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#5 Women Artists: Laura Dronzek

By June 14, 2018May 13th, 2021The Kerlan Blog

And So Here are One Hundred Women Artists, One At A Time 

Laura Dronzek

I fell in love with Laura Dronzek’s work.

I read aloud the sweet, quiet, delightful Oh! (1999) over and over again.

I reviewed Birds written by Kevin Henkes.(Greenwillow, 2–4 years) for The New York Times Book Review.

Truly. I couldn’t get enough of it.

“Henkes and Laura Dronzek (husband and wife) begin with the birds outside a curtained window; a girl is thinking about all their possible colors, shapes and sizes. She imagines what it would look like if they left colored trails in the sky.

Dronzek supports Henkes’s spare language with strongly colored acrylic paintings in thick brush-stroked black outline. On one spread Henkes writes, “Once I saw seven birds on the telephone wire.” Dronzek paints seven birds clinging side by side, burnt umber feathers, tilted heads. “They didn’t move,” the narrator says, and the picture of the seven birds is exactly replicated below, and on the facing page. She repeats, “And they didn’t move.” Then, “I looked away for just a second. . . .”

We turn the page. A black line bisects an empty double-page spread: the telephone wire. “And they were gone.”

“Both words and pictures in “Birds” trust the intelligence and imagination of young children, and that’s what makes this a perfect book. One doesn’t know whom to praise more for the perfection of a finished work — the artist, the writer, the editor or the art director. In this case, most likely all can share the credit.”

I think the phrase to describe her art that comes to mid is richly saturated. This tribute to birds is a delicious dance between the words and the pictures. Perfectly paced, enormously satisfying.


From Horn Book Interview Five Questions for Laura Dronzek

3. What attracts you to working in acrylics, in both your picture books and your fine art?

LD: I do work mainly in acrylics, although I started out using oils. I like the way acrylics can be layered over and over to create texture and subtle color. I also like that they dry quickly. When our children were young, I often had only short chunks of time to work, so it was great to be able to go back to work for two hours if there was a chance. I also like the direct nature of painting on paper or canvas. The viewer can see the artist’s hand in the work. It seems a bit old-fashioned these days, with so many people doing art on the computer, but I can’t imagine working any other way.

A rare look at the dummy of The Moonlight Rabbit (Greenwillow 2012)

And coming in October 2018 is

Why One Hundred Artists? click here


#100 Women Artists

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