a journal of original drawings and screen prints of animals


Friday, February 07, 2014


It must have been the most snow we've had so far this winter but of course the winds didn't help.
I mentioned the other day about wanting to do some bear drawings and it occurred to me how much bears have shown up in my life in one way or another. One of the first postcards I ever received was of a bear and one of the first drawings I ever did was also of a  bear.

And then there are the memories of favourite children's books.

The Three Bears illustrated by Feodor Rojankovsky
Who doesn't remember this gem? Rojankovsky's bears are so beautifully depicted with a true understanding of their massive presence.

The Three Bears retold by Carol North illustrated by Lisa McCue
This is another favourite version I have of this story. I especially like how McCue rendered the Mama Bear and the clothes they all wore.

Tooi et moi, Petit Ours by Martin Waddell illustrated by Barbara Firth
When my kids were in grade school I had the perfect excuse to collect more children's books. It was so easy to love the work of Barbara Firth. I was saddened to hear of her death last year.

David McPhail
But I have to say, that my all time favourite is David McPhail.
His illustrations go beyond cute and cuddly. His characters have unique personalities and idiosyncratic expressions that I find quite endearing.

The Bear's Toothache written and illustrated by David McPhail

Years ago my dear friend, Sandra, gave me this lovely silver grizzly. I had been drawing many northern animals back in those days and my trip to Alaska and Yukon was quite pivotal for me.

Of all the bears, I have to say I love the look of grizzlies the most. Not only their massive thick bodies but the little delicate curl of their lips.

copyright Barbara Di Lella Grizzly 2014

copyright Barbara Di Lella Bears 2014

1 comment:

  1. love, love, LOVE!!! Your drawings!!!
    You've got it down!!