Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Searle Mermaid

The mythical mermaid is a character ripe for  a whimsical interpretation from Searle.  She seemed to inspire creations that were quite special in Searle's ouvre.  For the 1955 Chelsea Arts Ball Searle was commissioned to create the decor with the theme of 'The Seven Seas'. He designed an elaborate centre-piece depicting Triton surrounded by mermaids which was recreated as a 50 foot sculpture! (To see more pictures from the event go here)

Even mermaids get cravings for ice cream on hot days according to this 1966 cover for Argosy magazine.

Ernest Hemingway was depicted as a mer-man in Punch magazine, 10th November, 1964.

Mermaids appear as sirens on Page 3 of 'Capsulysses', Punch magazine's 1955 greek myth spoof. See the full comic strip here.

 Here's a secret for Searle fans: The Hotel de la Plage in Rayol Canadel on the French Riviera has a very special mural created by Searle for the owners in 1965. Here are Ronald and his wife Monica with the current owner in 2008.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Searle's Process

I haven't identified what this picture was made for but I thought it interesting as it gives an insight into Searle's colouring process. There are three parts - the line drawing on art board, a xeroxed overlay and the coloured back-board with watercolour over light blue pencilling. He wouldn't always work like this and it appears to be a late period drawing so colour separations were no longer needed. Perhaps he was getting two pictures out of it (and two payments?). Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Friday, March 03, 2017

'Ronald Searle's America' pop-up exhibition

March 3rd is Ronald Searle's birthday. To celebrate I'll be hosting a ONE day exhibition at the Center Stage Gallery, Burbank TOMORROW, March 4th 1pm-4pm.

Monday, February 13, 2017

To celebrate Ronald Searle's birthday on March 3rd I'm helping to host a one-day 'pop-up' exhibition of his work at the Center Stage Gallery on Saturday, March 4th. Details here. I'll be signing the last copies of my book 'Ronald Searle's America'.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Season's Greetings to all with the last post of 2016 featuring some Christms related Searle ephemera.

This original drawing sold at auction earlier in the year. It's actually annotated as a Valentine's Card but depicts a character - the reindeer - that Searle used many times on Christmas cards and advertising work. See more here

Russell Braddon was an Astralian author who survived the POW camps in the Far East with Searle. I wasn't aware of a follow up to his famous account of his POW years 'The Naked Island' until I saw this on Ebay. It looks like he commissioned his old friend to create his Christmas cards.

Another Ebay seller has been trying to off load a cache of private love letters sent from Searle to artist Ruth Cyril for the best part of 2016 including this Christmas card.

Thursday, December 01, 2016


Mike Lynch posted a Searle drawing of Montmatre on his cartooning blog which reminded me to dig out this epic colour version published in the September 1960 issue of HOLIDAY magazine as part of a feature called 'Paris in the Summer'.

 Ronald first drew the Place du Tertre (below) while visiting Paris with his first wife Kaye Webb during their collaboration on the 'Paris Sketchbook'.

Here's the rest of the HOLIDAY feature-

Ronald drew the Opera Garniér for the 'Paris Sketchbook' (below). He evidently found a vantage point sitting at the Café de la Paix across the square.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Chilly Lovers

HOLIDAY magazine April 1958