On Wednesday, I went to London in search of the work of several illustrators- and I was not disappointed!
London was particularly beautiful in the bright sunshine - and SO hot- as I made my way along the edge of Green Park, past the Ritz (I didn't think they'd let me in!) towards Bury Street where the Illustration Cupboard can be found.
My reason for visiting was The Enchanting World of Shirley Hughes exhibition. The charm and innocence of her illustrations make her work instantly recognisable and the chance to see a roomful of her pictures was just too good to miss!
There was a delightful range of pictures- I'd have happily bought the lot! Not able to do that, I had to content myself with signed copies of two of her books.
'A Brush With the Past' is the most beautiful book, full of double spread paintings depicting snapshots of life from 1900-1950. A picnic by the river, a mug of tea in a trench, coffee in Paris are just a few of the scenes shown. Each colour spread involves a meal of some sort, but the focus is on the drama of the occasion, not what is being eaten. Black and white pages between the colour ones contain notes and sketches giving further information about the time. This is a fabulous book which deserves lots of time and attention!
The other book I bought was 'A Life Drawing: Reflections of an Illustrator'. Full of photographs, sketches, doodles and paintings , this is another gorgeous book which I am really looking forward to reading. Starting with Shirley's childhood-I have to begin with comics.- the book is a personal history which shares her passion and love for art. It is one of those books that is really special and will come off the shelf time and time again!
I left The Illustrated Cupboard very happy and set of in search of my next adventure in illustration!
A Life Drawing by Shirley Hughes
Bodley Head ISBN: 978-0370326054
A Brush With the Past: 1900-1950 The Years that Changed Our Lives
by Shirley Hughes
Bodley Head ISBN: 978-0370328393