My earliest memories of art come from the "Pierre: A Cautionary Tale" story by Maurice Sendak. After that, his wonderful book, "Where the Wild Things Are". I recall, even has a child, the texture and lines of his pen. I was thrilled and terrified to see Pierre stick his head into the mouth of a lion. I remember feeling anxiety at Pierre's "I don't care" response to his parents and the lion, but also being excited at the same time. Did he really not care!? How could that be? I also remember being terrified of the Wild Things, but being jealous of Max at the same time.
I almost named my youngest son Max, after Sendak's Max. It would have suited him too. His mind is often tearing through the wild on his own adventures on some "wild rumpus". You can see it in his eyes!
The very first art book that my parents bought for me was "The Art of Maurice Sendak". If there is a spark that lit my imagination on fire and then fanned the flame, it was his masterwork, "Where the Wild Things Are." Mr. Sendak tapped into a deep and common desire of all kids to have adventure. To swing in the trees and be a wild thing. As an adult, I still feel that call when I read his books and I live much of that out through my drawings.
Here is a sketch I started, but never finished. It is a detail of a larger drawing. Maybe I will finish it now that Sendak's work is done.
click to enlarge
Thank you Maurice for scaring me, inspiring me and leaving the door open to the cage of my wild things.
"Let the wild rumpus begin!"