Charles Tunnicliffe 1901 – 1979

The fourth in a seasonal series of short entries featuring snow.
Today’s subject is Charles Tunnicliffe; Etcher, engraver and painter, whose principal subject was bird life and the natural countryside.

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Company of Whitethroats” ( Please click these images to enlarge them ).

Charles Tunnicliffe RA OBE
1901 – 1979

Charles Tunnicliffe was born in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Known primarily for his depiction of birds and other wildlife, notably illustrations for Tarka the Otter. He is widely regarded as the greatest UK wildlife artist in modern times.

After studying at the Macclesfield and Manchester Schools of Art he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London, gaining his teaching diploma and a further scholarship to study in the RCA’s new Etching and Engraving School. He stayed on in London to develop a career as an etcher and engraver, producing some of his finest etchings during this time. In 1928 he returned to Macclesfield, earning a living mainly from commercial artwork, much of it for the farming industry.

He was elected A.R.E. in 1929 and R.E. in 1934.

He was a regular contributor to the Royal Academy and was elected as an associate in 1944, becoming a Royal Academician in 1954.Sir Kyffin Williams encouraged Charles to show his personal reference collection of measured drawings at the R.A. in 1974 – the exhibition was a great success.

Tunnicliffe moved from Cheshire to Anglesey in 1947 where he lived until his death in 1979. He believed strongly in observing and sketching direct from nature, especially around Cob Lake, the Cefni Estuary, South Stack Cliffs, Llyn Coron, Aberfraw, Cemlyn, then when back at Shorelands spending many hours creating a superb set of sketchbooks full of accurate and colourful ‘memory drawings’.

These sketchbooks are works of art in themselves and are now kept as part of the Tunnicliffe Collection at Oriel Ynys Môn, along with his measured drawings and other examples of his work – including original wood engraving blocks, etchings, watercolours, oil paintings, pencil drawings, scraperboards and book illustrations.

The RSPB awarded him its Gold Medal in 1975 and he was also honoured with an OBE in 1978.

His work hangs in numerous public galleries, while in Macclesfield’s West Bank Museum a room has been dedicated to his work. A Charles Tunnicliffe Society exists to maintain his legacy

(via Gateway Gallery)

Tunnicliffe engraving
Tunnicliffe engraving, with his wife Winifred looking on.

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Grey Partridges
Another chilly scene, that also shows Tunnicliffe’s mastery of pattern and layout design.

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“Ladybird” Books

Tunnicliffe illustrated many of the Ladybird series of childrens books, which sold in millions.

Here are some links to sites with numerous pictures by Tunnicliffe:
and 3) The Charles Tunnicliffe society website:
A well meaning website that reflects many aspects of Tunnicliffe’s output, but small, postage stamp size images, daft (but futile) impediments to right clicking and yellow backgrounds. Yes. An artist’s homage site with YELLOW backgrounds.
What I find especially galling, given Tunnicliffe’s mastery of so many graphic arts, is the use of COMIC SANS for all the text. Pur-lease!


Victor Westerholm

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“Midwinter Sun” by Victor Westerholm (1860-1919)
( Click for big, as usual. )

This is the second in a seasonal series of paintings featuring snow.

Westerholm’s bio reads:

born at Turku, Finland on January 4, 1860 and died in Turku on 19 November, 1919.

He first studied under Eugen Dücker in Düsseldorf. He then became a student of Jules Joseph Lefebvre at the Académie Julian in Paris.

He taught at the school of the Society of Art in Turku and was the director of an art museum in Helsinki.

He often painted winter landscapes and sunsets in the archipelago of Åland, where he had his summer residence.

In 1886, he invited several artists to his summer home, “Tomtebo” in Önningeby, Åland, thus beginning the famous artists colony there.

We have a picture of him at his easel:
photo of Westerholm at his easel.

There’s a contemporary appraisal of his work in an old issue of “The Studio”, written by Count Louis Sparre, that you can read here.

There isn’t a large number of Westerholm’s works floating around the web, which probably indicates that much of it is still in private hands, and rarely comes up for auction.

Ferret out what you can, and post your finds into the comment box below.


John Young-Hunter

A couple of years back I posted a series of winter themed paintings in the run-up to Christmas. ( Go back to the post about Arkhip Kuinji, on the 17th December 2007 ).

Those posts were short and sweet, and featured painters whose work I had recently stumbled upon. The only thing that united them was that they all painted snow scenes at one time or another in their careers.

I have to admire anyone who paints in sub-zero temperatures. I find it hard enough to take photos in the snow, especially if I’m trying to fiddle with the camera controls. My own efforts at painting watercolours in sub zero (substitute petroleum for water) made me feel a bit sick.

So I take my hat off to the artists who will be showing their works here over the next ten days. I hope you enjoy them, and that you are inspired to go and look for more work by these doughty draftsmen. And women.

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(Click to enlarge, please.)

Shortly after John Young-Hunter’s visit, this Austrian village was almost completely destroyed by an avalanche. One of the more unusual hazards of painting in the snow.

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(Click to enlarge, please.)

John Young-Hunter (American, 1875 – 1955)

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, John Young-Hunter was a portrait, figure, and landscape painter with a highly aristocratic upbringing in England and a career that reached to the American East and Southwest.

He was raised with privilege and extravagance among the cultural elite of London, and close family friends included John Singer-Sargent and Lawrence Alma-Tadema.

John received much recognition for his portrait painting in England, and his paintings were exhibited in the National Tate Gallery in London and the Luxembourg Museum in Paris. From 1900 to 1913, he exhibited at the Royal Academy.

In 1913, he traveled to the United States, pursuing his fascination with American Indians whom he had seen in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show performances in London.

In 1917, he first visited Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Cutting his connections to the European art world, he settled in Taos in 1942 and became a part of the colony of artists around Mabel Dodge Luhan.

He had a home and studio on the eastern edge of town and replaced his painting of society portraits with Indian subjects, landscape, and still life. (Courtesy: AskART).


Life.Turns: Animating a Cast of a Thousand Strangers

Life.Turns poses
(Click this image to see the eight required poses for contributors)

There’s a collaborative animation project gathering momentum at blipfoto during the Edinburgh Festival.

The idea is that thousands of participants upload photos of family and friends one by one, posed in one of eight poses that together make up an animated walk cycle.
The pictures below will make it clear.

life turns. Making an animated film from the images sent in by thousands of people
life turns. Choose one of eight side-on walking poses
life turns. The side view poses will show many different people
life turns. The finished film will be shown at Inspace, Edinburgh, on Thursday the 26th of August and at at

Remember to check out the BlipFoto site on the 26th of August to see the completed film. – Why not join in and send your own side-on view?


Sylvain Chomet’s Sale of Key Drawings at Arludik

Key drawings from The Illusionist

Follow this link to see a gallery of drawings from “The Illusionist”. (You might find that these drawings and paintings move into the tab marked “Artists” when the current exhibition is replaced. Look for the thumbnail image for “L’Illusionniste”)
The site uses Flash, so give up all hope of good navigation. :)

Here’s one of the background layouts that give the film such a strong sense of place.

Key drawings from The Illusionist

Link to Arludik.


A Hundred and One Water Lilies

It’s my daughter Lola’s leaving ball next week, and she decided to make a hundred origami water lilies to hold sweets and goodies at the school tables.

She finished making the hundred tiny folded cups (plus one spare) this morning, and put them on the ironing board, which happens to have a Friesian cow hide pattern.

The result was pure art.

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Move in close on these one inch cups….

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And click the thumbnail images to enlarge them…

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A Research Goldmine at the National Portrait Gallery

A couple of years back, I was having a good old moan about The National Portrait Gallery website, and its pathetically small images.

The good news is that The NPG site has had a complete makeover recently, and you can find large versions of just about all their stock of images. That’s only a part of the changes, however. There are several new sections in the sidebar, and one of the most intriguing developments is the Research section that contains three real gems for keen picture researchers: – Artists Suppliers (1650 – 1950), Frame Makers, and Restorers.

I dived into the Artist Suppliers section to see if I could find any more information about William Orpen‘s brother in law, Jack Knewstub, one of the co-founders of the Chenil Gallery in Chelsea. The gallery also had an artists materials shop that made canvases for painters. The stretchers were marked with a sort of trade mark insignia, in the shape of an artist’s palette.

At the end of the entry for the Chenil Gallery, there’s a link to a website devoted to William Roberts.

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It’s a memorial put together by the William Roberts Society, and it covers just about everything you’d want to know about the vorticist painter. Roberts had once had a one man show at the Chenil. Here’s a link to William Roberts’ entry in Artcyclopedia.

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This photo shows the laying of the foundation stone of the gallery. The bearded bloke holding what looks like a shield is the painter Augustus John, posing with an enormous palette. I would hazard a guess that Jack Knewstub would be in that crowd. He might even be the bare headed chap with his hat under his arm, just to the right of the central pole. I’m wondering if the dapper cove just to his right might possibly be Orpen himself. It wouldn’t be totally illogical. (Click the image to enlarge it, please)
The maquette is a scale model of the completed gallery.

The next digression was provided by a mention of the topographic painter and etcher, Henry Rushbury, on one of the William Roberts pages. Using the ever trusty Artcyclopedia, I was directed to The Arts Museums of San Francisco, and instead of finding works created by Rushbury, I found two etchings of him.
Peering through the horrible Zoomify interface, I was struck by the work of yet another amazing painter (OK:amazing printer) that I had never heard of.

Gerald Leslie Brockhurst 1890 – 1978

Click on this one to get the big picture…
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Henry Rushbury Etching by Gerald Leslie Brockhurst

I suspect that there will soon be an in-depth look at the life and work of Gerald Leslie Brockhurst here on A&T. Until then, I shall be meditating on all the subtle relationships between artists that do not fit the normal patterns of association. Sorry if that sounds poncey, but I’m probing around trying to identify the non structured, day to day random ties that bond artists together, regardless of their other relationships that are defined by place, school, or style.

The National Portrait Gallery’s new informational sections certainly make it easier to discover these surprising artistic relationships, even though they seem on the surface at least, to deal with the tradesmen, craftsmen, and suppliers.

A treasure chest indeed.



A group exhibition in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo, shows this work by Daniel Firman called ‘Wursa, 18,000 kilometers from Earth’.

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(You MUST Click the picture!)

Firmin’s calculations establish that an elephant could balance on the tip of its trunk at 18,00 kilometers from the Earth, though it’s motivations for doing so remain enigmatic to say the least.

Link Link
The taxidermist who made it possible: Jean Pierre Gerard.

Related elephantine post here.
And because elephants never forget, let us also stretch back in time and remember an elephant post from the very first days of Articles and Texticles here.

Art & Design in The British Film # 16: Alfred Junge

Continuing a series about Art Directors in the British film industry up to 1948, when the book containing these articles was published.

This chapter deals with Alfred Junge (1886 – 1964)

‘Asked by friends or relations: “What will you be when you grow up?” my answer was invariably: “I’ll be an artist or a Kaiser.” When the time came there was no great future or demand for
Kaisers and I had to stick to becoming an artist. How wise I must have been in those early days!’

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Jew Seuss 1934 (Click the small pictures to enlarge them, please)
On IMDB, simonstudios from London, England said: This is actually a very sympathetic adaptation of the original novel by Leon Feuchtwanger (who was himself Jewish), and should not be confused with the Nazi travesty of 1940, which was a crude, anti-semitic propaganda vehicle.

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Jew Seuss 1934

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Life & Death of Colonel Blimp 1942

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Contraband 1940

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A Matter of Life And Death

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A Matter of Life And Death

Here’s the full text of the entry for Alfred Junge: Continue reading Art & Design in The British Film # 16: Alfred Junge

Peder Mork Mønsted

The fourth snow themed painting in this series is by a favourite of mine, the Danish artist Peder Mork Mønsted, who lived a long and fruitful life as a painter from 1859 to 1941.

This canvas dates from 1918, and goes to show that a snow scene does not necessarily have to be rendered in blues. It’s all about the light, this one.

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A Winters Day in Charlottenlund 1918

Maybe what I like about his work is that it relates so directly to animation background painting, in that the vast majority of his canvases were devoid of people, and thereby resembled stage sets or backgrounds.
And I just love his middle name.

Here’s a link to Mønsted’s page on ArtCyclopedia, which should get you started in your researches.