Tag: houses

  • Cutaway Houses In Picture Books

    Cutaway illustrations are described by engineers and architects as ‘sectional axonometric’ drawings. They exist to show the viewer the inside of an object, with emphasis on its parts. In picture books for children, the cutaway illustration is quite often educational in its intent, for example to show the reader the inside of an object of […]

  • Chimneys In Art And Storytelling

    Fred Cecil Jones (British,1891-1956) - Chimney stacks and winding ways, 1936

    The chimney is a multivalent symbol in storytelling. Chimneys can be cosy and welcoming. A column of smoke rose thin and straight from the cabin chimney. The smoke was blue where it left the red of the clay. It trailed into the blue of the April sky and was no longer blue but gray. The […]

  • Castles In Art and Storytelling

    Maxfield Parrish - Dream Castle in the Sky

    The castle is a feature of Gothic storytelling, and commonly makes appearances in ghost stories of all kinds. Dragons and castles also go together. As kids my friends and I played King of the Castle. There’s not much to it. We used a pile of dirt, left by some builders. One person climbs to the […]

  • A Brief History of Home Lighting

    Eyolf Soot (1859 - 1928) In the lamplight, 1885

    With the invention of electric light human lives changed suddenly. This change was reflected immediately in art, first by the Impressionists. Impressionist painters were the first to enjoy the freedom of painting without reliance upon the sun, in plein air. Artists from the 1960s to today use light sources to express ideas, concepts and to […]

  • The Symbolic Basement In Fiction

    The Blind Fiddler 1806 Sir David Wilkie 1785-1841 Presented by Sir George Beaumont Bt 1826

    In Gaston Bachelard’s Symbolic Dream House, you probably shouldn’t go down to the basement, ever. I mean it. Nothing good ever happens down there. The basement is the house version of a fairytale forest — a descent into the subconscious. We can’t control our subconscious. That’s what makes it scary. EXAMPLE ONE: BASEMENTS AND BEREAVEMENT […]

  • Passages, Hallways and Corridors in Art and Storytelling

    Herbert Thomas Dicksee - Memories, an Old Man Seated in a Church 1885

    When storytellers focus on the hallways and passages of a building, look for metaphor. Take note of the width of the passageway: Narrow passages might represent the will to escape. Broad passages represent freedom and space. The tunnel is the naturally occurring equivalent of the manmade passage. In houses, the passages, hallways and corridors are […]

  • The Scary Kitchen in Children’s Stories

    In The Night Kitchen Maurice Sendak

    Most often, kitchens in children’s literature serve as metonyms of familial happiness, but every so often you do find a scary kitchen in which not all is well. The kitchen is the perfect place for a scary scene because it is at once close to home (in fact the hub of the home) and contains […]

  • There’s A Sea In My Bedroom by Margaret Wild Analysis

    There's A Sea In My Bedroom

    There’s A Sea In My Bedroom (1984) is a classic Australian picture book, written by Margaret Wild and illustrated in realistic fantasy style by Jane Tanner. Margaret Wild is a well-known Australian author whose subject material ranches from melancholic to funny. I have previously blogged about Harry and Hopper and Chatterbox. Jane Tanner is also […]

  • Writing Activity: Describe A Living Room

    Henry Wallis - The Room in Which Shakespeare Was Born 1853

    As a writing exercise, describe your own living room, or the living room of someone you know. For inspiration, I offer the following examples from literature. EXAMPLE OF A LIVING ROOM DESCRIBED BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER We were all sitting in the long, low room at Farthings, darker than usual because of the rain. The […]