Robert Kilpatrick artist

Our artist today comes from Scotland who was a local favourite in the area around the town of St. Monans. #RobertKilpatrick (act. 1935 – 1950) worked mostly in watercolour with a few excursions into oils. He, mostly, painted scenes of harbours and coastal scenes.

De Hoop Molen, Overijsel – watercolour by Robert Kilpatrick

The piece,I picked up is a very fine watercolour of #DeKoopMolen in #Overijsel, Holland. The Mill was built in 1839 and was used to grind corn. One of the features, I like is the second mill in the distance. A very different style of mill. The near mill has a rotating top section allowing the sails to catch the wind while the far mill itself is set on a swivel at its base allowing the whole mill to revolve.

To end, I thought I’d show an old drawing I recently acquired. It displays an image with a monogram amid crossed anchors with a banner atop reading ‘Mens cujusque is est Quisque’. It translates into ‘the mind is the man’. This was the ate which #SamuelPepys put at the end od all the books in his library. A different bookplate was placed at the front of each book.

Drawing of Samuel Pepys bookplate
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The hand-drawn map

Now-a-days we use satnavs to plan our routes for traveling and take pictures for memory. Previously, we used atlases and street directories and again took pictures and possibly a diary. I came across a hand drawn map a while back which was drawn by someone who was touring a part of northwestern France.

Hand-drawn map of Northwest France – St. Malory to Vannes

The map displays the area from St. Malo to Vannes in the region of Brittany. It is hand drawn with major cities and towns, thoroughfares, lakes and rivers marked. As well, there are numerous notations in pen stating what highlights were seen throughputthe area. This is impressive enough but when we turn over the sheet we see close up of the bay area around Vannes.

Hand drawn map of Vannes area ((The Little Sea) on verso

One certainly cannot claim this side or the previous to be amazing cartography. There seems to be some scaling problems and inaccuracy in its’ depiction. But you do get the overall effect.

The maps are not signed so the artist is a mystery but we do get a clue as to the age of this work from the verso image. On the right hand side, we read a notation regarding the Roche-Bernard suspension bridge and that it was damaged in a storm the previous year. The bridge was erected in 1839 and destroyed in 1852. This would mean that this map was drawn in 1853 the year after the damage.

I wonder how many of us would go to such lengths to remember a trip. But then again, maybe we would have had we lived back then.

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One name, two artists

Once in a while one comes across artists with the same name. Earlier, I have blogged about JMW Turner as well as J Turner (Turner of Oxford) so today I want to look at the artists known as #JohnWard.

We will start with the earliest John Ward (1798-1849). Ward was a respected artist and considered one of the leading marine artists and ship painters of the early 19th century from Eastern England. His oils, watercolours and engravings of his paintings were regularly exhibited but appreciation for his work and talent came some years after his death. The watercolour shown below is of Bristol Harbour with St Mary’s Church, Redcliffe in the background. It is signed with his initials and dated 1844. There is an oil painting attributed to Ward from the same vantage although the shipping in the foreground is somewhat different. Possibly my watercolour might go to firming up the attribution.

Bristol Harbour with St Mary’s Church, Redcliffe – watercolour by John Ward @ 1844

We now move to the 20th century #JohnStantonWard (1919-2007). This Ward was a portrait painter, illustrator, and landscape painter. He was an illustrator for travel guides, Vogue magazine, advertisements for major companies, and numerous books by various authors. His portrait work covers royalty, businessmen, celebrities and government officials. My attribution of the piece below is a bit tenuous but I think plausible. The work although not signed has the #JTBurns&Co label a gallery which Ward was quite familiar with (William Ward , his son, worked as a framer for Burns & Co.) also the style is very like his illustrative works.

Sketch with watercolour by John Stanton Ward @ 1984

Two fine and interesting works .

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Norman Orr artist

We go north, today, to Edinburgh, Scotland to visit artist #NormanOrr (1924-1993). Orr was born in Edinburgh and was one of Scotland’s leading wildlife artists. He began his artistic life as an engraver of glass. He enlisted in the Marines for WWII and afterwards joined #EdinburghCrystal as a designer and engraver. He worked there until he turned 40 when he went back to school, originally, to study glass engraving but switched early on to drawing and painting. Even so, by 1960 he was one of the Europe’s finest glass engravers. His exquisite glasswork found its way into the hands of royalty and collections around the world. Orr worked almost exclusively on private commission and very rarely exhibited his works.

Foal – watercolour with highlight by Norman Orr @ 1969

I picked up this lovely piece earlier this week. A very nicely executed artwork showing a very young foal finding it’s legs for the first time. You can see why Orr was so highly regarded.

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Margate Jetty

This week. I thought we would visit Margate. A town on the southeast coast of England. To a piece of Margate history for the jetty no longer exists. It has sandy beaches, the Turner Contemporary gallery, and a stone pier. But before this stone pier Margate had a previous jetty. It was constructed in 1824 in wood. Then replaced in 1855 with ironwork and over the years it was extended and added to. The jetty closed in 1976 and demolition of the jetty ended in 1998 although some parts still remain.

It has been, over the years, immortalised by many artists. Possibly the most famous would be JMW Turner but I want to look at another artist. #JamesWebb (1825-1895). Webb specialised in marine views and landscapes. His scenes encompass views from Wales, Holland, France, the Rhine River, and the English coast.

Margate Jetty – lithograph after James Webb @ 1868

This lithograph was recently acquired for my collection. Lithography is one of the more under-rated skills, I think. Drawn onto stone and then inked and pressed onto paper (usually black ink). The colours are all done by hand after the pressing. We get an idea of how extensive this pier really was. It was 1100 feet (340m) long. An amazing structure. Below is a view from the 1892 Ordinance Survey map of the Iron Pier. It gives you a better perspective as to its’ size.

Margate Pier – 1892 Ordinance Survey map
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Joseph Batchelor papermaker

I came across a page printed with a letter from #SirThomasWhite. Although the quoted letter was written in 1566, this printing was created around 1880/1890. Sir Thomas was of course the founder of St Johns College, Oxford. The letter is one in which Sir Thomas wishes God’s blessing upon all those at St Johns and that they might also pray blessings upon himself. I am sure that a lot of people likely looked at this piece but not really paid much attention to it. I on the other hand was intrigued. The paper looked old and so might have come from a published book of some type. I have not seen another copy of this page so do not know where it originates.

Letter to the President, Fellowes and Schollers of At Johns College, Oxford University from
Sir Thomas White @ 1880 – 1890

The other interesting thing about this page is the paper itself. It was made by #JosephBatchelor. Not a name that races to the forefront of your mind but if I tell you that Joseph Batchelor was the chosen papermaker of one #WilliamMorris, then one becomes aware of how good a craftsman Batchelor was. Morris set up his #KelmscottPublishing with the idea of producing books with fine hand made paper; making his books unique and of a better quality than other publishers.

An interesting piece of paper with a remarkable historical letter.

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Derek Brown artist

Today, we visit with #DerekBrown (1924-2009). Born in London, He served in the army during WWII after which he trained and worked as a dentist. The death of his father (who was an artist) in 1954 was the turning point in Dereks’ life. From that point he started to paint, mostly in oils, but he dabbled in watercolour also. He was self taught but did attend Heatherley School of Fine Art where he was influenced by Australian impressionist painter Hayward Veal. By 1984 he was a full time artistwith shows at home and abroad. His paintings mostly of flowers have a finesse of touch and vibrancy of colour that brings his work to life. His colour palette frolics and plays while blending together in a joyful dance.

Ely Cathedral – watercolour by Derek Brown

The piece in my collection is not a floral but an image of the ‘Ship of the Fens’ Ely Cathedral. One can see the blending of colours which he is known for. Nicely impressionistic and yet accurate in its’ depiction of the scene. A beautiful work by a talented artist who lived locally in Cambridgeshire.

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Graham Austin artist

I thought today, we would look at a local artist. I happen to know this artist personally through Ely Cathedral with which he is also associated. G

#GrahamAustin has been a wildlife and aviation painter for over 50 years. He is known for his meticulous technique. I, very luckily, have an example of each of his artistic fields.

Supermarine Spitfire by Graham Austin @ 1989

I have an early aviation piece which was done in 1989. The Supermarine Spitfire was an iconic WWII plane. One can see the meticulous artistry. Colours follow smoothly, lines are precise,

From aviation to wildlife. My second piece is of a Kingfisher sitting on a branch looking intently at some morsel which might be its’ dinner. Once again we see the painstaking precision. Every pine needle, feather and piece of bark so superbly done. Two fine examples by a very talented artist.

‘Kingfisher’ – by Graham Austin @ 2003
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Croxton Kerrial Church

I came across a painting of ‘St Botolph and St John the Baptist’, Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire, this past week. It is done by an artist for whom I can find no information. The label on the verso states that it was painted in 1965 by #DRScoffins.

‘Church and Village’ – St Botolph & St John the Baptist Church, – oil on hardboard by D R Scoffins @ 1965

This work is done with a limited colour palette using black, grey, brown and orange. Earth tones which give a calm peaceful feel to this quiet village.

But within these hallowed walls lies a piece of history. The heart of King John (1166-1216) lies intered beneath the altar. The Abbot of Croxton was called to hear King John’s confession and after his embalming his heart was buried at Croxton Abbey. It is said that King John’s bowels are buried on Windmill Hill nearby. His body was taken south to Worcester Cathedral and buried in front of the altar of St Wulfstan.

I like the colour and impressionistic/naive style especially the wind-blown trees on the right side. Thick layers of paint (impasto) allow the light/shadow to play across the image. A handsome work done by an artist who should be better known.

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Peggy Wickham artist

Today, we consider artist #PeggyWickham (1909-1978) nee #MarjorieJoanEarnshaw. It is more likely that you would have heard of her mother. For she was the daughter of #MabelLucieAtwell. Her mother was a children’s illustrator and comics artist and it was her depictions of cute cuddly infants which made her famous. These images by her mother were called ‘Chubbies’. It is said that Peggy was the inspiration for her mother’s ‘chubbies’ drawings.

Peggy studied art at the Royal Academy 1927-31. While at the Academy she met her husband to be, Michael Wickham. He was also a comic artist as well as photographer. Peggy’s works include portraits, illustrations, children’s pictures and some design work.

Little girl and doll – portrait by Peggy Wickham @ 1930/40

I picked up this drawing by Peggy Wickham recently. The paper has age spotting on it but one can see the talent which Peggy had for portraiture. You can also see the influence on her by her mother and her technique of illustrating her ‘chubbies’. The rosie cheeks and the confident posture show that this little girl is a character to be reckoned with. I post an image by her mother below.

Little girl – drawing by Lucie Mabel Atwell
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