After the Second World War and until the late sixties, some homeless families occupied a few houses inside the court yard of my hometown castle, overlooking the lake. Among them my grandparents, who lived in a couple of rooms on the ground floor and in the walls you could still see the holes made by bombs. To me and my cousins this place was the most intriguing place in the world and during the long summer afternoons we used to play and invent stories in the lonely and dark rooms of the castle. Some years ago I found in a book an old photograph of that court yard, and the déjà-vu image inspired me this painting, mixing the memory of the fascinating place with the reminiscence of the fire-works shows called ‘the castle on fire’ that took place every year in September, during the Saint John feast. The result looks like an alien invasion of the place!
Just a quick sketch for this week Illustration Friday challenge while I'm trying to gather the ideas for my next book project, the illustrations for a children's story written by Nicholas Goh. It is unlikely you will be able to grow such rainbow of colors in your own garden, but maybe you could easily manage to get a blue elephant to water your plants. Sketching is often a matter of thought association: the perplexed cactuses brought to my mind the book "the secret life of plants" a weird research by Peter Tompkin and Christopher Bird, edited in 1973, which introduced the intriguing idea of plants having their own emotional life as well as their own form of communication.