Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Module 2:2 Artists in black and white. NORMAN THELWELL

For assignment two we are first asked to collect some black and White images of paintings or artworks that we like and write a short section about them. I have chosen three artists whose work is often shown in black and white, they do also work in colour but I am concentrating on their black and White imagery for this write up. Two of them are artists who I have loved the work of for the whole of my life, this assignment provides me with the perfect excuse to spend some time looking at their pictures!

The third artist works in another medium and I could get lost in her work all day, it is very inspiring and unusual, completely different from the pen and ink drawings of the first two and not as full of fun in an obvious sense, however I think you will find the overall concept of her work to be quite amusing.

I am first going to talk about Norman Thelwell. His work famously shows countryside pursuits and his most famous collection is of course his ponies and the determined little girls who accompany them.

Since childhood I have been obsessed with Thelwells ponies. Indeed when my sister and I were children we, and many of the girls in our village learned to ride on ponies identical in stature and with a naughty, crafty, sometimes bewildered nature.

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We would spend hours cajoling them through such hair raising pursuits as walking past a crisp packet in a hedge or over a drain cover, quite ofetn in torrential rain! We would then cling on for dear life as they dictated the pace and direction over open countryside, usually in the direction of food!

After they had been tucked up in their warm stables munching on their stuffed hay nets Suzie and I would be sprawled on our stomachs in front of the fire tongues sticking out, deep in concentration, scribbling and copying the pictures out of our many Thelwell books, the taste of a thawing hot chocolate lingering in our mouths.

Thelwells illustrations are highly commercial and feature on a great many household objects. These we would desire and if obtained they would be highly prized, in fact they still are! And I am lucky that my children have all inherited the same love of horses, we do not yet own a Thelwell style pony ( I am hoping my daughter will pester us into that in a few years!) but the boys all learned to ride on mischievous fat little ponies when they were younger and appreciate the drawings and humour of Thelwells drawings.

With regards to the actual illustrations they are drawn in pen and ink and do not have any different tones of grey as such but shaded areas are illustrated by crosshatching. The scenes have plenty of movement and you can almost feel how bouncy those ponies would be even if they are round little barrels!

I am sure that my love of horses and riding, a pursuit that has stayed with me as a lifelong passion, was enhanced and romanticised by the illustrations of Thelwell and during moments of extremely stubborn behaviour or torrentially wet and freezing weather I can imagine how this would look in pen and ink. Thelwell style. So I fix my face with the same dogged determination as the little girls and Sally forth!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I would have loved to have been a little girl on a fat little pony! As it was, I just enjoyed the cartoons, (and copious horsey books) - he was a superb draughtsman!