Friday, November 8, 2013

Champions of Creativity

Public Domain Photo
        Tasha Tudor

In an attempt to keep my blog relevant (when I have nothing new to share), I've decided to periodically substitute "Champions of Creativity" for my normal Friday meme of Storyteller's Journey. Each post will include a short biography of a famous author, illustrator, poet, or other creative who has inspired me on my path as a writer.
For the first post in this new meme, I immediately thought of the legendary Tasha Tudor.

Ms. Tudor was an award-winning illustrator and author who was born on August 28, 1915, in Boston, Massachusetts to two talented New Englanders. Her father, W. Starling Burgess was a naval architect, while her mother, Rosamund Tudor, was a noted portrait painter. In social circles Natasha was usually introduced as, Rosamund Tudor's daughter. She liked the sound of Tasha Tudor so much, that later in her life she had her name legally changed.

I discovered Ms. Tudor's illustrative work many years ago in the books, The Secret Garden, and A Little Princess - both by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Her whimsical water color illustrations made those classic stories come to life for me as a young girl. However, Tasha Tudor is also known for her Caldecott Honors for the books: Mother Goose in 1945, and 1 is One in 1957. Two of my personal favorites, with text and illustrations by Ms. Tudor are: Corgiville Fair and Corgiville Christmas - they are both just delightful.

Although her impressive professional accomplishments are to be admired, it is Ms. Tudor's personal life that I find so fascinating. As an adult she lived on a storybook farm with goats, chickens, and Corgi dogs; and maintained a garden full of herbs, flowers, and vegetables. She used fruit that had been picked from the trees on her bucolic property to make pies on her wood stove. Tasha Tudor chose to dress in clothes styled for the 19th century that she handcrafted herself. She even carried a homemade willow basket when she went to the market - she must have been quite a gal!

By the time Tasha Tudor died on June 18, 2008 in Marlboro, Vermont, she had illustrated over 100 books and had received the Regina Medal for her contributions to children's literature. Her books, prints, calendars, and Christmas cards are now highly collectible items.

To view samples of  Tasha Tudor's amazing artwork, click here.

2 comments:

  1. What an interesting person she sounds like! I think illustrators for children's books are some of the finest artists around. They make the world of the book so accessible to the reader. When I was a kid, I loved The Secret Garden and A Little Princess.

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    1. Those two books by Frances Hodgson Burnett are a pair of my favorite classics for young girls. Have a nice weekend, Elizabeth!

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