Florence Harrison.com

My Original Artwork

I have a considerable quantity of Florence's original artwork discovered a few years ago when Blackie's records were disposed of following the demise of the Company.

Here you can view some of my favourite originals from the many hundreds in my collection and will be able to make out Blackie's pencilled instructions to the block makers.

Amongst the most cherished items in my collection are the original watercolours of The Man In The Moon - which appears opposite page 53 (not 48 as per the index) of 'In The Fairy Ring'. I also have a watercolour entitled Lost in Thought, which has been attributed to her, but cannot be found in any known book.

 

If you are not familiar with printing procedures, you may not realise that the scale - and therefore the proportions - of artists' original works frequently have to be altered in order that the space available on the finished page is utilised most effectively.

 

I shall not attempt here to repeat in detail the printing process, but it should be realised that at the time Florence Harrison was most active, every picture had to be replicated from her paper medium to a (mirror-image) sturdy wooden-backed printing block which had to be in the correct scale. In a metal form, her lines would be left standing proud of the surface, so that in the final process the printers ink would transfer back to the book page and thus be a faithful copy of the original. Nowadays of course, it is all done by computer !

As you can see from the example below, the (smaller) final print of three fairies has been reduced by half in both its width and height - thus reducing the area of her work to 25% of the original image. In some cases not all of her imagery was utilised and for example, clouds which were considered superfluous, were "whited out" either by her, or at the behest of her publishers before the block was produced.

 

Similarly her original title for "Elfin Song" was also reduced by the same proportions.

I feel that the altered originals I have collected often leave me with a feeling of greater closeness with her as an individual, than do those which did not need any amendment before publication.

Naturally, not all the works she submitted were accepted for final publication, but those which did, often have the remark 'Best work', appearing on the reverse.