The final day of the Shelf Challenge is tomorrow. I am feverishly reading through bags of books. However, late this evening, a selection of works by an author/artist I have never heard of stopped me cold in my tracks.
His name is Thomas Locker.
His work is primarily oil paintings of nature. The books for children he has developed around these paintings feel, to me, as if they are words transcribed from a wise elder sharing a story of experience. The two don't quite fit together, and yet each illuminates the other. The affect is moving and, at times, haunting.
I no sooner determined that his work must be the focus of today's post than I realized his recent passing. Mr. Locker left this world on March 9th, 2012. I will leave you with these images from our collection of Locker's books as well as a quote from Paula Wiseman of SImon & Schuster Children's Publishing from Locker's obituary.
“Thomas was a pioneer in how he approached children’s books,” said Paula Wiseman, v-p and publisher of Paula Wiseman Books at Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing, who was his publisher when she worked at Harcourt. “He captured nature as a living thing in his paintings and had a way of seeing and rendering that beauty that is a gift to anyone who read his books or knew his paintings.”
I am thankful his work remains in our library for others to discover.