In Writing + illustration


Whimsy illustration by Alison Davies

I decided to take part in an illustration challenge. A chance to make art with the freedom that design briefs and deadlines rarely bring. The topic for the week was Whimsy. 

Even the word whimsy sounds whimsical. I checked the definition and according to the Cambridge dictionary online it means:

  • unusual, funny, and pleasant ideas or qualities
  • something that is intended to be strange and humorous but in fact has little real meaning or value
  • a sudden wish or idea, especially one that cannot be reasonably explained

When I put pencil to paper I didn’t have a plan or a finished result in mind. I only knew that I wanted to draw within a circle using white pencil on black paper (well, a bit of a plan). As I drew, Edward Lear’s poem, The Owl and the Pussycat came into my head and this illustration emerged.

“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.”

– Extract from ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’  by Edward Lear

There’s a whole lot of whimsy in Lear’s classic poem – an owl and a pussy cat sailing on the sea, Bong-Trees, Piggy-wigs and runcible spoons. Don’t worry if you don’t own a ‘runcible’ spoon in your cutlery drawer. Lear invented the word and even uses it in some of his other poems to describe completely different objects like runcible hats and runcible cats!

I think we can all do with a bit more whimsy in our lives don’t you think?

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