Friday, January 9, 2009

Inspired by a special book...

I had a special thing happen the last couple days when I realized that a beautiful book I had been given by a stranger was a rare children's book by an amazing female artist, "Dahlov Ipcar"...the book is "Bug City." My copy is the best one on the market right now, and is valued at over $230!

Even more interesting is the amazing life and childhood of this Maine artist. For a wonderful essay she wrote see:

I hope to meet this artist sometime in the next couple of years. At age 91 her paintings are brighter and more intricate than ever. I have included here photos of the book for you to see how stunning her work is.

I love to meet people who inspire me, and who I can look up too. There are many things about this artist that I can relate too:

she lives in Maine, and I have spent lots and lots of time in Maine, having had a boyfriend on the coast there for seven years. She even painted a mural in his library in the children's area! also, my sister has a house in Maine, and they are not far from one another.

when I became a nanny and originally approached the CT agency, I asked for "an artist family in Greenwich village" and that was the situation she grew up with.

she does collaborative shows with women artists in Maine, like me and the Indie Arts girls do here-

her childhood home was painted yellow inside with bright art everywhere and her mom painted in the living room (check check check...this is how I live now).

and on it goes.

My favorite parts so far from her essay are her childhood descriptions of the families Greenwich Village apt, and her description of her mother sewing large bright flowers on their clothes (and this was in the 1920's and 30's!,):

"My childhood has always been important to me, for it was in many ways an unusual childhood. My parents, William and Marguerite Zorach, were both artists. I grew up in Greenwich Village in New York City, in a home full of modern art, of Fauvism and Cubism, in a creative atmosphere, where everything in our home was exciting and different from other peoples' homes. From the beginning, art seemed a natural part of life. My father would be carving in one large room of our apartment, wood chips all over the floor, with his finished carved figures standing about like members of the family. His oil paintings --marvelous, mysterious, semi-cubistic, and colorful -- hung on the walls. My mother would be painting in the adjoining room, which was both studio and living room. I could not have imagined a life without paintings on the walls, and color everywhere. Our walls were canary yellow; Adam and Eve were painted on one wall, with the snake winding down the tree. The floors were bright vermilion, and covered with rugs that my mother designed and hooked herself. She created large batik hangings and bedspreads, and every piece of furniture was decorated, each chair rung a different color."

"My mother designed and made all her own clothes, and ours too. My brother and I went to school in clothes embroidered with fantastic flowers. The principal once called my mother in and tried to tell her that she shouldn't send us to school in such fancy clothes. My mother said, "I can't afford to buy ordinary clothes, and if I'm going to make something it has to be something beautiful." The clothes were beautiful and certainly strange to others' eyes, very exotic. I'm sure to most people we looked like gypsies. "Bohemians" was the word used then. My father said that he started wearing more conventional clothes when he realized that people were more interested in his clothes than in his art. My parents had a vision of a new pastoral world where people would wear beautifully designed clothes or no clothes at all. On my mother's travels to India as a young woman, she did not see the primitive misery; she saw an amazing world of beauty and vivid colors which inspired her to change everything about her life."


sol y sombra creations said...

what a beautiful book! i love the illustrations...if you want me to tell you how to put live links on your blog posts..just tell me:)

sweetmaggiemay said...

yes, help!