11/09/2009

Black and White

Somebody once said to me, “I know where you live, the cows are the same colour as the architecture”. Well, this is not entirely true but there are rather a lot of timbered buildings around these parts and a great many cows of the black and white variety.


The book illustration shows a typical Cheshire scene, this is taken from my book “Animals at Home”. This book was intended for babies, I know I got carried away with the very decorative border but people tell me that their babies enjoy the book and I certainly had fun. Many of the churches and farmhouses have black and white timber framed sections mixed with brick. Some are entirely timber framed and date back to the Elizabethan period.


The design on my desk is part of a new “farm collection” which was intended for fabrics for Makower. The final version does however look very different to my original. It has been changed quite drastically, the over scale daisies have been removed and a bright green background has taken over from the cream ground shown here. You can see the whole finished collection here; I will leave it up to you to decide which version you prefer!


copyright RobertG click on here for more information.

The black and white crooked house is Little Moreton Hall, our nearest National Trust property, it is said to be one of the finest examples of timber framed domestic buildings in Europe and dates back to 1450. It has been added to by various generations of the Moreton family until 1580. The thing I really love about this house is its Elizabethan knot garden and enclosed cobbled courtyard.

You can see some lovely photographs, like the one below by (copyright owner John Beres) by clicking this link.

27 comments:

  1. I love your black and white book illustration and also your new fabric one - quite a difference between the two - the green is very striking! I love Little Moreton Hall - especially at Christmas - we try to get to listen to Piva singing tradition Tudor Christmas songs there if we are able:)

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  2. That is utterly gorgeous! I also love seeing the intermediate stage of the work, always interesting to seee how someone else works (you look like a tidy worker, like me)
    Oh how lovely - my workd verification is 'purrart'!

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  3. I like books where pictures have borders. It frames them and gives the air of looking through a window. I think children often like borders too. It pleases their aesthetic sense and gives them more to look at.

    Little Moreton Hall is an extraordinary place. It stands out as very different from other houses of the period one is able to look round. Extra specially atmospheric there!

    Lucy

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  4. That is absolutely beautiful! I love everything about it!

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  5. Your black and white houses like Little Moreton Hall are totally new to me. So charming! As well as your cows. I love how the foilage looks as a border. Beautiful!!

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  6. The border is enchanting, Valerie, and so interesting to see how a fabric design is assembled. Incredible to think that half timbered house goes back 600 years!

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  7. I just love the cow scenes, it is just beautiful and the border is perfect. The fabric is also beautiful. I have never seen a house like Moreton Hall. All I can say is Wow.

    Willow

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  8. Hello Valarie, I love you new fabric line and I especially like your orginal sketch with the flower all around. Little Moreton Hall is an amazing place. Never seen anything so grand. Hugs Judy

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  9. Valerie, this is a great post. It is always a big treat to see more of your work, particularly when you kindly show us some "backstage" photos.

    The framed painting of the the cows is splendid, and I very much like the earlier version of the fabric design. The finished green backgrounded version is also lovely, yet seems heavier somehow. Of course, I guess that cows are actually pretty heavy! Also understand how manufacturers have their own dictates.

    Thank you also for the info and link about Little Moreton Hall. I would love to see it for myself, but until that happens, what a delight to see all those photos. Definitely a location to inspire artists.

    xo

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  10. Purely delightful!
    What a wonderful post and excellent illustrations. This is the stuff that turns babies into artists!

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  11. Congratulations on the fabric line. Since Landscape Quilting is a very big deal over here, I hope that fabric will be available to US customers. I loved the first illustration in your post with the Elizabethan inspired buildings in the distance. And what a treat to see the pictures of LIttle Moreton Hall. Just amazing.

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  12. Valerie... this is a gorgeous illustration! You're SO talented!

    I'm off now to read about Little Moreton Hall... thanks for the link!

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  13. The top illustration with the cows and the very detailed border is quite stunning Valerie. I love books with detailed painted borders too. Twice as much artwork for the price.

    Little Moreton is visually stunning. I have seen pictures of it before and wondered what the rest of it was like. John Beres's photos are excellent and I agree about that cobbled courtyard. I wonder if it is haunted...!

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  14. A beautiful painting,I love the decorative border.
    I would like to visit this house,I'm not familiar with this area,so looks like a good excuse to explore.

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  15. WHAT a beautiful illustration, the border is breathtaking, thanks for showing us this piece of gorgeousness!! I remember visiting Little Moreton many years ago and was really impressed with it, I love that Elizabethan black and white architecture, makes me think of storybooks from my childhood for some reason! Cheers, Patricia xx

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  16. oh, i love little morton, though it is many years since i visited, there is something endearing about the quaint black & white. love to the wonderful detailed, intricate border of the book page. *ruthie*

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  17. Wonderful. I love the 'wavy' gallery at Little Moreton.

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  18. How lovely - I'm glad you put the border in, it is so beautiful.

    Great to see your work in progress on the design too.

    What an amazing building - so elaborate!

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  19. Valerie, love the way you have associated your cows and the old timber frame structure... both so wonderful!!!

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  20. The book illustration is wonderful and I love the intricately patterned border - there's so much to look at.

    Sorry to be of no help whatsoever re the fabric designs - I like both very much, each in its own way would work on cloth.

    Little Moreton Hall, thanks for the photos and links of this fascinating, historical building. Bfn. Lesley

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  21. I just love your cows. Beautiful illustrations and wonderful architecture as well! And thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate that.

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  22. A lovely blog, it is so interesting seeing the way your art work is used.
    We are so lucky having such beautiful buildings to visit.
    Carolina won my give away, please see my blog.
    milly

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  23. Valerie, I have several photos of timbered buildings that I took on our trips to England. They're totally charming! They work perfectly in your illustration with the black and white cows!
    Diane

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  24. Sweet, sweet black & white friends~ I like your version of the cow fabric... (cream background) They would be adorable notecards!!
    Seems like when I design for fabric I'm so excited with the art and how it all came together~ until I see the finished product. Not a complaint... rather a different vision. Plus I don't sew/quilt etc. so I see fabric differently.
    Hope your week is wonderful~

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  25. Last night, I spent quite some time gazing at your paintings and wandering back and forth among your online offerings. Among other things, I went looking for the first book you mention in this post, "Animals at Home", but could not find it. Is it out of print?

    For this post particularly, Frances has already said all I wanted to say, only so much more eloquently (her discerning eye and mastery of prose make reading her a delight, wherever she does, doesn't she?).

    All I can add is, this post of yours confirms once more that I need to go and see this beautiful country of yours!

    A wonderful week to you! :-)

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  26. Thank you all so much for your comments, they are very much appreciated.

    In answer to Merisi, sadly "Animals at Home" is out of print.

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  27. Wow--the detail in these is just amazing. Beautiful.

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