Monday, 5 October 2015

B. G. Molyneaux, British printmaker

Reader Tom send me this nice Plodding Miller and Windmill woodblock for confirmation and identification of the printmaker. I was positive I'd seen it before, some time ago, but it took me nevertheless some time puzzling and understanding and reading the signature, go through my archive and find the maker: B.G. Molyneaux (not Molyneux, and yes, I know, when you see it it's easy peasy ........) 

And that's about all I was able to find. In spite of the french connotation it is a British family name since Anglo Saxon times. Molyneaux is the Irish variety or branch and both spellings of course referring to the profession of ancient ancestors in France: Moulin-le Meunier: Mill-the Miller. The name Bernard seems to circulate in the Irish branch and I wonder if this was a one-off by this obscure artist. Maybe a certain British expert can help ? Another copy of this print was sold last year on Ebay. 

And then I happened to remember this print (Dutch, possibly Belgian), no color and because of that maybe not as attractive and appealing, but two artists obviously sharing the same idea around the same time ? Monogrammed J.H. (or J.N.) 

PS: This type of mill was active in England, Belgium and the Netherlands according to Frank Brangwyn's (1867-1956) extensive lithographic treating of this subject. 

All information and help on these prints will be shared and received in gratitude. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Peter, Erna and Lars.

Thank to friendly reader and art dealer Peter I recently was invited to add this butterfly (moth) print to my Women Printmakers collection. It has been some 4 years that I've stumbled over printmaker Erna Fenkohl-Herzer (1882-1975), did some research and shared the results in this Blog (here*).

(Red Underwing, Rotes Ordenband, Catocala nupta) 

Peter Weidlich has an Art Gallery in Glücksburg, near Flensburg on the Danish border, north of Hamburg with a fine and varied (on-line) collection of prints and paintings at reasonable and affordable prices (find his offers here* in German Ebay). 

Swallowtail (Papillo machaon) Linocut print by Lars von Arb and photograph. 

Around the same time the small (14 x 14 cm.)  delicate print, with probably low edition numbers (this one was numbered 6 under the mat) arrived I happened to stumble over these contemporary linocut prints which, Googling, appeared to be created by Suisse artist Lars von Arb (b.1964). This is a good opportunity sharing these today since I like them a lot they and might be an inspiration to other artists and practitioners of the black arts.  

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Six spotted burnet (Zygaene filipendulae) 

Nemo !
(Amphiprion occularis, clown fish, anemone fish)

Familiar and recognizable subjects, bright modern colors and modern designs straight from nature, printed in limited editions of only 10 copies ........... This last one my favorite !  

Danke vielmals Erna, Lars und Peter: alles Bestens.

All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Help !

Reader Justin emailed me from "Down Under" asking me to share this print and ask readers to help identify the maker of this linoleum or woodcut print. He believes it to be Hungarian, considering the previous owners originally came from Hongary and having had the print for a long time. But as everything other then it's original inhabitants is imported in Australia all possibilities are left open. 

A great composition and a lovely combination of colors !

All suggestions are most welcomed !

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Harold Frank Collinson: in Normandy !

Harold Frank Collinson
(Nottingham 1886 - 1955 New York USA) 
British etcher, printmaker and teacher.  

Harold Frank Collinson I've met before in Charles' Modern Printmakers Blog where he wrote enthusiastically about this wonderful woodblock print: Haying in the Vale of Trent. 

And although Charles seems to show another (?) copy with greenish skies (or has the first one been through Photoshop's laundry ?) 

to try and capture poring rain is on the one hand very Japanese ("Shono Haku-U", Driving rain at Shono) by Hiroshige (1795-1958) but .........

there's also the possibility Collinson was a British artist following John Constable (1776-1837) and William Turner (1775-1851) immensely enjoying  to master and capture typical British foul weather.  

You can read most of what is known about Collinson at Charles' Blog, but it wasn't mentioned he'd left his native Nottingham for America in 1940 and lived there until his death in New York in 1955. Collinson is mainly known as an etcher (and a teacher) but thanks to reader Tom here's another woodblock print by him. It came to me without a title. It took me some time but in the end I was able to figure out where it is and what it Collinson is showing us.

It is a view on a bend in river Seine, the ruins of Chateau Gaillard situated on  the steep hill (much like his native Nottingham Castle), the village of les Andelys below and counterbalancing the deep blues of the village and Eglise Saint Sauveur in the shadows in the lower right corner a heavy shower is placed in the upper left corner. Probably created in the 1920-30's ? 

What brought Collinson to Normandy and les Andelys ? 

Maybe he was on holiday or on his way to Paris, following the path and footsteps of perhaps the greatest of all British drawers and painters: William Turner (1775-1851) who also made the climb up the steep hill. 

Turners painting was turned into an etching by master engraver and keeper of the Prints Department of the British Museum in London John Thomas Smith (1766 - 1833). As an etcher Collinson could have been familiar with that print too. On the other hand: Collinson and Turner just happened to have both witnessed a heavy rain shower on the horizon when visiting les Andelys and chateau Gaillard.      

Collinson could also have been on his way to nearby Giverny, on a pilgrimage to Claude Monet's (1840-1926) gardens, just a few miles up-stream. I couldn't find a painting by Monet of  les Andelys but Australian impressionist Emanuel Phillips Fox (1865-1915) was definitely here painting the view from the same hill in wonderful bright pastel colors. 

And Paul Signac (1863-1935) lived and worked in Andelys in 1886 drawing and painting the picturesque village and river Seine slowly flowing to the West. It was here where his fame as a  painter was made.  

Henri Lebasque (1865-1937) a post-impressionist painter also painted from  the same spot where Turner stood before and Collison after him.  

There is mentioning of a woodblock print of Chateau Gaillard by British printmaker Phillip Needell (1886-1974) but I failed finding an example. Maybe there's more to come, maybe they knew each other. But then, I'm not a n expert on British prints or printmakers.      

Within the hour, after just  9 readers so far, thanks to a commenting reader the Phillip  Needell print was delivered to me. Here it is:

(les Petit Andelys and Gaillard Castle ruins seen from the banks of River Seine). 


All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.     

Monday, 7 September 2015

Jorey Hurley: less is more

Jorey Hurley

Less is more 

Can you understand my "Deja Vu" last week finding in a car boot sale this photograph of two resting lapwings in a plowed field in Friesland made by Jan de Vries, longtime photo-journalist associated with the (my) provincial news-paper the "Leeuwarder Courant". 

Some time ago I had stumbled over some pictures that had left a lasting impression in my brain. At first glance I thought them to be modern lino-cut prints (or could be created with block printing) but actually are designs drawn on the computer and printed by Inktjet. They are by California artist-illustrator Jorey Hurley: strong and powerful pictures with a wonderful choice of color. 

I'll show some of my favorites here today catching readers' interest but there are so many great designs I recommend to pay her website a visit: 

"Jorey Hurley studied art history at Princeton, received her law degree at Stanford, and studied design at FIT. She worked as a textile designer for Hable Construction in New York City and is now based in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband and their two small children". 

nest, her debut, was called “stunning” in a starred review from School Library Journal. 

fetch, her second book, was called a “delight” by Publishers Weekly in a starred review. 

hop, her latest book.

All pictures (and C.V.) borrowed freely from Jorey's website this for friendly and promotional use only.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Eve and the serpent: 1896

Eve and the Serpent 

A copy of the original print

This print (in 1896 called a chromo-xylograph) is regarded the first modern woodblock print created in England. The original, I really have no idea how many or how few prints were pulled from the original blocks nor about their where a-bouts, I've found only one copy of it in the internet. 

It was created in 1896 by John Dickson-Batten (1860-1932) and Frank Morley-Fletcher (1866-1949) in a joint effort. Some of the struggle creating it, technical details concerning the method of printing and registering, was revealed by JDB himself in the Studio Magazine in 1896 with this article and the issue also held a "photo-mechanical reproduction" of the print. (Click pictures to embiggen and read: interesting stuff !) 

Taken the Magazines reputation it must have been the best available high quality technical method of reproduction and quite an achievement.

Copy of the Studio print 

I have also no idea how rare this Studio photo-mechanical edition is. How many copies may have survived time ? But I did find this offer in America, wondering about the selling price (?) 

Read more and all about Dickson-Batten and Morley-Fletcher in Charles' Modern Printmakers Blog. He is after all the expert on British printmakers. There's nothing I could wish to add there, but:  

I found these two lovely contemporary computerized designs (said to be) based on illustrations by Dickson Batten for "Celtic Ferry Tales" (1892) but so far I have not been able to find the original illustrations. The book on the shelf (right) seems to have  the name Remark on its back. I wonder which book this was. 

And I found this charming Mermaid printed (with a kind of "Japanese wash" background)  as  a bookplate by Dickson-Batten. I hadn't seen it before. 
(As Charles stated in the comments it was actually created by his brother) 

Batten and Fletcher followed in the footsteps of Auguste Lepère (1849-1918) and Henri Rivière (1864-1851) who just a few years before were the first to try at the Japanese way of printmaking. Here's Lepère with a very Japanese print of his convalescent wife on the Brittany coast. It is 1892 ! 

and here in 1898 in a more traditional way of (European, claire-obscure) printmaking with "Eve Repentant" after the statue of August Rodin. She was published as a print in the Studio in 1898. Its method of reproduction was not given as "photo-mechanical" but as "woodcut in two blocks by A. Lepère after the staue of A. Rodin". Signed in the block lower right: the real thing ?

Studio supplement prints are very sought after and highly collectable prints. The   earliest ones said to be extremely rare. I, however, have no idea concerning their market value of true scarcity but it a lovely print it is. Maybe an expert reader can enlighten me (us).  


All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.  

Visit my renewed Galerie Ondine with nice pre-owned art.

Weekly upload of many nice prints. 
(Both Studio Eve's are available, 
see there for suggestions and conditions)