OK, admittedly I’m a sucker for the kind of parody/homage to Vermeer seen in children’s book illustrator Chris Sheban’s take on Vermeer’s “Young Woman with a Water Pitcher“, hanging on a kid’s bedroom wall in the illustration above. Add in my affection for paleo art and dinosaurs in general (I want one of theose brachiosaurus lamps) and I couldn’t help but be fascinated.
I was delighted to find that Sheban’s other work is just as terrific. His illustrations are wonderfully imagined and executed, composed of rich, atmospheric colors, a subtle play of light and striking characters; and enlivened with a beautifully textured rendering style.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much biographical info or details on his working methods, as Sheban doesn’t seem to have a web site. I found a few stray bits of information, he lives in Illinios and trained in Perugia, Italy, but that’s about all I could find.
I was particularly disappointed to see that many of the books he has illustrated, apparently including I Met a Dinosaur, for which he received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators and which I presume included this image, are not currently in print (undoubtedly a result of the insane overemphasis on what’s new at the expense of all else, that’s indicative of the sorry circus of self-destructive madness that is the modern publishing industry, but, I digress).