Wednesday, December 7, 2011

All The Wonder of The World

Sometime yesterday I was browsing the Internet for images of Christmas and came across an illustration from an old kid's book. That little interlude led me down the rabbit hole of vintage children's books, and a search for the rekindled remembrances of a tome that I had when young - oh these many eons ago. The thing about this book of my tender years, was the remarkable illustrations that were a catalyst in my brain to the artist I am today.  I can still recall the hours I'd pour over them, trying to decipher 'how it was done'. I'm doubly sure that the influences of those drawings by the likes of Arthur Rackham and Howard Pyle and L. Leslie Brooke, stay with me to this day. Magic, just bleedin' eye magic when I was a kid. Sadly I couldn't find that volume from my youth....probably remembering the title wrong, but I can visualize the exact embossed brown/gold cover and small attached illustration on it like a crystal clear pool. The book happened to be poetry....maybe R. L. Stevenson's...? Ah well....
Anylostinthemistsoftimeway,  what this has me contemplating is how lucky I was to grow up before TV became the insidious monster it has become. We read. And thank you all the fates for that singular skill.
Books have given me more than anything else in my life.
So! Since we are upon the seasonal mind altering chaos of 'what-to-give', may I suggest books? And not a book from Amazon (sorry A. ) but a book or books you trot down to your local little bookstore to buy. You need to immerse yourself in the whole experience of that unalloyed 'bookstore-ishness' that can only be felt behind those doors as you cruise the shelves. And since most bookstores now offer some great coffee, have one of those too.
You may never know what you'll inspire or cause to happen, but I guarantee a book is the best gift ever.
(and may I also add that ART books are the shizzle too)

The pic is an illustration from 'Alice in Wonderland' (by Lewis Carrol) by Arthur Rackham. Loved his work from the get-go although I did have someone once say that his 'fingers' terrified them when they were young.

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