Friday, July 19, 2013

Illustration Inspiration: What Happened to George? illustrations by Marge Opitz

In the hope of helping to preserve vintage and historic illustration artwork from my own collection and in turn sharing it to inspire new artists and illustrators (and providing a reference for other fans of illustration), I am posting this series here on Rosehaven Cottage Studio called "Illustration Inspiration".

"What Happened to George" written by Betty Engebretson and illustrated by Marge Opitz was published by Rand McNally It has a copyright of 1958. It had been in print for over a decade when I received my own copy as a 2 year old toddler who loved picture books and greeting cards (anything with illustrated art on it).

The illustration style of the book is clearly fifties. As a kid, I so adored the pictures (I still do) because of Marge Opitz's illustration technique. The artwork has a soft feeling like it is done in combination of chalk pastels or color pencil with watercolor washes. I've never been able to determine exactly what medium she used. I do know that her technique is one of the reasons I loved the book so much as a kid. I had a great love for softly rendered colored pencil and pastel drawings even when I was 2 or 3 years old. I don't know why. I just did.

As I re-read the story to Hubby, I've concluded that it definitely wasn't the storyline of "What Happened to George?" that I loved. It was the art. The story is rather disturbing and probably wouldn't get published in today's children's book market.

Despite this twisted storyline, Marge Opitz's representatives of food are so charming aren't they? Especially the unadorned donuts. I think my favorite donut is the last one that is bursting out of the roof of the house. I know... it's supposed to be a tragic ending. But when I was a kid I was too mesmerized by the wonderful shading and textures of the exploding donut. Seriously, I was. And, frankly, I still am.

DISCLAIMER: The sharing of the above vintage illustrations is for educational and referential purposes only. Copyrights are most likely still held by the original publisher/artist. Use of these illustrations for reproduction and/or derivative works for resale may be illegal and an infringement of the original publisher/artist's copyrights. So, in other words, don't make things with these illustrations. It's illegal; it's wrong; and it could cost you a truckload of money when you get sued.

Happy creating and remember...
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Lady Louise said...

This was one of my favorite books as a child, but I have never been able to find a copy. Thanks for sharing yours!

Friperini lasto said...


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