golden thursdays: art seiden

For this week of Golden Thursdays (I unfortunately can’t get to the image for the header), I dedicate this entry to my dear friend Missy.  If you know Missy, you know that she LOVES dinosaurs.  I came across this book and not only loved the images and the story, but instantly thought of my dear friend.

The book I will be writing about today is Dinosaur Comes to Town.  Art Seiden illustrated this book in 1963.   The story is amusing – it’s about a dinosaur that comes arrives in a city, scaring off the animals and eventually settling on eating 60 million hamburgers.  What’s not to love? (The illustrations, obviously!)  I must say I am not a fan of the font for the cover/title pages, but I love the tiny mark-making and details put into the animals. I enjoy that they aren’t outlined, but they still have that element of detail to them.

When researching Art Seiden is a prolific illustrator- he created the images for over 300 books, in addition to writing books as well! Originally from New York, he entered the world of advertising with clients from hillip Morris, Hoffmann-LaRoche, General Motors and Hearst Publications.

All images via Golden Gems.


golden thursdays: jp miller

For this edition of Golden Thursdays, I am introducing Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather, written by Dorothy Kunhardt and illustrated by J.P. Miller.

J.P. Miller illustrated a number of different Golden Books, perhaps his most famous being Little Red Hen.  I am unable to find a lot of information on him, but he illustrated Golden Books between the 40’s and 60’s, and the Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather was written in 1951.

I have seen some of his other work where his style varies slightly than the illustrations I am showing you today.  Lucky Mrs. Ticklefeather has colors that are a bit more opaque and give the work a bit more texture.  His other style has a softer look with watercolors.  I greatly prefer the opaqueness with the dry brushing and hard-lined shapes.

One thing I loved while looking at this book were the patterns, and the nice balance of solid fields of color with small, delicate patterning.  It’s rather indicative of this era of illustration, is it not?

All images via Golden Gems.

golden thursdays: alice and martin provensen

So with the introduction of the nifty new title, it’s the day of the week where I introduce you to a Golden Book of my choosing.  To those unfamiliar with Golden Books, they were children’s books originally published by Simon and Schuster in the 1940’s.  Their inexpensive price point promoted literacy amongst children. The older books are now considered collector’s items.

Today’s book is called The Animal Fair (published in 1952) by Alice and Martin Provensen, a husband/wife illustration and writing team.  Both originally started as cartoonist/animators for Disney and the Walter Lanz Studio (who produced the Woody Woodpecker cartoon).  Eventually they both left their respective positions and worked on numerous childrens books together, eventually winning the prestegious Caldacott Award.

This particular story is about a journey to visit different animals in a farmyard, zoo, and forest.  You seeanimals getting haircuts, having birthday parties and woodworking, among other things.  It looks like a lot of fun.

I am a sucker for the style of the 1940’s/50’s/60’s illustration, especially when it comes to animals.  The shape design coupled with the dry-brushing really gives it some interesting textures.  The spare use of inking to provide intimate details also adds a lot to the illustrations.  In addtion, the pages are lush with full illustrations.  I really enjoy childrens’ books that have a lot going on in a page.  It invites the reader to study the book and to become involved in what’s happening.

All images are via Golden Gems.  You can still buy the book on Amazon.

golden thursdays: john martin gilbert

Golden Thursdays: John Martin Gilbert

And… after a bit of a hiatus,  I have brought Golden (books) Thursdays back!  Today’s book is by John Martin Gilbert and is entitled A Dragon in the Wagon (and Other Strange Tales).  The book was written in 1966 and includes some great characters and wonderful dry-brush technique.  An imaginative, fun story.  You have to love the 1960’s.  Good fashion and a great illustrations.  And those shapes! Gotta love em!

I tried to find out a little more information on the illustrator, John Martin Gilbert (here’s where I wish I was a better internet detective)… I found a website of an artist, but I’m not sure if it’s him.  His website doesn’t include the book, and actually has quite a few sculptures on it.  After reading his bio, it does say that he was apart of the original Disney design team, which would coincide with when this book was made.  In addition, his sculptures aren’t too far off from his illustrations.  The characters, although translated into 3D, are similar to their 2D counterparts.  Check out his website.  It’s actually pretty neat.

all of these images are via Golden Gems.

Here is a John Martin Gilbert sculpture, for those that are interested (via Gilberts World):

golden thursdays with mary blair

So on Tuesdays and Thursdays, whatever I post here is a wild card for me.  Frankly, it can be mildly stressful to rack my brain and peruse the web to figure out what I would like the blogosphere to see today.  You see, I am a flawed human being that is easily distracted by things like Facebook, Twitter, my cell phone, and Google Reader.   I am also someone who loves a plan.  Sometimes, its nice to know what to expect!

Enough of my rambling.  What I’m trying to say is that for the next four Thursdays, I’ll be posting about Golden Books. Golden Thursdays?  Not contemporary Golden Books, mind you.  Vintage ones – books from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I have long been interested in them and love the style of illustration.  I have a illustrated a few children’s books so I find them inspirational.

If you aren’t familiar with Golden Books, here’s a little bit of background:  Golden Books were first introduced in 1942 and originally sold for 25 cents.  Simon and Schuster was the original publisher of these books, which have (and have maintained) a distinctive appearance throughout the years (namely, the golden spine).

I thought I’d start it off with Mary Blair, who is my favorite Golden Book Illustrator (and one of my all-time fav illustrators).  She had a book called Little Book of Verses, which was an over-sized Golden Book from the 1960’s.  Here are some images – What I really enjoy here are the shapes – so simplistic but so very well designed.  Her technique of dry-brushing with patterning is also something to take note.  The patterning was done before computers.  I’ve seen her work in person, and it’s not particularly large.  I am envious of anyone that can work that small to create something so consistent.

( ^ this is a tattoo on my right shoulder!)

these are via the Animation Archive