Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin




Friday, April 27, 2012

The Life of Color

I think it's genetic, on my father's side; all his cars, his clothing and his chair.  No room in my house is without it, even my KitchenAid mixer and dog's beds.  During the course of spring and summer I coax it from the gardens' ground, it becomes my bed on a sunny afternoon and I walk through its woodsy coolness.

I truly wanted to turn the pages of Green ( A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press) written and illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger slowly, drinking in the visual displays.  But I found myself quickly moving from one two-page illustration to another marveling at the beauty of each, softly exclaiming aloud.  When I read through it again, I plucked out the words, stringing them together as a completed poem seen on a single page.

Two word verses titling each of the hues, forest green, sea green, lime green, pea green, awaken other senses, observations associated with the words.  So, too, do the other lines offering up states of green, slow green.  Pair the text with Seeger's paintings and words like rich, renew, remember and reverent come to mind.

Whether seeing a small white rabbit peering around a trunk in a forest thick with leafy trees, a sea turtle gliding through the pristine waters, a freshly sliced lime resting on a surface or weathered boards as backdrop for equally scarred signs with diminishing words, the acrylics are bold, thick, inviting readers to reach out and touch them.  So lavish are they, one can almost smell the earth, hear the birdsong, feel the water caress one's skin, taste the sharp, tangy fruit or touch the roughness of old wood.  Illustrations resonating, breathing, life with astounding color remind readers of a continual rebirth.  As one moves from one cover to the other a serenity descends; the world fades away as you enter Seeger's tribute to and respect of green.

Noted in previous titles for her use of die-cuts, Laura Vaccaro Seeger depicts her keen sense and meticulous care with regard to design in Green. Two leaves in the forest become small fish in the sea, triangles of camouflage become golden moths and grass chewed by a zebra become the petals on Black-eyed Susans in her masterful hands.  No matter how many times I have read this I am continually astounded by her placement of the die-cuts; downright magical.

From the embossed, raised Green of the book jacket to the final two small die-cut leaves on the large tree truck, replicating the original two die-cut leaves, Laura Vaccaro Seeger has wrought an impressive work of art glowing from within, far-reaching in its effect. 

Here is the link to an outstanding interview at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast on April 17, 2012.  Another interview conducted at Reading Rockets this past summer is linked here.


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