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The Moon Landing … Fifty Years On ! Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong make history.

July 19, 2019

Tomorrow, it is 50 years since the first Moon landing and I thought coming from a house that seems to have more books on Space than most, I’d mark the passing of this monumental occasion. Here’s just a few of the adult ones.

And then there’s the children’s ones too !

On July 20, 1969, American astronauts Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1930-) became the first humans ever to land on the moon.

About six-and-a-half hours later, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. As he set took his first step, Armstrong famously said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The Apollo 11 mission occurred eight years after President John F. Kennedy (1917-63) announced a national goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Apollo 17, the final manned moon mission, took place in 1972.

Timeline of the 1969 Moon Landing

At 9:32 a.m. EDT on July 16, with the world watching, Apollo 11 took off from Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins aboard. Armstrong, a 38-year-old civilian research pilot, was the commander of the mission.

After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered into a lunar orbit on July 19. The next day, at 1:46 p.m., the lunar module Eagle, manned by Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the command module, where Collins remained. Two hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the lunar surface, and at 4:17 p.m. the craft touched down on the southwestern edge of the Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong immediately radioed to Mission Control in Houston, Texas, a now-famous message: “The Eagle has landed.”

At 10:56 p.m., as Armstrong stepped off the ladder and planted his foot on the moon’s powdery surface, he spoke his famous quote, which he later contended was slightly garbled by his microphone and meant to be “that’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Aldrin joined him on the moon’s surface 19 minutes later, and together they took photographs of the terrain, planted a U.S. flag, ran a few simple scientific tests and spoke with President Richard Nixon (1913-94) via Houston.

By 1:11 a.m. on July 21, both astronauts were back in the lunar module and the hatch was closed. The two men slept that night on the surface of the moon, and at 1:54 p.m. the Eagle began its ascent back to the command module. Among the items left on the surface of the moon was a plaque that read: “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon—July 1969 A.D.—We came in peace for all mankind.”

Armstrong and Aldrin blast off and dock with Collins in Columbia. Collins later says that “for the first time,” he “really felt that we were going to carry this thing off.”

The crew splashes down off Hawaii on July 24. Kennedy’s challenge has been met. Men from Earth have walked on the moon and returned safely home.

A lot of my favourite Illustrators have shown their own view of Space.

Space Alphabet

5 More Moon Landings and One Aborted Mission

There would be five more successful lunar landing missions, and one unplanned lunar swing-by, Apollo 13 (whose lunar landing was aborted due to technical difficulties). The last men to walk on the moon, astronauts Eugene Cernan (1934-) and Harrison Schmitt (1935-) of the Apollo 17 mission, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972.

The Apollo program was a costly and labor intensive endeavor, involving an estimated 400,000 engineers, technicians and scientists, and costing $24 billion (close to $100 billion in today’s dollars). The expense was justified by Kennedy’s 1961 mandate to beat the Soviets to the moon, and after the feat was accomplished ongoing missions lost their viability.

Obviously all this talk about the Moon and Space inspired many many books to be written on and around the subject, especially for children.

Sadly Neil Armstrong passed away in 2012, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin both turn 89 this year !

Well done gents for making such an incredible historic journey. I wonder if you would ever feel quite the same after stepping out onto the Moon and coming back to Earth ! What do you think readers ?

Jane Walker Printmaker

July 15, 2019

Artist and pintmaker Jane Walker studied Illustration and Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. She creates beautiful still life paintings and Linocuts often in small runs of about 12 per print. Her love of 1950’s textiles and ceramics shines out through her work.

She creates cards for The Blank Card Company and prints for The Castle Gallery in Inverness, amongst other places.

Here are a few watercolours.

Her work has a calm serenity and even the fruit sometimes appears as a picasso-esque form, flattened to exist within its angular surroundings.

Jane works using a reduction technique, where more detail is initially carved away from the lino block prior to each subsequent colour being printed. Leaving the lino block with the last, usually darkest colour, taking up a tiny area of the block. In this way the design can only be used once and the number of prints are limited by how many are created during the process.

There’s a strong graphical element to Jane’s work, and in her newer prints, the still life has become flatter and more two dimensional.

I really like her inclusion of textiles, pattern and form. Some vases appear over and over in the still life painting which makes me think Jane draws what she sees before her.

We can see from jane’s images that she has a great collection of vases and pots.

Like the Ken Eardley floral vases above, which also appear in the framed print with pears.

The more I look at Jane’s work the more detail I notice. Shadows overlapping areas and changing it’s hue, or a bright pop of a colour which ‘sings out’ like the cherries above.

Stunning work. Do drop by her online gallery and treat yourself to a print. Which still life is your favourite and why ?

Fishink Travels in the Peak District Part 2

July 10, 2019

Hi and welcome back to my travels in the High Peak District in Derbyshire. We begin with a few images of the beautiful village of Tideswell.

Some interesting architecture in the village and a view inside the Church in my previous post.

Boo is ready for walks (after her long sleep and 6 sunny miles the previous day). There are new animals to meet, but she’s not so sure about the ponies enthusiastic greeting lol.

The paths are stunning and the variation of landscape keeps you guessing as to what will come next.

Beautiful woodland.

More open, undulating hillsides. What a view !Eyam

The village of Eyam was our final stop. It’s bursting with history, all about the Plague which hit the village in the mid 1600’s.

The history of the plague in the village began when a flea-infested bundle of cloth arrived from London for the local tailor. Within a week his assistant George Vicars was dead and more began dying in the household soon after. As the disease spread, the villagers turned for leadership to their rector, the Reverend William Mompesson, and the Puritan Minister Thomas Stanley. These introduced a number of precautions to slow the spread of the illness from May 1666. They included the arrangement that families were to bury their own dead and relocation of church services to the natural amphitheatre of Cucklett Delph, allowing villagers to separate themselves and so reducing the risk of infection. Perhaps the best-known decision was to quarantine the entire village to prevent further spread of the disease.

Despite all the historic features, a lot of people come to St Lawrence’s church to see the modern stained glass ‘Plague Window’, with colourful panels telling the story of Rev. Mompesson and the plague in Eyam. Here it is below, top right.

The wall paintings date back to the 18th century.

In the churchyard stands a striking Saxon cross in Mercian style, about 8 feet high. It was originally as much as 10 feet tall, but has lost a section of the cross shaft. The cross dates to the late 8th or early 9th century and originally stood at Cross Low, west of Eyam, where it probably served as a wayside preaching cross. It was discovered beside an ancient trackway during the 18th century, dug up, and erected in the churchyard at Eyam. It is only Saxon cross in the Midlands that retains its cross-head. The cross is beautifully carved with intricate interlace patterns on the shaft, with scrollwork and foliage, and figures depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary, and angels.

A great escape, even if it was just for two days.

One final reminder that I’m taking part in the Sale Arts Trail this weekend alongside around 40 designer-makers in the Sale area. I’ll be exhibiting a good range of my Fishink ceramics and illustrations at Venue A, Minikin Art Cafe at 57 Cross Street, M33 7HF, (across the road from Sainsbury’s).

Sat 10 til 5pm and Sun 10 til 4pm, tell your friends and pop along to have a browse and say hello.

Also drop into the Pop Up Shop for a venue leaflet, a chance to see who’s taking part and over the weekend, 8 artists will be exhibiting in the space.

SAT Pop Up is situated at 21 The Mall, Sale.

Look forward to catching up over the weekend.

Fishink Travels in the Peak District Part 1

July 8, 2019

Hello everyone and a happy Monday to one and all. We managed to escape for a very fleeting break to the Peak District last Wednesday and Thursday.

Just an over night camping (above) in a quiet site not far from Litton and Tideswell. It was pretty warm for the time we were away, but the slight breeze made it so much easier to be outdoors all day. Boo loved all the countryside sounds and smells.

Refreshing to see so many wildflowers along our walks.

The pathways and surroundings were beautiful. I even discovered a lost fairy, perhaps she was looking after the place !

Boo usually led the way.

The cows had found a small overgrown stream to cool their feet in, and Boo also did the same.

Great variety of buildings, some must be pretty old.

The church of St John The Baptist at Tideswell was open, so I took a moment to admire both the outside and then the inside.

It has quite a stunning interior. Full of intricate wood and stone carvings.

The tomb of Sir Thurstan de Bower and Lady Margaret was reconstructed by the sculptor Thomas Earp of London.

Great to see there’s a couple of play areas for children, to keep them amused during sermons.

These stunning collages also caught my attention. Depicting work, leisure, community and environment they illustrate some important messages about how we live our lives today.

A great idea and using mixed media too. Nicely done.

Part two of our travels later in the week. I hope you’ve enjoyed joining us on our trip.

Heatons Arts Trail, Buxton Art Trail and Sale Arts Trail 2019

July 3, 2019

It is the time of the year for Art Trails and with the spate of slightly warmer weather we’ve had recently, it’s the best opportunity to get out and explore what artists are exhibiting in your local towns and cities.

Firstly thanks to everyone who let me photograph their work at the Heatons Arts Trail last weekend.

HAT 2019 artists

Obviously if you missed it, you can still contact the artists individually to see what they have left, or perhaps comission a piece, if you have something special in mind.

Some beautiful mosiac pieces from Rachel Cooke.

I love her landscapes.

We were even treated to a sneaky peek into her workspace, where there are boxes of tiles still to be used and art pieces in progress. How exciting to see, thanks Rachel for the tour.

Colourful glass artwork from Catherine Mahe, Jewellery from Jo Lavelle and Vases from Tone Von Krogh.

Delicate watercolours by Sue Kane and Prints from

Finally a stunning collection of creatures by Marina Bauguil, who’s work for me is always about the narrative, of telling stories and stimulating illustrative thoughts and ideas.

Next weekend it’s the turn of

Buxton Art Trail 2019

This year, Buxton will host its eagerly-awaited fifth biennial art trail as part of Fringe40, marking the 40th year of the Buxton Festival Fringe.

The award-winning Buxton Art Trail will take place during the first weekend of the Fringe. Art lovers will be seen flitting around Buxton, experiencing the work of over 100 artists. Buxton Festival and Fringe-goers alike will enjoy an eye-opening experience with organisers hoping for an even greater diversity of artists and craftspeople plus extra opportunities for participation and  involvement to be delivered in community settings. The Trail is a regular addition to the growing number of events in the ever-popular Buxton Festival Fringe, one of the largest UK fringes. Painters, printmakers, illustrators, photographers and craftspeople, both professional and amateur will be among those on hand to discuss their work.

Finally, the following weekend, i.e. 13th and 14th July, it is my turn to take part in the Sale Arts Trail 2019.


I will be exhibiting at Venue A, MINIKIN ART CAFE, 57 Cross Street, Sale, M33 7HF, and there are 8 other people in the same venue.

Fishink ILLUSTRATION & CERAMICS, Tracey Birchwood JEWELLERY, Avril Corbett TEXTILES, Suzanne Claire JEWELLERY, Emma Fozard MILLINER, Alison Bell NAME CHAINS, Nicola Briggs CERAMICS, Yuki McNeil CERAMICS & PRINT & Jennie Nuttall PRINT.

Across the twelve sites, there are around 40 artists taking part in the weekend Trail, with a vast range of disciplines amongst them. You can find out who by clicking on this link.

SAT 2019 exhibitors

You can see the trail and it’s venues laid out below or visit the SAT site for more information.

I will have a range of work similar to this.

Some hand drawn original illustrations too.

Cats, dogs, creatures and even the odd Mermaid !

You can find more of my older work here on my Fishink site.

Do think about supporting small local shops and artists. Purchasing directly from these makers can often be what keeps that person in business and keeps our high street varied and interesting. I fully support the Just a Card organisation, and you can read more about how they started and what they stand for here.

Look forward to seeing you on the Sale Arts Trail in two weeks time, tell your friends, book the date into your diaries and drop by and say hello. I love meeting my readers in person.

Happy Arts Trailing !

Galia Bernstein A whole lot of Talent

July 1, 2019

Galia Bernstein was born and raised in Israel. I first came across her work through her blog (Dancing Kangaroo) and more recently through her portfolio.

She started her career as a designer and cartoonist in the Israeli Army’s magazine, and was the art director of two children’s magazines and a writer of a monthly column in a computer magazine, before moving to New York to study illustration in Parsons the New School for design.

Going back to 2014, Galia was experimenting with clay and starting to make ceramics. She began with imitating some of her (and my own) favourite ceramists work, just to get used to making shapes. Like that of Stig Lindberg, Lisa Larson and Aldo Londo.

But soon moved on to create her own work in her personal and decoratively beautiful style.

The intricate detail is captivating and mimics her illustrative style exactly.

Working from a small 5th floor apartment in NY and having to use a communal kiln in a community Clay group must have been tough. I know she had a few frustrating kiln accidents but I still admire her tenacity and desire to keep going.

Stunning contemporary-retro hangings and cheeky mermaids.

Her designs led into gift wrap and greeting cards.

And more recently books. Her debut author/illustrated picture book, I AM A CAT, was published by Abrams Books in 2018 and has co-editioned into over 12 languages and countries, across Europe and around the world. Her second picture book, LEYLA published May 2019.

It seems Galia can turn her hand to whatever she wants and make it something special.

I’m sorry I missed buying one of these beauties, Galia if you make any more will you keep me in mind please !

Plenty more wonderful images on Galia’s Instagram too.

Cynthia Amrine School days revisited

June 24, 2019

For those readers of Fishink Blog, growing up in the U.S.A in the fifties and sixties, the artwork of Cynthia Amrine may seem familiar. Her bold distictive style using, line, shading, texture and minimal colour was as popular then as it is today.

Many illustrators (like Helen Borten or Bernice Myers) working in the mid century found this style to be the way forward. Publishing costs were expensive, so artists were encouraged to use additional textures rather than colours. Cynthia’s work for children is particularly engaging as it’s clear, precise and yet still has an educational element, that combines both fun and humour too.

In 1965, Cynthia Amrine worked with librarian Mary Joan Egan to publish Using Your Library: 32 Posters for Classroom and Library, a lavishly illustrated book of tear-sheet posters for educators and librarians to promote library usage in primary and secondary schools.

Due to the interactive nature of this book, there are only a handful of copies still in existence – we can only assume it is because those posters were torn out and used in school libraries across the country! How many of my American readers remember these book illustrations and posters ?

Her popular style led to many books being written and published supporting her illustrations.

Her work features animals and plants.




Looking at the world around us.

How things work.

Man-made and natural things.

Alongside a wealth of great illustration.

This lovesick girl, below, reminds me of the style of Mary Blair.

Everyone is happy and times look carefree and fun.


Wish we could see more like this day to day in the world around us. Cynthia’s work reminds me of the drawings or Bernice Myers, you can find more here and here. What do you think ?