A nice Friday blog post full of lots of lovely pictures… this week it’s Charley Harper. His images appear so simple, using a graphic style with clean lines and blocks of smooth colours. And yet he manages to get just enough detail in for you to be able to identify the type of bird or learn about the animal’s behaviour (especially the gibbons grooming each other – see photo below – I love this one!) or get the sense of drama from a scene.
The majority of his work is of animals. He illustrated the The Giant Golden Book of Biology: An Introduction to the Science of Life in 1961, which was used as a school text book for a while. I would absolutely love to have (or even see) a copy of this book, but I assume it’s worth a fair bit of money by now. Still, I hopefully keep a look out in charity shops, just in case. The squirrel picture below is taken from this book. He also did a whole run of posters for American national parks which are pretty cool. We have the Monte Verde one in our living room – its full of different types of animals found in that area and every time I look at it I see a different one I’ve missed or a tiny little bird hiding in the corner.
Here are some photos of the recent book called Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham. Its a beast of a book, a serious coffee table type thing jam-packed full of beautiful pictures. There is a really interesting interview at the beginning, but other than that the pictures just speak for themselves. Here’s a selection of pages from the book, but he was really prolific in his time (1922 – 2007) so just google him and you’ll get tonnes more pictures to look at!