Earlier this year, one lunch time, as I was perusing my favourite Adelaide bookstore, I discovered a Charley Harper colouring book. I'd seen Harper's art works before. They have been with me since childhood. Sharp, graphic, geometric images of birds were familiar to me. I associated them with the 60's - the colours and simple style seemed to fit with that era. I'd never known who the artist was. Since that moment in the bookshop I have searched to see more of Harper's works, amazed by how many there are and how witty they often are. An American, Charley Harper (1922 - 2007) developed his unique style, based on his life time love of nature, while studyin
g at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. If you are interested you can view some of his works here, though a Charley Harper search in Google Images will bring up many of his works.
I felt very lucky to find a small Charley Harper 2010 calendar in Readers Feast bookstore but then, having seen that, I got it in to my head that there would probably be a diary with Harper's art works in it also. I wanted it. Choosing my diary has long been something I do with care. It has to have images in it which I will enjoy through out the year. I began a search for it, looking in many book shops, even went on line to Amazon.com - all to no avail. But then, when I had put it out of my mind and almost decided on a Delicious diary, I found it! I reluctantly attended a workshop for small businesses on record keeping run by the Taxation Department. On my way to to the workshop, as I was walking past The Hill of Content Bookshop, I decided looking in there would be my reward once the workshop was over. There I found my Charley Harper 2010 Engagement Calendar - and felt doubly rewarded.
The picture on the cover is called 'The last aphid', a 1981 acrylic painting and serigraph. I don't have a favourite Charley Harper work of art. I love most of them. This one is very cute, it is called 'Love from above' and like many of Harper's works is a form of silkscreen print, known as a serigraph
and this one is clever. It is called 'Bear in the Birches'.
and these are funny; the first is called 'Br-r-r-r-r-thday', the second one 'Blackberry Jam'
It is the birds, though that I think most typifies Harper's works. Here's one example; it is called 'Green Jay'. Even though his illustrations look simple they are incredibly accurate representations of real species.