Sketches for Friends

Edward Ardizzone’s long and prolific career spanned over half a century. He died in 1979, one of England’s most beloved artists and illustrators. The man who gave us the definitive illustrations for Trollope, the stories of Eleanor Farjeon, and the beloved Tim and the Bold Sea Captain series was also an artist who could never resist the temptation of filling his letters to family and friends with enchanting vignettes and sketches. Like all of his work, these were done quickly, humorously, and lovingly, with a sure touch for outline, wash, and color that always distinguished his work. For the first time, here is a selection of those letters, envelopes, and illustrations, selected and edited by Judy Taylor, longtime children’s book editor at the Bodley Head and among Ardizzone’s closest friends and correspondents.

Whether from his diaries of a boat trip down the Thames, his sketches of Italy, Egypt, North Africa, and India, or the simple and immediate drawings he would dash off while visiting friends and relatives, these spontaneous, gentle, and vibrant sketches show him, his life, and the England he so loved at their best.

Edward Ardizzone, born in 1900 in French Indochina, became a war artist during World War II. He illustrated more than twenty children’s books including classics by Dickens, Mark Twain, Dylan Thomas and Christianna Brand’s Nurse Matilda series.

Judy’s work consists of figurative and narrative paintings, labor-focused work, landscapes and portraiture. Her scenes of workers and nature found on the Island often incorporate island residents as models. Prior to coming to Maine she lived in New York City, transferring there from Chicago to study figurative art. She was accepted into New York Academy of Art on full scholarship and received her Masters certificate in their pilot program. She went on to study painting at the National Academy of Design with Harvey Dinnerstein and Ron Sherr. In 1996 she relocated to Maine and was an Artist-in-Residence at Acadia National Park. Since 2002 she has resided full time in Maine where she maintains her studio and teaches there and at workshops in Austin, New York, Italy and France. In 2007 she was awarded the commission to paint the History of Labor in Maine which took a full year to complete. Her work is in many public and private collections including: Johns Hopkins University, the United States Park System, Friends of Acadia, and the Jackson Laboratory.