Art With Heart: May Gibbs




[ARTWORK: May Gibbs©  WATER COLOUR: Being Ruby©]








[ARTWORK: May Gibbs©]





[ARTWORK: May Gibbs©]




[ARTWORK: May Gibbs©]







A few posts back I promised to search out some works by the Australian illustrator/author May Gibbs. Keen to bring her colourful works to you.. I searched the internet in vain and finally resorted to dragging my own book out of the garage to photograph them. To my surprise I found that most of the illustrations I've been carrying around in my memory for many a decade, were actually pencil sketches. Not the colourful works I recalled from my childhood memories. In fact my own book [a later edition] only contains a few colour plates. How can this be? I was sure all her magnificent creations were bursting with the hues of the Australian flora. Did I imagine this? Did my childhood imagination bring the colours to life? Now I'm not sure. Perhaps my original book was all in colour.  I may never know.. but I do know that May's work had a way of influencing a child's imagination.. allowing it to flourish and spread it's tendrils just like the wildflowers and flora that inspired her fanciful characters. 


The more I research and revisit her work.. the more I understand just what an inspirational artist she was. She took the landscape she so loved and created characters as real as the flowers themselves. Little living beings.. with hopes and dreams.. fears and foes.. desires and ambitions. She introduced the Australian Flora to generations of children.. and taught them that art was something to be admired and cherished.. [For instance 'The Artist's Studio' above].. 


I suspect that her work influenced me more than I remember and in an attempt to recreate what my memory held dear.. I decided to 'colour in' some of her pencil sketches..  [that is.. colour in using photoshop]. The first attempt didn't quite make the grade.. it's a whole new ball game.. 'painting' with photoshop and attempting to both create a water colour affect, and keep the integrity of the 'depression era' colours.. But I think I'm getting closer with my colour version of 'Cuddlepie Glared At The Huge Face'.. The 2nd image in this post is May's original pencil/charcoal sketch.. the 1st is my own attempt to bring her colours to life.  The last two colour images are May's original works photographed from my old dusty book from the garage.. 


I'm feeling this is going to be an new addiction for me and may work on a few more of her sketches.. That way I can share with you her wonderful imagination and bring my own childhood memories to life. I may have to work on the Banskia Man soon.. The evil antagonist in May's stories and the rascal that started me on this journey.. In case you missed it.. you can find that post [ here].



Thanks everyone for indulging me in this little obsession. It's been a while since I posted to my 'Art With Heart' series. And it's been a while since I've visited all you kind folk [sorry!!!].  You'll be pleased to know I did get back to garage duties and have almost competed throwing out years and years of 'stuff'.. I did of course keep the memories.. In living colour it would seem!!!


Have a lovely new week




Julie b


IMAGE SOURCE & CREDITS

All May Gibbs Images [#1-#4] photographed from 
'The Adventures of Cuddlepot & Snugglepie'
Image#1: Has been 'coloured'  by [BeingRuby©]






MAY GIBBS
1877-1969



Biography: Cecilia May Gibbs 1877 - 1969. May migrated  to Perth Australia when she was four years old. Following her marriage in 1919 she moved to Sydney, settling in Neutral Bay and her beloved home Nutcote. During her illustrious career she designed magazine covers,  illustrations, postcards and published children's book.. the most famous being 'The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie' featuring two gumnut babies and their escape from the big bad Banksia men. Sadly she died childless in 1969, leaving her estate to UNICEF, the Spastic Centre of NSW and the NSW Society for Crippled Children [now the Northcott Society]. Often heralded for her benevolence to children.. she was also a conservationist.. and taught us to admire and protect the living world around us.


28 comments:

mise said...

These are very charming, a fully-fledged internal world. I guess we're of a generation that got used to colouring in the black and white in our minds - tv was monochome, as were many books, and our imaginations supplied the rich depth.

Shellbelle said...

WOW, you did a wonderful job bringing her pencil sketch to reflect what your mind remembers from your childhood. Art is like that though, it makes an impression on us and hers obviously brought thoughts of the beauty around you and that's what stuck in your memory all these years.

I love her work even more because of the message behind the images. How wonderful to teach children to protect our living world and what a rich legacy she left behind.

Thank you for sharing her art with us, dear Julie.

Hugs

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest heart,

You are making me want to get down into my little drawing studio and draw again. I hadn't drawn in about two months since our renovations,and these works of art are what I enjoy trying to emulate. I am glad you are finding joy in sharing for WE LOVE what you have!!! Your vision through the lens always gives us a better view of the reality....so much needed in these days of HARSH realities. So hope you are well, Anita

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Delightful post Julie...thank you for introducing me to this talented artist and her charming work. Love the colors that you chose...how fun to paint in Photoshop....

Zuzu said...

You did a great job with the Photoshop, Julie! The colors look amazing. May's artwork reminds me of Rose O'Neill's Kewpie. Very charming!

Martina said...

Ooooh such fantastic ilustrations! Love good children books so much! Have a relaxed rest of sunday!

Blondie's Journal said...

Her art (and yours) is just WONDERful and from looking at the bibliography, she lived a long life!

XO,
Jane

michelle said...

These are beautiful Julie and I think you did an incredible job "coloring" the photo. It looks very vintage still and brings the photo to life. She seemed like a very wonderful woman. Her illustration are magical and isn't it interesting the way our childhood minds saw things completely different then our adult minds! Some days I wish I could look at life again through those eyes. :)
I hope you had a great weekend!!

**Anne** said...

Oh this is lovely. I loved May Gibbs when I was small and it is lovely to be reminded how gorgeous her work is.
Anne xx

Ange said...

Snuggle pot and cuddle pie!! My favourites :)

Stephanie said...

These are so charming! I can see why you would be influenced by her art. I love your interpretations too. But my favorite part? It's the idea that the pictures could so resonate with you that your imagination recalled them bursting with color. It is true what they say. The best are is that which moves us.

Carole said...

Thanks Julie for introducing me to May Gibbs. Wonderful and inspiring indeed. Glad it made the cut in the decluttering. Would be a shame to not hold on to sure a treasure.
Been absent in blogland myself lately. Bad little blogger I am!

hugs,
Carole

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Well that was fun and so unexpected to find here. The images are just darling and I think you did a beautiful "paint job" with yours. Such sweet little happy faces.

simon said...

is she related to the bee gees?

Annie said...

What a delightful posting. Thanks for introducing me to May Gibbs and her magical creatures!

Sarah Klassen said...

I love your posts, Julie! You always share such intriguing things and make me look at things differently than I perhaps would have typically... I love these, and the connection to childhood warms the heart. Thank you for sharing :)

Hope you have a wonderful new week,
xoxo

Leovi said...

Magnificent series of illustrations with a mix of B / W. I love them. I wish you a wonderful week!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning dearest Julie,

Oh, I just saw more pictures of Japan and it is too heartbreaking, indeed. Our prayers are all we can offer, being so far away...and LIVING in LOVE for each other is another way I know I can survive. Life IS so precious. Keep creating such beauty my dear, life is at your fingertips. Anita

Exquisite Accessories said...

Hi Julie, oh I missed some of your post's caught up now, I think with out clouds on the boat picture, May Gibbs what a drawer wasn't she amazing! The little characters seem so real I can understand as a child you could be drawn into such an imaginary world, you would just want to be a part of cuddlepot & snugglepie. I know I would have I love the storys of the mice from Brambleyhedge loved reading them to my kids when they were little. Well Julie my caluculations when you were on the Oriana I was on a ship called MTS Daphne (costa cruises) sailing around the caribbean so we were on the ocean waves, but in different sea's :)) have a great week Julie x

mermaid gallery said...

Those early books really had impact on me too, so i really understand your love for her work. Little people so relate to stories about little people. She draws them sweetly but not "cutesy"....hard to do! Nice job with the photoshop too. You are a real wizard with that...very cool. Hope it's sunny over on your side of the world. We are above freezing at least with piles of melting, ugly snow. Have a walk on the beach for me! best, Susan

Loree said...

What absolutely endearing images. So cute. I am sure children can't help but love them.

Elisa Day said...

Wonderful, thanks for sharing.

La Petite Gallery said...

Fantastic Illustrator, Looks like the old childcraft books. My Uncle was an Illustrator Mutt and Jeff. yvonne

Laurie Blaswich said...

Hi Julie,
How are you? So nice to hear from you, I never know what I will find, when I visit you :-). But always know it will cause me to think ...I love that, May Gibbs how charming !

Happy Monday,
Chat soon
Laurie

Design Elements said...

wonderful words, Julie. Love the title. Actually love everything made with heart and passion. warm hugs to you

Chatelaine said...

Oh my, how lovely. I especially like the first one. Such darling artwork!

Angela Steyn said...

Julie, what a gorgeous and sentimental post for me... I spent my childhood tucked up in bed with Snugglepot & Cuddlepie! So beautiful.

Angela x

Sue MacDonald said...

This is neat! I also had two original copies of the complete Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and there were indeed, colour plates as well as the black and white drawings. As an illustrator/artist I find that poring over the pictures as a child influenced my work as a child.