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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Variant

Art by Jerry Pinkney
The Tortoise and the Hare by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney is AMAZING!  I know, I'm very biased because I just love Mr. Pinkney's art, no matter what.  He is a true watercolorist.  The Tortoise and the Hare is told with very few words.  The words that are used show the slow and steady way of the tortoise, the words appear by adding one more word at a time. First slow, then slow and, then slow and steady... until the whole phrase appears at the end of the race.  
Mr. Pinkney's way of showing that process is by showing the process of the race.  That is exactly how it is with watercolor painting too.  You start with the lightest colors, adding layer after layer of paint.  Wow, WOw, WOW, WOW! is all I can say. And this process parallels life.
The art is brilliant in color and expression.  I love how he has personified the animals with clothing.  Mr. Pinkney uses graphite, watercolor, colored pencils, gouache, and pastel on Arches hot-pressed watercolor paper.  I agree with him about Arches, but I like cold-press paper a bit more.
At the Caldecott Pre-Conference, in June, I had the honor of meeting Mr. Pinkney, and we spoke briefly after the Coretta Scott King Breakfast.  We spoke about watercolors and painting and I shared how much I love watercolors and how working with them has helped me slow down and take more time with life, because as with life and watercolors, if you mess with it too much, it usually ends up bad.  You have to just let go and let the paper, paint, and water do it's thing.  When I read and explore his children's picture books, I feel like they connect right to my soul.

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