Wednesday 31 July 2013

'The Magpie; Pica Pica'

'The Magpie; Pica Pica', a drawing by JVL done on a computer 10 March 1987. 
The only one I have drawn on a computer and it doesn't look very much like a magpie!

'The Squirrel and the Crow'

'The Squirrel and the Crow' an illustration by JVL of a poem by Wendy Cope, 
for one of the 'Prospero Poets' series for Clarion Press, 1994.

Tuesday 30 July 2013

The Rising Cadence of the Interrogative and Fingers

The Rising Cadence of the Interrogative and Fingers,  a notebook drawing by JVL, November 2008.

Monday 29 July 2013


'Yellow', a double-page spread from JVL's notebook, July 2004.
It is a nonsense essay upon the colour yellow, referring to daffodils.

Sunday 28 July 2013

'Caps and Rabbits'

'Caps and Rabbits', a drawing by JVL, 1976.
The top left shows JVL as a cuckoo clock.

Saturday 27 July 2013

'HCE and Shem the Penman' A notebook drawing by JVL, 1 July 2011.

I have been using these Alwych notebooks since 1968, I see that I bought this notebook in 1980, costing £1.15. Today they cost £6.20. I have bought enough to last the rest of my life unless I live to 100! I couldn't do without them!

Lord's Café Glossop

Lord's Café Glossop, a drawing by JVL, a corner of his father's café, in a student sketchbook of 1958
Today, the 27th of July, is my father's birthday, born in 1904 and died in 1972.

Friday 26 July 2013

Thursday 25 July 2013

'The Owl and the Pussy-cat with pig'

'The Owl and the Pussy-cat with pig', an illustration by JVL for The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear, Jonathan Cape, 1984.

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will'.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Elephant insects

Elephant insects, an illustration by JVL from Lewis Carroll's  Through the Looking-Glass
Artists' Choice Editions, 2011.

Looking-Glass Insects

Of course the first thing to do was to make a grand survey of the
country she was going to travel through. 'It's something very like
learning geography,' thought Alice, as she stood on tiptoe in hopes
of being able to see a little further. 'Principal rivers -- there ARE
none. Principal mountains -- I'm on the only one, but I don't think
it's got any name. Principal towns -- why, what ARE those
creatures, making honey down there? They can't be bees -- nobody
ever saw bees a mile off, you know -- ' and for some time she stood
silent, watching one of them that was bustling about among the
flowers, poking its proboscis into them, 'just as if it was a regular
bee,' thought Alice.
     However, this was anything but a regular bee: in fact it was an
elephant -- as Alice soon found out, though the idea quite took her
breath away at first. 'And what enormous flowers they must be!'
was her next idea. 'Something like cottages with the roofs taken off,
and stalks put to them -- and what quantities of honey they must
make! I think I'll go down and -- no, I won't JUST yet, ' 

Tuesday 23 July 2013

The Duodenum and Pancreas

The Duodenum and Pancreas, a drawing by JVL done as a student at Salford Art College in 1959.
It is based on an engraving found in a book of anatomy but I wouldn't vouch for its accuracy!

Sunday 21 July 2013

The Ass Eating Thistles

'The Ass Eating Thistles', an illustration by JVL in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989, page 64.

Here is the fable, as told by Charles Draper in 1760.

The Ass Eating Thistles
AN Ass, loaded with provisions, meeting with some Thistles, began to devour them with much greediness. In the midst of his coarse repast he said thus: The provisions I carry cannot seem more exquisite to delicate palates, or more agreeable to their appetite, than this harsh thistle is to me.

Moral: One person’s meat is another person’s poison.

Text: Charles Draper (116, 1760).
Selected parallels: Babrius 133. Chambry 280. Perry 360.

Saturday 20 July 2013

A Vole Brain in Formaldehyde and a Sing Knot

'A Vole Brain in Formaldehyde and a Sing Knot', a drawing by JVL, June 2005.

This was a drawing done for Brian Love, a gift for his retirement. Brian was for many years in charge of Illustration at Kingston University.

Monday 15 July 2013

Still life on a table

Still life on a table, a drawing by JVL when a student at The Central School of Arts and Crafts, 1960.

Friday 12 July 2013

Portrait sketches of Peter Bailey

Two sketches by JVL of the illustrator, teacher and friend - Peter Bailey, in a notebook of 1968.

Tuesday 9 July 2013

JVL's studio desk

JVL's studio desk on the 7th of November in 2007; 
the last time I got down to sorting out my art materials and equipment!

Monday 8 July 2013

'A Dog who was afraid of the Rain'

'A Dog who was afraid of the Rain', an illustration by JVL in Aesop's Fables, Jonathan Cape, 1989.

This is the 60th fable to be found in Roger L'Estrange's Fables and Storyes Moralized. Being a Second Part of The Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists, &c, London, Printed for R. Sare at Grayes-Inn-gate in Holbourn, 1699, page 53.

Here is Roger L'Estrange's text, with spelling and other idiosyncrasies in tact:

The Dog who was Afraid of the Rain
IT was observ’d in a Family with all Sorts of Dogs in’t, that one Curr among the rest would never be gotten out of the House in Rainy Weather. His Fellows took Notice of it; and would never let him be quiet till he told them the Meaning on’t: which, in short was This: I was terribly scalt once, a great while ago, and I have been afraid of Water, says he, ever since. His Companions told him he talk’d like a Fool, for Rain-water was Cold, and there could be no Danger in it. Well well! Says he, let it be Hot, or let it be Cold, ’tis Water still; and how shall I know whether it be the one or the other, till I feel it? And by That time, it will be too late to prevent the Mischief.

Moral:  It is folly to fear something without a proper cause but it is wise to be wary when there is reasonable ground for it.

Text: Roger L’Estrange (2/60, 1699).

Thursday 4 July 2013

'An Old Man of Berlin'

'An Old Man of Berlin',  an illustration by JVL in The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear
Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reissued in 2012, page 57.

There was an Old Man of Berlin,
Whose form was uncommonly thin;
Till he once, by mistake, was mixed up in a cake,
So they baked that Old Man of Berlin.
Edward Lear

Wednesday 3 July 2013

'A Young Lady from Russia'

'A Young Lady from Russia', an illustration by JVL in The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear
Jonathan Cape, 1984 and reissued in 2012.

There was a Young Lady of Russia,
Who screamed so that no one could hush her;
Her screams were extreme, no one heard such a scream,
As was screamed by that lady of Russia.
Edward Lear

Tuesday 2 July 2013

'An Old Person of Newry'

'An Old Person of Newry', an illustration by JVL in The Nonsense Verse of Edward Lear, 
Jonathan Cape 1984, and reissued in 2012.

There was an Old Person of Newry
Whose manners were tinctured with fury;
He tore all the rugs, and broke all the jugs
Within twenty miles' distance of Newry.
Edward Lear

Monday 1 July 2013

A garden design

A garden design; an illustration from a gardener's plan for the magazine House Beautiful,
 drawn some time in the 1960s. A pretty dull garden design in my opinion! 
This was a typical 'jobbing illustrator' commission at this time.