Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oblong is in!

Here's a book that I have been enjoying lately (a gift from Hazel, better known as Ms. Artroom Plant):  The Emperor's Oblong Pancake, written by Peter Hughes in 1961.
The illustrations are by the inimitable Gerald Rose.  I didn't know his work before, but it turns out he is a prolific illustrator,  winner of the Kate Greenaway medal, and beloved by generations of British children. Shows how much I know! His book The Tigerskin Rug is such a classic that it has recently been re-published by Bloomsbury. I just love his quirky and fresh line, full of charm and energy and humour.
The story is an ode to stubbornness.  It is about an emperor who, one day — on a whim — commands that everything in his kingdom be oblong. Every other shape is banished!
And thus we end up with oblong eggs, oblong apples, oblong bathtubs, even oblong wheels (a bit troublesome, that).  Problems arise, of course. After many failed attempts to solve them, the emperor himself rides off in search of an answer — and returns with the discovery that the world itself is round.  Who knew? And of course he decrees that -- guess what?— everything in his kingdom must now be round, too....  
...except maybe his breakfast pancakes.

Now that I've worked up an appetite for crêpes carrées, I will leave you with some recent finds:
Chiara Armellini, especially here and here.
Benoit Tardif of Montréal— prints, posters and book covers.
Terrifying French Children's Books — article is inaccurrate on many counts but v. funny... check out the slide show.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Le Metamorfosi del Viaggiatore

I'm very happy to announce that my images have been selected for a group show in Italy! Organized by the Associazione Illustratori, the exhibit is called Le Metamorfosi del Viaggiatore (traveler's transformation). Its theme is travel in all its guises—both real and imaginary— and will include paintings, illustrations, sequential art (aka fumetti or bande dessinée) and carnets de voyage.  
My contribution is artwork from a sketchbook I kept during a previous visit to California, with scenes in and around my parents' home and walks taken in the Hollywood Hills.
This view of the rooftops and hillside is what I see from my work-room window as I sit at the computer typing this post!
These are birds that come by every day.  They fascinate my cat Pomelo -- they are objects of enormous yearning and desire for him.
The images are in gouache, and the line on top added later in ink and brush.  They were painted en plein air, for the most part — not my usual materials, technique or method (as often happens with travel sketchbooks), and all the more energizing for it...
For those of you are able to go, the show takes place in Milan from 18 October to 2 December, at  the Palazzo delle Stelline (Galleria Gruppo Credito Valtellinese).  Check the blog for updates and more details. 

PS. I really hope I get to go see it this autumn... there is a really great line-up of artists participating in this show!