Scott Gustafson’s earliest artistic ambition was to become an animator. But by the time he entered high school, he became acquainted with artists from the Golden Age of Illustration. Great illustrators like N.C. Wyeth, Normal Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and Arthur Rackham opened a door onto a world of beautiful images that continue to inspire him to this day. Lingering dreams of making animated films, however, led Scott to major in animation at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. It wasn’t until after leaving art school that the possibility of a career as a freelance illustrator began to truly appeal to him. Over the nearly twenty-five years that span his career, he has had theopportunity to fulfill commissions for a number of varied clients and publishers such as Celestial Seasonings, Saturday Evening Post, The Bradford Exchange, Dreamworks and The Greenwich Workshop. His illustrated books include The Night Before Christmas, Peter Pan, Nutcracker, as well as two original titles, Animal Orchestra and Alphabet Soup. His newest release, Classic Fairy Tales, was recently awarded a Chesley award for best interior book illustrations from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists.
Artist Scott Gustafson is fascinated by the English words used to describe groups of particular animals, such as, a pride of lions or a pod of whales. But there is also a wisp of snipes, a clutter of spiders and two of his favorites, a skulk of foxes and a parliament of owls. (The latter inspired a recent painting and Greenwich Workshop Fine Art Smallworks™ Canvas of the same name.)
“In that vein,” said the artist, “I wondered what a gathering of dragons might be called. Finding no name already given it seemed that a linguistic gauntlet had been thrown my way. Rifling both mind and dictionary I happened to stumble upon a wonderful word; confabulate, whose Webster definition is 1) ‘To talk informally; to chat. 2) To replace fact with fantasy in memory.’ As Thoreau once said, ‘Therewas pasture enough for my imagination’ and A Confabulation of Dragons was born.”
Artist Scott Gustafson has of late been inspired by aphorisms and the turn of a phrase including most recently the Fine Art Limited Editions Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil and Birds of a Feather Flock Together. Birds have the type of unique collective nouns that send Gustafson into inspired flights of fancy. A peep of chickens, a band of jays, a conspiracy of ravens, a murder of crows and yes, a parliament of owls! This Great Horned orator speaks with commanding authority and while the front row struggles to stay awake, most of the others are rapt listeners.
Otter invites his friends to bring their favorite ingredients for an alphabet soup housewarming party.
35,000 copies in print, Full color throughout - 48 pages - Hardcover, jacketed
"Alphabet Soup is a joyful alphabet banquet with Otter as host, who invites all his animal friends (26 of them) who bring potluck ingredients for the alphabet stew. If you can imagine, this reviewer went to ´´U´´ right away to find that ´´Unicorn upon his unicycle carried unusual (yet useful) utensils in an upside-down umbrella.´´ And the illustrations are dynamic, exciting, full-blown and complete with a whimsy and fantasy one could never have imagined but Gustafson Does. A wonderful children´´s book for the child in all of us - and a great housewarming gift too!" —Umbrella News Letter
Maestro Toucan conducts this counting-game orchestra. 25,000 copies in print
Full color throughout - 32 pages - Hardcover, jacketed
"In Scott Gustafson´s hands, the most ordinary experiences become extraordinary. This gifted artist has a unique way of communicating with children - and their parents. For example, his Greenwich Workshop Press book, Alphabet Soup, is an offbeat and altogether charming treatment of the 36 English letters, with animals bringing foods starting with each letter to help make a communal meal." - INFODAD.COM, TransCentury Communications
Every evening the Beast comes to visit Beauty in her chamber, to talk with her and be near her. Tonight, as she sweetly plucks the harp strings, her mind wanders home to her father and sisters she misses so terribly. He, on the other hand, can think only of her. Every night before he leaves, this longing for her wells up and consumes him and he is compelled to ask, “Beauty, will you marry me?”
And every night her answer is the same: “Even though I have grown to care for you very much, Beast, I do not love you. I am sorry, but no, I cannot marry you.”
He exhales his grief in a deep sigh that echoes like a moaning wind through the palace corridors. Neither of them is aware at this moment that a bond has grown between them. Nor do they know what miracles the love they share will ultimately reveal.
In folkloric circles, the story of "Beauty and the Beast" belongs to a story motif called a Beast Marriage. This happens to be a very common motif and appears in many tales and ballads throughout the world, one of the most famous variations being Grimm's fairytale, "The Frog Prince."
"Since, from the very beginning I knew there was going to be a tapestry in the background of this piece, the only question was what would be the subject matter," said the artist. "Ultimately, it seemed only fitting that the Beast might have chosen for his wall décor an image depicting characters from a story so similar to his own, and from which he surely would have derived much inspiration."