Friday, 27 January 2012

something old, something new #1

Hello and happy Friday!  I hope whatever you're up to and where ever you are you've had a good day so far, and have exciting/relaxing weekend plans to look forward to.  

One of the things I want to share on my blog is my love for illustration, particularly children's books; since having children I've realised what a huge influence picture book illustrations have been on me and my taste in art and design.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of my favourite books from childhood back from my Mum when I had M (now 6), including Two Can Toucan by David McKee, which is the first book I ever remember actually reading for myself.  Looking at it now, it feels like a masterpiece of line and colour, and I can see why I love the designers and artists that I do when this was what my young developing mind was fed!

it's hard to choose which pages to share, they're all so fabulous, but here's another of my favourites: 

I guess these wonderful illustrations were later considered dated and unfashionable, because a new edition of the same book came out a few years later with new illustrations, also by David McKee but not (in my opinion) nearly so special! 

I have such a great collection of vintage children's picture books, sometimes I have to remind myself to look at new books coming out now for the kids, as there are some really great contemporary illustrators out there.  My latest discovery is Patrick Hruby, who is similar to early David McKee in that he combines really bright, saturated colours with black and white to a really striking effect:

I don't know if this is just me, but I actually salivate when I look at his pictures, those colours are so bright and juicy!  I was lucky enough to get a slightly damaged copy of his ABC is for Circus book cheap on Ebay for R (2), it's out of print so pricey now but hopefully they'll do another print run soon, it's on AMMO books who do some really gorgeous stuff.

I must admit I have a real soft spot for the hand drawn quality of the David McKee illustrations, and I find some contemporary images created on computers a bit too 'clean' and sterile, but I really love how Patrick Hruby's illustrations suggest magical worlds that I would love to visit.  Wouldn't you love to live in this house?


I've had some great fabric delivered this week and my partner's got some time off next week, so he'll be taking our little one out on Tuesday and I've got a date with my sewing machine - cushion covers here we come, got a couple of commissions that need making, and some playing to do just for the love of it.  

Have a lovely weekend, I've got a busy one planned so might not manage another post till Monday, though if inspiration hits I'll do my best to share it with you. 

Rachel x


  1. Errol's favourite is the city scape. Your blog is so much more inspiring than watching "Take Me out" on a saturday night!

  2. thanks Cath! I'm really enjoying having a space to put all the images that I love and the words that they inspire, my head feels a lot less full and busy now! Also lovely to be able to reframe all my internet 'timewasting' as 'work'! Rach x


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