Saturday, June 28, 2008
My dear friends Beth and Joe Krush recently agreed to let me paint their portrait, and I am thrilled!
The Krushes have illustrated many books including some of the most well-known children's classics of the '50s and '60s. You may know them through their marvelously detailed drawings in The Borrowers by Mary Norton, The Gone-Away Lake books by Elizabeth Enright, several classics by Beverly Cleary, and many, many more.
When I was a child I adored their illustrations. They had a way of melding with the written word in my imagination. Not only were the people wonderfully lifelike and detailed, but also the settings were equally well-drawn, descriptive, with interesting perspective angles. In addition, the Krushes' illustrations faithfully followed the text, never using "artistic license" to go against the author's intent. The combination was irresistible to me. I used to trace their drawings to try to understand how they did them! Little did I realize then that I would need years of practice drawing the figure. Somehow I learned that they lived and taught in the Philadelphia area, and I got the idea that I would love to meet them. I even had questions planned out. The first question I planned to ask them was "How do you work together without getting into arguments?"
But it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I had the opportunity to meet them through another illustrator/mural painter friend. Interestingly, they are just as I imagined them to be.
Here they are at their 90th birthday party. Happy Birthday, Joe and Beth!
If you are in Stonington, Maine this summer, please consider stppping by the gWatson Gallery to see the summer group show. Three of my new aerial landscapes of the Deer Isle/Isle Au Haut area will be in the show.
The gallery is a charmingly renovated old building right on Main Street in the center of town. The owner, Ron Watson, has recently purchased the entire building to create a lovely street level gallery with storefront display windows, and two gigantic new condos on the upper floors.