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Oil on panel - unframed
39" x 19"
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Below is a little description Scott wrote about the painting when it was included in an exhibit called "The Wonderful Art of Oz" at the Eric Carle Museum in the summer of 2006.
Few works of American literature for children have had the longevity and have inspired as much devotion as L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. Back in 1998, I was reading the original story to our young son when I realized that the year 2000 would be the centennial of it's first publication. This painting was done to mark that auspicious occasion.
Baum eventually wrote fourteen books involving the Land of Oz, andintroduced hundreds of amazing and imaginative characters. It was, therefore, a very real temptation to attempt packing this piece with as many of those characters as possible. In the end, I decided to limit my picture to the original cast that started it all, while incorporating other creatures and characters that also appeared in the first book. Included are Ozma, the Soldier with Green Whiskers, the Wicked Witch and the Kalidahs, among others; and making a special guest appearance as Royal Historian of Oz (as he called himself), L. Frank Baum.
Being an illustrator myself, I couldn't help acknowledging in some way the two giants of the field that left their indelible mark on the Oz books. If you look closely, you might be able to make out the signatures of W.W. Denslow, the original illustrator of Oz, and his successor, J. R. Neill, carved into the fence post in the foreground. Denslow, who illustrated the first book, gave us portraits of Dorothy and her friends that are almost inseparable from the text, as definitive as the Tenniel illustrations are for Alice in Wonderland. And, as others have said of Neill's contribution, "if L. Frank Baum paved the yellow road, Neill made every brick shine."
It's truly an honor to have my painting included in this wonderful exhibition of Oz inspired artwork.