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Newsletter December 2022

The Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras

Paul Cox has a marvellous way of capturing busy scenes where people are all rushing around, with their own thoughts. For me, this print wraps up just what 2022 has been like: not quite as sociable as we'd have liked, but hectic anyway, and some excellent art.

Perhaps that's even Harry Potter and Ron Weasley flying past in the sky, in their Ford Anglia. 2022 saw the end of Harry Potter for us. It was a busy and productive ten-year ride and we are so grateful to everyone at Bloomsbury for all they did to make it so successful but now Jim Kay and Neil Packer can move on with their own projects.
Jim Burns stirring up debate

There's been a lot of discussion on the use of AI for illustration and there needs to be an official conclusion, but while we wait for that it's great to see just how much fun Jim Burns is having with Midjourney.

After working with Jim for a few decades when his oil paintings took a month or more, I love to think of those elves in the studio quickly generating these images just about in the time it takes him to nip back to the house to make a coffee.
Of course, that's not the whole story. There's Photoshop work involved too but all the same, what's not to like about an artist enjoying himself this much while the jury decides on its future?
Ian Miller originals

No such problem with Ian who's carrying on with opening up those plan chests and putting more originals for sale on his website. Superb draughtsmanship, wonderful use of colour, and no shortage of wit. And no digital input either.

And of course I continue to sell his prints which are excellent quality – and signed and numbered by him. This one is a favourite, Vox 2.

2022 and all that

Highlights of this year for us have been the publication of John Harris's new book, the sale of so many of Gordon Crabb's Western paintings as well as John's pastels and oils, and a surge in print sales.

With my other hat on, I must also raise a glass to the artists for whom I still work in conjunction with Arena Illustration who have also produced some masterpieces this year. Levi Pinfold's Paradise Sands has had excellent reviews, Alex T Smith has written even wilder children's fiction, and to cap it all, Neal Layton has written three eco books and now one which tells you just how great it is to be alive!

As agents we pretend to work as a 'team' but in fact we are, of course, entirely dependent on the ingenuity, originality and persistence of all these artists without whom we'd have nothing. Alone in their studios, this is where it all begins, and each one of them is a delight to work for.

From a snowy Cheltenham my own very best Christmas wishes and thanks particularly go to them, as well as to the many publishers and collectors who make it possible for them to keep going.
All images copyright © the artists.