Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Old books, new books





All is chaos, as work bubbles around me all my waking hours.

I am working on a book that has to be completed this week, whilst simultaneously working on many other projects.
These are illustrations from a series of books that I wrote when friends had a baby and I had a baby (soon to be 18). Their are twelve stories, six with a character called Susie and six with a character called Sam. They involve the main characters being taken on adventures by mini beasts and shown the world from a different point of view, it is ambiguous as to whether this is a dream or reality but the books did show some elements of the creatures life and they included worms, moths, slugs and spiders.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Lance Letscher





More colour today this time collage art by Lance Letscher. Letscher often uses old books to create his work.
"I've been trying to have color carry the emotional atmosphere," he says. "I would like to make things that are mysteriously powerful. I'd like to make a nonconscious communication that people feel and can't put their fingers on." " Lance Letscher

Monday, 26 January 2015

Heinrich Strub






After a weekend of black and white let's start the week with some vibrant colour from Heinrich Stub (1916-2014) a graphic designer who lived most of his life in Basel. Like many of his peers he designed stage sets which indicates the vibrancy of theatre as an art form at this time in Europe. Most of his life he worked as a typesetter and graphic designer.
These works by  Heiri Stub are from Sumse Sumesebrumm 1946 an adaptation of children's rhyme by Korney Chukovsky a Russian poet and children's author.
Thank you 

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hans Christian Andersen III

                        Above: Clowns, sun and theater 1865
                                        Above: Gnomes and Ballerinas on a hoop 1859
                                            Below: Sunflower man 1848

                               Above: Brazilian newspaper man 1830 
I am still fascinated by the story of Hans Christian Andersen and his storytelling and paper cutting. He seems to have been a magical man and has great kindness written on his face. 
Apparently he was a great friend of Charles Dickens and often visited him in London. 
Charles Dickens son Henry wrote of one of these visits:
"a lovable and yet a somewhat uncommon and strange personality ... had one beautiful accomplishment, which was the cutting out in paper, with an ordinary pair of scissors, of lovely little figures of sprites and elves, gnomes, fairies and animals of all kinds which might well have stepped out of the pages of his books." 
Henry Dickens



These illustrations are from Amazing Paper Cuttings of Hans Christian Andersen by Beth Wagner Brust, Ticknor and Fields, New York 1994. 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Janusz Stanny III




Wonderful graphic design by Janusz Stanny (1932-2014) these lovely compositions are perfect for poetry, as they are poetry to the eye.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Brian Wildsmith III


A last blast of colour to celebrate the work of Brian Wildsmith. When describing his work and working process Brian often uses the analogy of music;
"I use what I call the Mozartian method. Mozart had an idea totally impregnated on his mind. And I work like that. ForABC I didn’t make sketches or anything. I drew straight onto the page and painted on top of that in gouache. The turtle was drawn entirely in paint, without any pencil."
"When I’m painting, there often comes a stage when something isn’t happening right and I have to start again until all the music and all the notes are becoming intertwined and they make what to me is a beautiful image of what I want to present." Brian Wildsmith

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Happy Birthday Brian Wildsmith II


Looking at these two examples of Brian Wildsmith's illustrations with the almost abstract/ haphazard positioning  of the elements in the white space I can understand why Brian Wildsmith is held with such high regard in Japan.These particular work have a very Japanese style of illustration that I recognise in modern Japanese illustrators work.

In Japan and bizarrely not his home land Brian Wildsmith is honoured with a museum dedicated to his work in Izukogen, a town south of Tokyo which houses eight hundred of his paintings. The museum was founded 19 years ago by Michiko Nomura, who had been an art dealer in Paris before being a freelance curator. Michiko Nomura established the Brian Wildsmith museum after falling in love with Brian's work when it was included in a group show of British Illustrators that she curated.

Happy Birthday Brian Wildsmith


Today it is Brian Wildsmith's 85th Birthday and I wanted to compose a post to celebrate this British illustrator and his rainbow vision.


'Our children are our inheritance and our immortality. A child’s soul is like an empty book in which anything may be written. We must write about love, humour, compassion, truth, understanding and justice. In every one of my books I try and get something about that.'  Brian Wildsmith



The morality and compassion of Brian Wildsmith's books and others of his generation, are an inspiration. Their calm paced storytelling is important and I feel it is in danger of being lost in the ever increasing pace of modern life, good things take time and this includes the weaving of stories, in words and pictures.


All of the images in this post are from Birds by Brian Wildsmith, Oxford University Press, London, 1967.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Greg Poole I




Greg Poole's beautiful wintery birds wonderful in their simplification and symbolism they remind me of Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Greg is based in Bristol and works digitally and in Print. Originally a zoologist, Greg makes wonderful info graphics for councils and wildlife trusts promoting the environment and conservation.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Jockum Nordström I




Jockum Nordström's wonderful drawings and collages are modern, abstract and yet some how manage to look historic to. I am sharing them today because I have been working on prints with my students. Inevitably when you make prints using the impulsive and intuitive techniques of monotype or gelli printing you create prints that work and prints that don't but I don't want the prints that didn't work to be thrown away I want them to be made into something special by using them as the basis for some collage work. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

Kuma Ayako II


Kuma Ayako graduated in German literature but had always drawn her pets and gradually this led to a career in illustration. Kuma Ayako's works are often produced using etching and she layers the visual information to build the story.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Esme Shapiro II

Another example of the flora and fauna of Esme Shapiro's imagination. I love the way the lion has hooked his tail around the kings ankle.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Esme Shapiro I

I like the translucent layering of recent graduate Esme Shapiro's works and the solid details that she includes in her illustrations. The variety of density and line is delicate and beautiful. Esme likes foliage and creates it in abundance and wonderful variety it is the pattern in her work.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Seyed Hesamoddin Tabatabaee




Seyed Hesamoddin Tabatabaee's illustrations from 'The Boy Who Was Lost' by Abbas Ghadir Mohseni. Found on the International Children's Digital Library Website which is a wonderful place to spend time finding and looking through children's books that you wouldn't normally be able to find.