School Got Out Early Today

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

Throughout the month of February 2023 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2023 at Fictive Dream, an online magazine devoted to the short story.

Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, School Got Out Early Today, by Roberta Beary.

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

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

6 thoughts on “School Got Out Early Today

  1. Fictive Dream

    School Got Out Early Today by Roberta Beary is narrated by a child and the illustration complements the story in so many ways. The palette is vibrant and the pink is a childhood colour, the pink in the central block in particular. The central block represents the basement and stairs that are significant. I couldn’t help buy see the right hand pink expanse as the ground floor where there may be some security for the child and the more sinister basement floor on the left. Perfect, Claudia, thank you.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. In this image I was tempted to keep adding on to the large color fields, giving in to my love of a lot of details, but the layering of color gives it enough visual interest, I thought, and focuses attention on the center motif. This barred section was painted first and then the other paints drawn up to it, rather than the color fields being painted and then superimposing the motif area on top. It gives a different feel to the center section in that it is enclosed, I think. I do love this color combination, and the black does its job of emphasizing the lighter colors with its contrast.

  2. Laura (PA Pict)

    This is a great illustration for the story. I see the central symbol as representing both the narrator who straddles different spheres – caught between levels of the house, a child but on the cusp of going to High School, innocent but experienced, a presence surrounded by absence – and the stairs that connect the basement to the rest of the house. I see the pink as the promise of comforts and contentment and the green as the basement and its haunting, traumatic memories.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I don’t usually like dividing an image in halves, because I think it makes the picture feel uneasy and unbalanced even though it is (if that makes sense, I guess the idea of exact balance feels precarious?). The center motif is like a window into another scene for me. I like how this one turned out.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. The whole picture feels out of balance to me (I think this is fine) and it accents the story which to me is a situation out of balance that was returned to equilibrium in a way that isn’t very stable either.

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