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Richard Erdoes Illustrating his way around the world.

August 22, 2016

I’ve decided from time to time to republish an old post which has either been very popular, or I feel somehow got lost in the archives. Here is the first of those… enjoy.

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Richard Erdoes was born in Vienna, Austria in 1912.  His father, Richárd Erdős Sr, was a Jewish Hungarian opera singer who had died a few weeks earlier in Frankfurt. After his birth, his mother lived with her sister, the Viennese actress Leopoldine (“Poldi”) Sangora and Erdoes grew up traveling with them from one engagement to another in Germany and Austria. He was involved in a small underground paper where he published anti-Hitler political cartoons which attracted the attention of the Nazi Regime. He fled Germany with a price on his head.  He fled to Paris and London, eventually ending up in the United States where he continued his early illustration career contributing to Life magazine, and creating three Joke books in the early 1950’s.

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I’m certain his style of drawing has influenced many a modern day illustrator.

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He got a taste for travelling a expressing his findings in an early book.  ‘Come over to My House’ is a 1966 children’s book, illustrated by Richard Erdoes. The name “Theo. LeSieg” was a pen name of Theodor Geisel, who is more commonly known by another more familiar pen name, Dr. Seuss. The illustrations portray the various styles of homes that kids from around the world live in along with Seuss’s recognizable prose. Throughout the book they also cover what kids eat, how they sleep (Japanese wooden pillows), play (sledding on pine needles), and even clean-up afterwards (Polynesian hot spring).

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An assignment for Life Magazine in 1967 took Erdoes to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for the first time, and marked the beginning of the work for which he would be best known. Erdoes was fascinated by Native American culture, outraged at the conditions on the reservation and deeply moved by the struggle for civil rights that was raging at the time. He wrote histories, collections of Native American stories and myths, and developed profound editor/collaborator creative partnerships with such voices of the Native American Renaissance as Leonard and Mary Crow Dog and John Fire Lame Deer.

However, between 1967 and 1971, Richard had completed three amazing books concentrating on Policemen, Peddlers and Vendors and finally Musicians from around the world. It is these illustrations (with a very similar flair to those of another fav illustrator of mine Miroslav Sasek) that I wish to show you.  First come the Policemen.

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This NY street scene is fabulous, such hustle and bustle !  Next it’s the turn of the Peddlers and Vendors.

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And finally the Musicians.

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I love how he manages to characterise each countries appearance, customs and idiosyncrasies so perfectly.

As well as being a photographer, illustrating books for children, Erdoes was known for a long list of books about Native Americans including, Lame Deer: Seeker of Visions, American Indian Trickster Tales, Lakota Woman and more. Richard remarked that his father first came to Pine Ridge in 1967 for a sun dance. He said, “He always had an interest in other cultures. As a young man, before having to flee the Nazis in Europe, he traveled on foot to Yugoslavia. He was interested in how other people lived. He loved to travel on western trips and visited Pueblos and Indian reservations.” It seems that Richard was highly influenced by his father’s beliefs even though he never met him.

Richard died at his home in Santa Fe, NM in 2008 aged 96.  A huge vote of thanks to the tireless work by Ariel S. Winter who’s flickr sets always inspire and inform us all.


Roger Duvoisin No introductions necessary

August 15, 2016

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Roger Duvoisin makes quite a number of regular appearances on Fishink Blog. You can see more of my posts about him, by typing his name into the search box on the right hand side of my blog. He was such a prolific artist, that every time I seem to think about him, there’s more illustrations to view online, that I’d not seen previously. Here’s a few more book covers…

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His animals have such a friendly nature to them.

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His books have been translated into many, many languages and they work because his illustrations are easy to understand, wherever you may live.

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Great colour schemes.

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In case you’ve ever wondered what Daddies do all day…. I hope there was a Mummies book too !

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Here’s the man himself hard at work, he must have had a busy and hopefully fulfilling career.

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Always a breath of fresh air to see Roger’s work. To me they will never feel 60+ years old !






Robert Stewart mid century textiles revisited.

August 8, 2016

Robert Stewart was another amazing, mid century designer, and a contemporary of Lucienne Day (one of the few designers she admired!)

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A prolific worker, Stewart produced paintings, tapestries, graphics, ceramics and murals. Some examples here.

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Sun motifs seem to appear quite often in his work.

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Robert also taught for 35 years, from 1949, at Glasgow School of Art, rising to Head of the Design School and then Deputy Director of GSA. By all accounts he was, by nature, anti-establishment and he revolutionised the printed textile course. In a 1964 external audit report he was described as “the best teacher of printed textiles in the country”.

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It is his textile designs that have been the most influential, in particular those produced by Liberty, Pringle and Donald Brothers in the 1950’s.

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Some of Robert’s beautiful designs are being produced today by Loome Fabrics.

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Don’t these designs just shout out fun and friendly messages : )

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Textile company Living Union talks here about how they also managed to bring Robert Stewart’s textiles and paintings to a contemporary audience. They certainly look amazing.

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Limited edition canvasses too.

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Thanks to the Glasgow School of Art for some help with the images in this post.















Stephanie Dees Painting the city seasons

August 1, 2016

Born in Northumberland in 1974 Stephanie Dees attended Edinburgh College of Art, obtaining a MFA Degree in Painting in 1998. Stephanie works in many different media including acrylic, watercolour, pencil, oil bar and oil pastel.

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She is a regular exhibitor at Society and Commercial Gallery group exhibitions throughout the UK and has been showing with the Scottish Gallery since 1997. Her works feature in Private and Public Collections worldwide. I love her keen observational skills and her capture of the light and mood of each space that she captures on canvas.

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Edinburgh ‘sings’ out from these paintings.

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From Scotland, to Falmouth…

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and from Paris to Italy, each painting tells a story of her travels.

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Summer through to Winter even the season’s are explored in Stephanie’s detailed work. I love the grey skies contrasted with the sandy buildings here. Wonderful work, evoking great memories of times spent in Edinburgh.

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Scale and layout working hand in hand to depict each scene so well.  Mmmm nearly time for a Scottish trip I think : )

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You can be sure of Shell

July 25, 2016

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As a child my earliest associated memory of going for petrol, was always the free gift you would get for filling up at that service station. Different companies tried to outdo one another with the presents they would bestow on you for your custom. As an early artist, I particularly remember one company giving away felt tip pens. Each colour had a name and so you were encouraged to try and get the set. I always found it so exciting, going to choose the colour (or colours, depending how much fuel you had bought) after my dad had filled the car. It was a clever way to get loyalty and repeat custom and was possibly one of my first exposure of the power of advertising and consumerism !

Shell used postcards as an early form of advertising, beginning in the early 1900s. Postcards were a quick and easy way of sending messages before telephones became a popular commodity and postal deliveries could arrive several times a day. The popularity of postcards helped Shell increase their profile in Britain, reaching everyone including the non-motorists.


The first Shell advertising poster was created in 1920. They were displayed on the side of lorries carrying fuel to customers all over the country. These adverts (or ‘Lorry Bills’ as they became known), were designed in reaction to the public outcry against roadside hoardings in the countryside.

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Foreign posters too and a whole range of topics and themes, not just centered around the more obvious choices of cars and transport.

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Of course there were still many classic posters produced using the more obvious themes too.

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But unusually Britain’s landmarks and a campaign showing the different types of people who use Shell, became very popular.

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I’m sure you’re relieved to know that Judges, Architects, Scientists and even Film Stars all use Shell.

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We’re told it’s even a ‘friend to the Farmer’, giving it that ‘good for the environment angle’.

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The most innovative designs were created around 1932, when Jack Beddington became responsible for the company’s advertising. Under his direction, artists were commissioned who weren’t necessarily associated with commercial art. These artists went on to become famous names in British contemporary art.  Among them were people like Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Vanessa Bell, Ben Nicholson and John Piper.

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There are over 7,000 posters in the Shell Art Collection, reflecting the charm and character of a nostalgic age of motoring.

Just imagine filling up here… : )

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The poster (below) depicting the family all ready for their holidays, is definitely my favourite.

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Which one is yours ? You can find out more about the Shell Posters by visiting the National Motor Museum website.











Chris Turnham Illustration

July 19, 2016

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Chris Turnham lives and works in Los Angeles. He has worked in both feature and television animation and has contributed illustrations to publications and children’s books.

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Of course his style appeals very much to my eye and love of the mid century life.

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This could be fresh out of a book from 50+ years ago…. fabulous.

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Interesting to see some floral and botanical studies too.

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Illustrations of intrepid explorers….

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and places Chris has also explored.

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But my absolute favourites are his his beautiful architectural pieces… was this the bridge used in the film Grease, I wonder ?

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Many of these illustrations are commissions.

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Or just plain jaw-droppingly wonderful ! Lol

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I love Chris’s use of the sun in these sleepy suburban dwellings.

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He has even covered the Eames House, below. Stunning work Chris.

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Fishink Thanks

July 11, 2016

Today is all about Thank you’s. I want to start with the wonderful Jo and Sophie who together were running this year’s Sale Arts Trail. The event ran as smoothly as ever and it was a joy to take part for the second year. Here’s a taster of how the crowds appeared (after the heavens had stopped opening) on the Saturday.

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My second vote of thanks goes to Claire over at Minikin ‘Paint A Pot’ Emporium. She’s such a hard working, warm-hearted and generally lovely soul that I knew we’d have a fun weekend and a chance for a catch up too. Thanks for letting me take over half of your shop.. and the work will be up for a few more days this week, so pop in if you missed it at the weekend. I was so pleased how it all looked. I also do take on commissions so if you wanted something specific for your home, or another variation of a piece that sold, please drop me a line

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Lastly I wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported my artwork through either sales, praise or just dropping by to say hello and support the trail. It really does all help. Thanks to Jenny who reads my blog for stopping by to meet me and numerous other people who’s names I didn’t manage to gather but who helped the weekend speed past by just being friendly and being there.

Lastly thanks to ‘him upstairs’ for the cascading rain most of Saturday and the dark stormy clouds and wind on Sunday. I decided… why fight what you can’t change.. embrace it instead! : ) Happy new week one and all.



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