Oleg Lipchenko's Carrolliana
in progressto be published by Studio Treasure soonwhat you see is the title page - not cover
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
I started illustrating “Alice” about thirty years ago. Having had no deadlines to meet, I wasn’t in a hurry to complete the series of Illustrations. My first attempt was in black and white, pen/ink drawings. I have made about forty drawings in this technique. Then after a while I returned to this theme and made several drawings with colored pencils. They looked quite different from my first series, but the characters were generally the same. There was a whole bunch of sketches and drafts too. Then there were two paintings: a big composition with almost all the characters and another one – “Alice in the Wood Where Things Have No Names”. After that I put "Alice" theme aside for several years. The recent series made with led pencil and brown pencil on watercolor paper and seems different from all the previous works. I consider this style the most convenient for the story about Alice. The presence of color is not too important to me, color is a desirable attribute for children’s books, but is not necessary. Including the brown color in my illustrations, is to bring out the reminisce that you would get in old photographs: ‘Fleur de Epoch’.
Oleg Lipchenko - "Drawing Treacle Well".
The Hunting on the Snark
The Hunting of the Snark is a mysterious story, but it is not told in “mysterious” language. Nothing like, for instance:
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air. . .
Edgar Allan Poe, “The City in the Sea.”
Contrariwise — it is told simply and comprehensibly. And this seemingly ordinary language works better, because suddenly we feel that “the mystery is around the corner.” We’re not misled by the seriousness of the author’s work, nor by his accuracy in description of details, characters, and their actions. A dream is still a dream, even when it is retold by the scientific language. Characters are more symbolic than real, and the surroundings are flexible, changeable, and, in most cases, impossible. Things appear and disappear without logic (like a ruff or a chair) simply because of the author’s will, just as if in a dream—but a dream that is vivid and clear. The entire poem is a dream to me. And the Barrister’s Dream is a dream within a dream...
Oleg Lipchenko - "The Butcher in the Ruff"
Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found There
Several years have passed since my edition of "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" published. I was working on the "Looking Glass", but time after time I took a little detours working on other projects. I illustrated "Nursery Rhymes", then "Hunting of the Snark", as well as "Freudoscope" and Inuit Myths; these were quite different projects, and work on them refreshed me like a sort of intellectual vacation. So when I have decided to return to illustrate "Looking Glass", I felt like coming back to something that I missed; I was a sort of homesick and I was going back home. Needless to say, I wanted to keep the same illustrating style for the "Looking Glass" as with "Wonderland". I consider that as the obvious condition, only the difference was is in technological change. This simply means that now I draw the entire illustration using only one utensil - a graphite pencil, and then adjust the sepia part in computer. This is the same method as I have used in the Hunting of the Snark...
Oleg Lipchenko - "O Looking-Glass Creatures!"