Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ARTLOVE: Maurice Sendak

As many have heard by now, crazily talented, beloved illustrator/writer Maurice Sendak has passed on. I discovered him back in the 80s when I was studying Illustration at Sheridan College. Wow. My major was book illustration and he was one of the gods. I fell in love with Where the WIld Things Are.
When I became a mother I discovered the television show Little Bear. Little Bear, Emily, Cat, Tutu, Uncle Rusty, Granny...these episodes were magic to me. I used to obsessively ram a VCR tape into the maching whenever I caught the beginning of an episode and pressed "record". I thought they were the best thing ever and wanted to make a tape to hang on to (for fellow fans, my two favourite episodes were Emily and Little Bear getting snowed in with her granny and the "winter solstice" episode where they hang cookies on the trees for the deer).
Sendak's illustrations were elegant, exquisite, lyrical and funny. I came across this quote of Mr. Sendak's today and thought it really quite lovely:
"I have nothing now but praise for my life. I'm not unhappy. I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more. ... What I dread is the isolation. ... There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready."
Rest in peace Mr. Sendak. You will be missed. Your work will delight us forever 

I've compiled images of the Sendak books I happily have in my collection: Where the Wild Things Are, Outside Over There, A Hole is to Dig, Dear Mili, Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life, Alligators All Around, Un Baiser Pour Petit-Ours, and the very cool pop-up book Mommy? Last year I also got the book Making Mischief. A Maurice Sendak Appreciation.


martinealison said...

Votre publication est un très bel hommage...
Gros bisous

mary maxam said...

A thoughtful and eloquent post Kim- he was the best!

Barbara Muir said...

With you 100%. Thanks for this. I saw his interview with Stephen Colbert a couple of months ago, and it was super. You could tell Colbert was crazy about him, and they worked on drawing together. So sad to see him go, he was one of the great pleasures of parenting.

XO Barbara

Bruce Sherman said...

Good Morning Kim!... The world is a much better place simply because of the gift that "Givers" like Maurice Sendak leave behind them for us to enjoy... and to help fill the void and great sense of loss that their passing creates. Because of their integrity and contributions... they can never really die!

Your post today matches the eloquence and simple Truth that Sendak enacted throughout his entire laudable career. He would be touched... as I have been with your words and sharing this morning.

Perhaps this quote... though short in length by another "Great One" says the same thing:

"Sorrow is such sweet parting."

But when you're "ready"... you're "ready". God speed!

Good Painting!
Warmest regards,

Crystal Cook said...

Beautiful post Kim. :)) He was such an amazing person. Where the wild things are is the book that really made me want to be a children's book illustrator. i remember reading it and just feeling absolutely swept away. Love this post Kim.

c.dingman said...

When the children were little I so enjoyed going to the library. I had them pick out the books based on the illustrators. His was one of the best.