Saturday, February 16, 2008

Walking with Rien

Tonight PK and I went for a walk along the shores of the bay. The light was pale, and faintly glowed of sunset. The dog rushed ahead of us at every turn, digging and pawing at the snow, looking for something smelly to roll in. As we passed through fields abandoned by farmers, and along the edges of conservation land, the winds picked up and whipped across the open land. At the end of the trail, Canada Geese scattered themselves across the ice flows and among the salt grass, their dark heads nervously lifting now and again to watch us. The scene reminds me of one of my favorite illustrators, Rien Poortvliet. These two pictures are from some of his many books.His nature drawings are so vivid, they nearly jump off the page. One thing that always amazes me is how informed his work is, how you can tell that he has spent hours just sitting and observing the world around him. He uses a limited palate of colors-lots of muted burnt sienna and blacks, a little yellow and green now and then. His Gnome books are brighter, but I am drawn to his wildlife studies again and again, and always notice something new living in the corner of his work. I am always inspired to pick up my pencils and sketch something when I look at one of his books.

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