Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Leonard Weisgard (1916-2000)

"There are times in illustrating when the artist of today must rub his nose against the reality of things and try to catch with the honesty of a child a yellow sun like a pat of butter in the sky, with clouds of cottage cheese and the smoke of boats flying in all directions, with no concern for north or east. Houses with windows gaping and people like raisins on the street, a fire engine tearing off the page and a policeman stopping everything."

Leonard Weisgard,
Caldecott Acceptance Speech - July 2, 1947

Pelican Here, Pelican There, 1948

Pelican Here, Pelican There, 1948

The Summer Noisy Book, 1951

The Book of Nursery Tales, 1954

Just Like Me, 1954

The Little Eskimo, 1952

--click on images for larger view

The modern stylized look of mid-20th century illustration is something that's been a keen interest of mine and has had a major influence on my art in the last couple of years. As a result, I've become a voracious ebayer, scouring their auctions for the choicest relics of this period and I've acquired a modestly respectable collection of vintage children's books.

Leonard Weisgard was one of the illustrators to emerge as a practitioner of this modern look early on in children's books. His career spanned over five decades and he illustrated over 200 books, including The Noisy Book, 1939, The Golden Egg Book, 1947, and the Caldecott Medal winner The Little Island, 1946.

To learn more about Leonard Weisgard and see more great samples of his art visit, this website created by his children as a tribute to his work. More samples of his work can also be found here and at my flickr page.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Welcome to My Neighborhood!

Hi, welcome to Fun All Around! First, let me start off by thanking all who made comments on my first Illustration Friday post. It really means a lot for me to read such kind words of encouragement, I hope to continue posting stuff that tickles your fancy. OK, who am I, and why Fun All Around? My name is Eric Sturdevant and I'm a freelance illustrator. I started this blog to share my illustration work as well as discuss what influences and inspires me. Of particular interest to me is the work of many children's book illustrators from the 40s-60s, including such artists as: J. P. Miller, Aurelius Battaglia, Abner Graboff, Alice & Martin Provensen, Miroslav Sasek, Mary Blair, Jim Flora, Alain Gree, Aliki, and many others. To view an extensive and growing catalog of images from this period of illustration for children, visit The Retro Kid flickr group. There's a plethora of excellent samples from many a contributor's collection, including my own. Well... I hope you find Fun All Around to be interesting and enjoyable... thanks for dropping by!

The above doodles were done as preliminary sketches for a postcard promo I mailed out recently.
© Eric Sturdevant 2005

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Illustration Friday: Free

My first Illustration Friday submission is also the first post for my new blog. Inspired by the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?
© Eric Sturdevant 2005