It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Featured
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
1941 0
It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Genre(s)
Age Range
1+
Release Date
April 30, 2012
ISBN
978-1600602603
Buy This Book
      

As an enslaved boy on an Alabama farm in the early 1860s, Bill Traylor worked in the hot cotton fields. After slavery ended, Bill's family stayed on the land as sharecroppers.

By the time he was 79, Bill was all alone in the world. Lonely, poor and eventually homeless, he wandered the downtown streets of Montgomery, Alabama. But deep within himself Bill had a reservoir of memories of his lifetime spent on the land. When he was 83 years old, these memories blossomed into pictures. Bill began to draw people and places from his earlier life, as well as scenes from the busy city around him. Today, Bill Traylor is considered one of the most important American self-taught artists.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Letting art happen
(Updated: May 02, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
There’s something especially intriguing about picture books that focus on an artist. Picture books ought to be intensely visual, rewarding in both word and image – and when the illustrator is given the expanded license to explore not just the experiential world, but the creative world of another artist, well, magical things can happen. Think of Linnea in Monet’s Garden, for example.

So it is with IT JES’ HAPPENED, a biography of folk artist Bill Traylor, an ex-slave living in Alabama who one day just started drawing – at the age of 85. Don Tate creates a beautiful narrative of a man who held within himself all the pictures and images of a long, full life, and you get the sense that one day, the pictures just spilled over. And Bill Traylor started drawing, with whatever and on whatever came to hand. Illustrator R. Gregory Christie alludes to both the energy and simplicity of Bill Traylor's art in his marvelously vibrant, purposefully 2D illustrations. I especially love Bill Traylor's beard as painted by Christie, the incredible cotton-ball fullness, and the thin, angular limbs, so full of motion and purpose.

This simple – and simply beautiful book – explores Bill Traylor’s life and art, which is reason enough to read it. However, it strikes me it does something else important. It points out that the simple things an ordinary person (or child) observes in the course of an ordinary day are still the stuff of art. That art need not be created in the classroom or in Rome or somewhere with an ocean view. Art can be created right this minute, right here, with whatever you have to hand. You just have to let it happen.
Good Points
Great illustrations
Important story, well told
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel...
Corona Daze: Eva's time at home during Covid-19
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Angel's artwork is an inspirational blend of photographic images and...
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Griffin O’Shea is a traitor. It’s what those outside...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and...
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the...
Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Other Side of Midnight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...
Light of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 2
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Evil is gathering strength. When she learns the truth, it...
Mark of Orion-Guardians of Orion Book 1
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If you like sinister demons, warrior angels, supernatural powers, ancient...
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of...
Trouble Girls
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise with the...

Latest Member Reviews

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
"SWAMP THING: TWIN BRANCHES is a graphic novel about finding yourself, remembering history, and forging your own path forward. Alec..."
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
"Ashley Poston has crafted a new fairy tale for the ages! Among the Beasts and Briars may very well be..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
A Cloud of Outrageous Blue
 
4.3
"A CLOUD OF OUTRAGEOUS BLUE is a historical fiction read that takes the reader to 1348-1349. Edyth grew up with..."
Slingshot
 
4.7
"SLINGSHOT by Mercedes Helnwein is a firecracker of a debut. This YA contemporary is set inside a shoddy boarding school..."
Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
 
5.0
"RAYBEARER is a lush and imaginative YA fantasy that had me captivated from the start. The book follows Tarisai, who..."
A Golden Fury
 
4.0
"When I started A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A historical fantasy? A..."
Beyond the Ruby Veil (The Walls in the Ruby Sky, #1)
 
4.3
"BEYOND THE RUBY VEIL is a very dark YA fantasy that features a ruthless anti-heroine and a mysterious other world...."
Lightbringer (Empirium, #3)
 
5.0
"LIGHTBRINGER is a truly epic finale to the Empirium trilogy. Rielle and Eliana are mother and daughter, separated by thousands..."
Dating Makes Perfect
 
4.3
" The story: Just like her sisters before her, Winnie isn’t allowed to date in high school. With..."
A Golden Fury
 
3.3
"A GOLDEN FURY is a YA historical fantasy that entrenches the reader in the life of Thea. Thea is a..."
Miss Meteor
 
5.0
"Meteor, New Mexico is the site where a meteor crashed years ago. It's also the site of the Miss Meteor..."
In the Study with the Wrench
 
3.0
"After the death of the headmaster and the storm in the first book, Blackbrook Academy is barely functioning. Half the..."
Five Total Strangers
 
5.0
"FIVE TOTAL STRANGERS is a thrilling ride that kept me guessing. Mira is on her way to her mother's house..."
Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl, #2)
 
4.7
"KINGDOM OF SEA AND STONE continues an engaging YA fantasy series with another book about sisterhood, magic, and political power...."