Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Raymond Sheppard and ICI Magazine

ICI Magazine February 1951

Recently a copy of an ICI Magazine came up on eBay which led to me being able to get copies/photocopies of some more artwork by Raymond Sheppard and to be able to pin down where and when they appeared. Christine Sheppard's cuttings files of her father's work contained all those below and I have not found any more despite ploughing through a lot of copies.

Wikipedia tells us that:
In the 1920s and 30s, the company [Imperial Chemical Industries - ICI] played a key role in the development of new chemical products, including the dyestuff phthalocyanine (1929), the acrylic plastic Perspex (1932),[4] Dulux paints (1932, co-developed with DuPont), polyethylene (1937), and polyethylene terephthalate fibre known as Terylene (1941). In 1940, ICI started British Nylon Spinners as a joint venture with Courtaulds. 
The "house organ" as the internal works magazines/papers were called in the day,  ICI Magazine ran from January 1928 to August 1939. It then continued in 1947 after the war until 1987 when the name changed to The Roundel which ended in 1993. Why The Roundel? That's explained in the first issue in 1987

 Which brings us to our masthead., The ICI Magazine now is to be called The Roundel. Why? Because this reflects more accurately the image of ICI and therefore its flagship magazine.

The rather well produced magazine shows people in different branches of the company at home and abroad - even one "Mr Sheppard" (no relation as far as I know) having to move his leadership of the China operation to Hong Kong after the Communists took over! There are articles on the history of separate companies that went to make up ICI, there are well-written chemical explanations, as well as cartoons and, as time goes on, articles on employees' hobbies. My primary interest is in the illustrator and their illustrations. It's obvious ICI spent money on this magazine hiring many names of the day as well as using employees' artwork (I'll blog lots of interesting art on my other blog soon)

ICI Magazine September 1947
"Silver birches in Ashdown Forest" by "courtesy of The Times"

The first illustrated by Raymond Sheppard, which I have found, is in September 1947 on pages 210-213. The article, written by "E.F.Wood (Dyestuffs Division Blackley)" is called "Butterflies and Moths". I have reproduced the whole article from a scanned PDF so please forgive the resolution

ICI Magazine September 1947, pp210-211

ICI Magazine September 1947, pp212-213
There's no caption for the first full page in black and white with one colour used for the butterfly in amongst flowers.  But the three other illustrations' captions read: "Found...the caterpillar is stroked by the ant"; "Off to the brood chamber"; "A beautiful blue butterfly crawls through dark passages into a world of sunshine and flowers"
ICI Magazine February 1951
"Seagulls at Polzeath" by Miss E. Atkins

The next of our Raymond Sheppard illustrated features in ICI Magazine February 1951, (pp 61-63) in an article by J. M. Blackwood, who apparently worked in the "Southern Region". He writes lovingly about his hobby of "Bird watching from my window"

ICI Magazine February 1951, p61

ICI Magazine February 1951, p62

ICI Magazine February 1951, p63

The first illustration shows a tit being cjhased by a Nuthatch and then pages 62 and 63 read "There was a Bluetit ...who tried to drive off the other birds"; "The Great tit visited the board next"; "The Nuthatch pickaxed away until he got them all out";  "The only other visitor for a while was the Missel Thrush". Here we can see Sheppard's years of study put to good use - it's very unlikely anyone would find a reference photo of the first illustration! Also his two books on drawing birds first published by The Studio Publications show his skills in construction and execution of bird drawings.

ICI Magazine March 1956
"The Rohtang Pass" by M. J. Hackney
The last example in ICI Magazine of Sheppard's art is in March 1956, so long gaps between assignments perhaps reflecting the publicity department's need to use their budget amongst various contributors - including their employees who contributed. This is the copy I own, bound in a volume, thus the slight cropping on the right hand side!

ICI Magazine March 1956, p.74

"Birds of the Tees Estuary" is written by Charles W. Armstrong, (Billingham Division) and when one realises that the Billingham Division was based in Stockton-on-Tees, this is obviously by a local worker and enthusiast who must have been extremely proud to see Sheppard illustrating his few words!The six birds shown are Cormorant, Curlew, Herring Gull, Dunlin, Oystercatcher, and Mallard

So having read through all of the available online versions and many at the British Library I still haven't seen every issue so there may be more out there of Sheppard's work for the ICI Magazine

I must say a huge thank you and promote the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre (Mersey Road,  Widnes, Cheshire WA8 0DF Telephone 0151 420 1121) and highlight Paul Meara who provided so much information to me which I shall use in a later article on my other blog and Judith (sorry I don't have your surname - get in touch and let me rectify that) who started me on this journey by being so helpful. Judith is a volunteer archivist at Discovery Centre, which she tells me is "The very building where John Brunner and Ludwig Mond (two of ICI founders) first met in the 1860s!" You can also find these lovely people on Facebook and I also learned they are winners of the Chemicals Northwest ‘Charity of the Year Award’ 2016 and as if that's not enough Winner of the Chemical Industries Association ‘Reputation Award’ 2016. Next time I'm up that way, I'll certainly call in and say a personal thank you.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Raymond Sheppard and Look and Learn

Everbody's 16 June 1956 p.19
Raymond Sheppard passed away in 1958. In the first issue of Look and Learn, that famous children's educational magazine/comic, published from Monday, 15 January 1962 to 17 April 1982, there were two pieces of art by Sheppard, that I know of!

Look and Learn #1
© 2005-2018 Look and Learn - All rights reserved
In Steve Holland's fascinating Look and Learn A History of the Classic Children's Magazine (2006 - available via the Look and Learn site), he says:
This opening spread included the first illustration to appear in the paper, drawn by the renowned wildlife artist Raymond Sheppard. 

© 2005-2018 Look and Learn - All rights reserved

Not really being aware of Look and Learn until I was a bit older, I missed this, until recently when some nice person scanned the comic so I can show you the artwork in question. But this led me to asking myself some questions! Some of this looks familiar, where was it I saw these images?

Cover of Everbody's 29 October 1955
Jennifer Jones adorns the cover of the Everbody's magazine of 29 October, 1955  which also contains a feature on "The Lion Man" by Philip Street, (pages 16-17)

Everbody's October 29 1955 pp16-17
The caption below the lion reads "Contrary to common belief lions do climb trees and have been seen high up in an oak"  and what's interesting is that the picture in Look and Learn appears complete, so one assumes the image was available to Leonard Matthews, the Editor, back then. The mergers that occurred over a 3 year period over 1958-1961 were amazingly speedy and engulfed a lot of magazine/comic publishers. Amalgamated Press bought Everybody's in 1950 and were themselves taken over by The Mirror (with Cecil Harmsworth King at the helm) who then went on to bid for and succeed in taking over Odhams (which included Hulton and George Newnes). I would imagine therefore the archives contain(ed) these originals - Christine Sheppard appears to have Lilliput artwork (Hulton) but not Everybody's (Amalgmated Press).

Overlapping the lion image in Look and Learn is "In the coldest weather, Charlie has to break the ice before he can have his morning dip in the drinking pond" showing a tiger against a snowy background. I knew I'd seen this somewhere before and checking, I find my short term memory is declining! It was on this blog in last October - unfortunately the eBay seller appears to have disappeared! So some of the archive art, not unusually, has made its way onto the open market.

A tiger dips its paw in icy water
The second page of this Everbody's shows a lioness with cubs. "After being handled by the keepers each cub is given a thorough washing to remove the odours". Below are some of the sketches that Sheppard did whilst in London Zoo. The practice of drawing live gave him many opportunities to capture movement as well as stationery animals and these two images show the latter very well.
Sketch of a lioness and cub asleep

Sketch of lioness and two cubs
The last image in this group is a delightful drawing of three tiger cubs playing with each other. I do have copies of other sketches of tiger cubs (thanks to Christine Sheppard's kindness) and in the Everybody's (shown above) it states "Tigers that have grown up tame usually remain quite playful until about three years of age".

Various sketches of tiger cubs at play and rest

ketch of two tiger cubs resting together
Well, that covers one of the two images from the Look and Learn and the other, the zebra running from hunters (look closely top-left) comes from Everybody's again.

Everybody's 16 June 1956
Katie Boyle appears on the cover
The image (at the top of this article) comes from Everybody's 16 June 1956 (page 19) and shows at least 12 zebra with two foals being hunted in an article called "Big Shots meet Big Game" by Anthony Cullen. He writes about a young professional hunter called Mike Rowbotham who went on after this to become legendary in that field. Here's the whole page for your enjoyment!

Everybody's 16 June 1956, p.19

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Liss-Llewellyn Fine Art Sale January 2018

Once again Liss-Llewellyn Fine Art have their sale and it includes some pieces by Raymond Sheppard

UPDATE: New art added
Lilliput November 1957 Vol. 41(5), issue # 245
"End of a sea raider" by Alan Scholfield, pp.20-27£1540 £880

Beach scene 1930s by Raymond Sheppard
£690 £500
Study of a tiger by Raymond Sheppard£1450 £890

Polar Bear, glancing right by Raymond Sheppard£860 £530

Lilliput January 1956 Vol. 38(1), issue #223
"The adventures of Rene Cutforth" pp31-33
£1070 £610

Young Elizabethan January 1956 Vol.9(1)
"Leave it to Jones" by John Kippax p.21
£1520  £1,000

Polar Bear by Raymond Sheppard
£730  £430

Study of a tiger by Raymond Sheppard
£1850  £1,260

Monarch of the Glen  c. 1935 by Raymond Sheppard
£1250  £770

Christine Sketching at the Kitchen, at 25 Dorchester Way, circa 1952
  by Raymond Sheppard
£2050  £900

Chipperfield Common Herts, circa 1950 by Raymond Sheppard
£990  £400

Sea Forms, c.1950
£2150  £880
The artist's wife Iris listening to the wireless by Raymond Sheppard
£1080  £575

Lilliput October 1957 Vol. 41(4), issue # 244
Operation Jericho by Sandy Sanderson, pp.22
£500  £290

Study of Cockerels by Raymond Sheppard
£975  £430
Raymond Sheppard
Portrait of young girl
£570  £320

 "Q-ships were expendable" by John PrebbleLilliput September 1957 Vol. 41(3), issue # 243 pp.22-28
£400  £250
The bottom left illustration of the machine gun on deck, was not published in the Lilliput story

H.M.S. Goliath and The end of the Konigsberg
Lilliput November 1957 Vol. 41(5), issue # 245
"End of a sea raider" by Alan Scholfield, pp.20-27
£410 £180
Serval by Raymond Sheppard
£1070  £700 
Christine Imploring
£345  £150 

Studies of an Impala
£1250 £660
Christine and Teddy Bear
£1760 £800

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Raymond Sheppard and the Rolling Year - Original artwork

Rolling Year p. 216
"Man doth not live by bread alone"
Rolling Year p. 178
"An Old Water Wheel"
The two pages above appeared in Rolling Year by W. J. Blyton. If you want to know more about the author follow this link to my previous article

Clouds (a)

Clouds (b)
I thought it might be interesting to look at these two pieces of art as I now own the originals. They look, at first appearance, to be a scraper-board technique. Several of Sheppard's early illustrations appear like this. But I wondered if this was true when looking closely at the clouds in the picture of the church. There appears to be little or no scraping in this area.

David Slinn, who regularly writes to me about Sheppard, amongst other things, commented it looks like ink on a china clay surface and then scraped Why? Because the artists back then were brought up on woodblock in books previously therefore they have an inkling of that method of scraping, etching.  I think you’ll find quite a bit of evidence of the use of a scalpel – both on illustration board and (it would seem) actual scraperboard in a few instances – amongst the images included from Round the Year Stories: Summer Book. Your expressed concern “...why are the lines predominantly ‘crude’...”, possibly has as much to do with the method of the book’s production. The culprit being retouching work on the negatives during the plate making process... perhaps absolving Raymond Sheppard from blame. But also bear in mind that black and white work of this type was, generally, considerably less well rewarded than you might think.

This is a photo I took - forgive the pen intruding on the image! - of the pencil rough with Sheppard's notes underneath whilst visiting Christine Sheppard. It's interesting to note that "More than half the people go to church", an actual quote from the text, was not used in the finished version.
Pencil rough of page 216