Yesterday I dragged a friend along for some Christmas shopping and we wandered into the Children's book section of Barnes and Nobles. And amid all the fancy schmancy illustration with their photoshopped elephants and christmas robots was Madeline. Though I can't remember my mom actually reading it to me, I know that I often read it on my own, or probably more accurately looked at the pictures while naively wishing I were also an orphan :)
There was something captivating about the orphanage depicted in this simple children's story, and it was definitely to the illustrator's credit. It's just seems so effortlessly beautiful. This is someone who is clearly skilled, its obvious in every picture, sometimes in the allignment of the orphan's beds, or the movement of one of the characters tilted forward in a suggested paniced run. How do you draw panic in less than five lines?!? Or, and here I wish I had a picture to show you guys, but in one image the skyline of buildings is only an outline that tapers off into nothing. My breath literally caught when I saw those buildings disapear. They are just perfect I want to cry!
And it's easy to say that the past was awsome and now nobody can do anything right when it comes to art, but damn, these illustrations with their gimpy little trees and tilted parisien land marks have something nobody has deemed important enough to teach but would outshine a million James Jeans.
Yeah, I said it. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it!