Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rockin' Raccoons

Raccoons are one of the things I miss from living in the Californian Sierra foothills
I had never met these animals before moving to the States, and was very amused 
and fascinated by their frequent night visits to our porch to feast on the cat food.
I was especially amazed was the dexterity of their paws, which looked like tiny hands.   
Naturally, our cat was not very happy about this, and hid in the house until they left...

Feodor Rojankovsky, Frog Went A-Courtin, 1955, thanks to Animation Resources

Claude Humbert, Littlest Raccoon, 1961, thanks to Golden Gems

 Arnold Lobel, Red Fox and his Canoe1964, and Brian Wildsmith's Wild Animals, 1967

another lovely raccoon by Brian Wildsmith from What the Moon saw, 1978, 


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Call of the Mountain

The Swiss graphic designer, painter, and illustrator Alois Carigiet was born in 1902, 
the seventh of eleven children, and grew up in his family's farm in the small village of Trun
In 1911, economic hardship forced the family to move to the canton's capital Chur, 
where his father found employment. This relocation into a more urban environment 
had a strong impact on Carigiet, who later described the move as an "emigration to the low-lands",
 from a "mountain boy's paradise" to a "gloomy apartment on the ground floor in a narrow town alley".
 In 1918 he quit the gymnasium to start an apprenticeship as a decorative designer and draftsman
While learning the techniques of decorative art,Carigiet filled volumes of sketchbooks 
with drawings of rural and urban scenes, farm animals and pets, anatomical studies of the birds
 exhibited at Chur's natural history museum, and caricatures.


In the same year he found work in Zurich with Max Dalang's advertisement agency, where he learned
 the techniques of graphic design. After having won several competitions and gained a reputation, 
Carigiet opened his own graphic studio in Zurich in 1927. He hired some assistants and
 built a very successful practice, creating many posters, murals, illustrations, and magazine covers.
Funny and elegant animal characters were a frequent theme in the ads produced by the studio. 


1940 ca.

While on holiday in his native mountains in 1939, Carigiet was seduced by the vast and unspoiled landscape,
 and the feeling of having found his way back to a long lost paradise. Realizing that this was his home,
he gave up his business in Zurich, and rented a small farm house without electricity or running water, 
the "Hüs am Bach" (house at the stream) in Platenga, where he devoted much of his time
 to observing and drawing the alpine faunaIn 1943 he married the art student Berta Carolina Müller, 
and in the following years the couple gave birth to two daughters and built a house.




In 1940, Carigiet was asked by the author Selina Chönz to illustrate a children's story 
about a boy's adventurous climb through snow to an abandoned summer hut in order to retrieve
 a large cow bell for the annual Chalandamarz celebrationAfter years of hesitating, Carigiet finally agreed, 
and spent several weeks sketching the scenery and architecture in Chönz's home village Guarda
which he used as a model for the book's village. In 1945 Schellen-Ursli was published in German,
and later it was translated into ten languages, including English.

A Bell for Ursli

Carigiet and Chönz created two sequels featuring Ursli's younger sister Flurina: 
Flurina und das Wildvögelein (Florina and the Wild Bird) in 1952 
and Der grosse Schnee (The Snowstorm) in 1957. 

Flurina und das Wildvöglein

During the 1960s Carigiet illustrated three children's books written by himself
Zottel, Zick und ZwergBirnbaum, Birke, Berberitze, and Maurus und Madleina
In 1966, he was awarded the Swiss youth book prize for Zottel, Zick und Zwerg, 
as well as the inaugural Hans Christian Andersen Medal for children's illustrators.

After moving back to Zurich with his family between 1950 and 1960,

 in 1960 Carigiet finally returned to live in the mountains above his home village, 
where he dedicated himself fully to art until his death in 1985. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mad Men & Crazy Critters - Wild on Wheels

Adolfo Busi for Pirelli, 1910 

Achille Mauzan, 1920 ca, 1926

Mario Broggi, 1922

Tadeusz Gronowski, 1923

Georges Favre, 1924

Charles Loupot, sketch for Bugatti, 1924

Cassandre, 1925

Jean d'Ylen, 1920s

Jean Colin, 1950s

Armando Testa, sketch for Pirelli Stelvio, 1955 

Donald Brun, 1958

Atelier Walter Greminger, 1962 ca, via the Swiss Posters Collection 

D'après Jean Colin, 1970

André François, 1972


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