The drawings for Blue Sun Spring
Illustrating stories is a specific craft. Every story has it's own atmosphere. Fenix remembers clearly why he chose to make drawings in ink to go with his adventurous fairy tale De lente van de blauwe zon (Blue sun spring): "When I wrote the story I got the feeling it took place in the 1950's, the decennium at the end of which I was born. As I child I loved to read Winterbooks from that era and especially the boyhood adventure stories, many of which were illustrated in a style that was typical for that time. In the drawings for De lente van de blauwe zon I tried to capture the mood these old fashioned illustrations evoked".
Not minding the ink stains and fingerprints,
Sebastiaan begins to write in the diary he got
for his 11th birthday (chapter 1).
Riding home after a cancelled visit to
Germany (chapter 5).
De 23 drawings, one for each chapter, were made on A5 paper, a small size Fenix very rarely uses. "The story was written completely out of intuition. Using A5 was not a real choice, it just felt good. And it worked: it suited the intimacy of the story."
A breach of styles
The story jumps from present to past and back to present again. In the concluding chapters the three brothers Jochem, Sebastiaan and Casper are middle aged men. "They have long lost their boyhood innocence. It needed another approach to the drawings. I decided on a less cute fairy tale style. As the story became more edgy, so did the drawings.
Sebastiaan bewildered after rereading his
childhood diary (chapter 20).
Here's a selection of other drawings from De lente van de blauwe zon:
Things will change
The Spotlight section is a temporary exhibition. Every few months another subject will be highlighted here.