girl in the wind

September 29, 2010

Nancy Ekholm Burkert, 'March' from A Child's Calendar by John Updike

This image has haunted me for years… I saw it once in a book in Dunedin Public Library, and it has been part of me ever since, but I never knew who drew it or where to find it.

I just love her red coat and the largesse of the tree, and the fact that it looks like it might be a windy day. I like that she is alone.

For years now I’ve trawled through children’s illustration websites trying to work out who the artist was. I remembered that the woman who drew it had a triple barrel name, but couldn’t remember anything else, except that I found the picture in a book collecting that artist’s work. Eventually I worked out that it might be by Nancy Ekholm Burkert… the name just sounded and felt right, but the rest of her artwork is different from this – less bold, more soft and pastel, and I was still dubious. But I ordered her collected art, opened the book at random, flicked through a few pages and there she was – my red girl and her tree… found.


5 Responses to “girl in the wind”

  1. Niki Says:

    She’s gorgeous. I love how images can stay with us like that, for so many years, like some long-lost lover. Beautiful.


  2. southernrata Says:

    What a wonderful find. It’s like when I used to dream of going into a second hand bookshop and finding an unknown book by my favourite author. Well not really, but the feeling of completion is the same.

    • Jenn Says:

      I came this close to asking you to go into Dunedin Public Library and look through the book for me… I was that obsessed. I like that it is a link to a material place (the first floor art stack) as well as a feeling. I love DPL so much.

      (But this also reminds me of one of my earliest memories, which is the day when I was very young that Father took me up to Mornington Park. It was a very windy day.)

  3. southernrata Says:

    We have a photo! But it was Claire who had the red coat, a wee bit later.

  4. Jenn Says:

    I really want to come home and look through old photos…

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