2014-15 Oct-Carle

September 15th, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Eric Carle  –American Author and Illustrator
Docent training is SEPTEMBER 24th (For Oct)          

Training sessions are held in the cafeteria at 9:30 AM and repeated at 7:00PM.  You need only attend one session.


Carle was born on June 25, 1929 in Syracuse, New York to German immigrant parents, Johanna and Erich Carle. Carle knew at a very young age that he loved to draw and would grow up to be “someone who drew pictures, an artist, a scribbler.” His parents were also very supportive of his artistic abilities and encouraged him. His father was an amateur artist, but was never allowed to follow his dreams by his own father who thought he would just grow up to a starving artist and a civil service job would be more respected. He was very close to his father; he would tell him stories, draw pictures, go for walks in the woods and teach him about nature. He believes that it is from his father that he got his love of drawing and nature. Carle started school in 1935 in Syracuse, and with the encouragement of his first grade teacher, he discovered his true love for drawing and his teacher urged his parents to nurture his talent.

He grew up in Germany during the difficult time of World War II, Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler. After the war was over, Carle returned to high school and the art teacher, Herr Krauss, recognized his outstanding talent and became a very strong influence on his interest in art. He secretly showed Carle reproductions of the FORBIDDEN ART done by the so-called DEGENERATE ARTISTS according to the Nazi-doctrine, works by the German Expressionists and the Abstract artists such as Picasso, Klee, Matisse, Braque, and Kandinsky. His eyes were forever open to the beauty of the GERMAN EXPRESSIONISTS and ABSTRACT ART. Herr Krauss also encouraged him to work in his own distinctive and unconventional style that was beginning to develop. Expressionist artists wanted to express their inner feelings and emotional experience about a subject rather than represent it realistically, often in an abstract or exaggerated way.

Carle is a COLLAGIST and began using a COLLAGE technique after learning it in art school and studying the collage work of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Leo Lionni, and Ezra Jack Keats. (COLLAGE comes from the French word meaning “to cut and paste” and is a picture made by pasting down objects.) Henri Matisse, who also painted the papers and then cut them to the appropriate shapes, especially influenced him. The similarities between their styles include the large cut out shapes of bright, luminous, bold colors, the use of POSITIVE and NEGATIVE SPACE, and how they BALANCE each other. Both also use abstract images rather than realistic portrayals. The similarities and influence can be seen when Matisse’s “The Snail” is compared to the lobster advertisement created by Carle. Other favorite artists of Carle’s include Paul Klee for his colorful, dreamlike paintings and Pieter Brueghel who painted peasants and landscapes of central Europe than remind him of where he grew up in Germany.



Eric Carle’s many picture books, including

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

1, 2, 3 to the Zoo

The Very Busy Spider

The Very Lonely Firefly

The Very Quiet Cricket

The Art of Eric Carle, Eric Carle (adult)





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