5 December 2013
CIA's dashingly debonair print maker, Chris Brown, is offering up his fine wares to the gift-giving public at rather inviting prices. Including prints from several of his recent illustrated books, they're really rather beautiful and mostly stocking sized. Get there early to avoid disappointment!
4 December 2013
As anyone who's been to his Florence museum knows (and that means us at CIA, we are SOOO cultured) it doesn't get much more glamorous than the Italian heel maestro Salvatore Ferragamo, shoe designer to Monroe, Hepburn and Loren. In the 1920's he spent time in Los Angeles and was inspired by Southern California.
Well, you're not anyone these days unless you've done a pop-up and Tim Marrs was invited to create an artwork inspired by one of Ferragamo's pieces to be displayed at a Beverly Hills store during a black tie gala evening hosted by some nobody called Robert Redford and an apparent hanger-on called Brad something-or-other.
Tim's interpretation of the Ferragamo bracelet seen in it's original form in the separate post below, is woven into the Californian landscape that served as Salvatore's muse and is an inspiring work of art in it's own right.
29 November 2013
Our friends at Faber & Faber have launched a new imprint, Faber Fine Press, showcasing collaborations between writers, typographers, print-makers and artists. Poetry Broadsides is a small collection of limited edition prints marrying a piece of poetry with an illustrative interpretation thereof and we're very happy to see our very own Jonathan Gibbs creating some beautiful woodcut art to accompany Woods etc. by Alice Oswald. Take a closer look here.
28 November 2013
Well look no further! If it's capes and spandex you're after then Maria Raymondsdotter is the illustrator for you with these articulate (geddit?) Batman and Cat Woman illustrated puppets created for an exhibition in Århus, Denmark.
25 November 2013
19 November 2013
Breathing some character and charm into a thorny and highly technical subject like the HS2 rail link is no easy brief. But that's the beauty of illustration, especially when Simon Spilsbury's on board and even more so when CIA's lofty animation crew 12foot6 are involved.
Commissioned by AMV BBDO, the project needed a softer edge to its presentation to convince politicians and journalists that the HS2 rail link is a truly professional and responsible solution to propagate Britain's economic growth. Even when drawing civic architecture Simon's work is full of personality and this combination of revealed line and animated line draws you into the debate.
A development sketch below, but click here to see the thing in motion...
18 November 2013
1 November 2013
Here at CIA Towers we're very excited about our new arrival! Jonny Wan has joined our ranks and we look forward to showing you his amazing work in his brand new CIA folio right here… A rather colourful end to the week!
30 October 2013
Chris Brown has created this beautiful linocut to coincide with a forthcoming exhibition of work by Edward Bawden at Jennings Fine Art. The print recalls a visit that Chris made, with Edward, to the Cornish landmark in 1983 and while we wouldn't usually post such a long piece of text, Chris Brown's account of the experience is so fascinating, we didn't want to cut it down, read if you'd like to, otherwise simply enjoy a beautiful artwork.
Roche Rock stands like an island rising out of a sea of bracken, heather and gorse with it’s ruined chapel seamlessly blending into the rock on which it’s built. Little has changed since I first visited it with Edward in the summer of 1983. Though if my memory serves me well we parked a little closer.
It was a stark contrast to the China Clay pits only a few miles away, (which was also a subject we painted that trip). The landscape there appeared almost alien, blinding white craters with pools of livid green water. Man had also left his mark on the landscape, rusting pieces of machinery and corrugated iron huts. Apart from Edward and myself the only living things we spotted were hoards of froglets migrating from the pool and the occasional buzzard soaring high above, a black shape against a bright blue sky.
Edward knew what he wanted to paint that year – St Ewe church with its exotic palm filled graveyard, the clay pits and Roche Rock. We did however discover another subject, that of Poads Farm nestling beneath the china clay “mountains”.
A brother and sister well into their eighties lived there, without electricity or gas and I’m not sure they even had running water.
As with all his subjects Roche was “stalked” by Edward. We would arrive carrying our materials, sketching stools, flask of coffee, a packet of fig rolls, clamber over the stile, wade through the undergrowth and settle down to a morning’s sketching. Walking round trying to find the best viewpoint, he might perch on a boulder and quickly sketch, turn the paper over move on to another view and continue until he found the perfect spot. Then paper firmly held by bulldog clips to his board he would refine the initial sketch and start to paint. Roche was an ideal subject, romantic yet not “picturesque”, with the rocks and foliage allowing him to explore patterns within nature. I struggled with my efforts, Edwards work confident and relaxed mine stilted and hesitant.
During our coffee break we looked at our mornings work, Edward was encouraging and gave me much needed advice “an artist shouldn’t try for very similitude”.
Returning home after a days sketching to Mrs. Collins B&B in St Ewe we would reflect on the days work. Edward welcomed my comments though often I felt ill equipped to pass judgment. It wasn’t until he returned home to Park Lane, Saffron Walden that Shelia Robinson would pass her critical eye and offer comments on his paintings. It was she among all his friends whose views he respected and advice he sought.
A couple of years later Edward was asked by the Folio Society to illustrate “The Hound of the Baskervilles”. He was reluctant to accept the commission but I encouraged him, suggesting another trip to Cornwall to inspire him. He became excited by the prospect and even bought a deerstalker, (which he can be seen wearing in my print of Roche Rock). Although the rock itself doesn’t appear in any of his illustrations the landscape does, he illustrates the line “our friend Sir Henry, and the lady halted on the path” heavy clouds fill the top third of the image and Watson hides behind an enormous boulder one which I well recognise from our visits to Roche.
Christopher Brown October 2013.