Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Fantastic in the Fine Arts: The Work of Kathleen Jennings

In keeping with our Delia Sherman week here at Fantasy Matters, today's "Fantastic in the Fine Arts" feature is Kathleen Jennings, the artist who drew the cover for The Freedom Maze.  Tomorrow Tia Mansouri will analyze this cover in more detail, but in the meantime, here are some other highlights from Jennings' work.

For starters, she posts wonderful, simple illustrations each Friday, many of them connected to fairy tales or works of fantasy.  This one, an illustration of a scene from Kelly Link's story "Magic for Beginners," demonstrates how the simple lines of her drawings are able to convey a complexity of meaning and emotion.  I also really like this one, of a doorway between two worlds.

But perhaps my favorite thing that she does (at least recently) is something she calls "The Dalek Game."  As Jennings describes it, the Dalek Game "is played by replacing important words in book titles with “Dalek”, and is suitable for long car trips.  Some of my favorites: "Where the Wild Daleks Are" (the TARDIS really makes this one for me); "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Dalek"; and "Little Dalek on the Prairie."  Here is her list of all the ones she's done so far.

One of the most wonderful things about Jennings' blog is the way that she describes her creative process, highlighting certain aspects of each sketch and drawing the viewer's attention to the literary works that she alludes to.  It makes viewing her art a much richer experience.

Overall, it is these sort of lighthearted, fun illustrations that really have the potential to bring works of literature to life, and to breathe new magic into old beloved classics.