Old friends

Each month our group meets and we bring along the books that we are working on. But we also bring many books inside of us – books we have read that have made an imprint.

Today I am going to post illustrations from books that I have loved throughout my life. Because there are so many to choose from I am going to start with Slavic and Russian illustrators. Every summer when I was a child we stayed in Churaevka, a village of Russian expatriots in Connecticut. Maybe that is why I am drawn to these artists.

This illustration is by the Czech artist Rudolf Mates and it comes from a book my mother had as a child called The Cock and the Hen.

Here are Andrewshek and Auntie Katushka from the Poppy Seed Cakes, illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham.

As a teenager I was given a book illustrated by Ivan Bilibin. This is his: Ivan and the Firebird.

As an adult I discovered Tatyana Mavrina

and Yuri Vasnetsov.

Not every meal includes an incandescent squirrel or giant cockroaches, but these artists are always with me at the table.

– Julie Paschkis

19 responses to “Old friends

  1. It is so interesting to see how these images influence your work — even to the details of the borders.

  2. Lovely blog and thanks for sharing these artists. I look forward to eavesdropping on more of your monthly critiques.

  3. I love seeing this art–it helps me understand your art even more. Wonderful!

  4. wonderful images ! thankyou for sharing

  5. I’m struck by how our journeys can be traced back to moments that may not have seemed all that significant at the time. I loved looking at the illustration examples, and I couldn’t help but compare them to yours. Amazing.

  6. I love your painting of “A Good Read” that introduces this post. I’m wondering if it’s for a forthcoming book or for an upcoming gallery show. It’s fascinating that your childhood summers at Churaevka may have opened your artistic sensibility to the work of Russian illustrators. Thanks for sharing these great images! Meg

  7. I agree with Laura–how interesting to see these influences! (Which raises the old question about influence and affinity; maybe you were drawn to their art because your own innate style happens to share elements with their styles?) I’m looking forward to visiting this blog every week!!

  8. I want to see more…I would love to read the stories…..I am glad you all are sharing.

  9. These are beautiful illustrations. Remind me of some books my mother has kept from her mother and father. I definitely see the influence in your work.

  10. These are beautiful! Thanks for posting them … I particularly love Bilibin, but these others, who I haven’t seen, are such strong and bold illustrators too …

  11. Such beautiful art by all those represented. I love seeing how you are influenced by others’ art but can still have your own unique style. Keep up the good work!

  12. I’m delighted to have found your blog. Thank you for a great post and these illustrations. I live in Australia, and it was wonderful for me to visit the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2010 and discover the books, in unique regional and national styles, that will never make it into stores in our country. I look forward to all that you provide in the future.

    All best wishes

    Peter Taylor

  13. I love Bilibin. In fact, Julie Larios just passed on a folio of some illustrations of his at the VCFA residency. Silly Julie! And The Poppy Seed Cakes had mystical status for me as a child. I, too, love this heavily patterned–or whatever you might call it– art!

  14. These are such bright, bold, vibrant illustrations to share! It’s a bit daunting to see the strong influences in your own work. It is a fortunate introduction at such a young age, Julie.

  15. I agree with Janet – “influence” is an interesting idea, but I think “affinity” comes closer to what happens. They’re almost coded into us, these strange attractions we can’t explain. In my workshop at VCFA this year, I called it “idiosyncratice attention” – something pulls our attention to it, there’s no escaping!
    (and Leda, I’m glad you like the prints in that folio! I was happy to see them go to a friend.)

  16. Thank you for sharing these! I love the insight into a cultural genre of illustration. It reminds me how my still-developing style is a part of my culture whether I recognize it or not.

  17. Beautiful and powerful images!! Thanks for sharing some of your sources of inspiration.

  18. I love the Russian and Czech illustrations you gave us. When I first came to Seattle in 1976 there was a restaurant across the street from the Harvard Exit. I seem to remember that it was named The Samovar, but I may be wrong. It had a large mural on the wall illustrating a Russian fairy tale, full of mysterious bearded characters and fabulous animals. A subsequent restaurant in that space kept the mural, even though it was something like a pizza place. I don’t know whether the current restaurant in that space still has the mural, but check it out!,

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