First blog since upgrading to Windows 10 – so far so good!
I mentioned in the last blog I was trying to contact an artist, namely Alan Cracknell, but no success so far but then again I may not have the right one. The artwork this time features his interpretation of that famous character form Enid Blyton “Mr Twiddle” in “Hello Mr. Twiddle” There were three titles in this series but only two were published by PAN under the Piccolo imprint who didn’t include “Don’t Be Silly Mr. Twiddle” I’ve also included a couple of his other Blyton covers. I’ll put on another piece of his artwork soon.Alan was born in Harrow in 1937 and attended art school before working as an illustrator in advertising in London eventually became freelance.
“His beautifully detailed artwork influenced by Russian Icons and Medieval miniatures incorporates Nursery Rhyme Characters, Flora and Fauna, Field names and Artifacts in a surreal manner into his work. Medieval meets Alice in Wonderland” (Bell Fine Arts)
I meant to include this cutting last month when it actually appeared but it went missing and turned up a bit ripped!Pan published three Morph titles under the Piccolo imprint where Tony Hart is shown on the covers but it is Peter Lord who is credited inside.
….. and finally, although this is probably ‘old hat’ to all of you and for once nothing to do with books I got around to having a ‘Segway Experience’ last week. I was quite pleased, for once, to be told off for going too fast around the corners but as I didn’t crash into anything or fall off I thought I’d mastered it pretty well!
I am a PhD student researching illustrated cookbooks. Alan Cracknell provided the artwork for the 1964 book ‘First Slice your Cookbook’
I am really keen to get in touch with Alan regards his approach to this commission and the technique he used.
Your help would be most appreciated.
Hi Lorna, I’ve sent you an email. Cheers, Tim PS Not sure who Andrew is?
Alan Cracknell used to decorate the Xmas bumper editions of the Radio Times each year, each page bordered with his delightful images ; eagerly awaited and thumbed through by our family as children. The modern world has lost some of the magic he helped to create…
Hi Andrew, Thanks for taking the time to comment and you have made me wonder where the two RT covers I have by Alan might be? I was sure I’d put them on his page at https://www.tikit.net/Original/Cracknell.htm but they don’t appear to be there. I agree, the magic goes with a photo cover whether it be magazine or book. I’ll have a look through the boxes and if I find the covers I’ll put them on and put an update. Hoping you have a good 2002, Tim
Hi Andrew, Just to say thank you again for the reminder about the radio Times. I’ve found the covers and will add them to Alan’s page for my blog on the 20th as amazingly I have already done next Mondays so no burning the midnight oil on Sunday like usually happens!. Cheers, Tim
I knew Alan when we both worked for Robert Tyndall. I absolutely loved his work. I have on my wall the ‘pencil’ picture, which I believe was an award he received.I also have a beautiful card he gave me one Christmas. It’s a line drawing on a metallic blue paper. I also knew John Craddock for many years as I was a journalist working on the Eagle/Girl magazines. I was lucky enough to meet Alan at a party a good few years back now. Pease, when you next speak with him, pass on my very best wishes to him. I remember him even now with great affection.
Hi Shirley, Thank you for taking the time to contact and I will certainly pass on your best wishes to Alan. I always love to hear about the interconnection there was when people moved around from publisher to publisher. I notice you mentioned John Craddock and I did have a comment from Jackie, his daughter, when I mentioned Alan previously. I’m always looking for snippets as trying to find ‘new’ bits for the blog every week is not easy (nobody makes me do it, it’s a self inflicted punishment!) Keep in touch, Tim
While clearing out our attic this weekend we found, hidden under the eaves, an Alice in Wonderland drawing/print by Alan Cracknell and was wondering if this is a popular one? I’ve fallen in love with it!
Hoping for any information,
Hi Sara, Thanks for getting in touch. I tend to only go for PAN Books related artwork but I have included a few others from Alan but not, unfortunately, Alice. He did the drawings for stamps featuring children’s stories but don’t think Alice was there either. Alan doesn’t ‘do’ emails but I usually speak to him on the phone every now and again so if I remember I’ll ask him. Would it be possible to have a scan/photo of the artwork to see if that helps? Regards, Tim email email@example.com
Hi, I am trying to track down Alan Cracknell, to seek his permission to use an illustration he did many years ago, as part of a series of journal covers. Please can you email me an address I can write to him at? Many thanks.
I contacted Alan on Melissa’s behalf and he was very happy for her to phone him. She wants to use part of a Colgate toothpaste poster he did in the 70’s as the cover for The Dental Journal. Hope things work out OK.
I would like to talk to Alan Cracknell regarding the possible use of a 1969 illustration of the band Jethro Tull. Regarding the comment above about Alan being email-free (lucky him), I am after an address. The illustration may be used in some promotional material and I am a firm believer in paying and crediting people!
Message passed on and hopefully all happy now.
Martin – Did you manage to get in touch with Alan Cracknell? I am also wishing to credit him. Thank you.
I collect old tins so am delighted to know our much loved Mr. Cracknell also did those too. Looking at the wonderful web site I was amazed and delighted to see so many of his illustrations, not only because I admire his work but that I have in the past loved many of these and didn’t even know they were his. Perhaps he is silently much loved by many but does not know that he is. I hope someone may have found him and told him he has many admirers. That might have even cheered Van Gogh .
Hi Jane, Lovely to hear from you. I am always amazed at how versatile the artists were, not only painting covers but as you say tins plus boxes, coins, stamps, plates, menus, in fact anything that would help them earn a living from what they were so good at. You have reminded me to have another go at tracking down Alan as I think I had the wrong address before. I’ll send off another letter now and let you know if I get a reply. Thanks for commenting, even just one makes it all worthwhile, Cheers, Tim
Hi. Just found your page that mentions Alan Cracknell. My father, John Craddock, was a commercial artist agent and represented Alan when he was with ACA (Anglo Continental Artists) and then for quite a few years after when he set up his own artists’ agency. If my memory serves it was my father who obtained The Sunday Times work for Alan (mentioned by Jane above) along with many book cover commissions and packaging for the biscuit company Huntley & Palmer, to name but a few. Dad and Alan grew to be great friends as Alan had a studio at the ACA offices in Lincolns Inn Fields, London.
HI Jackie, Many apologies for not replying sooner, I think it slipped through the net and I missed it. As I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere Alan, sensibly, does not do emails but I do need to phone him about another query so I’ll certainly mention your Father and let you know what he says. Tim
Hallo, I was greatly cheered fo find someone who actually knows Alan Cracknell. Perhaps, when you see him you could tell him there are people out here who love his work and would like to congratulate him on its’ excellence. As a teenager in the late 6os I was largely educated by the Sunday Times and always cut out any art from the Supplement which I couldn’t live without. I had most of his full page illustrations but now have only one. Probably due to my mother regularly expunging all trace of me from her life at regular intervals! I do have one though.
I’ve mentioned him to lots of people over the years but never found anyone who remembers him which is a great shame and rather disappointing so I am overjoyed to have news of him.
Hello Jane, I’ve sent you an email with more information but just to say I’m still trying to contact Alan. All the best, Tim
if you want to email me your details I will pass them on I dont think he is on the internet so it will be by post.
Hi Keith, Great to hear from you, now I wish I could remember what it was that I wanted to ask Alan? I’ll have a think and get back to you. Are you a friend? Cheers, Tim