Thursday, March 18, 2010

Inspired by: Edward Gorey

I'm venturing outside the traditional 'safe' realm of Children's Book Illustration today to share one of my favorite artists, and an inspiration to so many of us: Edward Gorey. The above is from The Gashleycrumb Tinies, a poster I got in high school, which followed me to college, and still lives in my basement. Don't you love the tilt of Basil, and how Gorey has captured this moment just before the terrible action. His little eyes go right out to us amidst a sea of inky texture. Yes, his work is dark, but here's a link to an excellent list of his books, and a little encouragement to actually share his work with children. It starts with this quote:

"(Edward) Gorey is perfect for children." -- Maurice Sendak, Children's Literature Association Quarterly, Spring 2007

This image was in an anthology I own, Amphigorey Also. I tucked it away and kept it with my class notebooks - something about it just spoke to me (hardy-har-har). He had remarkable lettering skills, and a way of making the titles fit perfectly. No computers, no undo button - just pure draftsmanship.

I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of Gorey's in Boston shortly before he passed away. I found out later that he liked to attend his shows, in disguise, so I like to imagine him walking the show the same day I was there, mysterious and observant. Have you seen a photo of him? I'm still unclear how exactly he 'disguised' himself. I also visited his home, now a museum, in Yarmouthport just a few years after his passing. I highly recommend a visit if you ever find yourself on Cape Cod. His life seemed almost obsessively devoted to his art. There are several great books on Gorey, as well as a wealth of information on the internet.

8 comments:

Alicia Padrón said...

Wow the B is for Basil is fantastic Gina.....! This is all new to me. I'm so glad you posted about it. :o)

Gina Perry said...

Ooooh, really Ali? I'm curious to know what you think of Gorey and all his tales.

roz said...

I'm guilty of having not read Gorey either but I sure want to. I like the "dark" flavor his work seems to have. And as an aside, what a great name to have with the style of work he created.

ArtSparker said...

"Ascending Peculiarity", published a few years back, is a collection of interviews with Gorey. W onderfully revealing read about his life and motivations. He was a huge Buffy fan, and made his own stuffed animals.

Alicia Padrón said...

I'm curious too Gina! Have to start looking for them. :o)

Gina Perry said...

ArtSparker - I've wanted to read that book for so long, very interesting that he was a Buffy fan! Perhaps it'll make it onto my library list soon.

Jennifer said...

Love Edward Gorey's work. Glad you ventured outside of the safe and posted about him! :-)

Ann Marie DiVecchia said...

Great post, Gina. You chose a fine example of his mastery in the B image. I have wanted to visit the museum for a long time. Hope to get myself there soon.