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This blog has been retired. I won't respond to any inquiries but have retained it in case it is still of interest to anyone passing by.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

I've noticed a few searches recently on my blog stats for the Australian illustrator Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (1888 - 1960).  In a previous post I included two of her illustrations (I've repeated them again here) and as her work is so beautiful I decided to devote today's entry entirely to her.

Ida's Irish born father was a Presbyterian minister and academic.  By the time Ida was born (she was the youngest of four children) he was a professor at Ormond College (University of Melbourne). Ida was educated at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne. Her maiden name was Rentoul but when she married Arthur Outhwaite in 1909 she became known as Ida Renoul Outhwaite and began signing her work as such.

Ida's first illustration (accompanying a story written by her sister Anne) was published when she was just 15 years old.  Her children (Robert, Anne, Wendy and William) were the models for many of her illustrations which mostly depict fairies.      

The Autumn fairy turns the leaves to gold and scatters them around . . . .

My garden in its Autumn Glory

I've often thought that these fairies would make lovely paper dolls.  I'm sure it will just be a matter of time before I can resist the temptation no longer and make a doll based on her painings.  

The illustrations included in this post come from five different books illustrated by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite:

Elves and Fairies
The Enchanted Forest
Lady of the Blue Beards
The Other Side of Nowhere


I have held back three illustrations that I thought would be perfect for Halloween.  I thought I only had one witchy picture - but it turns out I have two and one with a fairy riding on a bat that I think is wonderful (and delightfully unusual).  If you come back and visit me at Halloween I'll be including them then.    

As a child I always thought of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite as being an English artist.  When I looked at these illustrations now I realised that many of them feature koala bears.  That should have given me a clue as to where she really came from!

Some of her black and while illustrations are just as beautiful as those in colour and in my opinion can often be more striking.  The one below is my favourite.

The miniature Japanese Maple on our patio has turned the most gorgeous shade of cerise.  It won't last long and soon the leaves will fall but I'm going to make the most of enjoying it while it looks so glorious.

The swan family in St Stephen's Green I featured a couple of weeks ago (Swans in the Green) are still together and just as devoted and close-knit as before.  The mornings are becoming so dark now I doubt whether I'll be able to walk through the park on my way to work for much longer (I think the gates are opened later in winter).  I don't remember the swans remaining as a family unit for such a long time in past years and have really enjoyed my visits to their lovely world each working day.

I added the Tinkerbell effect to my Blog after seeing it on Diane's at Crave Cute.  She told me how to do it after I left a comment on this post.   I had so much fun playing with the fairy dust that I decided to do something with the cursor as well.  I found a very easy site to work with is Cursors 4U.  I stayed away from the animated sets because they apparently only work on Explorer and I use Google Chrome.  What I really wanted was a proper fairy wand with a star on the end - I must say I was quite surprised not to find one!  So in the end I chose a butterfly, rose and Harry Potter wand and I'm alternating between those three!



ArtSings1946 said...

Hi Sharon...I really enjoyed reading all about Ida. I didn't know any of this and have been a fan of hers for years. Love those swans and really enjoyed this post.

Happiness always,

CraveCute said...

OK, so you know I love your Tinkerbell fairy dust ... and now the new butterfly cursor is just too cute! I also love Ida and it is lovely to read more about her. Thank you for revisiting the swans, they are all grown up and are so gorgeous! Love your maple too! Have a wonderful weekend! ~Diane

DMS said...

I really enjoyed this post about Ida. The illustrations are just beautiful and I love fairies. I can't wait to see the ones on Halloween. I can see why you are itching to make them into paper dolls. Love the red of your Japanese Maple!

Three Hoodies Save the World said...

They were lovely drawings but your garden is a thing of beauty.

Darlene Foster said...

I love your new cursers!! The illustrations by Ida are wonderdful. I could look at them for hours. And your Japanese maple tree is amazing. Great post.

Tazas y Cuentos said...

Wonderful images, Sharon! Really lovely!
I've been visiting your blog every day and enjoyed reading the comments. It was so kind of you to publish my inquiry. Of course I'll tell you whatever I can find out about those illustrations that are intriguing me more and more...LOL.
A big hug! Silvina

Barbara said...

You have included two (actually three) of my favourite things in one post - Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, Kola bears and swans! I first came across Ida Rentoul Outhwaite’s illustrations in ‘the little green road to fairyland’ written by her sister Annie. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Your Japanese maple really is a blaze of colour – thanks for sharing so many good things.

Barbara said...

PS I like the idea of 'Kola bears' but that should read Koala!

Jorgelina said...

The illustrations are wonderdful.

Unknown said...

I love the fairy pictures. They are delicate and adorable.
Your garden is lovely.
We used to have a Japanes laceleaf. They are beautiful. It never came back after my husband decided to prune it.

Astrid said...

Another book Ida illustrated was The Little Green Road To Fairyland, written, I think, by her sister, Annie R. Rentoul. I loved this book, especially the illustrations when I was little. I actually had my mother's book from when she was little. Ida was really talented and I still love these pictures.

Astrid said...

Ahh just saw Barbara's comment above! How did I miss it? Nice to know someone else loves that book. I've never met any one else who knew it.


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