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George Maas

February 4, 2019

George Maas was a native of Kansas who worked as a Graphic designer & art director at Mercury Records in the 1950s & 60s. He created an impressive number of album covers as you can see below, but I can find little else about him. Apparently he also designed book jackets.

Quite bold and eye catching.

Coulour and texture being two of the attractions, alongside the music of course!

I’ve a feeling he could have turned his hand to textiles quite easily too, as he liked a bit of ornamentation in his work as well as different grades of line and blocks of colour.

Some lovely work and I bet a fair few familiar covers here readers too ?


Laura Jean Allen Mid Century Fun

January 28, 2019

Laura Jean Allen (1916-2003) studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School in Philadelphia and graduated in 1939.

According to Art for Every Home: An Illustrated Index of Associated American Artists Prints, Ceramics, and Textile Designs (Mariana Kistler Beach Museum of Art, 2016), she was ‘one of the most prolific of the Associated American Artists ‘.  Products featuring her art included Stonelain ceramics as well as textiles produced by Riverdale Fabrics and by M. Lowenstein & Sons for the Signature Fabrics series.

Her textile designs were featured widely from 1952-1956 in Vogue and Vogue Pattern Book, Simplicity Patterns, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen. Her designs are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Laura’s artwork appeared on 16 covers of The New Yorker from the 1960s through the 1980s.

What a fabulous range of styles she has here.

From textures and fine line work to paintings and collages.

She also wrote and illustrated several children’s books, including A Fresh Look at Flowers (Franklin Watts, Inc., 1963), Ottie and the Star (Harper & Row, 1979), Where is Freddy? (Harper & Row, 1986), and the Rollo and Tweedy books (HarperCollins).

Her illustrations appear in Mary Furlong Moore’s Your Own Room: The Interior Decorating Guide for Girls (Grosset & Dunlap, 1960).

She also created Mr. Jolly’s Sidewalk Market (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1965). I think her style here is very similar to another favourite of mine Michel Sasek.

I came across some designs for pin badges or perhaps compact cases.

Here’s a rare image of Laura in the midst of sorting through her textile designs and another of her books The Secret Christmas.

Fine line illustrations for cookery books, cards and advertising.

This final one is a wonderful twist on She Stoops To Conquer… what an amazing cover for a cookbook!

Many thanks to Cooper Hewitt for the information on Laura used today and to Colin West for bringing Laura to my attention.




Scottish New Year Part 2

January 21, 2019

Welcome to part 2 of my travels around Scotland during New Year. We start at the artists town of Kirkcudbright (pronounced Kir-coo-bree).

This has been a thriving community of artists predominantly between 1850 and 1950, It is said that it was the quality of the light that brought painters to Kirkcudbright. However, there can be no doubt that a strong attraction would also have been being part of a close-knit colony of artists, all working together at the pursuit they all lived for. That’s also hinted at, from one of the pieces of prose I discovered on the door of these colourful sheds.

Even in the local knitwear shop, there’s a keen eye for colour, texture and display. The town has some fabulous buildings and views.

A second day we met up with more friends for a stroll around some beautiful countryside at Glentrool Visitor Centre near Newton Stewart.

I loved photographing all these woodland wonders.

Not sure little Ruaridh at the front is that happy about Boo being too near lol.

A cold but beautiful setting, and I’d really recommend the food made by the friendly staff in the visitor centre, well worth a visit… even Boo agreed!

On the return journey we stopped off at Wigtown, which was officially designated as Scotland’s National Book Town in 1998 and is now home to a wide range of book-related businesses. Some bookshops weren’t yet open (it was just the 3rd January), but I had tempting glances of hidden away gems and at least 5 were open that I could wander around and be happy to loose myself in.

I loved the work of Astrid Jaekel as I bought a few of her postcards and then discovered how she had covered some of the shops in Wigtown for their Book Festival, click the link for some images.

On the way back to Manchester we side stepped the services for a visit to Shap and discovered this quirky and beautiful Greyhound Hotel.

Great welcome and tasty food will make it a firm favourite for future stop offs.

We also headed for a quick walk to find the remains of Shap Abbey and found this stunning bridge. Sorry no prizes in our ‘Spot the Boo’ competition.

A bit of a stormy grey day but still with atmosphere.

A great NY holiday break. Boo certainly enjoyed her long walks and lazy chilled out evenings, as did I. If this isn’t a contended dog photo then I don’t know what is. Hope you enjoyed coming along on my travels too. How did you spend your festive break ?





New year 2019

January 14, 2019

Hello to one and all and welcome back to Fishinkblog 2019.  I hope you all had a great festive break and managed to switch off and recharge yourselves in preparation for a fresh beginning. Many thanks for all of your thoughts, comments and well wishing, much appreciated as ever. So what did you all get up to over the two week break ?

I had booked a cottage in southern Scotland and escaped there for New Year, with some friends who also have a dog. We spent lots of time walking, cooking and keeping away from the internet…. perfect !

I thought I’d share my Scottish travels with you for the next two posts and I hope you enjoy the images as much as I did creating them lol. First here’s a few images from local walks around Manchester, starting with a beautiful misty light.

These were mid December, we were so lucky with the weather in 2018, that long hot summer… wow. Feels long ago now.

A few frosty specimens, I love how the edges are all defined and white .

Even roses out in late December, surprised me.

Ok so we’re off to Scotland and a little cottage near to Borgue, between Dumfries and Stranraer. For those of you who like to see a map or don’t know where in the British Isles I’m talking about here’s one lol.

Here’s the place, some local views and a snapshot of our huge neighbours !

One thing we all enjoyed were the excellent views from the cottage and it’s proximity (10 min walk) to the local beach. Wild, rugged with plenty to discover and captivate.

Petrified mushrooms (above right) and a wonderful impression of sand ripples (below right), fossilised into the rock over time and then shifted to a vertical position by ancient earth movements.

A wonderful coastline, and plenty to keep us busy on the beach too. Anyone out there who also likes rockpool hunting?

First time I’ve seen frozen sand and seaweed too.

These were short days as the sun disappeared around 4pm, oh but glorious sunsets.

Visiting Gatehouse of Fleet.

We came across this 15th century Cardoness Castle belonging to the McCullochs of Myreton.

Then a walk around the local area to this graveyard in Anwoth. Some wonderful carvings.

A joke sign and a local pictish carved rock up on Trusty’s Hill.

Great views and three monuments, including Rutherford’s Monument.

We were lucky with the weather again.

In the evenings we did some old fashioned things like reading books, doing jigsaws and playing board games. The dogs chased one another around the huge garden, played tug of war and did a lot of sleeping.. absolute bliss.

Part two next week.








2018 In Retrospect.

December 29, 2018

I decided to have a glance back over 2018 and pull together a range of images from the best / most enjoyable posts I’ve created over the twelve months. Which post is your favourite and how many do you remember ?

We start, back in January, with the four posts on John Minton, this being one of them. What a talented chap.

Great work by Scottish artist William Crosbie.

Slightly more contemporary work from Robin Heighway-Bury.

Beautifully crafted thoughts of the seashore from Kirsty Elson.

Forgotten artist in two parts, features the work of Roland Collins.

Wildlife woodcuts from Agnes Miller Parker.

Another female perspective of land and sea from Joan Eardley.

Textile and design repeats from Enid Marx.

Fun travel posters from Graphic Designer Abram Games.

Two posts and more posters from Reginald Montague Lander.


American sixties artist Charles Wysocki brought us Trucks and a glimpse of life in that era.

A little modern made nature from Mister Finch.

A glimpse of ceramic nature from Ann Wynn Reeves.

An inspirational trip back in time to Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton Le Hole.

Also a splash of Vintage from Morecombe by the Sea.

Three established artist treats in October from Brian Wildsmith,

Edward Bawden and a fabulous book from the Mainstone Press.

and lastly Disney background artist Walt Peregoy.

November Illustration from Tom McNeely.

More recently some stunning woodcuts from Gwenda Morgan.

Contemporary work by John Jay Cabuay.

Timeless illustration from LeWitt and Him.

Ceramics from Lena Peters and finally…

A few pieces of my own, which will be available to purchase next year through Fishink on Etsy.

Which pieces do you like and why ? Anything you would like to see made in clay from my work ?

Thanks for following Fishinkblog this year.

This is the Eighth year it’s been running and even though I really love writing and curating the posts, it doesn’t get any easier to find the time to do it all. I do appreciate your feedback, likes and comments, it makes the whole experience much more fun to do, so thanks for leaving a word every now and then and if you have any thoughts on how Fishinkblog could be even better, then do let me know. Have a look through the posts you might have missed by clicking on the links above the images, and pass Fishink blog onto a new friend this year so we can grow into a bigger art community from across the globe. It’s great to have you with me.

Have a great 2019 and I’ll be back in a few weeks time.

Gwenda Morgan Beautiful Woodcuts

December 24, 2018

Happy Christmas Eve to one and all from the UK. Strangely I’m still not feeling so Christmassy this year but I’m sure come tomorrow I will be enjoying some great food, company and feeling good about the year ahead. I wonder what kind of celebrations you, my readers will be having wherever you are reading this? Do let me know, and wherever you might be I hope this finds you well, healthy and in a peaceful time.

Thank you for following Fishink Blog this year and please keep the comments rolling in, it does make a difference and helps make me feel that all the hard work that goes into these posts isn’t falling on silent ears lol.

I wish you all a wonderful festive break and look forward to catching up again in a few weeks time in 2019. All the very best, Craig

Gwenda Morgan (1908 – 1991) was born in Petworth, her father having moved there to work at the ironmongers Austens, of which he later became the proprietor. Following school in Petworth and at Brighton and Hove High School. From 1926, Gwenda studied at Goldsmiths’ College of Art in London.

From 1930 she attended the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Pimlico where she was taught and very strongly influenced by the principal, Iain Macnab.  The Grosvenor School was a progressive art school, and the championing of wood engraving and linocuts fitted with its democratic approach to the arts.

The main body of her work drew upon the landscape and buildings around Petworth and the neighbouring South Downs. Her work was inspired by that of Iain Macnab, Percy Douglas Bliss and the Sussex-bred Eric Ravilious.

Throughout the Second World War she worked in the Women’s Land Army just outside Petworth. Her record of those years was published by the Whittington Press in 2002 as The Diary of a Land Girl, 1939-1945. It is a poignant record of the determination to carry on whatever the weather or wartime deprivations.

Here’s an excerpt from Christmas Eve.













She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers & Engravers, an Honorary Member of the Society of Wood Engravers, and a Member of the National Society of Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, and she showed work at their annual exhibitions. She also exhibited at the Royal Academy and at the Redfern Gallery.

Her prints are held in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum in London, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, among others.

Some of her work has a wonderful sense of movement… even the still life woodcuts!

I feel that Gwenda’s work is somehow timeless, like this image above called ‘Winter Arrangement’, it feels like it could have been created last week and not over 60 years ago, as it was originally engraved in 1954!

Here’s a great shot of Gwenda with her family.

Lovely depictions of rural lifestyles at that time.

Happy Christmas.















John Jay Cabuay Illustrating a sixties world today

December 19, 2018

Hi everyone, wow what a busy week this is turning out to be, so much so that I completely missed my chance to post out on the last two mornings so here we have a Wednesday post instead. I hope you’re all well and enjoying the pre-holiday rush!

John Jay Cabuay is a New York City illustrator. He has a beautiful sixties feel to his work, but with a contemporary twist.

His illustrations have graced the covers of newspapers, magazines, and book jackets worldwide.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology,

He says : – “ Learning how to draw from the model has helped me to grow in different directions and, it has given me opportunities to feature my skills in different markets and different continents from Japan and across oceans to South Africa. ”

His work also encompasses illustration for children.

He was featured in a book by Taschen called “100 illustrators” a book about the 100 important illustrators around the globe.

Stunning work, what do you think readers ?