Thursday, 25 March 2010

Charley Harper

A small independent bookshop opened in our village about a year or so ago, and whilst I wonder at how such places can make a living in this day and age of Amazon and Book Depository, I admire the owners impeccable taste when it comes to Art and graphic design, reflected in the books and small stationary items that are stocked.

A while back my eye was attracted to the shop window, displaying a range of Charley Harper children's books. I have been an admirer of Charley Harper's work for a long time now, and couldn't believe my eyes, as he is little known in this part of the world compared to his native USA, where he is viewed as a legend.

Charley Harper's (1922-2007) unique view of wildlife is portraited by means of stylised drawings and paintings, capturing the essence of his subject in as few elements as possible. He once described his style as 'minimal realism' and joked that he doesn't count the feathers of the bird only the wings.
Charley has designed over 50 'Bio' posters for non-profit conservation groups and wildlife sanctuarys. In the 1980's he completed a set of 10 posters for the US National Park Service, each focusing on a specific eco-system and its inhabitants:-

Undecided in which book to buy I settled on this colouring book:-

I will selfishly keep it to myself, I might even unearth my set of Pantone markers from my university 'rendering' days, and do a spot of colouring in - it's too good for the children!! But...perhaps I will buy them a copy, because afterall I do want my boys to be exposed to decent art and graphic design in the hope they will appreciate it one day...

1 comment:

Heather said...

Lovely - have bought a Rennie Mckintosh style colouring book similar to this from Hobbycraft for the kids, it's proving a big hit. Cheers for the background info on Charley Harper too - all good to know :)