Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Virginia Lee Burton

I'm working on some drawings, but nothing ready to share yet. So I thought I'd show the book I just read. Virginia Lee Burton, A Life in Art by Barbara Elleman is full of Virginia's art, photos of her, and info about her life. I'm a big fan of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Little House. It was great to read about their development and the ways Virginia's life influenced her stories.

In addition to her children's books, she and her group of design students and friends called the Folly Cove Designers made beautiful fabric patterns with linoleum prints on cloth. They carved a lot of large prints and it must have been a huge undertaking to print that much fabric! I guess they started out printing on the floor by laying the fabric down, putting the inked block upside-down and stomping on it. Eventually they got a press. Here's a print of the creative process.

I really loved the photos of Virginia also. Here's one of her with her two sons looking at a painting she did on the wall. What a wonderful, vibrant artist she was!


  1. Such a lovely post Jill. I love these little peeks into artists' lives! I especially like the photo of Virginia with her sons.

  2. Virginia Lee Burton is one of my favorites along with Jacques Hnizdovsky! We were living in Folly Cove, two doors down from the Folly Cove Designer's shop (now a private residence)... Burton was Godmother to my mother-in-law and you're going to be very jealous but we bought "The Diploma" at an auction last winter. It needs some restoration, but it makes me smile so! You may have seen it but there's a wonderful documentary "Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place" on PBS. There's also a wonderful book with all the designs of all the Folly Cove Designers available from the Cape Ann Art Museum. I've gone on too long, but love your work and just so love seeing printmaking!