Newbolds Offers Kid-Friendly Art History Tour at The Brinton | A&E

SHERIDAN — What if?

This is one of the great questions of children’s literature. How about giving a mouse a cookie? What if a cat with a hat showed up at your door and wanted to play? What if you could navigate where the wild things are?

One day, while visiting the Picasso Museum in Paris with her sisters, another compelling “what if” question came to mind for Utah-based author Amy Newbold.

“I said, ‘I wonder what it would look like if Picasso painted a snowman,'” recalls Amy Newbold. “And my sister said, ‘It’s a picture book.'”

Indeed, it was. In fact, this “what if” question paved the way for a three-book series, answering questions ranging from how Leonardo da Vinci would paint a dinosaur to how Claude Monet would paint a monster. And Greg Newbold, Amy’s husband and illustrator, helped her answer those questions. Now, Greg’s art is on display at the Brinton Museum as part of its annual Illustrators Exhibition highlighting picture book art.

According to Barbara McNab, Curator of Exhibitions at Brinton, Greg Newbold’s art was an easy choice for this year’s exhibition – because it is delightful on its own and because it offers the opportunity to introduce students to the Sheridan County some of the greatest artists of all. time.

“What’s great about Greg and Amy’s work is that it provides this fun way to talk about art history,” McNab said. “There’s a mini art history lecture behind every image, and as a museum dedicated to introducing the next generation to art, I couldn’t think of a better subject for a exposure.”

Greg Newbold said he was honored to have his work exhibited at the Brinton, but when his wife first brought up the idea of ​​’If Picasso Painted a Snowman’ he initially struggled to pay tribute to some of the greatest artists of all time. .

“It was absolutely intimidating at first,” Greg Newbold said. “The first time Amy told me about the idea, I couldn’t even see how I could make it work. But I really took time to dig in and understand how each artist created their pieces. I learned more about their techniques and processes and identified the fingerprints of each artist’s individual style. I didn’t necessarily want to copy them, but create a tribute — something that looks like they might have created them.

Once he understood the works he was paying homage to, Greg Newbold was able to let loose and have fun. He describes one of the paintings in the snowman book – imagining what a snowman painted by Jackson Pollock would look like – as “perhaps the most fun I’ve had as an illustrator”. Pollock was known for his drip technique of pouring or splattering paint onto a canvas.

“I laid my canvas on the floor and walked around flipping the paint,” Greg Newbold said. “It was just a fun process to paint like Jackson Pollock. There were people who actually thought he was a Jackson Pollock, so I know I got close.

Amy Newbold said that writing and illustrating picture books is special because “your book could be the first experience a child has with your subject.” She said she hopes her books will spark children’s interest in art history, but also show them that there is no one right way to create art.

“What I wanted was to show kids so many different art styles and let them know that there are so many different ways to create,” Amy Newbold said. “There is value in learning the rules of the art, and all the artists we refer to in these books have mastered them. But they also went further and developed their own voice and style. I want kids to know they can create in their own style and that’s totally worth it.

Greg Newbold agreed.

“I’ve seen so many kids get to a certain point in school or in life when someone told them they weren’t doing it right, and they stopped creating because they didn’t care. didn’t feel they were performing,” said Greg Newbold. “I want to give these kids permission to just create, because there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to creating. You can create a new way of painting and that’s fine…At the end of our presentations to children, I give the children their own artistic license with an air of high five. I am the one giving them permission to create their art the way they want because there is no wrong way. I think it’s stimulating for children to hear.

Greg Newbold’s art will be on display at the Brinton until March 27. The Newbolds will be in residence at the Brinton from March 15-17. In addition to giving presentations to local schools, the Newbolds will be hosting a welcome reception on March 17 at 4:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public.

Christopher S. Washington