Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney is a renowned American children’s book illustrator and writer — winner of numerous awards including the Caldecott Medal, Caldecott Honors and Corretta Scott King Awards, as well as awards from The New York Times, the Society of Illustrators and others. His illustration credits include over 100 books as well as editorial and institutional illustration.

Pinkney works primarily in watercolor and drawing media. His illustrations often have an appealing feeling of casual looseness that can conceal the solid composition and careful draftsmanship on which they’re based. I particularly enjoy his wonderful use of texture

The Jerry Pinkney Studio website is informative, and has some slideshows of his work in categories like Children’s Books, Illustrated Novels and so on, but it doesn’t make the best showcase for his work.

The best examples I’ve found are on the Norman Rockwell Museum’s Digital Tour of a Jerry Pinkney exhibit: Imaginings. There is an accompanying video of Pinkney speaking, along with other videos, in the “Media” section of the Pinkney Studio site (I can’t give you a direct link because the site is in frames, for reasons that elude me).

There is also a page devoted to Pinkney in the Artists’s listings of the NRM website, that includes some images.

You can find many of his books on Bookshop.org or Amazon.com (affiliate link).

Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward Mitchell Bannister was a Canadian-American painter active in the late 19h century. Born in New Brunswick, he emigrated to the U.S. — initially to Boston — and spent much of his life and career in Providence, Rhode Island.

Though he painted a variety of subjects, Bannister is known primarily for his serene pastoral landscapes, done in the American Tonalist manner.

Bannister had little formal art education, and could not afford to travel to Europe to study like many of his American contemporaries.

For someone self taught, he quickly gained recognition and honors, one of which was a bronze medal for his painting “Under the Oaks” (the current location of which is unknown) at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. When he went to receive his award, the judges wanted to withdraw the bronze on discovering that Bannister was African American. The other competitors insisted that the award be given as initially judged and he received the bronze medal.

Bannister was a strong supporter of the effort to gain equal rights for African Americans, but chose not to make overt social issues a subject of his painting, preferring instead to focus on a more spiritual sense of harmony and peace.

In keeping with other American Tonalist painters, who were strongly influenced by the painters of the French Barbizon School, Bannister often grouped his masses into strong value shapes, at times so dark as to be almost silhouettes.

It has been suggested that some of Bannisters paintings have grown darker over time. Perhaps this is due to a painting practice, medium or other factor that he might have been discouraged from using if he had access to formal art education; I don’t know.

Bannister’s dark value statements and brusque brush work gave way to a lighter, more Impressionist influenced style later in his career. Bannister was a board member of the Rhode Isand School of Design and a founder of the Providence Art Club.