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Please, forgive me once again, but today I have to talk-write again in first person. I apologize for being a bit repetitive in geographically matters too, to place my thoughts in the same country lately, but things just happen, chance, providence or imagination. In this case, specifically yesterday, I found a series of illustrations printed in y old storybooks long time without being in my hands and I thought, I feel real fascination for the work of illustrators, and especially by the work of American artists .

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If you see the video I attached a little below, Whoopi Goldberg, American actress (“Sister Act “, “Ghost ” …), who is so fascinated, as happens to me with American artwork, discusses we have of such minor consideration to the illustration art. The actress says that Michelangelo illustrated the Sixtine Chapel ceiling, therefore must be considered , as long as our views, as one of the first illustrators. I think she’s right. From ancient times until schools teaching were institutionalized and  available to “all”, the majority of the population could not read. The spread of the stories, especially those that had to do with God, were illustrated for the common people could understand them. The great artists of art history have had a lot of illustrators that dictated their stories painted because their “sponsors” told them to do so. These are thoughts that try to rationalize the fact that illustrators are great artists. My personal assessment of a purely aesthetic, is that they were and are overwhelmingly huge artists.

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There is a museum in Rhode Island, lovely state (especially in autumn) in the northern United States, where you can visit the National Museum of American Illustration – http://www.americanillustration.org – Besides being a very curious building, displayed on its walls an invaluable collection on the history of illustration in USA. All great artists have work shown there. Among them, for my personal taste  there are three huge talents (there are many more): Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and N.C. Wyeth. These three artists, when I was a child, accompanied me for many rainy afternoons reading and bread with Nutella. I remember I could spend hours looking at every line, every detail of color, the scenery, the characters. I wished with all my might someday be able to draw well. My grandmother, who was a great artist and that dominated the charcoal technique (it is very difficult to be a master in this technique, believe me ), She said to me, ” Son, until you know perfectly draw a hand and a horse, you can not consider yourself a good drawing artist”. It was one of the reasons why I spent hours mesmerized watching the detailed illustrations of all my books, fascinated to see how the great masters of the illustration had reached that degree of skill .

There is one master for whom I have a special affection: Norman Rockwell. I consider him a “supermaestro” of the domain of drawing and color. Rockwell is the Superman of the illustration from my point of view. In addition, his drawings gives a touch of humor that I like a lot. Norman Rockwell is the portrait painter – illustrator of the twentieth century American history. His museum is a real treat – http://www.nrm.org/?lang=es – . Currently, besides Rockwell collection, you can see in the museum a large collection of artwork by Disney Studios. Located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is a place worth visiting and can be combined with a visit to Boston, the most “European” city of the United States.

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Of course , Marvel Comics, specifically Spiderman, marked another time when I personally struggled to draw the human body , as did Stan Lee and Ditko . Another hour illustrators had hooked me was Harold Foster , well known to lovers of comics for his “Tarzan” and, above all , by “Prince Valiant”, a true challenge of how far you can get with the domain illustration to tell a story.

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I think the kids room should be always full of illustrated books. I think it’s very important to encourage children to get close to books “with pictures” and they grow with them, at his side. The books with illustrations, encourage sensitivity to the plastic sense, the drawing, the use of imagination to create personal universes (not just with “Toy Story” human beings live). Encouraging creativity is very important to supplement the education of children and consider – and start writing again plural , it is because I am a serious guy – it can be a way for children to become a game of drawing, painting and who knows, maybe our country will have its own new Norman Rockwell in the future, with all our respect towards the huge number of Spanish artists and illustrators, there are many, many and which enable illustrated storybooks continue running. Thanks to all of them too!

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I miss a museum of drawing and illustration for stories in Spain. We will have to move the project to have one soon.

 

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