Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays with the Little Guys

A Little Guy by W. Heath Robinson.

The musician above is from an old sheet music illustration. In it, he's following a lovely, dancing wood sprite. Within the illustration, he's only about 1/2" tall--but what personality and expression!

There are few things I like better than the elf-like, faery-like, Hobbit-like people of legend who are full of character and life.  Include in that the Little Guys, my own label for all the goofy humans drawn over the centuries by artist/illustrators. You can find them everywhere, sometimes greatly caricatured, sometimes with gently exaggerated features, always packed with vitality and infused with some mystery. Hunting for and collecting new Little Guys is a favorite pastime of mine--here are a few of the best.

The Wild Man. A.B. Frost. 

Arthur Burdett Frost ( illustrated many books full of regular humans, and he's probably best known for his pictures of Brer Rabbit. But his versions of little guys are pretty matchless. The sinister Wild Man above is an illustration from the Lewis Carroll poem, Poeta Fit Non Nascitur (which, according to google translate, means: "The Poet is Not Born"). I love his face and that broken symbol of  bad luck sticking out of his hat.

Snow, Real Snow. Honore Daumier.

Probably my favorite lithograph--or image--of all time. Maybe. It is perfection though, not only in the stance and wonder-filled expression of the fellow, but in the absolutely spot-on light and atmosphere of an early, snow-filled morning.  Am I crazy, or is this not the peerless evocation of a universal feeling? Perfect verisimilitude!

And if you do think I'm looney, please just accept this picture as my 
Happy Holiday Peace-Wish 
(via the genius of Daumier) 
for you.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

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