Illustration Art Gallery

The very best from the wide, sometimes overlooked, world of illustration art, including original artwork for book illustrations and covers, comic books and comic strips, graphic novels, magazines, film animation cels, newspaper strips, poster art, album covers, plus superb fine art reproductions and high quality art prints.

Our gallery brings together artists from all over the world and from many backgrounds, including fantasy, horror, romance, science fiction, education, sport, history, nature, technology, humour, glamour, architecture, film & tv, whimsy, even political satire and caricature.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Bruce C. Windo

Bruce C. Windo is an artist who, until now, has resisted discovery. I seem to return to him every couple of years, whenever I spot a book cover or illustration from his pen. Inevitably, new information always seems to come in just too late.

Back in 2009, when I mentioned Windo on my Bear Alley blog, it was a four-line note, the only known information being that he was born in Kent in 1920. An update a year later added a little information but nothing further about his career. I can now add a little more.

Bruce Carrington Windo was born in Kent on 20 March 1920, his birth registered in Strood, although he was probably born in nearby Meopham where his father was the head schoolmaster at Meopham Primary School between 1902 and 1934. Percy Carrington Windo had been born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1871, and married Emily Martin in Bristol in 1895; Percy was a school master in Bath, Avon, but, as his family grew, moved to Singleton, Sussex, where he ran Bay School.

Soon after, Percy and his family moved to Meopham, near Gravesend, Kent, and lived at The School House. Emily died in 1906, at the early age of 39, and Percy married Gertrude Mabel Melling two years later, who had been an organist in Singleton when Percy and Emily were at Bay School.

Percy is said to have been "very talented at handicrafts and drawing and his pupils craftwork reached a high standard." He also served as Parish Clerk. He died in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1955, aged 83; his wife, Gertrude, died in Eastbourne in 1968, aged 93.

Bruce Carrinton Windo presumably gained some of his artistic talents from his father. He was 19 when the Second World War began and, again presumably, would have served in some capacity. Thus his artistic career was delayed until after World War II. The earliest work I have been able to trace would appear to be a poster of a coach advertising Duple Motor Bodies Ltd., signed Carrington-Windo in familiar small capitals. I believe further poster. The syle was very similar to railway poster advertising of the period and, apparently, Windo went on to produce further posters for regional bus companies in the 1950s.

Windo was active as a book cover artist from at least 1947 when a number of covers signed 'Bruce' were published by Pan Books (including Graham Greene's Journey Without Maps, Osbert Sitwell's Alive-Alive Oh! and other stories and at least half a dozen others). 'Bruce' was active in 1947-49, possibly giving up to concentrate on the more lucrative advertising posters.

Examples of his books covers begin to appear again in late 1955 from Panther Books and Windo's covers appeared regularly from Pan Books in 1956-58 and from Arrow Books in 1957-58. His covers could also be seen on pocket libraries in that same era, including Famous Romance Library (1956-58) and Schoolgirls' Picture Library (1959).

Windo's illustrations appeared in Look and Learn magazine as early as 1965 and as late as 1969; he also produced illustrations for World of Wonder and World of Knowledge Annual.

Bruce Carrington-Windo married Peggy Joan Shepherd in 1Q 1948. They lived at various addresses around Eastbourne, Sussex. I can trace the following from telephone books of the area: Flat 2, Castle Mount, Carlisle Road [1951/52], 17 Park Avenue, Hampden Park [1954/59] and 4/13 Granville Road [1976/83].

In later years, the Carrinton-Windos lived in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where Bruce died in 2006, aged 85; his wife died in 2008, aged 86.

Examples of Bruce Windo's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Robert Maguire

Robert Maguire was one of the leading illustrators of American paperback, producing over 600 covers over a period of fifty years from 1950. Many fans consider him the best crime noir artist of his era, his work gracing the cover of pulp magazines Hollywood Detective and Manhunt and books with titles like My Gun, Her Body, I'll Kill You Next, Tall, Dark and Dead and Kiss for a Killer. Hardboiled writers like Bruno Fischer, Hal Ellson, David Goodis, Richard S. Prather, Jack Webb and Day Keene became best-sellers in the 1950s and 1960s, in part thanks to Maguire's eye-catching covers, the majority of them featuring iconic examples of 'good girl art'.

Robert A. Maguire was born on 3 August 1921, the son of a draftsman architect, and attended Duke University, although his education was interrupted by World War II. Released from service with the 88th Infantry, Maguire began studying under Frank Reilly at the Art Students League in New York where two of his contemporaries were Clark Hulings and James Bama, all three artists graduating in 1949.

Maguire found immediate success painting covers for Trojan Publications's line of pulp magazines. Before long he was working for the burgeoning paperback market, over the next few decades producing covers for almost every mainstream publishing company in New York: Pocket Books, Dell, Ace Books, Harper, Avon Books, Silhouette, Ballantine, Pyramid, Bantam, Lion, Berkeley, Beacon and Monarch. During a lull in the paperback market in the 1960s, he worked for Norcross Greeting Card Company painting Christmas scenes and other wholesome subjects...  not a gun or a dame in sight! A chance meeting with Walter Papp (a pulp illustrator who had graduated to book covers) led him back to paperback cover art.

Maguire usually used photo-reference for his covers, posing female models as femmes fatale, whilst often taking the male roles himself; a single trip to shoot three or four rolls of film provided him with enough reference for horses for several years. With no time to read the books, he relied on a brief from the publisher's art director, which usually involved little more than the girls' hair colour and how sensual they wanted the cover. Maguire would then produce five or six sketches, then a colour rough of the chosen image before painting the finished cover, usually in oils.

In the 1970s and 1980s, with the type of hardboiled novels he had illustrated now consigned to history, Maguire turned to other genres, painting covers for romances, westerns and science fiction, as well as best-sellers by the likes of John Irving and Herman Wouk. He quit painting covers around 1999, claiming that publishers now wanted paintings that looked like photographs and the choice of images was ruled over by salesmen and second rate art directors, offering nothing of interest creatively.

Robert Maguire was married twice, first to a model, whom he subsequently divorced; his second marriage, to Janice Maguire, lasted over twenty years. He died on 26 February 2005. A study of his work, Dames, Dolls and Gun Molls by Jim Silke, was published in 2009.

Examples of Robert Maguire's cover art can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sue Macartney-Snape

Sue Macartney-Snape has been poking fun at British stereotypes for over fifteen years in the pages of the Saturday Telegraph Magazine. With pin-sharp commentary by Victoria Mather, she has skewered fanciful fashions and foibles since 1994 in their weekly 'Social Stereotypes' column. John Julius Norwich has described her as a "master of caricature" and has said that her paintings "illustrate the English social scene more brilliantly and with greater accuracy than those of any other painter working today." Cartoonist Martin Rowson has said her artwork "can encapsulate an entire social milieu in a drooping eyelid or a flared nostril." Elsewhere she has been described as the "Wodehouse of Art".

Born in Tanzania, Sue Macartney-Snape grew up in Australia, arriving in London in 1980. She has exhibited widely, including sell out exhibitions with David Ker, Jonathan Clark and at the Sloane Club. She has also painted many commissions, including ones from Glyndebourne, The Metropolitan Opera and Barbara Amiel (Mrs. Conrad Black).

She won the 2004 Pont Award for drawing the British Character for her funny, colourful caricatures of folks from all walks of life, which have been collected in a series of books over the years. Another book, Araminta's Wedding, was a humorous story of the upper classes by Jilly Cooper.

Original prints of artwork by Sue Macartney-Snape can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.


Araminta's Wedding; or, A Fortune Secured by Jilly Cooper. London, Mandarin, 1994.
Social Steriotypes series (all with Victoria Mather):
__Absolutely Typical, foreword by Auberon Waugh. London, Methuen, 1996.
__Absolutely Typical Too, foreword by Richard Ingrams. London, Methuen, 1997.
__The Party Blonde, foreword by Nicky Haslam, London, John Murray, 2000.
__The Embarrassing Parents, foreword by Nicholas Coleridge. London, John Murray, 2002.
__The Appalling Guests, foreword by Max Hastings. London, John Murray, 2003.
__The Perfect Family, foreword by Ned Sherrin, London, John Murray, 2004.
__The Mid-Life Crisis, foreword by Graydon Carter. London, John Murray, 2005.
__The Smelly Dog, foreword by Julian Fellowes. London, John Murray, 2006.
__The Wicked Teenager, forward by Giles Brandreth. London, John Murray, 2007.
__There'll Always be an England. London, Constable, 2010.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sydney Seymour Lucas

Sydney Seymour Lucas was an illustrator and portrait painter, the son of artist J. Seymour Lucas, R.A. (1849-1923) and his wife, also an artist, Paris-born Marie Elizabeth, daughter of Louis Dieudonne de Cornelissen (1851-1921), then living at 21 Queen Square. Born Sydney Charles Seymour Lucas on 9 May 1878, he was baptized at St John the Evangelist, Westminster, on 1 June 1878. In the 1880s, the family moved to 1 Woodchurch Road, St. John, West Hampstead, a purpose-built studio and home designed by John Seymour Lucas's friend, the architect Sydney Williams-Lee.

Lucas was educated in Suffolk (in 1891, he was boarding with James George Easton, vicar of St Margaret's Church, Ilkeshall St Margaret), Westminster School (1892-95) and at the Royal Academy Schools, and began selling illustrations professionally around the turn of the century (some references give the dates his work flourished as 1904-40).

Lucas was married in 1905 to Mary Douglas Clark. By 1911, Lucas and his family, which now included a son, Arthur Henry Seymour-Lucas, born in 1908, were living at 61 Rudolph Road, Bushey, Hertfordshire. Mary Douglas Seymour-Lucas died, in 1933, at the early age of 48 at the time, the Lucas family were living at 64 Falconer Road, Bushey.

Lucas worked at 6 Albert Studios, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea, in 1934. His younger sister, Marie Ellen Seymour Lucas (later Grubbe), also studied as an artist.

Lucas died in Blyth, Sussex, in 1954, aged 76.

Artwork by Sydney Seymour Lucas can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.