Art is a visual language and an artwork is like a book.
The words, the vocabulary, are light, space, color, texture, tone, line and so forth - all of the visual qualities which the artist provides. One needs time to ‘read’ an artwork to understand what the artist is saying - especially if the artist is thoughtful and the visual vocabulary complex. The more that the artist says or implies with this vocabulary, the more interesting the art, the more there is to think about, the more there is to learn and enjoy!
In book illustration, pictures are part of a coordinated effort to use all parts of a book to tell a story, interpret its words; enrich and guide the reader’s experience.
In painting, ideas inspired by the world - and by the artist’s reactions to the world: its persons, places, creatures and phenomena - are expressed by visual forms. These visual forms embody the life and energy, the essence or spirit of both the subject and the artist.
Cinderella. The Glass Slipper. Pen and ink.
John Hutton was raised in Pound Ridge, New York. He was educated at Princeton, Harvard and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He is fascinated by storytelling art, and especially by children’s picture book illustration. Currently associate professor of art history at Salem College where he has taught since 1990, he resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife and three children.
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