Wednesday, June 05, 2013

The Little Golden Years

(click on the image for a better view)

I'll be posting some process/in-progress pics soon, but in the meantime, I thought I'd post the flyer for this fun show. Curated by Heidi Kenney, this show at Bear & Bird Gallery will showcase new artwork that was inspired by many of our favorite Golden Books!

Each artist was asked to pick a Little Golden Book (or two) from a list of available titles. The idea behind the show is not to create your own golden book or to recreate artwork for a golden book, but rather to create work that was inspired by the text of these books.


Jingle Bells, © 1964

Mr. Bell's Fixit Shop, © 1981

The two books that I picked are Mr. Bell's Fixit Shop (written by Ronne Peltzman and illustrated by  Aurelius Battaglia) and Jingle Bells (written by Kathleen N. Daly and illustrated by J.P. Miller). Since the show is going to be up during the summer, I decided to focus on creating something that was inspired by Mr. Bell's Fixit Shop.

Mr. Bell's Fixit Shop is a sweet story about an older man who fixes all sorts of things. He has a dusty workbench that's covered with tools and jars of nails, glue, screws and scraps of wood.  He saves all kinds of discarded things, odds and ends that he might need in order to fix something later. I love this page from the book:

His friends told him that his shop was too messy. "Throw some things away!" they said. But Mr. Bell said no. "There's a use for everything. You never know when you will need a doorknob - or a pickle jar."

As a kid, I remember thinking that was pretty cool. I loved the pages in the book that show his workbench and all the stuff stacked up around it. Now, as an adult (and an artist) I can relate to Mr. Bell's way of thinking - I tend to do the same thing! I have drawers of little bits of things that I've found and pieces of things that people have given me. I often re-use these pieces. They might become an arm or leg on a robot, or an addition to a painting. There's a use for everything - even if I'm not sure what it is yet!

Big thanks (!) to Heidi Kenney and Amanda at Bear & Bird Gallery for this opportunity. I can't wait to see all the artwork for this!

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