Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Edward Gorey



This is a portrait I did of the twisted and demented children's book writer and illustrator Edward Gorey. I would give a copy of The Gashlycrumb Tinies, which came out in 1963, to all of the kids in my life, but I would probably get "one of those" talks, from their parents, if you know what I mean. The kids would love it, though.

G Is For Gorey Who Laughed In Dark Places
12x18
colored pencil on tinted paper

16 comments:

Mike Dutton said...

I think you've struck something here, Bruce. The message in the box is a really delightful juxtaposition against the stark expression on his face. This, along with your tribute to Kurt Vonnegut piece from a few months back are two of my favorite images for the same aesthetic qualities.

Ana Banana Nuts & Honey said...

oh! THis is an excellent portrait, Bruce! Wonderful pencil technique and detail in the face and clothing!!!!! You've captured the expression and the essence of this man very well! And the composition, that it is a little off center and the space above, gives the image a kind of quirky feel! Wonderful! And I agree with Mike, this and the Kurt Vonnegut piece are my two favorites of your work!

Merisi said...

Great portrait!
Maybe you should start 'em little ones by giving them some Bellairs mystery ("Beware the doom of the haunted opera!") before graduating them to the Gorey ABC?
I love that kind of humor and have infected my kids too (they in turn thank me by telling me at every turn that I am not funny! *grin*).

Bruce said...

Mike: I used the text in the box in the same way that Gorey used it in The Gashlycrumb Tinies (B is for BASIL assaulted by bears) and I wanted to convey that this guy laughed in places that the rest of us may not have. He was a guy that it would have been great to have a beer with, I think. And thanks for the comments on the portraits, Mike, i have fun doing them. I think it would be cool to have a series of them, eventually. Your Early Bird paintings are great btw and I'm really enjoying looking at everyone's paintings.

Ana Banana: Thanks Ana! Centering him in the middle of the page wouldn't have been as interesting to me and would have left little room for the all important decorative text box element. You know, the more that I look at this drawing the part that I'm most pleased with is his nose. I don't know why.

Merisi: They may be too young for Gorey, although I have a sneaking suspicion that one of my nieces would get it. I have never heard of the Bellairs stuff, so I checked it out on Amazon-I may have to investigate myself!

Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli said...

Hey Bruce,

This is really nice. Beautiful job. You're awesome at portraits.

I never knew that this is what Edward Gorey looked like. He's a favorite.

Bruce said...

Hey Jackie, thanks, maybe I can put together a string of these portraits, since I've been enjoying doing them lately.

I tried to leave a comment on your blog about your Joy Division illustration and I kept getting a negative URL message type thing. I'll try again later.

DAD said...

Hey Bruce! I have just discovered you thanks to blog of Anijo. (Sankwee)
I find that what you make is rather well!
Sure, you are a good designer....
Bravo!

DAD said...

?????? I see that you put me in your favourites!
Why not puts you of comments?
It is important for me, to read of what other designers think of my job. It's for it that I made a blog! ^^

Bruce said...

???? Dad, you just discovered me? Have I made such a forgettable impression on you that you don't remember coming here before and commenting, too?!!
And I have left comments in your blog, as well! Ha, ha!

I will visit for sure, now!

ThanKwee-Anajo said...

Hi Bruce!

I didn't even know who Edward Gorey was. I've been reading up on him and he's an interesting man and I feel as though I've been living in a cave to have not been familiar with his work!

Very nice line drawing. What I like the best are the eyes and the way that you depicted those loose hairs on top of his head.

Ah, I remember dad commenting here before.. Something about a football helmet I think. ;)

DAD said...

Pffff.... I become old and I drink too much.....

DAD said...

I am ashamed of to have forgotten you and dropping as an old sock....

DAD said...

Ouiiiiii! I remember! The helmet of foible! It is you!!!!

Bruce said...

Anajo: Oh yeah, Gorey is a treat, especially in these overblown politically correct times. Heck, even if we weren't!

I almost forgot about the hairs standing up on his head, but now that you said it, i think that it adds something subtle to the portrait. Happy accident.

Oh, that Dad...

Dad: Ha, ha! That old sock with the Helmet Of Foibles! it is me!

Katya said...

This is awesome! I've loved Edward Gorey ever since I can remember. "The Doubtful Guest" was read to me from the time I was about 3, and I've always loved it.
This portrait is really cool.. I really like his eyes.
=]
Awesome job.
*jealous*

Bruce said...

Thank you, Katya! He's the best. I've always loved his work and I really can't say just when I discovered him (my parents would never bring something like his work into the house!), but I think that his works have been an underlying force behind my works and thoughts, hehe.

Originally, I was going to do the portrait in the style that he worked in, but this came out instead.
I should make up prints of this...

Thanks again, Katya.