Friday, August 07, 2009

Canadian Game Fish by Canadian Illustrators

I chose this week's topic because a Canadian illustrator (me) went fishing for Canadian game fish -- so it only seems appropriate to conclude the week with some fishing illustrations by Canadian illustrators of Canadian game fish.

First up; three of what must have been a long series of paintings serialized week-to-week during 1960 in the Toronto Star newspaper's weekend insert magazine. These are by Gordon Fairburn, who is listed on Jaleen Grove's Canadian Illustrators wiki only as having been "a graphic designer."

Next, another treasure from the original TI scrap files: a small group of collectors cards that were inserted in packages of Salada Tea back in 1961. I'm not sure if this was a practice typical only to Canada, but these tea package card series designed along various nature themes were tremendously popular even when I was a kid in the 1970's.

I've posted an extra large scan for those interested in reading the backs of the cards. Just click the image to go to that version (and don't hurt your neck craning sideways to read).

Finally, a neat old pocket booklet for fishermen issued by the Carling Brewery Company of Waterloo, Ontario. This one filed away unused by Bud Fente, the illustrator who originally compiled the scrap file that would one day launch Today's Inspiration. Whether Bud had no interest in fishing or was too busy with work back in 1952 to make use of this booklet, we'll never know...

... but either way, I'm grateful that he chose to file away this gem so that one day we would be able to enjoy it again.

That's it for this week -- Happy Fishing!

* My Fishing Flickr set.


  1. Jaser4:53 AM

    Leif, you may enjoy this 1939 dust jacket in my humble flickr set, which is very relevant to the vintage fishing illustration theme. It belonged to my grandmother:

    Let's Go Fishing

  2. Jasper4:54 AM

    Oh geez, I've spelled my own name wrong. :/

  3. The fishing week is great, Leif! I love the last silhouetted illustration of the two fishermen on the lake. That takes a lot of graphic design skill and an understanding of simplicity of one shape related to another. I never learned a lot about that in art school, and had to pick it up on my own later, as a graphic designer/illustrator/art director. With that approach to illustration, you can't rely on just accurate drawing, good rendering skills, correct values and good composition. Stylization and exceptional design is what makes the silhouetted illustration work so well. The amazing simplicity, attitude and expression of the figures are exceptional in that illo. I don't see this kind of illustration anymore, but I think it could be just as effective in today's market as it was back then.

    Tom Watson

  4. Great post! I have a pile of those Salada/Tetley tea cards at home; no fish though, all birds, butterflies and wild animals. I keep meaning to frame them somehow, but - you know.