Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Peter Woolcock was born and raised in Argentina, and worked his passage on a cargo boat to England in 1953 in order to find work as an artist. He went from interview to interview and eventually arrived at the doors of the Amalgamated Press, where, he says, he was seen by the wrong man. Five months later he was persuaded to try them again and was immediately offered work by Leonard Matthews.
He created the frog character 'Anthony Rowley' (named after the Frog who went a-wooing), but the name was changed and, as 'The Funny Tales of Freddie Frog' it began appearing in Jack and Jill in 1954. Woolcock was to draw the strip — with a break in the late 1950s/early 1960s — until 1969. This was not his longest-running strip. In 1955, he drew the hugely popular 'The Wind in the Willows' for Playhour which came to an end a year later. Woolcock revived the character of Mr. Toad in Harold Hare's Own Paper in 1959, and continued to draw that character for Harold Hare's Own and Playhour for 25 years. (Woolcock had drawn an earlier, similar character called Toby Toad for Playhour.)
Woolcock was kept incredibly busy for 38 years, his strips and illustrations appearing in Tiny Tots, Film Fun, Look and Learn, Treasure, Disneyland Magazine, Toby, Dickory Dock and Storyland. He retired from drawing strips in 1987.
Woolcock has lived in England, Spain and, since 1981, in Bermuda where, since 1983, he has become one of the island's leading humour and political cartoonists. Some of his early work has been exhibited at the Bermudan National Gallery and many of his cartoons for the Royal Gazette have been collected in the annual Peter Woolcock's Woppened for many years, the 23rd collection appearing in 2011. He has also illustrated children's books, including The Turtle Who Ate a Balloon (2007) and The Adventures of Bermuda's Toad with One Eye (2008).
Examples of Peter Woolcock's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Stanley Llewellyn Wood was born in Maindee, near Newport, Monmouthshire, in 1867, the son of Stanley James Wood, a cement manufacturer, and his wife Charlotte (nee Atkins). He grew up in Christchurch, Monmouthshire, and travelled with his family to America at the age of 12, where his father had bought a ranch in Indian territory in Kansas. Legend has it that the bodies of the former owners, who had been murdered by a raiding party of braves, were buried in the garden. Soon after James Stanley Wood’s death, the house was surrounded by Ute Indians and, to scare them away, Charlotte had her children put on riding boots and spurs and they tramped up and down the stairs and from room to room, making as much noise as possible. The ruse worked and, believing the house to be heavily occupied, the natives retreated.
Charlotte and her family returned to St. Pancras, London and Wood went on to become a prolific illustrator of newspapers and magazines, including Black and White, Cassell’s Magazine, The Graphic, The Harmsworth Magazine, The Idler, The London Magazine, The Pall Mall Magazine, Pearson’s Magazine, The Penny Magazine, The Sporting and Dramatic News, The Strand Magazine, Wide World Magazine, The Windsor Magazine and Young England. Wood’s magazine and book illustrations included works by Cutcliffe Hyne (Captain Kettle), Dr. Nokola by Guy Boothby and Don Q. by Hesketh Pritchard. As a painter he also exhibited at the Royal Academy.
Wood married Mary Elizabeth Jenkins in Fulham on 21 February 1899. They had three children: Stanley Montague, Henry Lawrence and Jack Steward. The family lived in Palmers Green, Middlesex, where Wood died on 1 March 1928, aged 61. He had been ill for some weeks and, although he could not raise himself from his bed unaided, insisted that he continue working on his final illustration – for a ‘Kettle’ story – with his wife and son supporting him.
Examples of Stanley L. Wood's artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Patrick James Woodroffe was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire in 1940, the son of an electrical engineer. He graduated in French and German at the University of Leeds before an exhibition of his pen and ink drawings selected by surrealist Roland Renrose was staged at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1966. He taught before became a full time artist in 1972, in which year he exhibited his paintings and etchings at the Covent Garden Gallery, London.
His career was boosted when he became a paperback cover illustrator, producing some 90 covers for Corgi Books in 1973-76, many of them in the fantasy and science fiction genres, including novels and collections by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Jack Vance, Mike Moorcock, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein and Brian M. Stableford. In the mid-1970s, he also produced record sleeve covers ranging from Beethoven's Emperor Concerto to Judas Priest's Sad Wings of Destiny. His painting for Dave Greenslade's Time and Tide led to further collaborations, Greenslade producing a double album of music, The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony, which was accompanied by a series of paintings by Woodroffe based on the opening chapters of Genesis. The book was expanded as The Second Earth in 1988.
Woodroffe also collaborated with Mike Batt (better known as the leader of the Wombles pop group) on a musical based on Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark, also released as an album in 1984.
Woodroffe was involved in conceptual deigns for the movie The NeverEnding Story II (1990). He also designed the stage play La Belle et la Bete, performed in Le Havre, France, in 1994, and designed for bronze sculptures that have been cast and installed at the entrance of Le Château de Gruyères in Fribourg, Switzerland.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Woodroffe exhibited widely in France, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and elsewhere. He continues to paint and exhibit, many of his recent works combining fantasy imagery an photographs. Some of his more recent work can be seen in calendars produced by the Swiss publisher, Éditions Gruériennes.
Examples of Patrick Woodroffe's artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Three birth records might be relevant: Edward Woodfall, born 1846 in St. Saviour, Southwark; Francis Edward Tidd Woodfall, born 1847 in Thame; and Edward Woodfall, born 1866 in Kensington, London. Of these, the older Edward died in 1869, aged 22; Francis Woodfall became a clerk on the stock exchange; and the younger Edward Woodfall emigrated to America in around 1886 where he worked as a carpenter.
Examples of Edward Woodfall's original artwork can be found at the Illustration Art Gallery.