One of the reasons I love children's literature is because I love and admire the fine art that appears on the pages. There are some books I've purchased solely for the illustrations. There are some artists whose illustrations do to me what Monet and Degas and Picasso does for others. But that is a different post. (coming soon to a blog near you!)
I love the light in these images of the rooms. It's heavenly. It makes me feel happy just looking at the image and I wish I could simply grab a delicious book and slip into that room and relax.
Carl Larsson is an artist I am familiar with thanks to greeting cards and bookmarks. My mom introduced me to him years ago and I keep running across his work in my random internet browsing and so I decided a blog post celebrating his work might be in order.
The images in this post are just a representation of his signature style--in fact, Sweden's signature style-- and the look I tend to favor among his many paintings. I love his use of color, the reds in particular. Yet, many of his paintings are filled with a variety of colors and shades, sometimes muted, like the birch tree breakfast scene below. Where color exists in his paintings, it really pops. What I think I love best of all is the way the images in each painting seem so crisp and distrinct and it must be a technique that is beyond my understanding. Whatever he's doing, I like. The image of the bathers reminds me of work by another artist, David Small, whose style seems similar perhaps in a kind of outlining of the image?
Carl Larsson (1853-1919) was a Swedish painter, whose most famous works are in watercolor (yet another trait he shares with David Small.... I guess I just like watercolor, eh?) Interestingly, Larsson did write and illustrate children's picture books in the late 1800s and also was one of the earliest Swedish comic creators. His wife and eight children were frequently his models and there is a homey charm that appears in his work, quite possibly because of that. He was also an interior designer and their home in the paintings reflects that side of him as well.