Featured Artist Part One: Catherine Pape, Illustrator

Is there a word for the way that a picture makes you feel? I need a word that can express the way certain pictures connect you to their subject and draw you deep into the story that is being told. They are the pictures that I keep going back to. The ones that I wonder about once the book is closed. Pictures like those created by my favourite illustrator Irene Haas. Her pictures have a soft, detailed quality that reach deep inside me. She uses words with a flowing grace that perfectly complements her illustrations. Her work is tender and soulful and since a child I’ve been drawn deep inside her books. The Maggie B and Carrie Hepple’s Garden are tiny kids’ tales and yet they are amongst my favourite books in the world because of the places I’m taken to by the pictures. I need a word for that…

… because recently I’ve had the good fortune to meet another illustrator whose pictures touch the same place in me.  Catherine Pape is up and coming in the world of illustration. And she can do this thing that I’m talking about.

Moth Girl

Moth Girl: A Fable was the first piece to grip me. It’s an exquisitely illustrated comic strip. I  particularly love this picture of the moth resting on the window before she becomes the Girl. I’ve always wanted an excuse to use the word “chiaroscuro” without sounding like a wally. And I think that this might be my opportunity. The light shining from between the cracks in the window frame draws me into the room, just as it attracts the moth herself from the darkness outside. The whole story has had this affect on me. There is only an excerpt of it on Catherine’s site and I just can’t stop thinking about how it ends. Does the Moth Girl manage to save the Boy? Or is his life ultimately burned out by the stars he can’t draw himself away from – just like a moth is sometimes burned by a candle flame? [Edit- I’ve since been granted a peek at the ending and it doesn’t disappoint!]

girlsailorrgb2 copy_600

Girl Sailor: Similarly, there’s a teaser on Catherine’s website called Girl Sailor. The top image takes me to the bleak, wild Norfolk coast.  The way she uses blue in this creates such a poignant atmosphere that you just can’t help wanting to know more about the journey the couple are taking together. Girl Sailor reminds me a little of Catherine herself… I wonder…

I could talk for hours about other pieces of her work. So I’ve decided to split this post into 2 parts and get the lady in to talk about herself. But you just need to go over to her site and see for yourself. www.catherinepape.co.uk 

I’ll be back next time with an interview with Catherine.




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