Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lewis Parker: Under Canadian Skies

By now you've probably realized I'm a sucker for textbook illustrations. I guess its partly nostalgia (many of the textbooks I find are from the era of my own childhood), partly a professional curiousity (I have done quite a lot of textbook illustration myself) and partly a pure appreciation for some wonderful - but largely overlooked - artwork.

Since I mentioned yesterday that I never learned much about Canada's history as a child I thought today might be a good time to look at a terrific textbook I wish I had seen during my school days. Under Canadian Skies was illustrated entirely by two Canadian artists: Jerry Lazare (who's work we'll examine another time) and his long time illustration partner, Lewis Parker.

This tiny sample doesn't begin to demonstrate Parker's many beautiful stylistic interpretations in this book. He used a great variety of them throughout this volume and I hope to spend an entire week some time soon showing you many more of his illustrations from this book.

For now, I am pleased to report that Lewis Parker has a thorough and fascinating biography already posted on the internet. You can read all about his career at this site.

And if you'd like to examine these pieces more closely you can check out the full size versions in my Lewis Parker Flickr set.

* A special note of thanks once again to all those readers who have continued to introduce themselves over the last few days. Its a great pleasure hearing from you and discovering your diverse backgrounds, seeing your websites and blogs, and knowing how much Today's Inspiration means to you. Thank you!


  1. This is absolutley beautiful stuff. Illustration from around the world would be a good idea for another week!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Stan -- I couldn't agree more.

    If readers from around the world have classic illustrations from their country that they'd like to share, I'd be only too happy to provide a venue here for them.

  3. I was a textbook illustrator for over 20 years. It's great to see such wonderful work as you have shown here. Thanks for sharing.