This book is a scholarly examination of Leo and Diane Dillon's artistic lives and work up to 1980. Although it contains a lot of prints, these are onlThis book is a scholarly examination of Leo and Diane Dillon's artistic lives and work up to 1980. Although it contains a lot of prints, these are only a fraction of their art. My first encounter with their artwork was in the picture book adaption of the Verdi's Aïda when my fifth grade arts education teacher tried vainly to explain opera to an entire classroom of students most of whom hadn't even seen a musical.
Leo and Diane are unique among artists for their collaborative technique. Not only did they collaborate on the overall vision for a piece, but they alternated working on it, each allowing the other full veto rights at any stage of development. Their individual contributions are so enmeshed that it is impossible to identify them in the finished whole. Although all the Dillons' art bears a particular stamp, they have no one signature style. Their paintings range from simplistic to highly detailed and intricate. The Dillons' work in water color and pastels is phenomenal as is their woodcut and stained glass style, and few artists can match their skill at depicting people of color, one of whom being Kadir Nelson.
Because they desired as much freedom as possible to create, the Dillons chose to work in the book publishing industry. While they are probably best remembered for illustrating Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, my personal favorites among their vast body of work are the covers for The Last Unicorn: Deluxe Edition, Garth Nix's Abhorsen series books 1, 2, and 3, and Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quintet series books 1, 2, and 3. I wish that there had been more commentary accompanying the artwork included in this book. The title, source, medium, and dates are given. Quoted explanations are included for some pieces but not others. I would have liked to learn more about the technique, symbolism, and ideas behind each illustration. ...more
A coffee table book of pre-raphaelite art inspired by water and water mythology from mermaids and Greek nymphs to the watery death of Hamlet's OpheliaA coffee table book of pre-raphaelite art inspired by water and water mythology from mermaids and Greek nymphs to the watery death of Hamlet's Ophelia....more
While I never cared for Charles de Lint's books, I always admired their covers done by John Jude Palencar. This book is a collection of some of his moWhile I never cared for Charles de Lint's books, I always admired their covers done by John Jude Palencar. This book is a collection of some of his most notable work. The introductory biographical sketch featuring many interview quotes is insightful, but Palencar is deliberately vague about his paintings and the personal mythologies at work in them, which is frustrating. He states that he prefers to work in symbols, especially loving dichotomies such has dark/light, good/evil, earth/sky, rather than simply illustrating an important scene from the piece being illustrated. But he doesn't elaborate beyond that, and it would have been very helpful to have some interpretations accompany this paintings even though "[viewers] assimilate the image on a more personal level if they're not first told what to think" and "The art should be able to stand on its own...". Yes, I do agree with those statements, but I would have also liked some background and explanation for the pieces presented. It would have enhanced the experience. For example, I would have liked to know who the figure dressed in white on the front of the Lord of the Rings box set is. I am guessing the figure in black next to him is Sauron, but I can't figure which character could be balancing him. Gandalf and two Ringwraiths are visible in the background. And I always wanted to know more about the painting "Someplace to be Flying" done for the novel by Charles de Lint of the same title. That's such an incredible painting; what does it mean? Still, this is a lovely book, worth flipping through. You can really tell Palencar paints from live models even if you didn't read the introduction. He always paints the folds in a person's skin and reaslistically shades the subcutaneous tissue no matter how much of a surrealistic airbrush he gives the rest of the figure. He also portrays the draping of fabric like a Greek master. He has incredible technique in those two areas. ...more