Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ARTIST I LIKE: billy steers

Having children is a great excuse to buy picture books. And there are alot of great children's book illustrators out there. There are alot of awful ones too, which make me appreciate the good ones all the more. It seems that most kids books now are quickly (and poorly) illustrated with graphics created on the computer. Don't get me wrong, I think amazing artwork an be created on the computer, but there is something about a hand-drawn or hand-painted illustration that you just feels good. I like being able to see the artist's hand in the work - pencil lines behind the watercolors, brush marks in the paint. It feels more personal and real.
Captain and Chunk (and me) love the Tractor Mac series by Billy Steers. Not only are the illustration great, but the stories - about farm life - are nice too. Steers lives near us and frequently makes appearances at local events and festivals. He created a real life Tractor Mac from an antique farm tractor that he often brings along. We ran into him at a local Apple Festival last fall and Captain was able to sit on Tractor Mac (he didn't stop talking about that for days!).
The Tractor Mac books can be bought here.

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