Saturday, December 10, 2005

Illustration Friday: Surprise

Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie was considered a delicacy at one time, I guess... just not baked live, as in the nursery rhyme. It would be a surprise I'd just as soon not experience. As a little boy in the 1910s, however, my father would provide his great-grandmother blackbirds for pies. Don't mean to upset anyone; it's just a fact that people used to eat that stuff. Maybe they still do somewhere. Hope I haven't offended anyone who's including this in their menu tonight.

29 comments:

Catnapping said...

the blackbirds hiding in the pie...delightful. tickles my funnybone.

and no, i'm never offended by those who eat. we are all in the food chain.

;)

rubio2d said...

What a story! nice illo too, love the king character in the background!. You've rendered a great mood and depth in it.

Don said...

I like this very much. Very nice rendering. I know what you mean about not wanting to offend people... eat too much blackbird and eventually you find youself eaqting crow. ;-)

ValGalArt said...

i love this! so well done! love the little beaks peeking out. poor little things!

Doug said...

hey... a great idea!

janey said...

Adorable and and the story is great. Poor little birds.

Amy Zaleski said...

This is just great! I chose a similar theme for "surprise" ....perhaps the recipes including surprise in the name came from the tradition you depict, but became more appetizing over the years? At any rate, I absolutely love the expression on the chef's face. Priceless!

carla said...

No worries - we usually have red cardinal pie at our house! Just kidding! I didn't know that was a real thing, and i've always thought that rhyme was ss strange. Well, people will eat all kinds of things. Great illustration - I love the characters and the little birds' eyes peeking out of the crust:>>>

Rachelle said...

Poor little blackbrids. I can just imagine them breaking free and flying awawy as the pie was set in front of the king. That would be good surprise! Love the shadows on the castle walls.

krista said...

The server is androgenous. I like him/her.

Ron Amorim said...

Classic, wonderfully executed. :)

andrea said...

Add enough sugar and anything is edible... yuck. I love the expression in this illustration. It really made me smile wen I first glimpsed it. Magic.

Anonymous said...

I like your shadows - blackbirds are often referred to as messagers of death. Can't imagine they would taste that much different from chicken; just gamier like chickens in the old days. The cook has a wonderful expression!

Queen Tut said...

Just wonderful! Each character has so much to say. I could stare at it for hours.

Alexa Brett said...

Nursery Rhymes are so twisted sometimes... and yet we pass them on from generation to generation (kind of like the recipe for Blackbird Pie! :-) but they make great illustrations! Yours is really well done. I really like your style.

Leezy said...

Great background story!
Lovely illo. Now wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the King ......!!!!

Twisselman said...

Thanks to everyone for your comments. I guess when I expressed concern about offending anyone, I was worried about the diverse cultures that may be represented by participants in the Illustration Friday topics. I greatly respect this forum and all its participants. I think it's a wonderful way for citizens of the world to communicate and share.

As to the sex of the cook, yes, I was trying to make her/him a her. The nursery rhyme, I believe, ends with one of the renegade blackbirds swookping down to peck off the cook's ("her") nose. Those nasty rhymes are probably responsible for countless thousands of nightmares through the ages.

I think the crop I chose, knocking the back of the head out, helps create an ambiguity. Before I even posted, my daughter looked at the illustration and had to ask, "Is that a man or a woman?" I guess I'll just have to leave it up to the observer.

Tony Sarrecchia said...

Great illustration and back story.

KaRLa said...

very nice composition and colors

Holly said...

Really great illo. I can't see it on my menu any time soon. I heard of stranger things to eat. Nothing is worse than Haggis to me anyway! Cheers!

C* said...

really like the idea!
Quite funny indeed!

Isa said...

I want to save the blackbirds!! Love the illo

Aravis said...

Wonderful illustration! That was always one of my favorite nursery rhymes. Not liking violence, my young mind decided that when the pie was opened and the birds began to sing, they were flying away while doing so. But I know that blackbird pie was once a treat, and that all sorts of songbirds were once served up for dinner.

I like my version better. *G*

Tiffy said...

lol

character_ed said...

I like the story! I would say, nice pie! at the first glance.
But after looking more carefully, I would let the king eat everything!
Good Illo, good colours and composition!

ladybug said...

:S poor birds!
but its cool anyway :)

hartini said...

I love pies, but definitely not if there are birds with feathers on in the pie!! :D

Love the illo and your technique!

Karen said...

Great illo. Very funny and clever. I was singing the song to my son the other day and couldn't remember all the words.

Christine Lim Simpson said...

Awesome! Love this one. The point of view, the expression are brillant. :)