Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Inspiration Found In The Oddest of Place

 illustration by adrienne adams from childrens book "what makes a shadow?"

This week, I am waist high in art journal making supplies (literally, there are piles everywhere in my art room), old books, magazines, calendars,  paperbags, notebooks, retired playbooks, picture books, childrens books, art books, poetry books, on and on and on... I rip out the pages of all the discarded and unwanted books and paper items that I've collected over the year and cut them down to the sizes of the Journals that I make.  It is a long and arduous process to get all the papers collected and cut down to size to make enough journals for 3 craft shows.  I was really enjoying it for the first 5 hours but now I think I am ready to move on to a different project.

However, last night, as I was slicing away with my paper cutter at some old childrens books that were being thrown out from an elementary school classroom, I came across this book.

It had been decades since I had read this story and the cover picture was so lovely that I became completely distracted.  This copy was over 50 years old and in great shape!  I stopped my work and started leafing through the pages reading the story and getting totally swept away by the gorgeous illustrations by Adrienne Adams.  I couldnt believe that this book was in the no longer readable box.  I fell in love with the characters in the beautiful pictures, and was really impressed with the illustrator's work.  Sometimes I forget that childrens book illustrators are artists too, just better paid. ;)  I really love the way Adrienne Adams depicts the story.  Its not too realistic, but not too silly and childish.  I find it simplistic and romantic, making it feel like a fantasy.  There is a soft ethereal quality to it and the colors she uses that draws me in.  Needless to say, I became a fan and spent the next hour online looking at other books she had illustrated, finding many more that I loved just as equally (currently on the hunt for a copy of the Grimm Brothers story "Snow White and Rose Red" that she illustrated in the 60s).  Anyway, I spent a couple hours with my scanner today working on a different project and thought I would scan a few of my favorite pictures from the Thumbelina book to share with you.

Arent they amazing!  I just love them.  What an incredible way to waste time and take a break from my paper cutting duties!  (In case you were wondering, I couldnt resist it and this book went straight to my shelf and was not cut up into journal pages) :)  Do you have any favorite illustrators who's work inspires you?  What is it about their art that speaks to you?

*Dont forget! Art Journal sale starting this Friday night!! Check back for the coupon code to get a really great deal on some very special handmade books :)

*Oh and I am adding a few more fun papers to my freebies page for you to play with in your own personal journal work. :) Hope you like them!

Happy Thursday Everyone!!




  1. OOOoooo. Yes, I LOVE these illustrations also! I might just have to go find this book for myself also. Can't wait to see more of your beautiful work! I'm trying to find ways to decorate the baby room without costing us any money and I've been thinking about you a lot and how well you do with mixed media stuff... I've always wanted to try it but am always afraid I'll mess something up but I just might try it soon since I have a few ideas for pictures I want to make. Have a lovely day!

  2. I have the same version of Thumbelina from when I was younger! I just found it the other day cleaning out a spare room in our house. It is one of my very favorites!


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