The Illustration as Love Letter

The Wardrobe Begins

My passionate involvement with classic children's literature was born during a very dark period in my life. I was in my mid thirties and had fallen into a very deep depression. Suffering badly with insomnia as a result of the depression, I sought out a local bookstore one day after work, thinking that perhaps I could lull myself to sleep by reading.

Due to my uniquely isolated childhood I was not exposed to much literature or art. My teens and 20's were too busy with rebellion, drugs and alcohol to be concerned with such things. And thus, there in my 30's I suddenly became aware that an entire world had been waiting for me to find it.

I had already become very curious about Mythology (another lifelong passion) and that just seemed to dovetail into the area of Fairytales and children's literature.

So, on that day in the bookstore, I purchased a copy of 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I took it home and read it and was immediately transformed and transfixed by it's charm and depth of feeling. Reading that book allowed me to escape my depression completely by entering into another world. I was hooked! And began reading my way through every classic children's book I could get my hands on. All of which still have their home in my library.

Among my absolute favorites were the 7 Books that made-up C.S. Lewis's 'The Chronicles of Narnia'. I have re-read these books several times.

As I was working on the preliminary drawing for my pen and ink rendition of the Wardrobe (based on the one featured in the 2005 film), I reflected on how much these stories meant to me and how they really saved me during a time in my life when I so desperately needed saving. Perhaps they are saving me once again as I honor them now with my illustrations and engravings.

Part of the vision for my Ephemera line of products is to offer a series of cards, art and bookmarks honoring some of these wonderful classic children's books and stories that have brought me so much joy and healing - both then and now.

Until next time ... Here is a beautiful selection from the film's soundtrack -


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