written and illustrated by Erik Blegvad 1979
This AMAZING book arrived in the mail right before Christmas. Erik Blegvad became my favorite illustrator this summer (I kept adding his illustrated books to this blog). So I ordered this book second hand and it's even better than I imagined.
It's a very simple auto-biography filled with Blegvad's own illustrations as well as a few from instrumental artist friends and mentors. He writes it in a conversational way, telling us about his father who hoped to become an artist but was a marine biologist instead, his grandfather who knew the King (of Denmark), and his childhood spent in Copenhagen.
He writes about going to art school and meeting his wife (the author Lenore Blegvad) in Paris. And as to be expected, the accompanying pictures are wonderful. There are rough sketches and two pages of what he calls "Roughs, Revisions, Dummies, Doodles, and Decorated Envelopes". You can guess how much I just love the "decorated envelope" page!
Erik and his wife Lenore
Love these envelopes!!
Though I loved his work before, I love him even more now through this kind and inspirational biography.
There's a lazy side to me. I hold it responsible for placing a sunrise north of Copenhagen, or a sixth finger on a decorated envelope, and for occasionally making some stiff and graceless drawings.
But when my lucky side is working, I find myself concentrated at the tip of my pen. Which to my delight, proceeds to create people, objects, and worlds I never knew existed.
To have learned to observe at such an early age, to have stumbled into such a varied life, to have spent it with such extraordinary people- there's luck for you.
Other books illustrated by Erik Blegvad: