Beautiful Illustrations of Nature / by Leslie

Just recently I have been taking notice of the illustration work of two mid-century artists. The first is Eyvind Earle and the amazing backgrounds that he drew for the Disney film Sleeping Beauty. The second is Charley Harper, who's work was recently put on everything from calendars, plates and dishtowels.


I remember seeing Sleeping Beauty in the theater as a little girl. I think it was the first movie I ever attended and it might have been the only time I saw the movie. The witch/dragon was imprinted on my brain, and I think the backgrounds of the forest may have had a strong impact on me. It's been a style of illustration I've always liked and I was stunned to watch the movie recently and remember these amazing drawings.

I had never heard of Harper, and first noticed that his prints were being used for children's books and games on Amazon. I believe he died recently and it seems that whom ever inherited his estate has begun to license his images. In 1962 he illustrated The Golden Book of Biology and it is that for which he is best known. He describes his style as "minimal realism" and uses bright colors and graphic shapes to create his animals and natural elements.