Saturday, December 31, 2011

Unsung Illustrators, Part II

UNSUNG ILLUSTRATORS, PART II:  In the distance, a coyote was calling from a tall, flat mesa whose rugged face and sides were being enveloped in shadows of dusty purple and deep rust as sunset began falling over the desert.  The  scent of sage filled the air and an eagle circled high overhead in the dark turquoise sky surveying his domain for one last time. Johnny couldn't help himself any longer as he watched Tammy's hair turn even more golden with each minute of the setting sun.  Her lips more red and inviting than ever before.  Her oil painting of the desert floor and mountains which she had wanted to capture so badly that day would now have to be put off until tomorrow, for the heat of the desert and their passion for one another had warmed them both through and through. And in the last glow of daylight, there was nothing left to do but to thrust themselves deep into each other's arms, their eyes closed and their lips sealed tight one upon the other as the first stars began to appear overhead, signaling the close of yet another day in the desert.  From his beginnings in illustrating pulps to creating mini-masterpieces for the slick magazines, Robert George Harris (1911 - 2007) was an amazing original.  His sensual style rendered in rich colors brought a unique kind of American romance to such magazines as McCall’s, Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Redbook and The Saturday Evening Post.  He portrayed his subjects with tenderness, passion, compassion.  One can almost fall in love just by looking at his illustrations, such was their ability to engage the viewer who came to the magazines originally to read a good story.  What they got instead were images that lasted far longer than the words they were designed to accompany.  Such was the singular talent that was Robert George Harris.