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Oriol Vidal Illustration

July 17, 2017

Oriol Vidal is an illustrator/storyboard artist based in Barcelona. Like most successful artists these days, he has a few different styles to his work. One of his advertising styles works with a combination of photography, figures and dramatic lighting. A couple of these reminded me of Starsky and Hutch … perhaps it’s the car !

Speed and adventure.

There’s also plenty of beautiful textures in Oriol’s work, which help to bring them to life in such a magical way.

I think he likes pattern and plain too.

Then there’s his young adult style. Again teenager life, adventure and suspense are the main focuses. Those creatures in the wood are fabulously eerie.

Great textures and lighting throughout.

Even in an old famous five style, mystery adventure, these black and white illustrations offer superb snapshots into the narrative and tension of the story.

Finally there’s his fun for the under fives look. Cute, rounded with bright flat colours.

Such a talented and busy illustrator, you can check out a few answers to questions over at Creative Fluff Magazine.

And see more of his latest work by checking out his blog here. Keep the adventures coming Oriol!

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Art Seiden Mid century Illustrator of children’s books

July 10, 2017

Art Seiden was a truly astounding artist who (again) very little information is available on the internet. He was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1923. He received a BA at Queens College and studied for eight years (!) at the Art Students League.  See how full of character these animal illustrations are.

Upon entering the illustration field he did corporate and advertising work for some of the largest companies in America: Phillip Morris, Hoffmann-LaRoche, General Motors and Hearst Publications were some of his clients.

 

His distinctive style, best and longest association would have to be in the realm of children’s book illustration, where he ‘cut his teeth’ illustrating “Three Mice and a Rat” by Margaret Wise Brown and Jean H. Berg in 1950.

Somehow his work makes me feel calm and engaged at the same time.

Seiden illustrated over 300 books and was both author and artist of at least 22 children’s books for virtually every major publisher in America, beginning rather appropriately with “My ABC Book” for Wonder Books in 1953.

Of course his illustrations touched many of the well known, favourite characters over the years too.

Seiden worked mainly in transparent watercolours and gouache and is a member of the American Watercolour Society and The Society of Illustrators, among others. His work is represented by the Kendra Krienke Gallery in New York City and he lived in Woodmere, NY.

Great to come across these two paintings of his depicting female nudes and a sunny shuttered alleyway.

Just a small selection of the many, many books (around 300 remember!) that Art created illustrations for.

Seiden spent the following decades working with an alphabet of authors and coming back around to Margaret Wise Brown with one final book, “The Train to Timbuctoo” for Golden Books in 1999.

Many thanks to Leif Peng, over at the wonderful Today’s Inspiration, who tracked down this info back in 2005. Should anyone have any more knowledge about this artist, photographs, sketches etc, please feel free to get in touch and I will share it with pleasure. Thank you. If you enjoyed this post you may also like the work of Alain Gree.

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Marian Mahler Mid century textiles

July 3, 2017

Marian Mahler (1911-1983) Austrian born had trained at the Kuntgewerbeschule in Vienna  (1929-32) and at the Royal State Academy, with some of her early designs being produced by the Wiener Werkstatte.

She arrived in Britain in 1937 as Marianne Mahler and worked as a free-lance designer,  having supplied leading firms with her designs before the war.

During the early 1950’s she produced many designs for Allan Walton Textiles, Edinburgh Weavers, Donald Brothers Ltd. and Helios.

Her best client was David Whitehead’s in his ‘Contemporary Prints’ range. Whitehead’s were Britain’s most dynamic printed textile company, based in Rawtenstall, Lancashire. By 1948 the company was directed by architect Dr John Murray, whose ambition was to establish the Company in the forefront of contemporary design and to make good designs available on the mass market.

He wrote an article on his philosophy The cheap need not be cheap and nasty which was published in Design , Dec 1950. Twenty of their designs were chosen to be displayed at the Festival of Britain and on the SS Campania, the touring ship of the festival.

She also created a few book covers for Penguin books too.

Lovely work and a great influence on British fabrics during the 50’s and 60’s. If you liked this post you will also be interested in the one on Lucienne Day and Barbara Brown.

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Manchester School of Art Degree show 2017 Part 2

June 26, 2017

Welcome to part 2 of my recent trip to the Manchester School of Art Degree show for 2017. Sadly the exhibition has finished now but should you wish to look up any details for any of the students then you can do so here.

Let’s begin with an escaped entry from my last post and some wooden textiles from Lauren J.Hulme. They remined me of a flic-flac my grandad used to make when we were children and of course the old Slinky !

Next up, a trip through the 3-D course and some ceramics from Grace Leigh Igoe, with an interesting use of crackle glazes.

Some wonderfully strange, created objects from found materials by Linda Livesey.

Peter Chadwick has made some solid male jewellery, using wood that’s over 200 years old, and from an old Victorian swimming pool changing room seating. He uses phrases like “No running” to give a hint of the woods original use.

Lovely modern-retro pieces from Jahday Ford, they made me think of Geoffrey Baxters’s 1960’s ‘Bark’ and ‘ Drunken Bricklayers’ vases for Whitefriars. I liked their jaunty angled tops and bases.

Some lovely forms from Jessica Hall.

Again, great shapes from Sirol Alaw Hughes, with lids to match !

I’ve some friends who live in Cambridge with a Zen garden, I wonder what they would make of this table and chair by Jesse Cracknell.

Finally for the 3-D section some beautifully relaxed glassware from Amy Quinn. Such deep blues, and you could almost loose yourself in their pool like qualities.

The we we’re off exploring the Animation with Illustration, that these days seems mostly to be about Illustration. Tayia Dussie, leads us nicely into the ring.

Some woodland walks with Lindsey Wilson.

and Caroline May.

Before being transported to the hills by the only artist whose name escaped me.. sorry.

A few awkward looking teenagers here by Kate Byrne.

Then some interesting illustrations and ceramics linked to people’s fading images as memories disappear and we loose the pictures we once held in our minds. Eve Lumai Bridges has produced a fine body of work.

Dean Smith has been very busy hand cutting out all these people and objects, they made a great display.

Kate Hudson had also been enjoying her final year producing some lovely figures and drawings of fisher folk and seagulls.

Finally one last paper cut stage by Melissa Goh to draw us into her wooded exhibits.

Many thanks to everyone who took part and allowed me to photograph their beautiful work this year. I hope you go on to produce a wealth of creative work on your journeys to your chosen career paths. I hope you all enjoyed viewing the degree show with me too. What was your favourite this year ?

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Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2017 Part 1

June 19, 2017

Welcome to this years review of the Manchester School of Art Degree Show. If you want to ‘make it’ too, then it’s on from the 10th – 21st of June, so you’ve just got time to pop along and see the latest crop of Manchester creatives before their work goes down to London for the next exhibition at New Designers in Islington.

I had about two hours to scoot around the principal areas I wanted to view… Textiles, 3D and Illustration. If you want to know more about any pupil’s work, contact details etc you can check that out here under the course heading that they are on. I’ve taken a few images of each collection that has caught my eye, apologies to those people I’ve not included and I hope I’ve placed the correct names with the right designers work, there are so many it does get a little confusing !

Some strong Girl Power photography from Rachael Kurs (above) and these bright cushions by Olivia Easton are a great way to get us started, they made me think of Hockney for some reason.

Some beautiful moody work from Laura Hampson. Raindrops, watercolours and old Flake adverts (let’s see who gets that reference!!)

These ladies made by Bukky Jesusanmi really made me smile. Beryl Cook has indeed come to life lol

Looking deeper into Freja Burgess’s work, you start to see her cutlery jumping out at you.

One of the show highlights for me, were these fabrics by Ffion Lewis. Ffion says that her work is inspired by her home, North Wales. ” Every mark, brushstroke and colour choice, within my work is drawn from the landscape. The way that the rocks lie on each other, the ripples of sea water as it steadily comes into land. This is where I find my Inspiration.”

There’s a lovely flow / movement in her textiles and I also like the brightly dashed sewn lines with it’s charging and changing sense of direction.

Colourful folk, in and out of the exhibition.

Some Victorian inspired botanical-florals by Lucy Burgess, with a great eye for detail and the natural world.

Great to see the inspirational paper drawings that Molly Torkington based her fabrics on, alongside the final cloth pieces. It could have been interesting to see how she may have taken her ideas into full repeats.

Jessica Cutler has a wonderful eye when it comes to putting colours together in her weaves. They felt a little sixties inspired and had a warm sense of calm to them.

Celina Szczebra showed us a thing or two about her personal take on body architecture. The photographs compliment the work perfectly.

Bright, confident, urban street bags and designs from Emily Tejera. Memories for me of 80’s magazines The Face and I.D. jumped out when I saw these. Punchy, vibrant and local with it’s ‘0161’ telephone area code for Manchester.

As a contrast, some cool, refined and detailed delicates from Imogen Wilkinson.

A little more exotic flavours from Dominika Moskals prints and embroideries. Blending cultural elements to create mysterious textural curiosities with detailed, layered complexity.

Part 2, will be appearing next monday after the work has been taken down. Don’t forget it’s on until Wednesday and do let me know your thoughts on the postings. Feeling inspired ?

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Clare Youngs Designer / Maker

June 12, 2017

Clare is a designer/maker working with paper and fabric. She trained as a graphic designer and has worked in the industry, mainly in packaging design but has a life long interest in everything handmade and since childhood has enjoyed making beautiful handcrafted objects. I came across her beautifully fresh work and it made me smile.

Clare says: “When I can, I enjoy escaping to my studio to work on one off pieces. I have collected ephemera since I was a child and utilize vintage labels and paper in my pieces. When working with fabric I like to recycle and love to give a new lease of life to something old.”

Whether she is printing, cutting and folding paper, sewing or embroidering, she takes inspiration from all aspects of handicraft techniques, traditional and contemporary. Her desire to create has never been stronger than now.

She says “I love the whole process, the excitement of a new project, the thoughts and ideas that start as notes and sketches and the satisfaction of seeing my ideas develop into a finished piece. I think everyone can be creative and through my work and ideas I hope I can encourage more and more to get making and release the artist within!”

I love their spark, colour and sense of movement.

I think these would make great greeting cards, gift wrap, ceramics and repeat patterns for textiles, what do you think readers ?

Four years ago she turned to craft full time and has never looked back. It has been an incredibly busy time and she has just completed her 9th craft book. In-between writing she runs workshops and recently relocated from London to Broadstairs so has had the challenge of renovating her new home on the beautiful Kent coast.

You can see more of Clare’s work here. Pop over a treat yourself to a book today. Hopefully this is an inspiring start to your week !

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Bob Dawe Red Barn Pottery Mid 60’s ceramics

June 5, 2017

I was recently looking around my studio-space thinking how some of the artifacts that surround me have come to be there. One such item is a small pot by ceramist Bob Dawe.

From my school days, I used to visit the Bluecoat Display Centre in the heart of Liverpool. I must have stumbled across the place when I was still in school but just old enough to travel to Liverpool on my own.

The Bluecoat Centre and gallery shop, has and always will be for me, a timeless, tucked away gem, some small oasis in the hustle and bustle of a busy Liverpool city centre. It must have been back in the early eighties, when I was taking my Art and Ceramics A levels, that I had saved up about £15 and bought myself this beautiful vase from the display shop.

I must admit that it felt quite grown up to buy a piece of another artist’s work at the age of 17 and I’m guessing that I must have been attracted to it’s simple form and the 1960’s style of the sun stamp, which adorned one side of the vase. Thinking back, I think those early visits to the Bluecoat must have helped define my love of craft and designer objects and the appreciation I have for individual hand-made ceramics today. Here’s my vase.

Bob Dawe and Howard Evans ran the Red Barn Pottery in Great Wratting, Suffolk, UK, from 1965 to 1968. From there he moved to Sudbury in Suffolk to work on his own.

He specialized in using a rolling technique to create cylinder pots. Decoration was usually incised lines and impressed marks. The way these pots are constructed is very important, such slab pottery is amongst the earliest that man ever made. The technique used predates the wheel and along with simple techniques like pinching and coil making, date as the first pots of civilization.

On 20th century forum, I discovered someone asking Bob why he had made his work in the way that he did. He replied … ” Hello. This is Bob Dawe replying to your interesting question about our style of pottery in the 60’s. It was probably because several of us went to Goldsmiths College, where building pottery was far more of an interest to us than throwing. Secondly, under the influence of two splendid tutors: David Garbett and Gordon Baldwin. There was a very strong emphasis on textual decoration that related to the pot and enhanced its form. We enjoyed hand-building because it was a much more direct way of using clay than throwing, where you have a “machine” ie the wheel between you and the clay. ”

It was great to discover a little more about my early ceramic purchase and see more of Bob’s work from the same period.  I’ve discovered that some of the larger, square ceramics are possibly made by Howard Evans, Bob’s working partner at the studio at the time. I thought I would leave them in to show the range of work coming out of the studio too.

There’s almost something plant-like in some of his forms.

I discovered that I had also kept a 1970’s book on pottery that I’d found really useful when I first started taking ceramics at school. It covered the basics so well and featured such topics as slab pots and surface decoration. It could almost have been written by Bob himself lol

 

What a delight to see more of Bob’s work. I really enjoy it’s simplicity and almost tribal /rustic /rune-like, freshly unearthed appearance. So much so that I had a look online today and decided to purchase a second and third piece of Bob’s work. They should sit nicely with the first, only purchased some 35 years apart ! : )

What sits around you at home/ perhaps in your studio space, that has some personal or sentimental meaning ?

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