Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Witches of Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (June 9, 1888 – June 25, 1960) was an Australian illustrator of children's books.

Working predominantly in pen and ink, and watercolour, Ida's illustrations mostly depicted fairies frolicking in Australian settings, often in the company of Australian native animals.

I first became acquainted with her artwork as a child through one of her books called, The Little World of Elves and Fairies : An Anthology of Verse. I particularly loved the book's cover illustration (pictured above) of a little witch with her black cat, and although her fairy illustrations are truly delightful, I have a particular soft spot for Ida's witches.

Ida collaborated with her sister (Anne Rattray Rentoul), and later her husband (Grenbry Outhwaite), on a number of books during her career.

Her illustrations were also exhibited in Australia, London, and Paris, as well as appearing in periodicals and newspapers of the time.

In 1985, Australia Post honoured Ida Rentoul Outhwaite with a postage stamp featuring the cover witch from Elves and Fairies.

And while we happen to be on the subject of witches...

Magical Magaly of Magaly Guerrero's Pagan Culture is having a Halloweenie blog party. The idea is to create something for Halloween (writing, art, craft, cooking, etc.) with a theme of witches or magic, then post about it on October 17. You can find out more information at Witches in Fiction... Crafting Blooming Howls.