"I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books."


Friday, November 16, 2007

Sayle Away on a Snowflake with Shakespeare, Poetry Friday and Robert's Snow

Poetry Friday is here and with it my last feature of a Robert’s Snow snowflake and artist. These weeks have been a tremendous feast of visual delights and creativity. I can’t get over how beautiful each snowflake is. Just like a real snowflake, no two are alike and this one, “Titania’s Flowery Bed” is no exception. It’s based on Victorian lullaby and it features a sleepy little fairy.

Today, I’m featuring Elizabeth Sayles, who has illustrated more than 20 books for children. Her latest book is "The Goldfish Yawned" (Henry Holt) and it is the first book that she wrote as well as illustrated. It is a winner of the Bank Street College Best Childrens Book, 2005. She also illustrated "I Already Know I Love You" written by Billy Crystal which was a NY Times #1 best selling picture book.

Her Titania made me think of Shakespeare and A Midsummer Night’s Dream so my Poetry Friday offering is Elizabeth Sayles, her magical snowflake and Shakespeare. Makes a nice trio, doesn’t it?

I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;

William Shakespeare, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Scene 1

Liz was kind enough to send me a long email telling me all about what inspired her snowflake, how she came to Robert’s Snow and a bit about herself.

“My Snowflake -- Titania's Flowery Bed -- was inspired by a book that I just illustrated called "Mother's Song." It is a Victorian lullaby and many fairies have found their way into the art. Some are fishing for pearls, or dancing on a spider's thread, or escorting the Queen over the River bridge. This little fairy seemed to fit pretty well in the snowflake, which is actually a flower. "Mother's Song," which was adapted by Ellin Green, will be published in Spring '08 by Clarion Books.

The fairy, somehow wound up looking an awful lot like my daughter, Jessica. I see it now when I look at it, but was not aware of it when I was painting it.

I usually work in pastel... but I have been incorporating acrylic paints in my work lately and this snowflake was mostly painted using acrylics.

In the summer of 2005 Grace had asked me to do a snowflake for the first Robert's Snow auction. I was so impressed by her, and her concept and energy. Most of us are paralyzed when someone we love is sick, at least I am. I can only think of how to get through the day, but Grace put all that anxiety into hopeful action. So I was happy to do it. Last year I was too busy, so I was more than happy to do it again this year, especially in light of the fact that Grace lost her husband in August.

One of my favorite books is "Five Little Kittens" (a New Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing Selection) My artwork has been on display at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, The New York Public Library, The Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, Every Picture Tells a Story gallery in Los Angeles and Chemers Gallery in Orange County, CA. I am an adjunct professor of Illustration at the School of Visual Arts in NYC.”

Liz Sayles is one busy woman! Along with all her work, she has a website and a blog that feature her delectable art. snowflake and others at the Robert's Snow online auction. . I fell in love with her work and it’s dreamy, soft feel.

Getting to know about artists like Liz and discovering their art has made this experience a joyful and fulfilling one. Please visit the Robert’s Snow Online Auction and bid often for these selfless and thoughtful pieces of themselves the artists share. Each snowflake, the work creating them and the stories behind them are worth far more than will ever be fetched at auction.

Poetry Friday's round-up is at the place it began, Big A, little a.
Prox It


TadMack said...

So gorgeous -- the light in the artwork really shows the subjects to advantage. I LOVE the boats. The poem goes right with the sleeping Fairy Queen as well!

Sara said...

Oh, wow. Shakespeare and that glorious snowflake. What a perfect combination. I love how the flowers look like snow, but there is green all around.

Cloudscome said...

Simply gorgeous! Great feature you have here, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I will be looking for that book come the spring. And I love the image, and the poem, and the insight. Well done, Gina!

laura salas said...

I love Thunderherd, by Kathi Appelt, with Sayles' luminous art. And the Sailing Home and Time Flies images...I've got to go find them. I love that style.

Thanks for a great post!

HipWriterMama said...

The snowflake is stunning! Perfect with Midsummer Night's Dream. Perfect!

jules said...

That is a really beautiful snowflake. I'm so glad you've enjoyed this, Gina. I've enjoyed all your features. Wahoo! Thanks.

LindaBudz said...

Such a romantic image. Gorgeous flake, great post! Thank you!