Winter is here. To celebrate the chilliest season and something Game of Thrones fans have known for a while now, it feels right to turn to the work of Eyvind Earle (1916-2000). An American practitioner of Magic Realism, his name maybe isn’t as terribly well-known as it ought to be, though his landscapes infiltrated childhoods the world over and set the stylistic tone of a fair deal of mid-century Disney animations.
Earle envisioned a career’s worth of other-earths, unpeopled realms of untold legends and linear perfection that darkly mystify. Treading his hillsides would be pleasant indeed, but laced with a gently lingering sense of foreboding — like a slightly-off fairy tale sure to have a vengeful forest witch in store.
Onyx black and sleek greys both contrast and gel with creamy whites in his wintry scenes, which are most often filled in with moody shades of blue, purple and evergreen. Trees droop patiently under the weight of snowy cloaks, long shadows stretch thinly across expiring daylight. The overall effect is sleepily familiar, the undertones are esoteric. Scope out some of Earle’s icier imagery. Sharp and isolated, though more alluring than hostile, they suit this sometimes bleak but duly fanciful time of year.