The only other image of animate life form is the nest with eggs high up in the bough of the tree.

Page 15 – Plate III: the butterfly, the Princess, and the spider (A&I perspective)

by Danny Garrett, Austin, Texas

In this second full-page illustration plate, we glimpse the seminal moment when Princess April is standing between two worlds – that of her safe home, the Enchanted Forest, and the Great World (our world). The line between the two shines, as a plumed and caped black spider bids her entry. Her constant companion, the blue butterfly, still rolls its eyes, and while hand-less seems to continue its moan.

The only other image of animate life form is the nest with eggs high up in the bough of the tree.

The only other image of animate life form is the nest with eggs high up in the bough of the tree.

The only other image of animate life form is the nest with eggs high up in the bough of the tree.

This image is semiotically rich. Figures, colors and composition are chock full of symbols and signs that tell a story of their own. Consider for a moment how the space in the illustration is divided and how the coloration enhances this division. The upper part, about 2/3 of the image, is light and airy and signifies the haven of the Enchanted Forest, while the lower part, dark and somewhat dense, delineates the Great World, with its dangers and challenges.

Page 15 - the spider and the border between the Great World (left-bottom) and the Enchanted Forest (right-top)

Page 15 – the spider and the border between the Great World (left-bottom) and the Enchanted Forest (right-top)

Even the foliage speaks to this dichotomy – garlands wrap the trunk of the tree, whose brown is almost as light as the popcorn blossoms hanging from its limbs and the star-shaped flowers on the ground. Beneath the shining border, a darker field with dense deco-plants speaks of a landscape not so benign.

While this illustration appears simple, almost primitive, Letitia inserts sophisticated design elements. She created a simple, practically invisible, design line that carries the viewer from the lower left corner to the right side and out the upper left hand corner. You can follow this line by tracing the thread of the upper part of the web to the base of the tree and upward along the underside of the branch until it exits in the NW corner. As the eye follows this ‘line’, the narrative of the moment is revealed.

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Danny Garrett

About Danny Garrett

Danny Garrett, Digital Restoration Artist for "Princess April Morning-Glory" Danny Garrett is best known for his contributions to music ephemera of Austin, Texas, especially in its heady early days in the 1970s. His pen & ink poster portraiture advertising the latest shows were a must-have addition to any blues-lover who saw such greats as Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and so many more at the legendary Antones nightclub.As computers came of age, Danny adapted and began working for digital game companies, later transitioning to teaching both traditional and digital art. While holding a tenured position at Auckland University of Technology in the Graphic Arts Dept., Danny developed digital techniques to restore Letitia’s artwork to its full glory, and render the previously unprintable pages, printable. Second only to Letitia, we would not finally be reading copies of Princess April Morning-Glory had Danny not graciously volunteered to take this project on.

One thought on “Page 15 – Plate III: the butterfly, the Princess, and the spider (A&I perspective)

  1. Pingback: Page 17 – Immediately Princess April realized that she had been tricked (Artists and Illustrators perspective) | Princess April Morning-Glory

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