Tuesday, May 23, 2017

LEO LIONNI


Leo Lionni...author, illustrator, designer, art director, multi-talented creator...was born in the Netherlands on May 5, 1910, and died October 11, 1999 in Italy. He studied and worked as a painter and in advertising in Italy; then from about 1939 to 1962 he lived in the US, where he worked as a prominent advertising artist and art director.
Ad art for Container Corporation of America
His body of work exhibits an astounding versatility.
Fortune Magazine was one of his biggest clients.
Ad for Olivetti Typewriter
His work was often a startling break from the realistic images... 
Art for Colored Paper ad
...that dominated much of advertising at the time.
It would take a book-length post to cover all of the diversity and extraordinary vision this artist displayed in his work.
It wasn't until Lionni moved back to Italy around 1962 that he turned to the creation of children's books. By this time he had already honed his art to an exceptionally high level...
...and he brought all of that training, skill, and power, undiminished, to this new-to-him field.
Illustration from "Fish Is Fish"
The control, confidence, strength of his illustrations---and the whimsy, freedom, imagination, and child-like accessibility---burst forth from every page of his books.
Illustration from "Frederick"
So simple, so full of color (even in grays and neutrals)---so full of wit, joy, and energy---
Illustration from "It's Mine"
---art of this caliber in children's books is hard to find. A discussion of Lionni's storytelling gifts would fill yet more posts. I hope you will use the links below to find out more about this wonderful artist.


http://todaysinspiration.blogspot.com/2009/09/cover-story-fortune-magazine.html

http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/designers-who-play-with-colored-paper/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Lionni

http://www.randomhousekids.com/brand/leo-lionni/about-leo-lionni/

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

PROMISE


Hope is emerging wherever I look.

Buds, springing from bare branches...
...expand gently, floret by floret...
...into full-blown racemes.
Ideas, too, seem to spontaneously bud...
...open up...
...spread wide their petals into the complete and fragrant vision.
Later will come the fruit.

Monday, April 24, 2017

BACK TO THE SOURCE



 So much of my work has been inspired by, based on, drawn from, New England---the New England I grew up in, and also lived in for many years as an adult.




 The landscapes and life-styles...




... the details of the smallest flowers, fruits, and seeds...



...the inhabitants, large and small---all are part of my very core essence.

After many years living in the Southwest, with very few excursions back to New England, it is time for me to return to my roots for an extended visit. And though much has changed---there, and in the world at large---I hope to find that some of the old landscape, some of the old creature friends of my childhood, some of the old life there, exists still. 

New England, here I come!