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Celebrating Illustration, Design, Cartoon and Comic Art of the Mid-20th Century

Brian Sanders: "a professional artist for five decades"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, which we featured in April, continues with samples of Brian’s illustrations made during the 1970s and ’80s.

Brian has now been a professional artist for five decades during which time he has worked in every area of the illustrative arts ranging through: book publishing, magazines, advertising, government agencies, film, television and art education. He is one of the founders of the British Association of Illustrators.

Below: HRH Prince Charles for Woman’s Own
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Below: Serial opening for Woman magazine.
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Above and below: two more opening spreads for Woman’s Own serials.

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Three paintings from Man and the Automobile published in France as L’Homme et L’Automobile. All three were painted in acrylics.

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Taxis of the Marne. General Galieni requisitioned the Renault taxis of Paris to take troops to the front in 1914.

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The Auburn

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Rolls Royce Silver Ghost

Below, illustration for the first part of a serial for Woman magazine...

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... and the final part of the same serial. It was rare for a complete serial to be in full colour throughout.

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Two of four watercolours for a Readers Digest article about the British government’s cabinet war rooms. The brief was to construct a scene to include the war cabinet. Left to right are: Brendan Bracken, Lord Beaverbrook, Ernest Bevan, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

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Below: Winston Churchill

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Escape from Arnhem for The Sunday Times. The Dutch Resistance hid the survivors of the Arnhem parachute drop and battle, dressing them in civilian clothes, hiding their uniforms and weapons. One night they were all brought together, and re-kitted before escaping across the Neder Rhine. Art director Michael Rand’s brief was: “imagine the fear of being caught by the enemy with your pants down”.

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Another illustration for Readers Digest - this time for their special books series. There were four other watercolours made for this story.

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Cry God for Harry and St George - The Battle of Agincourt, watercolour for Men Only.

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Article on duelling for Men Only. Brian visited London’s Hampstead Heath at dawn for the scene described by the author. As the mist cleared he saw a hawk swoop and take a pigeon.

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Noel Coward for Nova, the magazine most illustrators wished to work for. One of twenty illustrations showing famous peoples’ foibles.

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Coward ostentatiously left invitations on his mantelpiece marked either “accept” or “decline”. When Brian’s agent delivered the drawings, the then young art director David Hillman said: “some of these oldies can still turn it on.”

Brian was thirty-two.

At 73 years-of-age Brian still works as hard as he did back in the 1970s and ’80s. It’s always a pleasure to visit him and his wife Lizzie, also an illustrator; I still find their work as exciting as I did all those years ago.

* Brian was very pleased with the responses he received after his first blog was kindly published by Leif Peng back in April. His e-mail address is briansanders[dot]art[at]googlemail[dot]com

* If you'd like to read all of Bryn Havord's posts about Brian, including many more examples of his earlier artwork, they have just been collected as one continuous story on a new blog, The Art of Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders: Personal Work, Gallery and Exhibition Pieces

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, which we featured in April, continues with samples of Brian’s illustrations made during the 1970s and ’80s.

Brian has exhibited widely in mixed exhibitions, and one man shows have been held at The Imperial War Museum, York Castle Museum, The Association of Illustrators’ Gallery, National Trust Gallery at Trelissic, Cornwall, and The Sir Rowland Hill Museum.

Below, from small to very large; the half size study for H M Queen Elizabeth’s presentation of new Standards to The Royal Tank Regiment.

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The final watercolour was over six feet wide and was accepted for exhibition by the Royal Academy in London.

The Frog and the Water Filter. This watercolour was accepted for an Association of Illustrators annual and exhibition...

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... but vanished from the Woman’s Own offices before it could be shown.

Below, a bedroom in designer Laura Ashley’s house.

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An exhibition of Brian’s personal watercolours was held at the Association of Illustrators Gallery in London in 1983.

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Above: Mirror Mirror Below: Live Edge

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Throughout his career, Brian has made many works purely for his own satisfaction.

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Above is the Elysian Garden of Audley End House, which is close to where he now lives.


Concluded tomorrow.

* Brian was very pleased with the responses he received after his first blog was kindly published by Leif Peng back in April. His e-mail address is briansanders[dot]art[at]googlemail[dot]com

Brian Sanders: Posters, Stamps and Gallery Paintings

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, which we featured in April, continues with samples of Brian’s illustrations made during the 1970s and ’80s.

Since the early seventies, Brian’s work has encompassed formats from book covers and magazine illustration to large-scale posters and military paintings.

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Above, a poster advertising the Official Royal Mail Souvenir Cover to a Commemorative Stamp for the London Marathon in 1982. Below, two of a set of four stamps featuring British Police. Brian nearly lost the commission when he refused to replace the mounted policewoman with a policeman.

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Below, two illustrations from a set of five stamps commemorating Marshals of the Royal Air Force. This first one is of Lord Trenchard, founder of The Royal Air Force...

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... and this second one is Air Marshal Lord Dowding, Chief of the Air Staff Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.

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Above: Rose d’Angou: one of a set twelve wine labels

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Above: From a series of packaging projects for Reckit and Coleman.

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Above: Packaging for Coty Products. 12 different packs were designed from this artwork.

Brian has also exhibited widely in mixed exhibitions and one man shows. We'll look at some of those works... tomorrow.

Continued tomorrow.

* Brian was very pleased with the responses he received after his first blog was kindly published by Leif Peng back in April. His e-mail address is briansanders[dot]art[at]googlemail[dot]com

Brian Sanders' 1970s Book Covers

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, which we featured in April, continues with samples of Brian’s illustrations made during the 1970s and ’80s.


Yesterday I described how the 1970s proved to be a challenging decade for every illustrator in Britain trying to pursue a career in magazine illustration.

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However, the market for paperback book cover illustration remained buoyant, although more and more photographic cover illustrations were being used.

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In the early seventies David Larkin, then art editor of Pan Books, asked Brian if he would like to re-jacket the Steinbeck books. They both agreed that watercolour was too English for the subject matter, so Brian said he would work in ‘acrylic solid colour’. Brian thought that there were only six books. There were twenty-six.

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Above are Brian's illustrations for "Of Mice and Men", "The Moon is Down" and "Sweet Thursday." Below, "Log from the Sea of Cortez." The figure of Doc in these last two paintings was kindly modelled by illustrator Alan Lee, now better known as the creative director of the Lord of the Rings films.

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Below, book cover for Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jabwallah.

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A Stronger Climate. The main building on this cover was not in India but based on the view from the roof above Brian’s studio at Artist Partners in London’s Soho. It is actually the Windmill Theatre.

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Below, cover for A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsin. Published by Panther Books.

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Above, one from a series of covers for books written by John Fante commissioned by Granada Books

Below, cover for a book entitled Poonah Company by Farrukh Dhondy.

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Below, the cover for a book entitled It’s an Old Country by J B Priestly. Watercolour with dry brush.

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The model Brian chose to play the part of the aging private detective in the novel turned out to be one!

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Two covers for Brian Moore novels. Above: The Emperor of Ice Cream Below: The Luck of Ginger Coffey

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Brian re-jacketed several C S Forester books for David Larkin at Pan.

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This was for Hornblower in the West Indies


Continued tomorrow.

* Brian was very pleased with the responses he received after his first blog was kindly published by Leif Peng back in April. His e-mail address is briansanders[dot]art[at]googlemail[dot]com

The 1970s: a challenging decade for illustrators in Britain

Monday, December 26, 2011

Guest author Bryn Havord, following his overview of English illustrator Brian Sanders’ work produced in the 1960s, which we featured in April, continues with samples of Brian’s illustrations made during the 1970s and ’80s.


In common with the illustrators working in the USA, the 1970s proved to be a challenging decade for every illustrator in Britain trying to pursue a career in magazine illustration. Television stole away advertising revenue and page counts went down. There was a decline in the interest in fiction in women’s magazines, and for some reason art directors and art editors started asking the illustrators to produce more highly finished work.

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(Above and below: 1969. Weekend Telegraph — illustrations for an article by Werner von Braun.)

They also increasingly turned to photography in place of illustration.

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It was also a time of personal change for Brian. He felt that the scumbled acrylic genre (bubble and streak) illustration had run its course, and that the work of many illustrators was taking on a similar look.

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(This was the last of Brian’s use of ‘bubble and streak’ (scumbled acrylic) He was surprised to discover that playwright Harold Pinter was a cricket fan.)

Knowing that figurative illustration was his forte, he began working with traditional methods, beginning with watercolour as taught to him by his earliest mentor, J C Middleton who had been art master at the school he had attended as a boy.

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(Changing style: Woman's Realm 1970. This was one of his earliest published watercolours.)

At the beginning of the 1970s there was still a common belief in the graphics industry that watercolour was “wishy-washy” and did not reproduce well.

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(Sample to demonstrate that watercolour need not be “wishy-washy”. This was later used on a calendar.)

Brian’s response was “You just need to charge your brush with more colour to allow for the fact that it dries a couple of tones paler than it looks when wet.”

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(Double page spread for Woman’s Own.)

Continued tomorrow.

* Brian was very pleased with the responses he received after his first blog was kindly published by Leif Peng back in April. His e-mail address is briansanders[dot]art[at]googlemail[dot]com

The Countdown Concludes... with 'The 12 Famous Artists of Christmas'

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Famous Artist #12: Al Parker

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And that concludes another "Countdown"! I hope you and those you are close to have a very Merry Christmas!

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To everyone who participated in this open-ended project of mine - whether as a guest author, a contributor of scans and/or information, a commenter or as someone who has shared a link or spread the word about Today's Inspiration through Twitter, G+, Tumblr and Facebook - and to all those who signed up for the daily scans or are following TI here or via RSS feeds... many, many thanks to you all!
 

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