Feodor Rojankovsky was born in Russia on December 24, 1891, and after a life disrupted many times by WWI and then WWII, emigrated to the United States in 1941. I've always admired his artwork, particularly for its wonderfully rich bright colors.
One of his gifts were the tactile illusions that he was able to portray. I always felt I could reach out and stroke the fur of his kittens, or feel the damp smoothness of his mushrooms.Another wonderful aspect of so much of his art is the reference to the folk art of his native country. His three bears, for example, inhabit a thoroughly Russian peasant's home, with gaily carved furniture and utensils.
And he clearly was well acquainted with the animals he portrayed in his illustrations. He's one of the few illustrators about whom I've thought, "If only I could illustrate like THAT."
Once again, I have felt quite frustrated as I've searched online for information in preparing this birthday-of-the-month post. I've been stymied by the lack of online information about whatever illustrator I've chosen, and often an illustrator I've thought of is not anywhere to be found. I've also been very disappointed to find hardly anything about female illustrators from these earlier times. There were many women, too, in this field---women of great skill and reputation; and yet it's almost impossible to find anything at all about them online. I plan to find some good old-fashioned BOOKS about these artists as I continue this series in the new year; and I also keep thinking that in my "spare time" I ought to begin creating an online treasury and directory, to honor and acknowledge these artists who were the founders, in a sense, of the great field of modern children's book illustration that we have today.