Archive for December, 2009

Around this time every year …

December 17, 2009

Around this time every year we tend to reflect on a year that’s about to end. And so we take stock. A self inventory, if you will. Of things we did, should have done, and could have done. The days tend to be short and cold. Nevertheless, we always have our memories to warm us by remembering a kind word from someone, a helping hand from a friend, or simply a warm smile from a stranger. I have been a recipient of these for the past year and for that I am grateful. Therefore, I would like to extend my best wishes for the holidays to all those who have bought and hopefully enjoyed the books I publish. And may all your wishes and dreams come true with the New Year.

Manuel Auad

Frank Brangwyn, R. A.: The Way of the Cross

December 7, 2009

My portfolio on Frank Brangwyn was featured on Charley Parker excellent site http://www.linesandcolors.com which covers the gamut of art and illustration. Below is the post

When I first wrote in 2006 about Frank Brangwyn, the superbly accomplished painter, muralist, watercolorist, illustrator and printmaker, there were only a few scattered resources on the web, and very little in the way of available books or other printed material.

Since then, more resources have become available on the web, and I’ve listed some of them below. Though no new books have become available there is a wonderful new portfolio of some of his best graphic work.

Auad Publishing, a small imprint that specializes in beautifully produced books of the work of classic illustrators and comics artists (see my post on Franklin Booth), has created a faithful reproduction of a 1935 portfolio of lithographs, Frank Brangwyn, R. A.: The Way of the Cross.

This is a lovingly produced set of 20 plates, printed in letterpress (rare these days except for high end art reproductions) on 11″x14″ 80lb textured stock, in a deluxe fourfold portfolio.

The beautiful production values are quickly overshadowed by the power of Brangwyn’s drawings; powerful both in the sense of the emotional drama of their depiction of the Stations of the Cross, an in Brangwyn’s masterful drawing style and striking compositions.

In his work as an illustrator, Brangwyn acquired a great sense of design, and his classical training gave him the solid, finely honed draftsmanship that is the foundation of his influential style, but it is his own emotional investment in the subject, and his remarkable mastery of chiaroscuro, that bring the drawings to life.

The portfolio has an essay by Dr. Libby Homer, who is probably the world’s foremost authority on Brangwyn and his work. Dr. Homer created the frankbrangwyn.org web site (which is not heavy on images, but has lots of useful information about the artist, including a list of books he illustrated and links to other Brangwyn resources).

In Brangwyn’s drawings you can see the influence of Rembrandt and other great printmakers, and the drama of his own style that so heavily influenced the great illustrator Dean Cornwell (also here) and many others.

There is a small preview of the Way of the Cross portfolio on the Auad Publishing site, from which I’ve borrowed the images above (click on the image in the page for a pop-up gallery).

The small images here and on the Auad website don’t do the portfolio justice, but those who are already aware of Brangwyn’s accomplishments will want to be aware that the portfolio is limited to 700 numbered copies.