I just learned that the wonderful Thomas Locker died this year in March, 2012. This is the Publishers Weekly obit for him. I feel as if I've lost a friend. At some point over all these years, I should have written him and let him know how much I admired his artwork.
I love Locker's books. For years I've marked his books at "required" for library start-up collections and added his titles to acquisitions lists for established libraries. I realize now that I own very few in my personal library.
His landscapes showed such a reverence for the majesty of the natural world. PW likened his work to 19th-century Hudson River School of painting. His work also evoked the English painter, John Constable and the great Dutch painter, Jacob van Ruisdael. His brooding Dutch skies in The Boy Who Held Back the Sea are a direct homage to van Ruidael.
For science connections his Cloud Dance is an exquisite rendering of the hydrological cycle (water cycle) as is Mountain Dance which depicts the rock cycle.
His pairing with Jean-Craighead-George produced the lovely To Climb a Waterfall taking the reader on a climb up the Hudson River Valley's Kaaterskill Falls.
I always add Sky Tree to lists of books for my art teachers. Each page is a study of the same tree during all seasons and at different times of the day. It is breathtaking.
I feel a little poorer today and I have a new set of books to start collecting for my personal library.