Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Monday, 30 May 2011

Pocket-money Perfection

I was delighted to discover this little book in one of our bargain shops here in Lanzarote. Measuring just 15 x 22 cms but packed full of wonderful designs by the artist David Gentleman. An English graphic artist, designer, muralist and author, Gentleman was responsible for illustrating many books, designing posters and stamps and producing illustrated books of his own, including a series for children. The illustration on the front of ‘George and the Dragon’ is repeated in the end-papers and title page.
There is a foreword written by Alan Bennett and an introductory piece about design, but the rest of the book is packed full of gorgeous illustrations, both in colour and black and white.

It could almost be a source book of ideas and inspiration for artists in other media, such as textiles. For me this is a nostalgia trip; as a child I would carefully cut out and paste into my scrapbook, the illustrations from the Radio Times. These included examples by well-known artists of the day such as David Gentleman, Faith Jacques and Val Biro (I am talking a long time ago here, before the RT was the colourful magazine it is today!).

In my school library (as headteacher) there would be numerous examples of Gentleman’s art. There may still be some today, but my guess is that the over-zealous School Library personnel who would visit as ‘consultants’ and cull our stock, have probably rooted out such titles as: 'Fenella in Spain’, Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ and Russell Hoban’s ‘The Dancing Tigers’, some of which are collectors’ items today.


On my next trip to UK I intend to scour the charity and second-hand bookshops for any examples I can find, though I’m not holding out much hope. In the meantime I am well-pleased with this purchase and I relish the opportunity to share just some of its pages with you. I bet you’ll find some examples on your own shelves; if you do be sure to treasure them. This is a ‘new' book, published in 2009 by the Antique Collectors Club on high quality paper, and is in mint condition. And the price I paid for this little gem? Just 1 euro. I may not get to many car boot sales or charity shops here, but I know a bargain when I see one.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this exquisite find and educating me on David Gentleman. I shall keep a beady eye out for more books like this in the charity shops!

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