that plant name too. My grandmother had one of those Hens and Chicks things, and I used to always ask her what it was called, even though I knew. :) Let us know what you decided to do with the unfinished areas! I'll be curious!

  2. Thanks for sharing the description, so true of human mothers too!

  3. Lovely to visit your mindful drawings. This one is a beauty.

  4. Beautiful drawing...and wonderful description of the 'hens & chicks', both plants & children

  5. Yes... no comment on children. However, I often find "unfinished" intriguing. I very much like this one in its current state, and I LOVE the name :)

  6. I just wanted to tell you that you are a very talented artist and I aspire to be as good as you. :)

    1. Thank you, that's very sweet! I am glad you're joining the fun on illustration Friday!

  7. Thank you for reminding me of the beauty of the most simple plant in my garden.

  8. Gorgeous rendering! My grandma had hens and chicks in her garden; now I do, too...