Publisher's Weekly recently announced: Artist and prolific children's book illustrator Alice Provensen, 99, died on April 23. Much of her work was done in collaboration with her late husband, including The Glorious Flight, the 1984 book they wrote and illustrated, which won the Caldecott Medal. Children's book historian Leonard S. Marcus said of their work: "There was a kind of lightness and open space in their work. You could project your own imagination into their world.” The Provensens also drew Tony the Tiger for Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, and "even the Provensens' daughter is not sure if he was created solely by her father or as a joint effort between both of her parents." Alice and Martin Provensen were both illustrators who had a look that defined a generation. You've probably seen their work. If not in a Golden Book, then you are surely familiar with Tony.
All artists are inspired by other artists, and learn by mimicking other styles. I am no different.
Several years ago, I created several pieces of art inspired by the Provensens. For instance, here is their man in a car.
And here is mine.
Here is the Provensen girl with birds.
And here is mine (also inspired by my experience feeding pigeons in Venice).
Here are their dancing animals.
Here are mine.
This Provensen tiger inspired several of my pieces. Here is theirs.
Here are some of mine.
Here are two more I created while experimenting with this style.
Obviously, I am and have been a fan of the Provensens for a long time. And while Alice lived a good long life filled with art, she will be missed.