Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle ‘What? Already?!’, 90th year exhibition, Wilhelm Busch Museum, Hannover

Art, Cartoons

Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – self portrait, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

2010 has been a year of rediscovery for me. And the greatest of these has been of Ronald Searle’s work, made possible by exhibitions in London and Hannover in honour of his 90th birthday.

The fact that I could still draw, after a decade of beating ever increasing amounts of type into smaller text boxes (sometimes laughingly described as graphic design), was also a rediscovery. The joy I felt at sketching these drawings by Searle was astonishing. I burst into tears at one point. Something had been re-established in me.

These sketchbook drawings are not intended to give a wider public much information about Searle’s work. They were really just for me. A way of connecting. Better sources for actual examples of Ronald Searle’s work are the Ronald Searle Tribute and Brian Sibley has written several pieces about him. Worth a look.

And if you can, get over to Hannover before 30 January 2011 to see the exhibition!

Exhibition sketchbook: Perhaps His Majesty's Minister is not aware of the grave displeasure with which the Primrose League views the Government's sunflower scheme.
Exhibition sketchbook: Perhaps His Majesty’s Minister is not aware of the grave displeasure with which the Primrose League views the Government’s sunflower scheme, originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - And this is Mr Eccle Shave. He wants a bloody revolution.
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – And this is Mr Eccle Shave. He wants a bloody revolution., originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - Layman's Guide to the Warrior's Anatomy & Artist's Anatomy
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – Layman’s Guide to the Warrior’s Anatomy & Artist’s Anatomy., originally uploaded by mike(toons).

The right hand sketch (above) is missing about 30 arrows linking the artist’s attributes to his head, which I lazily omitted to draw.

Exhibition sketchbook: Some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England... (Telescopic photo taken through the open window of the ladies room of a well-known Port Said hostelry)
Exhibition sketchbook: Some corner of a foreign field that is for ever England… (Telescopic photo taken through the open window of the ladies room of a well-known Port Said hostelry), originally uploaded by mike(toons).

Exhibition sketchbook: Clown by Ronald Searle (1971)

Exhibition sketchbook: Clown by Ronald Searle (1971), originally uploaded by mike(toons).

I love the contrast between the sober normal world seen in the businessman’s clothes hanging on the pegs and the ludicrous clown in a purple striped dress.

Exhibition sketchbook: two cartoons for Le Monde by Ronald Searle

Exhibition sketchbook: two cartoons for Le Monde by Ronald Searle, originally uploaded by mike(toons).

The cartoons done for Le Monde, over the last 15 years or so, show that Searle’s powers are undiminished. These are my two favourites but there were many more in the exhibition. Top: “Au suivant!“, bottom “Foubelle“.

Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle - owl in ink and scribbled colour pencil
Exhibition sketchbook: Ronald Searle – owl in ink and scribbled colour pencil, originally uploaded by mike(toons).
Originally posted on miketoons.blogspot.com – Thursday, 9 September 2010
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