3 yellow roses

7050804: Perske Pencil Portraits 1971-1990

Perske - Pencil Portraits 1971-1990

Author/Illustrator: Martha Perske
Published by Abingdon Press '98 Pages:120 ISBN: 0687050804

I've lost track of how many times I've paged through this book and admired the beautiful pencil character sketches. It is my very first introduction to this artist, but I feel like the duckling come home to its own kind; itis exactly the kind of people art I've always longed to do, and the kind I try when I resolve it is time to teach myself to draw.

The details have a life-like, photographic quality, and yet there is so much more, an emotion and poetic expression. Perske usually poses two or more people together, in a way that show how they relate to one another in friendship and love. She honours children, the disabled, and the homely by preserving simple moments in their every day lives, often with a smile or upward look. The longer I pause at each drawing the more the people come to life; I hear dialogue and thoughts, and sense their essence.

I will treasure this volume and try to emulate her!

I'm very grateful too, for her husband's introduction, and the essay about her father, which Perske wrote for her family.

They reveal more of the artist's perspective, and her shy but persistent personality. I rejoice to learn that she has been recognized by most of the major disability organizations in the Western world, has illustrated reports on metal retardation for Presidents, designed the International Year of the Disabled Persons commemorative stamp, and drew the persons with disabilities for Marlo Thomas's Free to be...A Family.

She was commissioned to present an autographed drawing to Diana, Princess of Wales, and received the Healing Community Arts and Letters Award at the United Nations. Martha Perske will surely continue to be recognized and appreciated for her tender drawings.

I recommend this book highly for libraries and as a gift for those inclined to draw faces, or the disabled in your life who need to feel respected.

(Reprinted with Permission from Provident Bookfinder)

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Ruth Marlene Friesen

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