Apr 19 2012: Painting Sunsets by Violet Parkhurst (Walter T Foster Publications, 1960s)

Although it’s something of a cliche to claim the general public neither understands nor likes conceptual art, or contemporary art that doesn’t show evidence of traditional skill, seeing such work as a species of charlatanry, I’m not sure the theory stands up when it’s examined in more detail. The guide to painting sunsets seen above … Continue reading

Apr 12 2012: A Portrait of Harry Wheatcroft (Illustration on Celluloid for an Unknown Magazine, 1970s)

A curious item, this image reproduces as best I can the image on a reddish-tinted celluloid sheet containing a photographic transfer of a watercolour portrait of Harry Wheatcroft, the Nottingham-born celebrity horticulturalist and 70s media entrepreneur whose name became synonymous with commercial rose-growing, and whose garden centre, Wheatcrofts, still trades on the edge of the … Continue reading

Apr 8 2012: Nineteen Colour Photographs and Illustrations from The Astronaut Book (Panther Books, 1969)

Following yesterday’s gallery of hand-coloured photographs from Panther’s 1969 publication The Astronauts’ Book, here are a selection of nineteen of the book’s colour photographs, ranging from shots taken on a space walk to images of astronauts being fitted in space suits (one curious fact I discovered awhile back is that the suits eventually used were … Continue reading

Mar 27 2012: Fourteen Colour Illustrations and Photographs From Girl Annual Number Nine (1961)

The final gallery in this series culled from the pages of Girl Annual draws together an array of colour illustrations from the 1961 annual, including the annual’s first-ever photographic cover image, as seen above, and a series of frames from the comic strips Belle of the Ballet and Susan of St Bride’s. Accompanied by a … Continue reading

Mar 26 2012: Fifty-One Monochrome Illustrations From Girl Annual Number Nine (1961)

As can be seen below, the differences between the illustrations featured in Girl Annual in 1958 and those of three years later, in 1961, are fairly minimal, considering the social changes that were happening during the same period. True, the girl above is now on holiday in Amalfi rather than Cornwall, but the same escapades … Continue reading

Mar 25 2012: Forty-Three Monochrome Illustrations From Girl Annual Number Six (1958)

If yesterday’s images by Edward Mortelmans from the 1958 edition of Girl Annual seemed to draw inspiration from the paintings of Laura Knight, the forty-three sampled monochrome illustrations seen here have no such unifying element beyond being largely executed in line and wash, and seeming largely unchanged in format from the kind of images that … Continue reading

Mar 24 2012: Four Colour Illustrations Showing Circus Life By Edward Mortelmans (Girl Annual, 1958)

For the first of four galleries of images culled from two different editions of Girl Annual – dating from 1958 and 1961 respectively – it seemed appropriate to single out this particular sequence of colour illustrations looking at circus life for their intrinsic interest. There’s something in Edward Mortelmans’ paintigs that reminds me of similar fine … Continue reading

Mar 14 2012: Twenty-Eight Colour Images Of England From National Geographic Magazine (1948)

As seen in the pages of America’s National Geographic Magazine three years on from the end of the Second World War, Britain was not the bankrupt victor in a struggle against Fascism, nor a place in a state of decisive transformation as it began the long process of establishing its Welfare State, relinquishing its Empire and Nationalising its key industries. Instead, … Continue reading

An Interview With Yelena Popova (Primary, 2013)

Yelena Popova is a Russian-born painter based in Nottingham, and the following interview took place at her studio at Primary in the winter of 2013. An abridged version appeared in LeftLion magazine in November 2013. This full transcript of the conversation is published here in advance of the opening of her exhibition After Image at … Continue reading

Feb 29 2012: Seven Book Cover Designs from Psychology and Education Reports (Pelican, 1961 – 1969)

I suppose, this being a leap year, that this small gallery of book cover designs from the 1960s Pelican non-fiction stable, amounts to a sort of ‘bonus post’ for the 365 days originally planned for this project: its presence means there’ll actually be 366 days of posts covered here instead. The images themselves cover a range … Continue reading