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by Royston

Chris Burke to talk at illustrators group

January 25, 2010 in General

Detail from Norwich, created for Ottakar’s bookshops by Chris Burke

PCOer Chris Burke is guest speaker at the Brighton Illustrators Group meeting on 28th January. His talk takes place at the Eagle pub, 125 Gloucester Rd, at 8pm. Chris tells us what he has planned:

I’ll be taking an illustrated canter through 25 years of doodling. I’ll start by explaining why I gave up a perfectly good job as an art director in advertising. I swapped what Orwell called “rattling a stick in a bucket of swill” for the gilded life of a pencil squeezer.

I shall lightly glide over the following year which I spent in Penury (for you non-Londoners that’s between Camberwell and Streatham) then on to my Damascene journey to the West of Ireland where I came back with a pile of drawings and something verging on a style.

At this point, providing not too many people have been carried out in a narcoleptic coma I’ll recount my charmed life as a lucky bastard, how my first two jobs were for the Radio Times and Penguin books.

The second half, provided the paramedics don’t have stretchers piled in the narrow stairwell of this ancient public house at this point, will mainly be about Ottakar’s Bookshops and my part in their downfall. Cursed with more good fortune, I could draw pretty much what I wanted in the huge shop murals for each town.

I can only remember having to change three of about eighty or so pictures: Norwich, above, where someone mistook Kazuo Ishiguro for Ronnie Corbett; Slough, where I depicted Sir John Betjeman flying through the clouds with the words of his famously friendly poem extruding from his rear; and finally Weston-super-Mare, where I portayed their Baron, a lovely bloke called Jeffrey Archer.

Alas those days of endless work are now gone, sic transit … talking of which, did someone call an ambulance?

LINK: Brighton Illustrators Group

by Royston

Major illustration show opening

November 9, 2009 in General

The Chris Beetles Gallery’s annual illustrators show opens in London this weekend (November 14 and 15).

More than 1,000 original pieces of original artwork, from 1800 to present day, will be on display in The Illustrators 2009. Many of the artists included in the selling exhibition are household names, from Arthur Rackham to John Tenniel to E.H. Shepard to Quentin Blake.

The exhibition includes many cartoonists, such as John Jensen, (Old Flame, 1954, from Lilliput magazine, above) Matt Pritchett, Peter Brookes, H.M. Bateman, Rowland Emett, Giles and Gerard Hoffnung.

A major addition to the roster this year is the work of caricaturist Robert Sherriffs whose stylish line work, seen in the above cartoon of Clark Gable, was commissioned by Punch to bring the excitement of Hollywood film to readers during the 1950s. The exhibition also includes a new selection from the estate of Norman Thelwell.

The gallery is hoping for a big success with the exhibition in the run-up to Christmas, pointing out that this is an accessible and affordable sector of the art market, as more than 80 per cent of the pictures on sale cost less than £2,000.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a catalogue with 200 pages of essays and notes, and more than 400 full-colour images. It will be available from the gallery for £15 plus £3 postage.

The Chris Beetles Gallery, at 8 and 10 Ryder Street, St James’s, London (nearest Tube Green Park or Piccadilly Circus) is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5.30pm. The gallery’s website can be found at

by Royston

Exhibition: The Illustrators 2008

November 19, 2008 in General

The Chris Beetles Gallery in London is currently hosting a show entitled The Illustrators 2008 .

The annual show features work by illustrators and cartoonists, such as Quentin Blake, left, from 1800 to the present day. It runs until January 3.

The gallery says that the exhibition, which features more than 1,000 pictures, is the world’s largest selection of original illustrative artwork for sale. Accompanying the exhibition will be a 140-page catalogue which contains biographies, notes and 342 illustrations. It is priced £15. The Chris Beetles Gallery is at 8 & 10 Ryder St, St James’s, London. Telephone: 020-7839 7551.

The website can be found at

The PCO: Great British cartoon talent

PCO Artist of the Month – Dave Gaskill

March 14, 2008 in General

A second offering of cartoon, illustration and caricature from PCO Artist of the Month – Dave Gaskill. Bloghorn says click G for Gaskill
British cartoon talent