Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kate Beaton Greenaway

I first encountered Kate Greenaway's work in a shop in Chicago's Old Town, incongruously displayed among sex posters and drug paraphernalia and bootleg rock albums in what was then the city's hippie epicenter. Below is the beautiful cover of the book that caught my eye: The Language of Flowers. (The text has been removed so you can use it as a card.)

Greenaway's cheerful palette and lively lines have kept her work fresh and appealing for over a century. Her world is sweet, but not sticky. Pretty, but not precious. Her solemn-faced children wear frilly bonnets and bows but they never seem frivolous.

I read up on KG while working on a collage sheet of her paintings, and learned that she once wanted to be a humorous illustrator. A cartoonist. Imagine: Kate Greenaway could have become the Kate Beaton of her day. In the ink sketch below you can see how, even early on, her compositions told a story quickly and clearly.

Kate lived with her brother and her dog in the custom home that success allowed her to commission. Her work was popular, but what about her? In one of the doodles that often decorated her letters, she depicts herself as a hermit in a cave. In reality her home was far more inviting, with a special tea room right next to her studio where she relaxed with friends.

By the turn of the century tastes had changed and Kate Greenaway's work was out of style. She died at age 55, a victim of breast cancer. She is survived by an ever-renewing group of fans and an immortal legion of graceful, charming children.

For more of her work, search my shop for Greenaway or just visit the Collage Sheets section.

All images are high resolution and free for your use. Please don't add them to digital collections for resale. Click below to visit my shop!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Am Thankful

When I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, I will be thankful that I didn't have to

feed it,

milk it,

kill it,

or pull it from the ground.

I'll also be very grateful to everyone who did, and hope they get to enjoy the fruits of their labor as much as the rest of us will. Happy Thanksgiving!