Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Children's Book Week

This is an illustration I've recently completed for the Sioux City Public Library, and very fitting to post today because this is Children's Book Week, an annual celebration of children's books that goes back to 1919. The Children's Book Week Posters book by Leonard Marcus was a wonderful reference to look through when I was searching out inspiration for my own book-themed illustration. Here are a few of my favorite CBW posters, I have the first two hanging in my office that I found on Ebay, and I would love to get my hands on a copy of the poster by Jan Balet (my most favorite)... have not had any luck in my searches so far.

William Penn DuBois, 1950

Garth WIlliams, 1955

Jan Balet, 1953

My other inspiration for this piece came from one of my favorite artists, Grant Wood. Whenever I have to take a drive across the state I always look out on the green, rolling hills and rows of corn and think of Grant Wood's paintings. I knew from the start that I wanted my library illustration to also represent the beauty of rural Iowa, something I am proud of because of my family's long history with farming in this state. This is Grant Wood's painting Young Corn:

And I'm not done! This is a small illustration, but over the next few months I will be recreating it twice- on a 30"x30" canvas and 4'x4' masonite board. Both with be hung at the Sioux City Library's main branch for public viewing when they are finished. Stay tuned!