I might as well go on and say that Maira Kalman is my favorite artist. That is a strong statement considering the amount of exceptional, inspirational, and evocative work thats out there. Living or past, many artists stir up all sorts of emotions. Maira Kalman places a smile on my face every single time she pops into my life. I have loved this lady for years.
I have the pleasure of owning every one of her picture books. Elements of Style also has its special place on my most visited shelf. I am however in need of her newest book, The Principles of Uncertainty.
I cannot wait to get my hands on this one. Described as a graphic diary, this book was actually a series of columns that she wrote for the New York Times website. It actually gives a glimpse into Maira's creative process. I adore it because it gives you that path that she takes when she sees something that catches her eye. That artist eye.
There are so many times that I wish that I had a camera or sketch book while out and about in Tucson. Not the best photographer, and definitely not well trained in drawing, my visual accounts are placed somewhere in my head left to fade away. I have wished for a while to just sit down and talk to someone about how to get these pictures out. I think that with this book, Maira has shown her ability to let her creative energy flow. Maybe that isn't the right way to explain it. She is just one of those very special people that allows themselves to see in fanciful color not inhibited by technical shortcomings. This is not to say that she is not a skillful artist. By all means, she is one of the best! I think that LA Times author Heller McAlpin says it best,
Her paintbrush reveals as much agility as her mind, ranging from the flattened, childlike primitives of her dozen children's books to Matissean pink-infused still lifes and penetrating portraiture. Her draftsmanship is remarkable; she captures architectural interiors with the panache of a set designer.
Just a little something extra. The pic below is of my baby shower invite from about 2 years ago now. Wow, 2 years! The invite was taken from Maira Kalman's book, Up All Night (a collaboration with David Byrne).