This weeks original cover art work is by Gavin Rowe who trained at the Croydon School of Art and then at The Royal College of Art in Kensington. Since 1970 he has worked with many publishers including Faber, Hodder, Penguin, Pan, and Magi as well as being commissioned for BBC’s Jackanory series. He is well known for his ‘painterly’ jacket covers for paperback novels. Gavin lives in Sussex, and continues to work as a full time illustrator. I spoke to him on the phone last Thursday and hope to have more about his work in a later blog.
The annual Baddesley Clinton Book Fair to raise funds for the National Trust is on now, it started on Saturday and runs to next Saturday. As usual we were there as soon as it opens in case we miss ‘all the bargains!
It is not everyday that I get to buy books in the grounds of an 16th moated manor house but then again as a life member of the NT I am supposed to actually part own it – I think I’ll have the room over the entrance! There were tables everywhere, several I’ve not photographed including the storeroom where John, retired bookseller who runs the fair, let me mooch.
Here are our purchases and for once my wife has a bigger pile than me but that is down to buying larger books. The top three paperbacks shown are all in unread condition, the Steinbeck being by Brian Sanders with Alan Lee modelling on the cover and T12 ‘The Robe’ having a cover by Pat Owen. I have the original artwork for this but unfortunately not signed. T13 ‘The Fisherman’ is in the same style and that appeared in the Bonham’s auction catalogue of 1991 credited to Pat Owen so I’m 99% sure mine is as well. I think Pat is still with us living down on the South Coast but I have not managed to contact up to now. Amongst my others are several Piccolo titles plus some newer PAN’s with covers I liked.
Hello – always looking to update and expand my interests (my website like yours is a hobby) I was delighted to see your feature about Michael Johnston’s Angélique (Sergeanne Golon / Anne et Serge Golon) cover/dustjacket illustrations. I loved his paperback versions and nearly fell over backwards when I realised the hardback of Demon was also his. i cannot believe I hadn’t spotted the similarity as of all the hardbacks Demon was always my favourite! In essence I’m trying to complete my Illustrators page and am grateful for this additional crumb. Am interested that you say Demon was for the American market – as far as I know this is the only jacket for the hardback version. Do you have any background information on this artist please? Many thanks in advance – relevant page on my website is : http://www.jannaludlow.co.uk/Angelique/Book_Illustrators.html
Hello again – I realise I’ve not been moderated yet, but I remembered that I do have a burning question about illustrators. Do they actually read the books they illustrate or are they given a general synopsis/time-frame/incident in the book the publishers think might get a positive reaction from readers if seen on the cover? – Thank you
Hi Again, I did reply to your last comment via email but in case you didn’t get it I’ve added it now. As for covers I remember Sam Peffer telling me he always read the books first but several other artists said they were just given an outline from the Art Director. Some were happy with this as they said they painted so many covers they hadn’t time to read the books as well! Tim
Thank you Tim – I have also responded to via e-mail and am grateful for your time and the second piece of information as to whether or not the artists read the books. Will make a nice addition to my Illustrators page – Anna
Hi Jenna, I’m not sure Demon was just for the American market, just it was published by an American company.
The best place to find information is in this publication which features nearly 40 pages on Michael Johnson.
It is a bit expensive but of very high quality.
Did you see my link to John Raynes where I show some of the original artwork for his covers?
The model was his wife and was ‘with child’ at the time so she said she was a lot more buxom then than now.
John is a really nice down to earth bloke and his wife makes exceedingly good cake!
Keep in touch, Tim
Looks like you did well there!
Yes, It wasn’t that any of them were titles I needed but as they were in unread condition I couldn’t not buy them, a bit like your copy of ‘Dr. No’