Monday, February 25, 2008
Remembering The Fox
One of my favorite bloggers, Rebecca Crowell, wrote in a recent blog entry on the subject of artworks that were influential to her when she was growing up.
This made me think about the art that influenced me. I didn't really discover "fine" art until I was in college, but the images from many of the books I loved as a child are clearly fixed in my memory.
When I was 3 or 4, somewhere in there, I loved Peter Spier's "The Fox Went Out On A Chilly Night," an illustrated version of the familiar folk song published in 1961 (example page shown above). My mother used to hold me on her lap and sing me the song as we read through the book at bedtime.
It seems that children's books these days always have splashy designs and over-the-top colors. I guess the publishers think they have to hit kids over the head to stimulate their imagination. But Spier's simple line drawings captivated me with their detail and their apt depiction of an expansive environment.
Perhaps the early experience of seeing these beautiful, descriptive lines influenced my love of line as an artist?
Odetta recorded a great version of this song, but I still prefer my mother's rendition.