21 April - 6 May 2023

Jane Ray

Illustrating Shakespeare

Private View: 21st April 2023 10:00 am

Meet the illustrator, Jane Ray, on Friday 21st April, 10-2pm at Watermark Gallery.

Jane Ray is one of the UK’s most celebrated illustrators of children’s literature. Timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio (the first printed collection of his plays) we are delighted to welcome Jane back to Watermark Gallery with this beautiful selection of original illustration from three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.

“These illustrations from The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, are part of an ongoing book project with Walker Books and Shakespeare’s Globe. It is an illustrator’s dream job to take on the challenge of illustrating these well-known plays, in this case beautifully retold by Georghia Ellinas for the youngest of audiences.

Mindful of their theatrical origins, I started and finished each book with a miniature stage, to take us from the moment that the curtain is raised and we are drawn into the magic of the play, to the resolution as it falls at the end.

Ariel, Puck and Feste are our narrators in these re-tellings and I took each of them as my starting point, to lead us through the book, using their magic, mischief and observation to tell the story.

There is such rich imagery to draw on in these plays, of course, and such emotion – love and loss, humour, pathos, fear and confusion. With settings as romantic as Athens, Milan and Illyria, summer woodlands, magical islands and midnight gardens I was free to indulge my imagination with a flight of dreaming fancy. Making these paintings has been truly satisfying and pleasurable work.”

Jane Ray April 2023

Art, Contemporary Art & Illustration

Lisa Stubbs

Lisa Stubbs is a Yorkshire-born illustrator of children’s books, an author and a printmaker with a background in graphic design.

After graduating from Batley School of Art, Lisa initially trained as a greeting card illustrator and her love of children’s illustration stemmed from creating cards, as well as designing toys and games for children.

More recently, Lisa has worked in book publishing; creating and illustrating picture books for young children. In 2014 ‘Lily and Bear’ was published to great reviews. A paperback edition is due to be published in April 2016 and the story is currently being developed into a stage production, with a follow up adventure expected in September 2016.

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Lisa’s work is inspired by her love of family life, children’s artwork, the hands on screen printing process and vintage children’s book illustration. She has been involved with the ‘Mr Benn to Miffy ‘ exhibition on Children’s book illustration at The Cooper Gallery in Barnsley and is regularly asked to run creative children’s workshops in schools and libraries.

Lisa Stubbs

Art, Contemporary Art & Illustration

Jane Ray

Jane Ray was born in London, studying art and design at Middlesex University. This is where she began her career in art designing greetings cards, book jackets and posters, before moving into children’s book illustration, where she now specialises in fairy tales, mythology and folk tales. Jane has worked with many different publishers.

Notable titles include; Moonbird by Joyce Dunbar, Stories for a Fragile Planet, retold by Kenneth Steven and Zeraffa Giraffa, a lively and characterful children’s book by Dianne Hofmeyr for Frances Lincoln. Original works of art from all these titles as well as limited edition prints are all available from the Watermark Gallery.

Jane’s work frequently takes her into schools where she finds the thoughts and responses of children to be invaluable. Recently this has involved a project creating 200 mythical beasts for a pop-up festival in a London primary school, a set of painted murals for Enfield children’s library as well as ongoing art workshops for refugees in Islington.

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In addition to her work as an illustrator, Jane Ray enjoys writing books and we are very pleased to offer original artwork from her title, The Dolls House Fairy, in the Watermark Gallery collection.

Read more about Jane Ray’s work here.

Jane Ray Children's Illustrator signing her book

Art, Contemporary Art & Illustration

Richard Allen

Originally from Newbury, Berkshire, Richard Allen gained a degree in Graphic Illustration at Kingston Polytechnic (1987). After graduating he became a freelance illustrator working mainly in scraperboard for advertising, publishing, packaging and newspapers. Richard’s work slowly drifted towards his main interest of birds and wildlife, especially after winning ‘British Birds – Bird Illustrator of the Year’ in 1993.

Following a move to Essex in 1988, and more recently to Wivenhoe, the bird rich estuaries and marshes of the Essex coast have provided an endless source of inspiration, fuelling a passion for field-sketching. Richard Allen enjoys the immediacy of working directly from nature, trying to capture the life and vitality of wild birds, and the patterns of plumage, light, water and foliage.

This essential field experience has proven invaluable when working on paintings in the studio, illustrating bird identification guides and producing wildlife interpretation illustrations for nature reserves and visitor centres.

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Richard lives in Wivenhoe, on the Colne estuary, with his wife Sally and his dog Buster.

In May 2011 he was featured in Country Living Magazine.

Read more about Richard here.

Richard Allen is currently exhibiting in our Small Painting Show 2023.

Richard Allen Artist

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