Who Colored the Umbrella?
Every book that we publish comes out "for a very good reason". So it was in this case, too. While browsing the Internet, we came across some works by Nadezhda Fedotova and immediately decided that she should illustrate one of our books. But which one in particular? It didn't take us long to decide. Surely, it must be Andersen and, specifically, his Ole Lukoie! You may adk: Why such choice and this pairing of the book and the illustrator?
In Western Siberia, in the foothills of the Kuznetsk Alatau, on the river Tom, there is a town of Kemerovo. There lived Nadya Fedotova with her husband and little daughter Yunia. In these parts, winter can last for up to nine months and the temperature can drop to -45 Celcius. Seemingly, the artists living there must be painting austere, laconic and chilly-colored landscapes. But that's true only at first sight. And it certainly does not apply to Nadya.
'Some people think that my illustrations are childish. Perhaps; though I would simply call them cheerful' - she says. Indeed, her paintings are a tumult of fantasy and rave of color; kind and tender, they radiate warmth, give comfort, inspire joy, and quite simply enchant! And now remember think of the great Andersen's fairy-tales and particularly of his Ole Lukoie. Won't you say that Nadya's self-definition applies to this tale? Doesn't it express the same idea? That's why they met on the pages of this book: Ole Lukoie and Nadezhda Fedotova, a fine artist.
Her favourite technique is leukos. In Russian medieval icon painting, this type of ground (from the Greek leukos meaning 'bright, shining. white') refers to priming mixture of alabaster and chalk kneaded with animal or fish glue. The gauze is pasted upon a ready-made board and several layers of hot priming are applied over it. After the priming dries, the surface is polished until shiny. It can, then, be painted on. The paints are mixed with egg yolk. A layer of varnish goes on top to lend the painting its 'depth' and shine and to make it last. All illustrations in this book have been made using the leukos technique.