Monday, August 2, 2010

Monsters, Floods, Mermaids, and a Great Dane

It is August and we musn't keep you from enjoying the final days of your lazy, hazy summer, must we? Must not we?

I offer up the following for your consideration: Three quite different covers with similar compositions. Well, kind of. Try squinting at them:

Living Hell by Catherine Jinks, YA (Harcourt, 2010, originally published in UK with a different cover)

Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood by Jame Richards, a YA historical novel in verse (Knopf, 2010)
Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales retold by Naomi Lewis, with cover art and introduction by Jan Pienkowski (Puffin, 1995, 2010)
Feel free to tell me I'm crazy, but these three strike me as having the same predominant line anchoring the composition. Call it a flourish, or maybe a wave or curl or swirl, it forces the eye up from the bottom and then from side to side. It evokes a sense of motion, watery motion, fluid motion, slipperiness even. Just right for sea monsters, mermaids and flood waters.

Love that mermaid--could look at that drawing all day--thanks, Mr. P.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, now. Before you slather on that sunscreen and step into those flip-flops and head for the beach or the mall or a business meeting or wherever people go in flip-flops these days, request that you have a look at these three URLicious links, okay?
 Enjoy the week!


  1. Carol, when I glanced at those three covers without spending much time on the details, I got the impression of a hand--a claw, even, with the second one. Anyone else see that?

    Those paintings of Hammershoi's paintings? They could have come straight from some psychological thriller. Eerie. Nay, beyond eerie. Creepy!

  2. A claw--I didn't catch that. I thought those waves were a bit too benign for such a dangerous flood. Hmm.

  3. Glad I found your blog- the curve you are talking about has been used in design since the days of Leonardo Divinci- it is called the "golden mean" and is the same swirl you see in nature- like the inside of the inside of a Conc shell and in architecture- like in a spiral stair case.

  4. That's cool. I'd read about the golden mean, but didn't realize this was what they meant. Thanks, Julia!