Thursday, 13 November 2008


Writing about the work of cartoonist, Giles, the other day, reminded me that the pictures of his I always loved the best were those featuring snow scenes at which the artist particularly excelled - mainly because he never painted snow scenes, he simply drew or painted the bits where there wasn't snow!

At the opening of The Cartoon Museum's exhibition, Giles - One of the Family, I was looking at the original artwork for this 1956 album cover...

"No artist," I remarked, "has ever equaled Giles' ability to depict snow."

"Except, perhaps," commented Geoffrey Beare, Chairman of The Imaginative Book Illustration Society, "Pieter Bruegel..."

And, of course, he's absolutely right!


The exhibition, Giles - One of the Family continues at The Cartoon Museum until 15 February 2009.

Giles cartoons © British Cartoon Archive & Express Syndication


Boll Weavil said...

I hadn't noticed Giles NOT drawing snow before but you're absolutely right. The skill lies in the depiction of other objects affected by enough snow to convince us that there is sufficent for nothing at all to be visible where the page is blank.And he does it ! The abundance would cause problems to us but his characters are so embued with the post-war spirit of survival that they carry on regardless. This makes the more conventional view at the bottom still pretty but without soul by comparison.

Brian Sibley said...

Of course poor old Bruegel couldn't get away with leaving the canvas blank where the snow-covered roofs ought to be!

Boris Hiestand said...

absolutely gorgeous illustrations. Reminds me of my childhood winters in Holland. Ice skating and hot pea soup! brrrrrrrr

Brian Sibley said...

It's not just the snow, it's those heavy, leaden skies.

I like pea soup, too, by the way... :-)