Friday, January 18, 2013

The Rackety Rumble of Deep Thought

Rene Cloke's Alice in Wonderland
A Mouse's Tail, ill. Julia Greene
There are so many ways and words to describe inspiration.  From the spark that lights your heart afire, to the awakening that occurs when one small image creates an entire new world for you.  Our most beloved illustrators have taken our childhood dreams into netherworlds that found us waving a scarf from the castle's tower balcony, to flashing a sword to swift a dragon.  Paper doll illustrators have given us wardrobes to delight our fantasies.  A true story teller can sail us to the high seas, or sit us in a cafe conversing with our favorite historical figure.  These are but a few of the things that create that whim, that brilliance of light, that inspiration!

While visiting with a dear friend of mine today, I spoke of a recent acquisition.  A little book titled The Mouse's Tail, illustrated by none other than Julia Greene, the illustrator of the Mary Frances books.  Having stepped not-so-lightly (more like slipping down the rabbit hole) into this new world, I couldn't help but be enchanted by the countless, endearing little illustrations she drew to bring Jane's stories to life.  This got me thinking over the past two days about what inspires me, and where it all comes from.
A Mouse's Tail, ill. Julia Greene
Susan B. Pearse
I had only to look as far back as my little mousehood to recall that my mother loved fanciful illustrations, and though the books we received were few, they were filled with fabulous illustrations.  Eulalie and Maraja were but two of the artists, and these will forever remain favorites.

Many books, both contemporary and antiquarian fill my shelves today, sitting alongside my beautiful dolls.  When I purchase one, it stays by my side and I pour over it for days, than tuck it away amongst the others.  All these celebrated artists with their joyful expression of color, light, childhood, and pattern have influenced me over time.  With my recent journey into Mary Marie's wardrobe, it is little wonder I choose such color and patterns to bring her own story to life.  I decided to share some samples of the darling illustrations that over time have shaped the way I create.  From the delightful charm of Pearse and Greene, to the loving sweetness of Johnny Gruelle, to the contemporary fantasy of Dean Morrissey, I hope they inspire you, too!

Miss E. Mouse

Marcella's Dolls and Fairies

Dean Morrissey - A Dreamers Trunk - Notice the shoes and the wee little mouse at the trunk's tiny door!

And Mother Goose

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