Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tomie dePaola

Today is Tomie dePaola's 75th birthday.

Tomie is a great and prolific illustrator who came from a loving, supportive family. I too had a very good childhood, and am encouraged to know that that isn't a hindrance to being a successful illustrator!

From Elizabeth Kennedy:

Tomie came from a loving family of Irish and Italian background. He had an older brother and two younger sisters. His grandmothers were an important part of his life. Tomie's parents supported his desire to be an artist and to perform on stage. When he expressed an interest in taking dance lessons, he was immediately enrolled, even though it was unusual for a young boy to take dance lessons at that time. (See Oliver Button is a Sissy.) The emphasis in Tomie's family was on enjoying home, school, family and friends, and embracing personal interests and talents.

dePaola received a BFA from Pratt Institute and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts. Between college and graduate school he spent a brief time in a Benedictine monastery. DePaola taught art and/or theater design at the college level from 1962 through 1978 before devoting himself fulltime to children's literature.

DePaola's picture books cover a number of themes/topics. Some of these include: his own life, Christmas and other holidays (religious and secular), folktales, Bible stories, Mother Goose rhymes, and books about Strega Nona. He has also written a number of informational books like Charlie Needs a Cloak, which is the story of the creation of a wool cloak, from shearing a sheep to spinning the wool, weaving the cloth, and sewing the garment. His collections include Mother Goose stories, scary stories, seasonal stories, and nursery tales. His books are characterized by humor and light hearted illustrations, many in a folkart style. DePaola creates his artwork in a combination of watercolor, tempera, and acrylic.

2 comments:

Ernie said...

I think Alaric and I helped with your artistic-ness by locking you in closets, trying to light you on fire, and such. I knew there was a reason behind our mischief!

Yvette said...

Ha! It was all part of a bigger plan ...