Kay Nielsen

Looking at the work of Danish Illustrator Kay Nielsen (1886-1957), it is hard to understand how such a brilliant artist could have died in poverty. Kay (rhymes with high) was an artist from the Golden Age of Illustration, among other greats such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac.

images above via animation resources

Among Nielson's early work is The Twelve Dancing Princesses, shown above. You can see the influence of Aubrey Beardsley in this work, but Swedish Fairy Tale artist John Bauer also had a big influence on his career.

images above via Art Passions

Illustrations above from Hansel and Gretel

image via Art Passions

The illustration above from Six Swans, one of Grimm's Fairy Tales, is very compelling and dynamic.

All the illustrations below are from East of the Sun and West of the Moon (1914), considered to be Nielsen's masterpiece. Written by Gudrun Thorne-Thomsen and comprised of 15 Nordic tales, Nielsen's 25 watercolor illustrations
defined the book. 

image via Sue Ding

image via KingPaper

image via Art Passions

What impresses me about Kay Nielsen's work is not only his excellent draftsmanship, but the imagination that went into his fantastical watercolor illustrations. In illustrations like the one above, there is such attention to detail and decoration but also wide open areas that enhance what he has done and also give the eyes a place to rest.

Below are a couple links with biographical information and more images of
Kay Nielsen's work.  



Underwater Creatures

One of my favorite shows on TV to watch is River Monsters. Host Jeremy Wade is an extreme angler and travels all over the world in search of huge fish that may be causing havoc with their aggressiveness. Some fish are elusive, making it difficult to obtain information about them. Some fish just get a bad rap. Whatever the case, I admire his expertise in these matters as both an extreme angler and a biologist. And I just can't wait to see what he is going to pull out of the water. Did you know that many different varieties of catfish are found all over the world? Yup, I learned that on River Monsters.

Here are several illustrations of underwater creatures that I hope you enjoy.

From Tamara and The Sea Witch, illustrated by Krystyna Turska. To view this post click here.

From Ape In A Cape illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg, to view click here

image via The Art of Children's Picture Books
From Fishes illustrated by Brian Wildsmith. To view click here.

Brian Wildsmith Fish Alphabet Card

This is my favorite illustration by Joan Walsh Anglund - I think it was expertly drawn. Back in February I did a post on fish illustrations, click here to view.

From Whaling Days illustrated by David Frampton, to view click here.

image via The Art of Children's Picture Books
From Turtle in July illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. To view click here.

image via The Art of Children's Picture Books
From American Tall Tales illustrated by Michael McCurdy. To view click here.


Flowers, Paper Art and Summer Reading

This drought just seems to go on and on. Our lawn is yellow and I have lost about half of my potted flowers to record high temperatures. I guess that explains why I'm looking at flowers in illustrations. 

image via Heart felt

image via 50watts

image via jennifer collier

Jennifer Collier, an artist who resides in Britain, fashions everyday items from
vintage paper by stitching, waxing, bonding and trapping. Visit her website to see more of the delightful objects that she has created.

image via Writer's Blog

image via FLAVORWIRE

image via welcomebooks

image via attic PAPER

Summer is a great time for children to read, especially on days where it's too hot to go outside. Reading for pleasure is a wonderful habit to foster and so important in this age of technology.


Summer of Childhood

Summer. It's no wonder kids looks forward to it, there are so many lovely things to do. For generations of children, some of the same events and activities have held their place in the tried and true lineup of summer favorites.

image via draw! pilgrim

image via apronthriftgirl

image via Letterology

image via Cold Splinters

image via kooky kitsch

image via sunnytodaymama

image via eliz.avery

image via Art Fire

This of course is just some of the things that kids do, what else would you
add to the list?


Cat Illustrations in Vintage Children's Books

Since my last post was about dogs, I think it's only fair to do one about cats.
Besides, there are so many great illustrations of cats. Here are several cat illustrations for your perusal.

image via Vintage Children's Books

I love this book cover - great design!

image via Animalarium

image via Huldra Press

image via Cynful Musings

image via ePier

image via The Hive

image via Birdhouse Books