Dreams Take Care of Themselves


Click to purchase signed prints of  "Beach Dreams"

Click to purchase signed prints of “Beach Dreams

The above painting, captures the innocence of childhood and my love of Martha’s Vineyard. I have traveled to the island every summer for the last 17 years. It’s hard to write about its splendor without sounding cliche. Although there is much that is upscale on MV, there is also raw beauty woven throughout. All I can say is the President and his family vacation there for a reason. Illustrating a child worn out from play, slumbering on the beach, is my way of bottling the island’s magic. Just looking at this picture, brings me right back to the warm sand and soothing sound of the sea.

Beach Dreams was an illustration commission for a poem. I was given free reign on how I depicted it, so I drew from my own experience. Dreaming has always been such a big factor in my life. The little girl sleeping is my way of saying the more you relax into your dreams, the more you allow them to come to you. If given a chance, dreams take care of themselves.

Below Beach Dreams from conception to final art.

My model "sleeping"

My model “sleeping”

Preliminary sketch

Preliminary sketch

Watercolor wash

Watercolor wash

Adding the details

Adding the details

Final art

Final art

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Text and images © Sue Shanahan. All rights reserved. www.sueshanahan.com

8 thoughts on “Dreams Take Care of Themselves

  1. Thank you for sharing this peaceful, beautifully illustrated scene. You really captured your lovely model. As for Martha’s Vineyard, are you a mutual ‘girlfriend’ of Susan Branch? If so, you probably are aware also of her island neighbor and friend, Margot Datz, who recently posted some fun MV-related artwork on her Facebook page; you might enjoy checking it out if you haven’t already.

    • Sue … never mind my earlier comment! I’ve just been reading through some of your previous posts, and answered my own questions re Susan and Margot! And to think you’ve not only met both of them, but actually sat together IN Susan’s house … {{sigh}} LOL!

  2. Hi Sharon, I’ve been friends with Margot for years. She brought me over to tea at Susan’s last summer. Her house was like walking into a fairytale. Seeing all of the images in her blog come to life felt surreal. Meeting her kitties was the icing on the cake for me. Susan and Margo are the real deal. I love that I get to call them friends.:-)

    • Sue, thanks for your response. Now you’ve got me curious whether you’ve been in Margot’s house or seen any of her murals up-close-and-personal. The photos Susan has shared are amazing.

  3. Hello Sue,
    I was blessed to visit Martha’s Vineyard with a good friend during the time my daughter’s husband was stationed on the outskirts of Cape Cod with the USCG. It was a beautiful October day and since there were few tourists we managed to snag a tour driver along with 3 other people. Since it was considered a ‘regular tour’ he gave us the full works! I loved every bit of it, but got a big chuckle out of seeing John Belushi’s grave site. His marker says “I may be gone, but Rock and Roll will live forever”! Hmmm – I just check with Wikipedia and they say that his body is really interred at his family’s plot on the island. Whichever, it was a spot he never takes the usual tourists to. We got the special treat because we were so few and he had nothing better to do. He grew up on MV and had so many stories about the island along the way! The ferry trip to and from was so beautiful as well! My camera decided to break THAT day, so I got no photos of the wonderful homes, the lighthouse and the overall beauty – or of John’s grave!

    NOW – on to you! Your drawing is so sweet and I’m delighted that you show how it progressed from a light pencil sketch to full drawing. Who is the child, if you wish to say. Thanks again so much for all your sharings!

  4. I forgot to mention – AGAIN! – sign of a busy mind! – I’ve always loved the ocean and wished we could have spent more time on the island. I loved smelling the salt in the air, hearing the seagulls cry and listening to the waves as they washed ashore. I also spent one day with my daughter on the outside of Cape Cod. WONDERFUL! They have all moved back to the NW now and so we can visit ‘my’ ocean, the Pacific, which I do as often as possible. It fills my soul to be there!

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