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From Swan Lake, by Mark Helprin, illustrated by Chris van Allsburg
1989, pencil on paper
I don't know if I've announced this on AC before, but I hate swans. I've been attacked twice by waterfowl, and was once completely surrounded by a group of swans before being pecked incessantly until my dad came to chase them away. I was 11. It was awful. I have a scar on my wrist where one of them managed to hold tight. So I hate swans and am usually seen running rapidly in the opposite direction from them if I encounter them in real life. I don't even really like how they look. They look like jerks.
We've all read or at least seen The Polar Express, right? And probably the same situation has occurred with Jumanji. Well, Chris van Allsburg wrote and illustrated both books, and he has a beautiful, delicate hand with his artwork, from beginning to end. He mostly draws in graphite pencil, but some of his illustrations, particularly the covers of his books, are in colour, and they're rendered beautifully. No one blends so gracefully as he does. So here are the damn swans in all their glory, for you to use as this week's SIA inspiration.
Send me your photos by the end of the evening on Monday, December (!!!!!!) 2nd, and I'll get the post up then. I look forward to seeing your choices with this one, it's a beautiful piece of art.