WOW. Spring has, apparently, sprung. I know it's the annual tease, but days like today make me get on my knees and thank Ares (Greek god of spring and nature, also happens to be the god of terror, anger and revenge, but he's also evidently the protector of cattle, and god KNOWS they need protecting..) that I live in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest!
My day off. My Saturday! It's 55 degrees outside and the birds are singing AMEN! I decided to get dressed up in trouser jeans, a striped collared shirt and my Mary Tyler Moore sunglasses and head on down to the Public Library where my friend and gallery curator pal Pamela Morris told me I could find a wonderful art show.
Wonderful indeed. Splendid, even! On the 3rd floor of the beautiful old library is a collection of illustrations and books from the 1930's and 40's from the ubercool couple Berte and Elmer Hader. They were drawers, print makers, painters, gardeners and all-around adorable kooks. Their beautiful, sweet illustrations graced the pages of magazines (they made "inserts" which were illustrated cardboard diaramas you could cut out and fold together with a little peephole to, well, peep through) and the covers of important books like "The Grapes of Wrath" and Laura Ingalls Wilder's book "Little House in the Big Woods".
I was struck by the similarity in what they did and what I do, although they are FAR MORE prolific and driven to express their talents. They inspire me to do more!!!
One of the most darling things about the display were the annual christmas cards they printed or painted...always featuring the both of them and mostly related to whatever book they were making at the time.
The collection was donated by their niece who lives near
Portland. Some of the work had never been displayed before and included personal letters with drawings and portraits of the artists, inscribed books and practice sketches. One of the sketches for a book about a pony ( see above, right )reminded me of a drawing I'd made THAT VERY MORNING for my book, "Dizzy's Dream". (directly right) If I'm lucky maybe I can channel the Hader's lust for life and art and make my book as good as it can be.
Downtown Portland was beyond beautiful today. I'm glad I went on a Friday as tomorrow is sure to be packed with people, frazzled by the crowds and the unaccustomed sunshine.