The Golden Bible: New Testament by The Provensens

Alice and Martin Provensen created some beautiful work for this giant Golden Book edition of The Golden Bible: The New Testament from 1953. Absolutely brilliant. I find it hard to take my eyes off these pages. When I look at their work, I feel hopeful, joyous, optimistic. Much like the idea of what Jesus's birth was meant to be: the promise of something new. Of joy and peace. Happiness. When I look at these illustrations, I am happy:

The Golden Bible: New Testament (The Prophecy)
The Golden Bible: New Testament; Edited and arranged by Elsa Jane Werner; Illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen. © 1953, Simon and Schuster.

The Golden Bible: New Testament (Title)

The Golden Bible: New Testament (It happened...)

The Golden Bible: New Testament (The Nativity)

The Golden Bible: New Testament (Gifts)

The Golden Bible: New Testament (Wise Men)

I'm sitting here looking out at a scene that's covered in over a half foot of freshly fallen snow. It is Christmas Day. I feel peaceful, I feel optimistic. I wish the same for your Christmas.

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours,

- Ward Jenkins


It's that time of year again

Here's a recent Keyword Analysis done for The Ward-O-Matic. These are keywords that have been used in various search engines and therefore were directed to my blog. Yeah, I think it's Christmastime here at ye olde blogge:

9 Hits 6.08% -- Polar express creepy
6 Hits 4.05% -- ashley wood
6 Hits 4.05% -- polar express eyes
5 Hits 3.38% -- polar express uncanny valley
5 Hits 3.38% -- toot whistle plunk and boom images
5 Hits 3.38% -- underground shelter
4 Hits 2.70% -- The Polar Express creepy
4 Hits 2.70% -- the polar express uncanny valley
3 Hits 2.03% -- Making of the Polar Express
3 Hits 2.03% -- nice pamphlet
3 Hits 2.03% -- polar express analysis
3 Hits 2.03% -- polar express characters
3 Hits 2.03% -- the making of polar express
3 Hits 2.03% -- the making of the polar express
3 Hits 2.03% -- the polar express eyes
3 Hits 2.03% -- toot whistle plunk and boom
2 Hits 1.35% -- "Redux Riding Hood" rapidshare
2 Hits 1.35% -- explain the polar express movie
2 Hits 1.35% -- fallout shelter
2 Hits 1.35% -- guy polar express
2 Hits 1.35% -- how was polar express made
2 Hits 1.35% -- nightmare before christmas characters
2 Hits 1.35% -- polar express making of
2 Hits 1.35% -- polar expresss was creepy
2 Hits 1.35% -- polarexpress making of
2 Hits 1.35% -- the polar express
2 Hits 1.35% -- uncanny valley polar express
2 Hits 1.35% -- wardomatic
1 Hit 0.68% -- " figure model" stories
1 Hit 0.68% -- "joseph kennedy" "john canemaker"
1 Hit 0.68% -- "why the polar express is so creepy"
1 Hit 0.68% -- blogspot.com/2005_02
1 Hit 0.68% -- bomb shelklters
1 Hit 0.68% -- christmas 1956
1 Hit 0.68% -- christmas ideals issue 1956
1 Hit 0.68% -- christmas in the air
1 Hit 0.68% -- creepy polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- dream worlds картинки
1 Hit 0.68% -- etiquette blogs
1 Hit 0.68% -- fallout shelter handbook
1 Hit 0.68% -- fallout shelter schematic
1 Hit 0.68% -- falout shelter
1 Hit 0.68% -- Gerald mcboing hellboy
1 Hit 0.68% -- how did they make polar express?
1 Hit 0.68% -- How did they make the polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- how do they make polar express animation
1 Hit 0.68% -- how much money did polar express make?
1 Hit 0.68% -- image blogging etiquette
1 Hit 0.68% -- John lasseter draw
1 Hit 0.68% -- Kids in space
1 Hit 0.68% -- kind of animation in Polar Express
1 Hit 0.68% -- mad men party
1 Hit 0.68% -- motion capture polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- nuclear shelter
1 Hit 0.68% -- old fallout shelters scotland
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express actors
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express animation
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express animation sucks
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express engineer picture
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express horrible aimation
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express how it was made
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express movie animation creepy
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express performance captures
1 Hit 0.68% -- polar express zombie
1 Hit 0.68% -- polatr expres creepy eyes
1 Hit 0.68% -- provensens
1 Hit 0.68% -- suzy sparrow
1 Hit 0.68% -- The Christmas Angel book
1 Hit 0.68% -- the nightmare before christmas cemetery images
1 Hit 0.68% -- tom hanks polar express side by side pictures
1 Hit 0.68% -- TWICE UPON A TIME download
1 Hit 0.68% -- twice upon a time john korty
1 Hit 0.68% -- uncanny valley the polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- uncle wiggly images
1 Hit 0.68% -- virtual polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- ward jenkins
1 Hit 0.68% -- ward jenkins etsy
1 Hit 0.68% -- wardjenkins
1 Hit 0.68% -- what kind of animation is polar express?
1 Hit 0.68% -- what kind of animation was used to make the polar express
1 Hit 0.68% -- what style of animation is polar express?
1 Hit 0.68% -- who animated polar express

For the uninitiated, grab a coffee and take a little time to read these two posts of mine I wrote back in 2004:

The Polar Express: A Virtual Train Wreck, Part 1 and Part 2.

If you really want to get to the meat and potatoes, read Part 2. Some good stuff there.

So far, nothing's really changed, even after 6 years of new motion capture technology. Robert Zemeckis's constant (and ill advised) use of the format doesn't look any better than when he first had Tom Hanks suit up in black leotards with big white balls glued on. However, I was very impressed with AVATAR and how John Cameron pushed the boundaries for motion capture. With Cameron, the future for mo-cap is bright. With Zemeckis, it's dark. Very dark.

Happy Holidays!


Here's to Safe Travels

State Farm Road Atlas 1950

This is a huge State Farm Road Atlas from 1950. No mention of illustrator. It took six scans and lots of photoshopping to put it all together and get rid of all the scratches and torn areas. It was in pretty bad shape, but now you can enjoy it looking as close to what it's supposed to look like back in the day.

Click here to view larger.

Hope you stay safe in your travels this Holiday Season!


You know, Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe and presents to pretty girls...

I would say that about a third of my old stuff collection consists of little booklets, pamphlets, brochures and various forgotten bits of ephemera that were printed as some sort of promotional insert or handout for companies, obviously trying to get in good with your typical consumer at the time. Most would include fun illustrations, which, of course, is the reason I collect them. Here are a few Christmas-themed ones, perfect to get you in the Christmas-y mood:

A Treasury of Christmas Ideas: Not sure who put this out, but it says on the inside cover "Published by Raymond A. Sholl & Co., Upper Darby, PA." Everything is based on electricity - electrical gifts, lighting, appliances. With some recipes thrown in for good measure. No date, but guessing late 50s to early 60s:

Treasury of Christmas Ideas 1

Treasury of Christmas Ideas 2

Treasury of Christmas Ideas 3

Treasury of Christmas Ideas 4
It's illustrations like the woman with the present that make me grin like a fool.

Treasury of Christmas Ideas 5
Always a good thing to include all the latest stereo equipment and consoles.

Rit® Fun Fixings for The Holidays: Now, here's a fun little booklet from 1962 on holiday trimmings and whatnot printed up by Rit Dye. Cute illustrations. Yeah, I said cute:

Rit Fun Fixings for the Holidays 1

Rit Fun Fixings for the Holidays 2

Rit Fun Fixings for the Holidays 3
Candles! More candles!

Rit Fun Fixings for the Holidays 4

More great illustrations to share with you soon.


You know, deck them halls and all that stuff?

CHRISTMAS! Can't wait for it!

The following ads were found in Collier's Magazine, December 24, 1954. This issue had part of the on-going saga of "The Body Snatchers" by Jack Finney. This story, of course, would eventually be published a year later as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." So fitting for the Season, you think?

The Minstrel Radio ad
The Minstrel 3-Way Portable Radio ad with some fun characters at the top there.

Esterbrook Pens ad
Esterbrook pens ad. I love the individual characters for each of the pens shown. Looks a lot like JP Miller, but I'm pretty sure it's not. No illustrator credit given. Notice all the females have clerical or secretarial jobs. Typical!

Here's a high-res version of it for you: Esterbrook Pens BIG. It was very difficult to get the right levels and tones here - the subtle grays in the illustrations were so fine and delicate, it was hard for me to find the right look without blowing the image out too much. Sorry.

Jell-O ad
Fun Jell-O ad illustrated by the awesome Jack Welch.

This was part of a big campaign. You can check out more of the ads by clicking HERE.

"It's my gift for thirst" Coke ad
Classic Santa Coke ad illustrated by Haddon Sundblom, of course. Not what I typically post here, but thought that it was a pretty cool ad to share. Plus, I love Christmas. And Coke. So there.

The following ad was not from Collier's but from Everywoman's Magazine, December 1957. The cutest little cook you'll find this Season using tin foil:

Kaiser Foil ad

Jettie, The Rich Reliefer
Not that Christmas-y, but still cool nonetheless, this illustration was done by Herschel Levit. Apparently he taught at Pratt at one point.

Hope you're enjoying the Season so far. I know I am. I've been listening to nothing but Christmas music all day long. Not tired of it one bit. Well, not yet, anyway.


Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 1958

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 1
Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book, ©1958. Illustrations by Davi Botts. Davi was busy during the midcentury era, illustrating many paper doll collections, not to mention other cook books. She illustrated another edition of the Good Housekeeping series of cook books: Book of Cookies. Cakes & Tortes was another one (but not GH). Her work shines off the page with joy and fun. A perfect fit to illustrate the Christmas cook book for GH, wouldn't you think? Click on each image to view it larger:

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 2
Here's a selection of various spot illos.

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 3

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 4
Fun use of the separation between the columns here.

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 5
A selection of various section headers.

Good Housekeeping's Christmas Cook Book 6
Now, eggnog - that's what I'M talking about. Actually, I dig it without the alcohol. I know, I'm weird.

More links for you to clicky-click:

My Vintage Christmas set
My Vintage Cooking set
My Fun Ephemera set


Vintage Cookbooks Group
Vintage Christmas: 1945-1970 Group
Midcentury Illustrated Group


The Discriminating Lush

The holidays are in full thrush here at the Jenkins household. So excited! I love the Christmas holiday season. Looking forward to having egg nog 24/7 and throwing a log into the hearth and starting a fire whenever I dang well please. And the music, too, of course. Now I can stop pressing 'skip' when a Christmas-themed song comes up in my iTunes shuffle. Yeah, I never got rid of my Christmas songs from last year. So sue me!

The sale in The Ward-O-Matic Shop was a success—I thoroughly enjoyed sending out prints to new customers in various new places. Always a big thrill. Hope you all enjoy the prints!

A new illustration to share. This was for the Boston Phoenix, for their holiday supplement. This guy is labelled "The Discriminating Lush." Whenever I need some help with fashion for any of my subjects, I call upon my good friend Robert Pope of Dagnabit! He knew exactly what my character should wear. I followed his advice and I'm very thankful for it. Many thanks, Pope! You big lush. And by the way, kids, don't drink and drive.


Vintage stuff to share with you soon. Don't shop too hard, people!


because we all should be so lucky

because we all should be so lucky
I love watching my wife take photographs. It's like witnessing magic happen right before your very eyes.

The fog
Taking a walk with Andrea on a foggy November morning as the trees slowly emerge from the mist is nothing short of awesome.

Autumn. Trees. Color. Yes, the obligatory leaves-changing shot.

A little beaded home
A little beaded home. She probably took all night to work on it, too.


The Thanksgiving Story

The Thanksgiving Story 1
The Thanksgiving Story by Alice Dalgliesh, with illustrations by Helen Sewell. © Charles Scribner's Sons, 1954.

Nice illustrations by Helen Sewell in this children's book about the first Thanksgiving in America. Helen won a Caldecott Honor for the work done on this book. More about Helen Sewell HERE.

On the first page, there's an Author's Note:

In writing the text and making the pictures for this book, Helen Sewell and I have kept them both very simple—so they tell the story of one family and of the changing seasons.

The Pilgrims and settlers were chiefly a group of country people—farmers, weavers, and other workmen. They wore the clothes of the time—perhaps less elaborate—and they wore colors. The wide, tall hats were expensive, so the men and boys had knitted and cloth caps for ordinary occasions.

The Thanksgiving Story 2

The Thanksgiving Story 3

The Thanksgiving Story 4

The Thanksgiving Story 5
There's a certain flattening of the scene that Helen does that makes it look like cut paper in some of the illustrations.

The Thanksgiving Story 6

The Thanksgiving Story 7

The Thanksgiving Story 8
I noticed that the boy in the lower lefthand corner is actually a cutout - the artist must've painted him separately and glued him in place there. I've seen this done before many times.

Here's wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, people. Hope you're enjoying your time with your family and friends. I know we are.


Big Birthday Sale in The Shop

Boom Boy

In honor of my 42nd birthday coming up, I've decided to mark all my prints 42% OFF in The Ward-O-Matic Shop! Hurry and take advantage of this while the holidays are sneaking up on us! Stock up on all your favorite Ward-O-Matic prints! You know, the ones that you've been pinning over for months and months and never had a decent reason to finally make that purchase? Welp, now's your chance!

42% OFF means:

All 8.5 x 11" prints are now $14.50.

All 5 x 7" prints are now $6.96.

This is for a limited time! Hurry!

(Gah! I feel like I've stepped out of one of those crazy late-night mattress ads.)

i <3 u (vertical)

Here, you can see my two most recent additions to the shop. Fun!


Big News and an Update

Lots to announce today! It's been a long time coming, so let me start with this:

CHICKS RUN WILD by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by me, Ward Jenkins! To be released by Simon & Schuster on January 25th, 2011.

My second children's book! I'm so excited. It's a fun one. Had tons of fun working on it, with all the little chicks going crazy throughout the story. I also enjoyed drawing Mama Hen and coming up with all the various ways of her reacting to her little ones.

In case you're wondering, you can pre-order the book HERE and also check out the official Facebook page HERE. I know! It's all very up-to-date and all!

By the way, if you do a search for the book, be sure to type "chicks RUN wild." Not "go" or "gone" wild. Just sayin'.

In honor of this occasion, I've updated my website - somehow, a bunch of chicks were set free and are now running wild all over the site:

New update with CHICKS!

See if you can find them all!

Along with a few added illustrations in the Portfolio, I've also updated the Books section to accommodate Chicks Run Wild. Once there, you can take a peek inside, follow along as I show you my process for making the book, and a few other surprises (soon).

My last bit of news is very VERY exciting for me: I am now represented by the wonderful Jennifer Laughran of Andrea Brown Literary Agency. If you’d like me to illustrate a book, a book cover, etc., please contact her via email. I really enjoy Jennifer's enthusiasm for the world of children's and YA literature. Outspoken, honest, to-the-point, and very engaging, Jennifer is the real deal. All the more reason why I'm so ecstatic about sharing this news with you all. Be sure to check out Jennifer's blog. She shares a great deal of insight into the publishing world. Don't miss out.

Alright! There ya go! Lots of good things happening here at The Ward-O-Matic. Very excited.


Halloween Avatar Trickery

San Francisco was a major blast. I want to share all that we got to experience and see, but all in due time. In the meantime, I've been having fun with my avatar, leading up to Halloween. Here's the original:

New! Improved! 2010!

Now, here's a skeletal version:


How about a zombie version? I can haz brainz?

New Icon: Zombie

And now, a special nod to Nightmare Before Christmas, natch:

New avatar: Skellington-O-Matic

I might do more. It's been a lot of fun.

Happy Halloween!

UPDATE: Here's more!

New profile avatar: Wereward-O-Matic!

New profile avatar: Invisible Man