IF: Neighbor

Need a back story for this one.  Many moons ago (1986, according to the original sketch, below), I used to do a LOT of bicycle touring.  The kind where you carried all your gear with you (“self-contained” is what they call it).  In this instance it was 1986, early June, and I was doing a short week-long tour in the Texas Hill Country with a gal pal of mine.  The first day off we took a road that wasn’t accurately marked on our map as being a dead-end so, it being too late in the day for us to back-track, we ended up pitching camp in a vacant shooting range north of San Antonio called Kreutzburg Hall.  My friend opted to pitch her tent in the grass while I simply rolled out my sleeping bag on the big, covered porch attached to the hall.  After the sun set, I laid in my sleeping bag trying to sleep.  I don’t know if I was hearing noises or what, but I took my flashlight and shined it around the porch area.  Low and behold, EVERYwhere there were these big, spindly spiders (Daddy Long Legs)–on the wall, on the beams, on the floor–and walking…Walking  towards ME!  The idea of spiders crawling on me while I slept was unnerving–Gross, gross, gross!  It being so long ago, I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I think I ended up pitching my tent in the grass after all.  Oh…I guess you’re wondering how this fits the “neighbor” theme.  Well, you know…The spiders were our “neighbors” at our impromptu campsite.

And I took a sketchbook with me on my bike tours, doing mostly interprative sketches of the day’s events.  In this case (the original, below) was probably drawn and painted the next morning, before we hit the road on our bikes.

22 Responses to IF: Neighbor
  1. ElizT
    May 8, 2007 | 11:33 pm


  2. Jennifer VanSchoyck
    May 9, 2007 | 4:41 am

    great illio!! but ew ew ewwww about all the spiders!!!

  3. Digital Scott
    May 9, 2007 | 8:57 am

    Both are really nice! Love the way you colored them.

  4. YUX
    May 9, 2007 | 9:06 am

    🙂 super!

  5. michael dailey
    May 9, 2007 | 10:27 am

    im like u, i dont wanna share my sleeping space with spiders. u defiently have capture the moment nicely

  6. Lili
    May 9, 2007 | 1:57 pm

    I wouldn’t have slept much after that. (shiver) Great post

  7. Michael Rutledge
    May 9, 2007 | 2:29 pm

    Thanks for shedding the light on our campsite friends the DaddyLongLegs. I love their shrivering motions and urban legend surrounding their allegedly potent venom. Creepy. Mike

  8. Suana
    May 9, 2007 | 5:17 pm

    I love the textures you created on the velvety black. Beautiful!

  9. jack ruttan
    May 9, 2007 | 7:20 pm

    I like the droppy droppy wash on the watercolour. Montreal hot enough for you?

  10. cPaul
    May 9, 2007 | 9:29 pm

    Wow Paula! It’s cool to see one of your drawings from 21 years ago!! I like both versions equally.

  11. Toni
    May 10, 2007 | 6:19 am

    Your story cracked me up. It brought back memories of camping trips long ago.
    And how great it is to see your illo today and your journal from back then.

  12. Michelle Lana
    May 10, 2007 | 8:47 am

    Hahaha….too funny! Great work !

  13. Doug
    May 10, 2007 | 9:17 am

    We were camping once and noticed the same thing. Hundreds of daddy long legs walking toward our lantern sitting on a picknic table. I think we turned off the light and they quit coming. It IS a creepy sight, though… had long forgotten about this event.

    but daddy long legs are better that ax murders in the night… eh? 🙂

    May 10, 2007 | 9:53 am

    this is so cool! I love the expression and teh way you have rendered the spiders.

  15. Sue Woollatt
    May 10, 2007 | 10:52 am

    Eeeeekk! 😯

  16. mike r baker
    May 10, 2007 | 11:59 am

    Great drawings, great story! I love your style now – your drawing from 1986 is wonderful but dark and moody – looks almost Thurber-esque. The new one is funny! 🙂

  17. n.b.
    May 11, 2007 | 6:39 am

    Great post. Do I see a picture book emerging from this theme?

  18. saija
    May 11, 2007 | 2:00 pm

    i happened by while doing a search for “enough is enough” … you are very talented! enjoyed my visit …

    blessings on ya!

  19. Don
    May 11, 2007 | 5:34 pm

    Oh my gosh, that is like my worst nightmare.

  20. suzanne
    May 12, 2007 | 9:27 am

    Eeeeeek…sounds like a nightmare or two that I’ve had. Really great job with the layout of this illustration. I love the way you’ve drawn the army of spiders.

  21. caroline
    May 13, 2007 | 8:17 am

    Hi Paula,
    I’m back in BlogLand, now visiting my blog friends and mentors.

    How I enjoyed this post! Both drawings tell the story, and I like them equally, although the teacher in me always roots for the underdog. Your images tell such great stories. Thanks for sharing this.

  22. Paula
    May 14, 2007 | 9:12 am

    Hey all! Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments! We were away for most of the week/weekend so I took a blogging break, too. I’m so surprised to see so many comments and want to let you know I appreciate them all!