Especially for this month’s Bookworms Carnival hosted by Nymeth, this post is all about one of my favourite artist: P. J. Lynch.
Lynch is one of Ireland’s most accomplished and known illustrators. Probably *the* most. Ha has been honoured The Kate Greenaway medal twice, for When Jessie Came across the Sea (1997) and The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (1995), which are part of his more “realistic” works and are without a doubt remarkable.
But what I love about him is how he represents the world of fairy tales, myths and folklore. He puts so much passion and care and love into them, you can almost feel it. His illustrations are so stunning and skilful that they instantly makes you feel they belong to a higher level. They are the stuff classics are made of. That’s why they go so well with subjects related to myths and legends.
Lynch has an extensive gallery on his website. If you want to have a better idea of what I'm talking about, take a look. I'm just going to post some examples of my favourites (click on them to enlarge).
From The Names upon the harp:
His work is so easy to love, so easy to feel comfortable with. Probably because it evokes the feel of those loved (and feared) fairy tales of everyone’s childhood. Only, I think I would have loved those stories even more if they had his illustrations.
The first P. J. Lynch’s book I came across was Catkin. As always, I was attracted by its cover. It reminded me of an art nouveau painting, a style I’m very fond of. When I looked inside I knew I had found a new favourite. The more of his work I see, the more I fall in love with it. The story itself draws on British folklore and mythology, reinventing them to create a tale which reads as though it had been told for centuries.
The next one I came across was Ignis. A story of an adorable young dragon and his quest of self-discovery. Another instant favourite.
The I discovered East o' the Sun and West o' the Moon, the Bee-man of Orn and the Name upon the Harp… All masterpieces.
I was lucky enough to be able to hear P.J. Lynch himself talking about his work and how every illustrations came to be, when he came into our shop for a public event. He had a projector and I assure you that those paintings shown on a wide screen are even more breathtaking. He told us that he doesn’t just love doing portraits of beautiful ladies, or cats or cute dragons. He has a great sense of horrid and creepy, which he likes to express in his images of witches, globlins and the like.
We got the sense of how much work and time goes into the creation of just one book. And of how much his work is revered and sought for. He is already booked in for years.
Even though I said I love his fantastical works more, I do appreciate the more realistic subjects, as well. They all have a sort of fairytale touch anyway.
The gift of the Magi, his upcoming work which should be out by next Christmas, looks like it's going to be just wonderful. The story is a sad and touching one, and I’m sure the book will be a great hit with everyone.
I just found out he has a blog, so I think I’m going to visit it regularly now! There’s lots of interesting entries, including a video that shows the process in the creation of cover for The Bee-man of Orn. Enjoy!
Finally, I want to share some more of some of my favourite paintings:
From The Snow Queen:
and from The Names Upon the Harp:
That's it! I hope you enjoyed it. I certainly did :)