Michael Foreman

Cinderella after the ball

"Classic Fairy Tales" - a series of six limited edition prints by the brilliant and prolific childrens' illustrator.  Also "Cat in the Manger" - the Christmas story from a cat's perspective...

Michael Foreman was born in Suffolk in 1938. He went to Lowestoft School of Art and later to the Royal College of Art, where he won a scholarship to the US. After graduating, he lectured at St Martin's School of Art and then went to Chicago where he worked as Art Director of Playboy. The following year he moved back to London and worked as Art Director on King. In 1967, he returned to lecturing and has since worked at the London School of Printing, the Royal College of Art and the Central School of Art in London.

Michael has illustrated books by Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Roald Dahl and Rudyard Kipling. He has also designed Christmas stamps for the Post Office, and he regularly contributes illustrations to American and European magazines. Exhibitions of his work have been held in Europe, America and Japan. Michael Foreman is the award-winning illustrator of over 170 books, 20 of which he has written himself. He has twice won the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Michael Foreman produces sensational watercolours but says: 'It's all in the drawing. It's a question of creating another world, believable in its own right. I think I was very lucky to have started art school so young when they actually taught Art. It was a rigorous training – not just painting and drawing from life – but hours of anatomy and perspective ... it really taught you to understand what you were looking at.'

'I keep trying to make things more real, not in a literal, photographic sense, but in an emotional sense, telling a story by capturing the essence of the situation, giving it some meaning.'

'As a student I did a lot of freelance work, learning to respond instantly to text by drawing for newspapers and even, at one point, working for the police, drawing female suspects in the days when Identikit only catered for men. I was lucky enough to get a travel scholarship which took me all around the world, working as a 'commercial artist' on all sorts of projects, drawing landscapes, architecture, wildlife, everything. That was an education in itself.'

Inspiration
'I used to read all the comics, because my Mum ran the village shop and I delivered the newspapers, but I grew up completely without books. This was an advantage when I started as a book illustrator as I was able to approach the old classics without being influenced by anyone else's interpretation. Though when I'm working on books with a historical background I would admit to being influenced by the work of certain painters: Edward Ardizzone – creator of Little Tim and Dutch painters Brueghel and Bosch - for their period detail, especially in crowd scenes.'


Worthy Links - Christian Search Engine

Star over Bethlehem - signed print

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