Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In the detail

Most of you may know that Mrs Eliot Books comes from the book I used to cut pages from when I first started illustration at art college. The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot by Angus Wilson. It was by chance that I happened upon it at the second-hand bookshop, I was just looking for any old book. But I was struck by it's Englishness and every page seemed to have lovely words on it that I knew I could re-work into something different and funny. And I have used just this one page in many projects.

Here's a detail of Airmail Letters, for example where it turns up as a bowl

and here it is on a branch in Birdwatching.

I also used it for my book spines in my Modernist card set.

The cards are small so by the time I scaled the illustrations down, this detail was lost. So I wanted to show you here. I am thinking of making a set of A5 prints, so a bit bigger than the cards but still affordable as a set.

I was tempted to call one book 'guilt' and one 'self-recrimination' but decided to stay upbeat!

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Kerry has a little blog post over here today about my place. And thanks to Pomona who also mentioned my cards this week. Plus Karen over here had such lovely words to say about her mrs eliot purchases. Means to world to get such lovely feedback. x

p.s. and Gail! Thank you so much, I'm spoilt this week!


  1. What a fabulous book! I didn't know any of this and have been meaning to ask for ages where the name came from! Great post Francesca. Love the words and the detail :) Kx

  2. Francesca just to let you know that I blogged about the print you sent me today. I had lots of photos to up load but blogger would only let me do one! Shame as I really like the photos I'd taken of your cards on top of my mid century sideboard. Anyway hope you like what I said. Meant every word - I couldn't be more delighted with your beautiful work.

  3. Funnily enough, it was the name 'Mrs Eliot Books' which caught my eye originally - being a literary scholar, Eliot is the sort of name that draws one in! Especially when twinned with books ... and now you have made me want to seek out the original Mrs Eliot, but perhaps you have made more interesting things out of the words than was there to start with!

    Pomona x

  4. You are very welcome. I love your work. My cards are so nice I don't think I'll be able to send them. I think I might frame them.

  5. I thought of you today as I was driving in town and passed a hoarding advertising M + S ? summer wear I think - it was a girl in water in a pink rubber ring! Moonlighting, eh?! Abby x

  6. ha! yes that's me abby. they couldn't resist my charms and hired me. pretty good gig ;) x

  7. I always thought the name was interesting - it's great to hear it has a story and keeps popping up in your work!

    x claire

    P.S (good to see your work - and amazing house - getting some promotion around the web!)

  8. I never knew this story behind your blog-name. What a delightful background story, and I love the way you use the writing in your lovely illustrations.

  9. I really love the way you show your work-process to inspire!

  10. thanks iris - and everyone. ok so nobody knew about the name apparently! i think it's on my etsy profile. maybe there's more i should fill you in on. hmmm...i will have a think.


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