by Danny Garrett
Here we have a page that is half illustration and half illuminated calligraphy.
In the illustration, we have some finely rendered deco imaging. This is especially apparent in the headboard of April’s bed. However it is also indicative of the way the scene, itself, is laid out. It’s almost geometric in the way that the figures are arranged, and the eye is drawn directly to April. Ironically, pale and in white gown, her presence is like a wisp against the bedclothes.
The illustration itself is boldly presented. Wings frame PAMG – on the left the wings of the Fairy King and on the right those of the Blue Butterfly. The tone of most of the image is decidedly cool, with blues, turquoise and purple. That makes the lightness of the fireflies, the wings and April in her bed stand out so starkly. The striking warmth of the pale vermillion headboard pulls the eye up with its overwhelming visual weight, compared with the other tonal elements in the scene.
The calligraphy and illuminations carry forth at their usual cadence. ‘Princess’ receives its coronet and does ‘King’ its crown, while ‘Fairy’ goes all celestial once again. The ‘magic wand’ receives an illumination as well with a shining star at its tip. Letitia has connected the Fairy King with his magic wand by a graphic device – a shining star. A brilliant bit of visual semiotics. Letitia is remarkable in that way.
This is also a remarkable date for this blog entry. Wednesday, December 11, 2013 marks a century since Letitia Fairbanks was born. This is her Centennial. And nothing could be a better birthday present – from her to the world – than this book, Princess April Morning-Glory.
Happy birthday, Letitia.