Page 34: the word "night"

Page 34 – to the wing with her hair ribbon (Artists and Illustrators)

Danny Garrett
Austin, Texas

This is really a stunning page. A very rich illustration takes up half of it, with five illuminations to follow.

Page 34 - the top half-page illustration of Princess April mending a sparrow's wing.

Page 34 – the top half-page illustration of Princess April mending a sparrow’s wing.

The top-half page illustration is wonderful example of Letitia’s watercolor skills. This image is well composed. April and the bird she is mending take center stage, while a good sized rock provides a background that takes up most of the frame. Bookending the rock are the blue butterfly and a flowering plant. There is also action in the scene as April applies a splint to the broken wing, while the butterfly hovers nearby with another leaf for the bird’s bed. The colors – especially that of the bird – are just extraordinary.

Page 34: the word "day"

Page 34: the word “day”

Page 34: the word "night"

Page 34: the word “night”

The illuminations on the lower half of the page are equally as extraordinary. The first is of the blue butterfly. It seems to be a clone of the same image contained in the illustration, but compressed somewhat horizontally. The larger image, in the illustration, is the better of the two, providing a richly-rendered portrait of April’s faithful companion. Still, the patterning on the smaller one is so delicate and detailed. Two subsequent images – one of day and one of night – really dominate the lower space. Both are faithful studies of the two states of a single day, whether in Fairyland or the Great World.

The two smaller illuminations are just endearing. The last, that of the leaves, while standard shows just how thorough Letitia was in illuminating April’s world. But the one hovering above “nursed” is my favorite image on the page. While it is a simple red cross, outlined in black, it carries more meaning than any other on the page. Why? Because it is semiotic. That is, it is not merely an illumination, but a symbol – pregnant with cultural meaning. This has nothing to do with illuminating – or illustrating – a thing, an action, or a state of being, but rather presenting a glyph with vast societal and cultural meaning; meaning beyond mere surface image. Though put down with watercolor and ink long before the term “meme” was recognized – this is, in fact, one. Letitia, an old fashioned watercolorist and illustrator has tapped into future (now contemporary) ways of ascribing meaning.

This entry was posted in 3. For Artists and Illustrators by Danny Garrett and tagged , , , , , , , on by .
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.

Leave a Reply