Storybook: Little Bear's Wish by Else Holmelund Minarik | Little Bear is a series of children's books, primarily involving the interaction of Little Bear (a small cub) and Mother Bear (Little Bear's Mother), and the yearning he has for his father who is a ship's captain and absent for long periods. The first book in the series was published in 1957, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Initially the stories were simple, but eventually became more sophisticated in subsequent books as the plot and characters expanded.
The first four Little Bear books consist of four stories, each of which involves Little Bear and a slowly expanding cast of support characters, each named after their respective species. The Little Bear character and his immediate family display many bear-like characteristics and mannerisms, but only on occasion. They live in a culture and technology which seems to be the woodland equivalent of a Little House on the Prairie setting, but with richer items. Little Bear is depicted as friendly and adventurous with his animal friends.
My storybook painting is based on Little Bear. I chose to re create the page of little bears adventures out of "Little Bear's Wish", when little bear takes a tunnel to China and brings back chopsticks for mother bear. The Chinese lettering on the hat reads: make a wish
"My childhood was spent in southern and northern California, bouncing around place to place, briefly residing in Vermont and Washington.
Finally, after some 16 different schools, K - 12, I finished school in western New York State. Overall, the experience was both difficult and exciting. After graduating high school in 1989, I enrolled in commercial design classes for a year at a privately owned art school. My training there launched me into the competitive environment of graphic design where I worked for 6 years. At that point, I felt increasingly driven to live a life with more meaning and purpose, and so decided to leap in a new direction, starting a career as a licensed massage therapist. Massage enriched my life.
More than that, it increased my knowledge of the human anatomy and healing. After 8 satisfying years as an LMT, my husband took a job out of state and we re-located. The move spurred another change in direction for me, During the past 4 years, I have redirected my attention to the fine arts. In the past, when I had pursued fine art, my work involved incorporating natural objects. It’s since evolved from depiction of the natural and external world to exploration of the internal landscapes of memory, dream, fantasy. Now I exhibit widely, both nationally and internationally and enjoy a growing fan base, while I continue deepening my skills, developing my style and exploring my favorite mythic themes." ~Lara Dann
Storybook: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl | James and the Giant Peach is a popular children's novel written in 1961 by British author Roald Dahl. The plot centres on a young English orphan boy who enters a gigantic, magical peach, and has a wild and surreal cross-world adventure with six magically-altered garden bugs he meets. Roald Dahl was originally going to write about a giant cherry, but changed it to James and the Giant Peach because a peach is "prettier, bigger and squishier than a cherry."
Richard James Oliver
Born in Pontypridd, Wales in 1975.
Currently Paints and resides in Los Angeles CA.
Solo exhibitions include the Known Gallery, Hollywood, Los Angeles. Museum of Modern Art, Wales. Attic Gallery, Swansea and Rhondda Heritage park permanent Mural.
Mixed Exhibitions Worldwide including London, New York and most recently Los Angeles.
Paintings currently hang in Museums and public display throughout the UK and private clients are worldwide.
Richard J Oliver was born and raised in Wales, United Kingdom, studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England and undertook his Masters at UWIC in Wales. In his time between studies, Oliver built his reputation, beginning in Wales and later gaining recognition throughout the UK. His work has been included in numerous European group shows, which then segued into solo shows, including an exhibition at the prestigious Museum of Modern Art in Wales.
Oliver's early work focused on his homeland, particularly the struggle of its youth trying to find identity in the aftermath of the local mining industry's demise. His work often showcased the skeleton landscapes of mining villages in the Welsh valleys juxtaposed with contemporary youth.
His latest works explore more universal subjects, from environmental issues to humanitarian and social problems that are close to his heart.
Since becoming a parent, Oliver has explored the anxieties of raising a child in an environment on the brink of disaster. The images touch on the tragedy of children forced to survive in an apocalyptic environment and violently fend for themselves. He transforms the natural instincts of fatherhood and family protection into striking visuals. More recently, portraits have crossed into the dark, brooding world of Grimm's fairytales and surrealistic subjects that help convey the emotion and tragedy of our world's children. Oliver works closely with many charities, most recently donating proceeds to Dreamlovecure.org and City of Hope's Department of Paediatrics.
Storybook: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame | The Wind in the Willows is a children's novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley.
Storybook: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon | A mother fruitbat loves her baby called Stellaluna very much and would never let anything happen to her. When the two are attacked by an owl, the predator knocks Stellaluna out of her mother's safe embrace. Soon the baby bat ends up in a bird's nest filled with three baby birds named Pip, Flitter and Flap. The mother bird will let Stellaluna be part of the family only if she eats bugs, does not hang by her feet and sleeps at night.
When all the baby animals grow, they learn to fly. When Stellaluna and the birds are out playing, it gets dark and the birds go home without her because they will not be able to see in the dark. Stellaluna keeps flying, but when Stellaluna's wings hurt, she stops to rest. When she does, she hangs by her thumbs. Soon another bat comes to ask why Stellaluna is hanging by her thumbs. She tells the bat the story of what had happened after she and her mother were attacked by the owl. Another bat interrupts the story. That bat is Stellaluna's mother. Stellaluna and her mother are happily reunited and Stellaluna finally understands why she is so different.
Excited about learning how to be a bat, Stellaluna returns to Pip, Flitter, and Flap in order to share her new experiences. They agree to join Stellaluna and the bats at night, but find they are unsuited to flying at night and nearly crash. Stellaluna rescues them and the four of them decide that while they may be very different, they are still friends and family.
Laurie Lee Brom grew up in the historical town of Charleston, South Carolina, the local ghost stories and folk tales of the swampy Low County, and rich Gullah culture stirring her imagination. She spent untold hours pursuing pixies and tree frogs in the hollow logs and Pluff Mud of her own backyard. Today she still pursues fairy folk along with all manner of curious ghosts and odd characters in her enchanting portraits and paintings.