Archive for September 27, 2012

Artist of the moment……..Illustrator Chris Van Allsburg….

lets take a closer look at one of the best illustrators  of childrens books in the country, Chris Van Allsburg.

A clip with the artist explaining finding a model to pose for him in the book “Queen of the Falls.” This book had to do with the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in barrell and live. She was 62 years old at the time. Its great to see how the artist goes about finding a model and poses of how to design and compose his book.

Van Allsburg was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the year 1949. Van Allsburg attended high school in Grand Rapids. The artist then went on to study architecture and design at the University of Michigan. Van Allsburg earned a bachelors degree in sculpting and learned to work with bronze and wood. He then went to the Rhode Island School of Design where he earned a master’s degree in scultpure. He finished college in 1975 and immediately set up a studio.
Whilst Van Allsburg worked on scultpures, his wife had a different idea. She thought his drawings would be great for illustrating childrens books. She showed them to a  publisher and the artist wrote his first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. He has written done both the writing and illustration for fifteen childrens books. Also did some artwork for the Chronicles of Narnia series.

The artist currenly lives and keeps a studio in Providence, Rhode Island.

The artist has illustrated many childrens books over the years including Jumanji and the Polar Bear Express. Van Allsburg wrote and illustrated both books.
The top prize for having the best childrens picture book is called the Caldecott Medal. The artist won this award two times for Jumanji and Polar Bear Express. He won a simlilar award for his first book titled “The Garden of Abdul Gasazi.”

high price range:  An original illustration from the Jumanji book that was done in graphite went for $31,000.

low price range:  An original from the Harris Burdick series done in charcoal went for $5975.

If you enjoy this type of work with allegorical figures you might check out the art of James Christensen, who paints this world in color. Another artist working in a similar manner would be Aron Weisenfeld. This artist started out as a comic book man and has worked his way onto the national fine art scene. If you want to study someone who is a master at drawing from unique vantage points, be sure and check out this artist.

I look at this artist as very important to the art world. Able to inspire both young artists, who are just learning to draw and create, and older artists who see what a pleasant and fruitful career he has already had.