Lynd Kendall Ward (1905-1985) was an American artist and storyteller. He specialized in wood engravings, illustrating over 200 adult and children's books. Raised by a Methodist minister who was also a prominent political organizer, Ward decided to become an artist as a child when he realized his surname spelled "draw" backwards. He studied printmaking and book design in Leipzig, Germany where he encountered the work of Frans Masereel (1889-1972) a Flemish painter who told a story in woodcuts. Ward went on to create wordless novels with dramatic wood engravings.
27 March 2011
16 March 2011
St. Patrick's Day is a favorite holiday of Porcelains and Peacocks and it is an excuse to look at the genius of Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889–1931). Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day he was a major contributor to the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement. Clarke's work centered on stained glass and book illustration. An early visit to Chartres Cathedral inspired him to use brilliant jewel toned stain glass for both his religious and secular themed windows. Clarke was associated with the An Túr Gloine, Irish for “Tower of Glass”, a cooperative studio for stained glass artists that offered Irish architects and builders an alternative to the commercial stained glass imported from England and Germany. As a book illustrator he was a part of The Golden Age of Illustration. Clarke’s illustrations ranged from the beautifully grotesque Faust to the poetic "They danced with shawls that were woven of mist and moonshine" of the Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.
15 March 2011
Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806) was a Japanese printmaker and painter. He is known for his elegantly restrained studies of women called bijinga or "beautiful person picture". The style is a part of the genre called Ukiyo-e, "pictures of the floating world", woodcut prints featuring motifs of landscapes, kabuki theater, courtesans and geisha. It is a world that is ephemeral and of the moment. Utamaro also created many erotic works including the Poem of the Pillow. One scene depicts two abalone divers interacting with two kappas, or sea monsters. In the nineteenth century the ukyio-e prints of Utamaro and other Japanese artists became available to the European market resulting in the development of Japonisme in the West.