Emily Sutton

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This week, I thought I’d share some of the great work created at the hand of illustrator and maker Emily Sutton.

Emily’s printed work incorporates lino cut and screen printing to create memorable images using a bold, “then and now” type of colouring, filled with incredible detail and a lively imagination.

Inspired by folk art of all kinds, Emily is also influenced by 20th century illustrators such as Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious, and the American lithographed children’s books of a similar era.

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Emily uses her illustrative eye in 3D form too, incorporating her love for pattern and detail into these quirky and unusual wooden objects, inspired in part by the weird and the wonderful found in museums and antique shops.

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How about a shoal of fish?

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And how about these fabric birds? I love how she has managed to apply an illustrative effect here, giving some wonderful detail.

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Emily is currently working on illustrations for her own children’s book as well as producing work for various exhibitions- see the “Shows etc” link on her site for details.

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Illustrated Life

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For something a bit different this week, I thought I would share with you some fascinating illustrations that I came across a few weeks ago.

I found “The Complete Encyclopedia of Illustration” by J.G. Heck, in a local cafe – they have a whole wall of books to dive into there and this one caught my eye.

First published in 1851, as “The Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art”, the work was based on one of the finest encyclopedias of its day, the “Bilderatlas” by Friedrich Arnold Brockhaus. It contains over 12,000 black and white engravings, illustrating just about everything a Victorian reader could have possibly imagined. It is separated into ten major sections – Mathematics and Astronomy, Natural Sciences, Geography and Planography, History and Ethnology, Military and Naval Sciences, Naval Sciences, Architecture, Mythology and Religious Rites, Fine Arts, and Technology.

Each single item is painstakingly captured – some fall into dreamlike representations of clouds, birds, and creatures, some show the fascinations and inventions of scientific fervour, and the quest for discovery. As well as finding each illustration totally fascinating, I love the language used to describe each one – the beautiful Latin names that roll off your tongue, and the intriguing descriptions which transport you back to a time of mysterious, yet to be discovered worlds.

As well as providing me with a great moment of tea and inspiration, this book has reminded me to always keep looking and noticing – in times where we feel that all is discovered, it is warming and uplifting to be reminded of the curious beauties, oddities and fascinations in the world, and the depth of human endeavour it has taken, and still takes, to discover and record them.

I hope you enjoy my selections! Click the images to see larger representations.

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Plate 26: Phenomena of clouds and light.

1-9. Phenomena in clouds

10-12. Rainbows

13. Aurora borealis

14. Midnight sun in the polar regions

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Plate 16: Theories of force and gravity; demonstrations of these and other physical laws

Including:

4. Parallelopipedon (yep) of forces

14. Illustrating Varignon’s funicular machine

17, 18. Atwood’s machine for demonstrating the freely falling of bodies

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Plate 92: Members of the orders Anseriformes, Pelecaniformes, Charadiiformes, and Sphenisciformes

Including:

1. Carbo cormoranus, cormorant

7. Anser segetum, bean goose

10. Merges cucullatus, hooded merganser

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Plate 228: Gymnasium and acrobatics

Upper division

1-12. The German gymnasium

Lower division

1-8. Acrobatic feats

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I Want, I Want!

The fire of aspiration, yearning, a leap of the imagination into the undiscovered and unknown. We all need these places of mystery. This well known illustration, “I want! I want”, by William Blake, is one of 18 tiny engravings, published as “For Children: The Gates of Paradise” in 1793. The book documents the course of human life. Etched in intaglio, the work is based on designs Blake drew in his notebook. I love each tiny stroke.