Friday, March 14, 2008

In Praise of a Job Well Done

Perhaps its because its such a beautiful, sunny, late winter day outside my window that I am so taken by this lovely 1963 illustration from The Reader's Digest Treasury for Young Readers...

...or perhaps its because my own work often requires me to draw typical family-type situations, like eating breakfast together, that I can relate to the nature of the assignment this artist was asked to interpret.

Whatever the case, I just felt like singing the praises of the anonymous illustrator who did such an amazing job of taking the mundane and making it into something remarkable.

You see, the rewards are many for those who are willing to pause from their own hectic lives for a moment and explore the delightful details in this quiet illustration...

Not every piece of art needs to make a statement... to save the world... to challenge our beliefs or test the limits of acceptability. Sometimes an artist can make the ordinary really quite extraordinary through quiet contemplation, observation and interpretation.

Here's kudos to a job well done.


  1. Leif,

    Thanks for all your hard work in regards to running Today's Inspiration. It is one of my favorite blogs to visit and the emails are nice too.


  2. Kudos to you as well Leif---that you provide retro illo content almost every day without fail, that you don't miss more days is completely usually doesn't allow for such consistencies :-)

    Today's illo dissection/ close-up was much enjoyed as well as learned from....


  3. Well, shucks, guys - thanks a lot! Hearing that makes this beautiful day even better! :-)

  4. Your comments about this simple story, Leif, were beautifully expressed. It’s nice to see the thought an artist puts into a piece be appreciated. This anonymous artist is another very skillful “content” artist, an artist whose strength is in the story the job tells, as apposed to being a “concept” artist, one whose strength lies in some wonderful unexpected way to make a statement. I think it’s sad that so many content artists ( including student artists) tend to feel apologetic and inferior to concept artists. After all, most of the greatest illustrators were content artists…Wyeth, Rockwell. Fawcett…. Parker was unusual in being both!

    Beyond the content, there’s some fresh watercolor technique here. I always love the effect of colors used in mixing that tend to separate on the paper texture when drying, such as cerulean and manganese blues. Look at the dog and the shadow on the kitchen cabinet. The outside is particularly lovely, too.

    Thanks Leif Our California day is bright but you’ve made it a little brighter.

  5. It says something about one's own nature to simply be able to appreciate art without getting all complicated about it. Which is what happens here all the time. You attract fellow art lovers who simply, and deeply enjoy good illustrating.
    Visiting here always makes the day brighter for me. Thanks ever.