Monday, March 8, 2010

Female Illustrators

In honor of International Woman's Day, have a look at the fine new blog "Female Illustrators" by Leif Peng, who also creates the blog "Today's Inspiration."

Both blogs concentrate on the work of American illustrators of the mid-20th century. Female Illustrators is barely a week old, but it has already spotlighted such great illustrators as Mary Mayo (above), Marilyn Conover, Barbara Bradley, and Lucia Lerner.


Daroo said...

Cool I'll have to check it out at length.

Jim -- I was going to ask you if you were familiar with an Illustrator named Martha Sawyers?

I had never heard of her, but I recently stumbled across her 1963 "The Illustrated Book About the Far East". Its a travel diary with expressive (but well drafted ) paintings in a variety of mediums.

It seems like the book could've been an influence for Dinotopia, or rather, maybe she was influenced by Arthur Denison?

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad you mentioned Barbara Bradley! She was one of my instructors at the Academy and is someone who taught me a lot.

James Gurney said...

Daroo, yes, as I recall there was an article on Martha Sawyers in "Forty Illustrators and How they Work."

Cheryl, What a wonderful illustrator and teacher Barbara Bradley was. I spoke with her on the phone years ago.

Tom Hart said...

It's great to see these women receive some of the recognition they so justly deserve. It's also a pleasure to that some of these are fine examples of limited (one and two)-color illustrations. I didn't realize (or had forgotten) how much I've missed that type of illustration. I wonder if, like so much else, appreciation for them will cycle round again (and not just as nostalgia or kitsch).

sfox said...

Barbara Bradley was also one of my instructors at the Academy of Art. She was the head of the illustration dept. when I was there in the late 1980s.

She'd gotten to know Al Parker and, as a result, all his scrap files ended up being donated to the Academy after he passed away. Don't know if they've ever been sorted and organized.

I last saw her a couple of years before she died. I brought some of my latest work to show her. She was very complimentary, which meant a lot to me, but couldn't resist pointing out that one drawing would have been stronger if I had varied the direction of the pencil strokes. She was right, of course.

She was one of the best two or three teachers I ever had, anywhere, anytime.

I remember the Martha Sawyers Far East book from when I was a kid and was really happy to find at Moe's in Berkeley many years later. Still have it. What an artist!