Easthampton, MA: 1993. Publishing archive (complete) containing original art which served as setting copy for trade children's book published by Hyperion Press. This complete archive consists of 19 watercolors approximately 20 x 12 inches each on 24 x 18 inch paper, each individually matted and signed by the artist, Alan James Robinson. Also included are 11 large pencil drawings corresponding to the watercolors noted above (as preliminary studies) that were used as the images on each page of the book. These drawings are annotated in the artist's hand and signed by him, the annotations relating to changes in the image requested by the publisher. Also included are 6 additional watercolors approximately 20 x 12 inches on 24 x 18 inch paper, matted, of completed compositions not included in the book. Also included in this archive are two portfolios housing 47 pencil sketches on various sizes of transparent paper and 115 pencil sketches respectively. These sketches, some of which are collages and some of which are annotated with artist's notes, vary in size from 1 x 1-1/2 inches to 12 x 18-3/4 inches. Also included is a sample page of watercolor in blue noting that this is the shade to be used. Also included are original typescript of book plus original mock-up of book. This archive is housed in 3 custom-made grey cloth clamshell boxes, two of which with hand-lettered label and the third with a facsimile label. The boxes are 25-3/4 x 19 -1/4 inches and are 4 inches deep. Some wear to boxes, some of the drawings used as transfers with smudges and wrinkles (showing actual use by the artist) but the setting art and finished pencil compositions in fine condition. Commissioned by Hyperion Press (publishing arm of Disney Corporation) and published in 1993, the text is by Madeleine Dunphy. Alan James Robinson, naturalist artist and proprietor of Cheloniidae Press was selected to illustrate this children's book. This publication was selected by the National Science Teacher Association as an "Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children" and An International Reading Association "Teacher's Choice" and short listed for the 1994 Caldecott Medal. It is still in print.
The watercolor images of the creatures inhabiting the Arctic in winter are set forth against the ink-black arctic night that lasts the season featuring that incredible blue glow that comes with polar winters.
The artist, Alan James Robinson, tells me that he considers this some of his best work. Certainly the watercolors exhibit a level of artistry not usually seen in commercially published children's books. The animals are portrayed with accuracy. Species hunting one another are depicted without sentimentality. The finished compositions have lost no artistic integrity to realism. There is, rather, a heightened realism surrounding the animals in their natural, beautiful but stark habitat. The large size of each image allows the viewer to easily enter this visually intriguing twilight/night world.
This is the complete archive from the artist for the only children's book he has created. Item #10410