Little Pilgrim

…is the name of today’s story on Fictive Dream.

Throughout the month of Februrary 2021 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2021 at Fictive Dream, an online short-story magazine. For more information about FFF21 and my artwork process, look here.

Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, Little Pilgrim, by Gay Degani.

And here is the artwork with the banner. Take a look at this image. And then…

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

13 thoughts on “Little Pilgrim

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I think the colors are what I like best about this one – I have not liked brown so much inthe past, but here…it has a warmth to it that fit in with the sort of bouncy feeling of the round forms, at least to me.

  1. robert e

    A vibrant and mesmerizing play on light and dark, cheerful and somber, bright and muted, and also space and depth. Great rhythm, too. I think it suits the story perfectly.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I like this color combination a lot, oranges and yellows and browns, and I also like rounded-type forms, so this picture assembled itself easily for me, and I think my challenge was to stop adding things at the right time (that might be the key to everything in art, maybe..)

  2. Laura Black

    For Gay Degani’s Little Pilgrim I drew up a brief shortlist of possible illustrations but my eye kept being drawn to the illustration shown above. There is a sense of heat in the story, “Sun pokes through gray, dries the air” so the yellow background felt right. Then, at the end there is such a sense of optimism in the young narrator’s mind. Having spent the morning running around she now head’s back home to find that her parents are out of bed and relaxing on the porch, and she is determined to make them smile. The three balloons representing each of them – mum, dad and small child – are celebratory. They symbolise that today, at least, is going to be a good day. Thank you, Claudia, another perfect match between words and visuals.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, Laura. I love the combination of yellows and oranges in any picture, and usually I might have paired them with turquoise or blue, maybe. This time, though, I tried the brown color (thinking I might overlay it with another color later) but…once it was in place, I knew it was time to stop – there was a nice harmony in the picture. And as you know, I like circles a lot – they are emcompassing and enfolding and enclosing, and I think they fit the feeling of the story so well – a sense of warmth and belonging together.

  3. memadtwo

    Laura’s interpretation of the story is so different than mine! I felt an ominous atmosphere, a sense of being on a precipice. But I love the colors and the sense of magic in your painting. (K)

    1. Laura Black

      How interesting, and thank you for reading. But that’s the glory of art whether it be writing, painting or music and so on – it allows us to interpret in so many different ways that are meaningful to ourselves. Magical is a great way to describe Claudia’s illustration. I take the circles as balloons that engage with the story’s last line.

    2. Claudia McGill Post author

      I think the poetic style of the story leads to multiple interpretations. I can see if both ways, from both viewpoints. I was influenced by the idea that the story was set in the past, though within my memory, and that influenced me with the carefree feeling of being young back then – a wanderer was treated differently than today, when you’d be calling the police. I thought about that contrast in reading the story.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          I remember running away, at age 5, to the end of our driveway. At that point I was at a loss as what to do next. Since I knew I could not drive a car or cook. Yes, that’s what I considered. So I turned around and went back inside. No one ever knew I made the attempt!

        2. memadtwo

          I was not so bold, but I certainly thought about it, especially during those moments when I was sure I must be adopted and I needed to look for my real family.

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