Skip to content

Joey Chou too!

February 13, 2017


The work of Joey Chou appears to be a firm favourite with the readers of Fishinkblog. It’s easy to see why…


Whether it’s his work with Super heroes…


Robots, X-men / Flashmen…


or just reminiscing with some old favourites like Spiderman and Wonder Woman, he seems to capture our imaginations again and again.


He appears to be that modern day link to a Golden Book era of Disney-esque illustration days.


His work is friendly, accessible and decorative.


His imagination and colour palette spills out onto the page.


Some old faces here too.



Some old, some gone… but not forgotten.


Every now and then he still finds time to have a sale of his hand painted work too.


Collage and gouache together. I love the sunny park view of the guy with his dog below, a perfect touch of the sixties, but with a modern twist.


He’s got it all , even a nod to the late Mary Blair ! No wonder we love his illustrations so much.

You can find more of Joey’s work over on his Tumblr account here.

Keep up the great work Joey.





Fishink Patterns

February 6, 2017

Happy Monday everyone, I hope this finds you well. You might have seen the recent working collaboration I’m having with Jeweller Heather Fox  here, and I think we’re nearly there.


Just waiting for Heather to do some soldering work, affix the dogs to the strip and then turn the silver band into a ring.. exciting developments hey!

I decided to have a play with patterns today to inspire and hopefully encourage some of you to try and make some textures of your very own.

I started with four photographs (each is found top right of each new page below) and then I took sections from each of these initial images. Twisting, rotating, re-colouring and reassembling them into new formats.


You can have some great fun making new patterns, and it’s really not that hard with a good software program like Photoshop. What does everyone else use to create patterns ?


I liked keeping the green theme going here with this star inspired photograph.


The wood grain in this old knotted stump, provides some lovely textures and movement in these repeat designs.


Then I would often use them to create animals for my work.. like this…


I hope you found this inspirational and it prompts you to create some textures of your own. Do let me know.







Bob Wilvers… Up to Date

January 30, 2017

I’ve recently added to my old post on the artist Bob Wilvers from the 1960’s, so for those of you who didn’t follow me back in 2011, here’s a complete update. Enjoy !

Bob Wilvers was the art director for the Carl Ally agency in the early 1960’s when he developed a campaign for Salada Tea. The commercial featured little old ladies on large Harley-Davidson motorcycles and the tag line ….. ”Who says that Salada Tea is for little old ladies?”  There’s a link to a poor copy of the original ad here and another 3 amusing Salada Tea ads here.

In 1964, he became a founding partner and co-creative director at Jack Tinker & Partners, with a client roster that included Coca-Cola, Gillette and Alka-Seltzer Plus. He was an accomplished watercolor painter and illustrator whose work was featured in several galleries and museums. Apparently Milwaukee based Wilvers was just 24 when he painted these.

I received an email from Terry who had read my blog about the illustrator Bob Wilvers and for those of you who missed it (tut tut) you can catch up here. At the end of the article I asked if anyone knew of any more of Bob’s work could they let me know. Terry not only knew of his work, but had an illustration of his own and even sent a copy so that I could show you all.

Terry explains ” I found this WC in a very rural part of Indiana and it reminds me of an area in West Allis, Milwaukee which was a district of homes which were bars/pubs on the first floor, and homes/apartments above on second/third floors. The signature looks a little like “williams” but on the back printed in pencil was Bob Wilvers on an entry form to an art exhibit in Milwaukee, so I assume this was painted well before he moved to NYC. Bob thumb-tacked the paper to a board, you can see 6 white holes around the edges where the water flowed around.” Such wonderful work, again with such spirit and so well observed. I’m so grateful to Terry for sharing this beautiful piece of Wilmers’ art with us, thanks again Terry.

For those of you who are still following me, regarding  the story of Bob Wilvers, there is yet a further addition and a surprising happy ending.

After a reader of my blog sent me an image he had of Bobs’ work, I was suddenly gripped with an urge to see if there was indeed more images to be discovered. I was lucky to be able to track down Bobs’ daughters Roberta and Tracy, and they very kindly sent me some images of the pieces of their fathers’ work, that they had in their homes. Such beautiful work should be shared with many and I hope that by blogging here, we can all appreciate what an amazingly skilled artist he was.

Roberta informed me that ” The images that you have on your blog came from the Ford Times October 1956. It was an article that was written by my mom and illustrated by my dad. One of the attached images is also from that piece. The other images are from the August 1957 issue. The Ford Times had quite a few piecesof my dad’s work. They donated one of the them, ‘ Trinity Church ‘ to the Smithsonian in Washington DC. ”

I love the summery feel to his watercolours above and perhaps later images below where Bobs’ style has developed and flourished into new areas.

My favourites however are still his beautiful landscapes, with their rich colours and textures.

Sincere thanks again to both Roberta and Tracy for kindly allowing us access to the images above. Amazingly, I’ve just managed to find an online copy of the Ford Times magazine October 1956 for sale, which features some of Bobs’ work. So a little piece of Mr Wilvers will live in my home too.

Also many thanks to Marilyn for sending this image of two paintings of Bob’s that she saw an antique show approx 10-12 years ago in the booth of W M Schwind Jr Antiques of Yarmouth, ME. They were marked $3500 each.

Finally this week a reader called Richard contacted me with these two wonderful pieces. Apparently, Richard’s father told him that Bob painted these in his eighth grade, they have been hanging on his living room wall since he was a child. How lucky ! Thanks Richard for getting in touch and sharing those with us, much appreciated.


If anyone has any links to more of Bob’s beautiful illustrations could they please let me know.



Fishink Random Mix

January 23, 2017

Since about 2008, I’ve been collecting images from the internet that have caught my eye. Way back then, I wasn’t so diligent in keeping records as to where images came from, or who had painted, photographed, illustrated or indeed created the artwork in the image. So I apologise in advance for their lack of referencing, but to be honest, it was purely about seeing groups of imagery together, that for whatever reason, I enjoyed.

As I have managed to amass quite a few of these ‘collaged sheets’, I thought I would share them with you, in the hope that they may also provide some inspiration to you the readers, from their shape, colour, texture or out and out randomness : )






I hope you found something inspirational here today ? More on my Instagram here. Don’t forget to add and follow me too, thank you.




Fishink’s ‘Boo Ring’ and Manchester visit.

January 16, 2017

It’s been a whizz of a week and sorry but I’m so totally unprepared for today’s post, that I wondered… how on earth did I manage to post three times a week in the past?  It seems like a previous life that somehow wasn’t possible lol

I popped into Manchester for some inspirational art gallery visits and apres birthday spending. There was an interesting exhibition of photography  called ‘Strange and Familiar’ at Manchester Art Gallery .

“Curated by the iconic British photographer Martin Parr, Strange and Familiar considers how international photographers from the 1930s onwards have captured the social, cultural and political identity of the UK.  From social documentary and portraiture to street and architectural photography, the exhibition celebrates the work of leading photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rineke Dijkstra, and Garry Winogrand. Bringing together over 250 compelling photographs and previously unseen bodies of work, Strange and Familiar presents a vibrant portrait of modern Britain.” It’s on until the end of May if you are passing.

All of these shots are mine, the faces were taken in the exhibition.


I’m still busy sketching and trying different apps and software packages on the i-pad for some variation in style and technique.


Remember me telling you I was working with Jeweller Heather Fox ? Well these were the initial drawings I sent to her to start the ball rolling on a commissioned ring based on Boo my dog.


There’s a lot of thought that needs to go into making imagery work, especially once it’s been filtered down to such a small scale. The drawing with Boo all curled up, I now realise, doesn’t work in metal as it’s too difficult to read what is happening with her legs.. they look more like the roots of a tree lol. I love the other images and think they are working well.


So I did another drawing, and once again I had to reconsider the position of her ears, in order to help make the small metal shape of the dog, more descriptive and easy to identify. When I saw just how tiny the cutting tools were that Heather was using, I was amazed that she still has any eyesight left at all !!

Well done Heather, so far so great!

fishinkblog-10353-boo-ring-2 fishinkblog-10354-boo-ring-4

Shopping wise, I was very delighted to find a half price calendar by Miroslav Sasek, one of my fav artists. A lovely diary with illustrations by Robert Gillmor and a book recommended by a friend to read.  A pretty good haul if I do say so myself. Riding home on the tram, I noticed that practically everyone had their eyes glued to their phones. Sad to say that they all missed the fact that the sky was the most amazing shade of organges, pinks and purples, I wanted to shout out…. ‘Look everyone at what you are missing, whilst you gaze at your little pieces of metal and glass.. beautiful real life passing you by’ but I didn’t and just sat gazing at the sky quietly by myself : )


Looking forward to seeing the next jewellery developments. Have a great week everyone.



Ruth and James McCrea. Children’s Illustrators from the Sixties

January 9, 2017


Ruth Pirman was born in Jersey City on May 28, 1921. She attended schools in Brooklyn Heights, in Brightwaters, and in Florida, and earned her bachelor of fine arts degree from the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Fla., where she met her future husband, James C. McCrea.

James was born on Sept. 12, 1920, in Peoria, Ill. He attended Sewanee: the University of the South in Tennessee, and served in the merchant marine during World War II. He also taught typography at Cooper Union in New York City for a decade.

The McCreas were married on July 4, 1943.

During World War II, while James served in the merchant marine and she lived in Miami with her in-laws, Ruth supported herself painting watercolors of the Bahamas, producing more than 500 of them. The couple moved to New York City after the war and lived in Bayport from 1956 until 1980, when they bought a house in East Hampton and retired there.

In their professional lives, the McCreas worked with many of the major publishing houses in New York. They also collaborated on four children’s books that Ruth, wrote and illustrated, which were published by Atheneum Books. In 1963, the American Institute of Graphic Arts named one of them, “The King’s Procession,” one of the 50 best books of the year.


I particularly like the illustrations in this book ” The Birds “, it has such a charm about it and I love the contrast between the birds and their environment too.


More Medieval dragons, castles and celebrations in ” The Story Of Olaf “.


Among Ruth’s independent work were the covers and illustrations for dozens of cookbooks published by Peter Pauper Press, with titles ranging from “The ABC of Canapes” and “The ABC of Cheese Cookery” …


… to “Simple Continental Cookery,” “Simple Hawaiian Cookery,” “Aquavit to Zombie: Basic and Exotic Drinks,” and “Abalone to Zabaglione: Unusual and Exotic Recipes.”


In East Hampton, where she was a longtime member of the Ladies Village Improvement Society, Ruth was known as the “dollhouse lady,” her family wrote. She built and lovingly maintained a collection of elaborate dollhouses, all impeccably furnished and decorated. In years past, she often opened her historic Main Street house to visitors interested in her creations. The largest of them was called Hazard Hall, because, according to a 2011 article in The Star, “it was too hazardous to get anywhere near it because things, like the children’s chess pieces and their father’s handkerchiefs, disappeared into it.”  “Every time life was too much for me, I would start another room on the house,” she told The Southampton Press in 1998. “It’s a form of escapism.”


The McCreas also collaborated on dozens of book jackets, designs, and illustrations including covers for novels by such writers as Graham Greene and Iris Murdoch. They worked together on the original oil paintings used for the cover design of the full set of Ernest Hemingway titles in the Scribner Classic series. Some featured below.



Sadly James passed away in 2013, aged 93 and Ruth in February 2016, aged 94.  I love their strong graphical, quirky style and I’m certain their work has inspired many Illustrators and Graphic artists since the 1960’s too. I’m sure I’m not alone in loving their wonderful work ?








Fishink Walks

January 2, 2017


Welcome back, hello and a Happy New Year to you all for 2017. I hope this finds you all well, rested, fed and ready for the year ahead after a well needed, festive break. We were very fortunate to spend Christmas with our good friends over in Tarporley, here’s a few snaps from their beautiful home.


There’s also some great countryside trails to be found around the area. On the first of the icy days, we took a stroll along the canal.


I love seeing lines in the landscape.



Still bits of colour too, alongside shape and texture.


Most folk were tucked away in the warmth so we had these views, largely to ourselves.


I discovered this frozen puddle on the roof of one of the barges. It looks like a solar system captured in glass.


Some lazy, low afternoon sunsets.

Of course Boo enjoyed all the smells of the countryside, until her feet got too cold!


What were your best memories over the last few weeks ?