One of my favorite craft blogs is called Purl Bee. There are numerous knitting, sewing, crochet and needlecraft projects to explore, and beautifully illustrated tutorials for the beginner. The blog recently featured the arrival of Charley Harper needlepoints in their store, and I was utterly blown away. It made me want to do these needle point projects so much! I could already imagine it hanging on our apartment walls. But then I realized that the canvas would be about $95, and I’d have to buy the yarn, plus it would take a really, really long time and I’m not so interested in needlepoint….and then it dawned on me that I was actually in love with the pictures, not the idea of needlepoint itself.
"Limp on a Limb"
How have I not heard of Charley Harper? How have I lived without knowing he ever existed? He was an American commercial illustrator and artist (1922-2007), who did both commercial work (“The Golden Book of Biology”, “Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two”, “Ford Times”) and nature-based work (National Park Service, Michigan Audubon Society, Cincinnati Zoo). His pictures are colourful, graphic, stylized, and with a unique point of view. I also really dig the names of his illustrations.
The book featuring his work, Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life, is at the top of my wish list. It’s a definitive 400 page compilation of his work, written by designer Todd Oldham, and listed for only $37.77. However, this edition is not yet released. A hardcover version is currently available for around $150.
For an amazing plethora of information about Charley Harper, go here. You can purchase books and prints, but I mainly visit for the pictures.