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If you like this, click the text above for more about Annie, and please visit Chaotiqual, from whose beautiful and interesting pages this comes.

The beautiful South African actress, film producer and former fashion model Charlize Theron

The beautiful Israeli model Bar Refaeli (and see my next post)

Fine drawings by the Oregon-based artist Michael W Ford

"Velvet Dress", a fine drawing by the Oregon-based artist Michael W Ford, whose other work is well worth checking out

Gratefully snaffled from the always-beautiful pages of my friend Chaotiqual

Some very fine work with a graphite pencil by Linda Huber

Thanks for introducing me to this artist, Aline!

(Original post: August 27th, 2008)

A couple of days ago we visited the Craft and Design Fair at Wrest Park, and saw a full-size print of the above picture of Victoria Station, Manchester, by John S. Gibb, among many prints (and an original) being exhibited by the artist's wife.

The full-size print looks like a historical photograph, but it isn't: it's actually a pencil drawing that took 10 months to create. The artist's main tools are a .03 3H pencil (applied patiently in many layers to get darker tones) and two erasers, one for removing graphite to create white space, and one for correcting mistakes.

As we looked at the prints being exhibited we were amazed by the attention to detail and by the skill and knowledge that the artist possesses. The images shown here are poor, fuzzy substitutes for the real thing. Play the excellent video (right) to get a much better idea!

The pictures above are some of the prints currently available at John's web site. He charges a very modest amount for work that takes him so much time to produce.

The picture below is my own photo of a framed print of his American Screech Owl that we couldn't resist buying that day. It gives a (slightly) better idea of what his prints actually look like.

John Gibb was born in 1939 at Dalton-in-Furness on the edge of the English Lake District. He has been a keen mountaineer and (until a bad accident forced him to turn to art) skiier. He worked for a time as a lumberjack in Sweden, and as a seaman in the Norwegian Merchant Marine. He became a yacht master, on one occasion crossing the Atlantic under sail.

John Gibb seems to share many characteristics (not least an obsession for accurate detail in portraying what he loves) with another better-known figure of the Lake District, the late Alfred Wainwright, creator of the famous hand-written and hand-drawn guides to the Lake District (but that's another story).