Jirina Marton, Canada's Governor General Michaelle Jean (right) at the Governor General's Awards Ceremony in Ottawa on November 30, 2009.
Jirina Marton with one of her painting in 2009.
Jirina Marton with Cramahe township Mayor Marc Coombs (right) holding her Governor General's Award for illustrations in children's literature plaque.
nám. J. Palacha 80/3, 116 93 Staré Město, Czech Republic
Jirina Marton studied art at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, Czech Republic.
Jirina Marton working on her illustrations.
Jirina Marton holding Janet Russell's ‘Bella's Tree’ for which she created the illustrations.
('I'll do it myself' is young Michelle's response to her m...)
'I'll do it myself' is young Michelle's response to her mother's signal that she will brush her hair. She eventually gets it right, and she and Mom celebrate with a special story about the pink elephants.
(In some cultures, young children are included in all fami...)
In some cultures, young children are included in all family festivities, no matter how late. In other cultures, children are routinely sent off to bed. Amelia's parents exclude her from her mother's 30th birthday celebration and she is very sad and lonely.
(When Kaguyahime is found and raised by a poor bamboocutte...)
When Kaguyahime is found and raised by a poor bamboocutter and his wife, she matures into a beautiful talented poet who catches the eye of the Emperor, but she is the immortal Moon Princess and her father, the Moon King, spirits her back home and erases her memories of her existence among humankind
(Inspired by his own fascination with the high Arctic – it...)
Inspired by his own fascination with the high Arctic – its beauty, mystery, and harshness – storyteller Bob Barton has collected and retold his favorite tales from northern lands.
(Each story in the book by Raquel Rivera is illustrated by...)
Each story in the book by Raquel Rivera is illustrated by Jirina Marton, who has spent time in the Arctic and whose deep appreciation for its subtle beauty shines through her art
(Evocative prose and beautiful illustrations by Jirina Mar...)
Evocative prose and beautiful illustrations by Jirina Marton bring this Jean E. Pendziwol's moving tale, set in a 19th-century Canadian logging town, to life
(Janet Russell's book illustrated by Jirina Marton tells t...)
Janet Russell's book illustrated by Jirina Marton tells the story of a grandmother who has become "crooked" because she’s too old to go out and find the perfect Christmas tree
Jirina Marton had the first experience as a painter at the age of two and a half when she painted on the freshly painted kitchen wall. Marton’s mother wasn’t pleased with the result.
After this painful experience, Marton had another dream of becoming a prima ballerina, and her mother sent her to a ballet school. Unfortunately, the teachers didn’t observe her natural dancing ability.
Later, there were such professions as an opera singer, violinist, doctor, actor, teacher in Jirina Marton’s wish list. Finally, she came back to art.
Marton studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Czech Republic.
At the beginning of her career, Jirina Marton has collected various jobs not necessary related to art like flower vendor, cleaning lady, factory worker, assistant seamstress, picture framer, and guide in a gallery. From 1979 to 1980, Marton worked as a painter in the Atelier Y. Agam, Paris, France. During the five subsequent years after leaving the post, she served a layout artist and designer at a large French publishing house, Librairie Larousse. It was there where she had the first experience with children’s books.
In 1985, Marton immigrated to Canada, even though she spoke no English. Nevertheless, she was fortunate that Annick Publishers had seen her artwork before and suggested that she do the pictures for Allen Morgan’s ‘Nicole’s Boat’. A year later she had not only that book to her credit, but three others, ‘Petit Benjamin’ (Little Benjamin) by Emil Genouvrier, which she illustrated, and two additional titles in French, ‘L'eau’ (Water) and ‘La ville grise’ (The gray town), which she both wrote and illustrated. Marton has been working as a freelance illustrator and writer ever since.
Over the years, Jirina Marton’s medium has shifted from oil and pastel to acrylic, and then to watercolors. Her paintings have been exhibited in Italy, Japan, France, Spain, and Canada.
‘Midnight Visit at Molly’s House’ of 1988 was the first book in English that Marton both wrote and illustrated. It won praise for the excellence of both its text and its illustrations.
The following year, Marton again won praise for both text and illustrations, this time for ‘I’ll Do It Myself’. The author took a familiar subject, preschoolers’ determined attempts to gain independence over their environment, and matched that mood in her illustrations.
The titles of the 1990s included ‘Flowers for Mom’, ‘Amelia’s Celebration’, ‘You Can Go Home Again’, ‘Lady Kaguya’s Secret’, Marton’s retelling of a tenth-century Japanese tale of the immortal Moon Princess’s ill-fated love for her mortal emperor.
Among the recent books illustrated by Marton are the collaborations with such authors as Bob Barton, Raquel Rivera, Jean E. Pendziwol, and Janet Russell.
(When Kaguyahime is found and raised by a poor bamboocutte...)1997
(Jirka picks a bouquet of flowers for his mother, but on t...)1991
('I'll do it myself' is young Michelle's response to her m...)1989
(In some cultures, young children are included in all fami...)1992
(Inspired by his own fascination with the high Arctic – it...)2003
(Each story in the book by Raquel Rivera is illustrated by...)2007
(Janet Russell's book illustrated by Jirina Marton tells t...)2009
(Evocative prose and beautiful illustrations by Jirina Mar...)2007
Jirina Marton is a member of Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers, the Writer’s Union of Canada, and the Bureau des Regroupement des Artistes Visuel de l’Ontario.
Quotes from others about the person
“"[Jirina Marton] captures the magical imagination and curiosity of a child’s fantasy world, while very gently sharing some adult philosophy." Pamela Miller Ness, reviewer
"[Jirina Marton] is able to blend extraordinarily delicate, filmy, sensuous textures ... with a like pattern of delicate repetition in the text." Allan Sheldon, reviewer”
Jirina Marton has a daughter whose name is Michelle.