Last summer I had the great pleasure of meeting the charming Mrs Weltsova in London, on vacation from her home in New York . She is a lady of East European extraction and passionately devoted to the disciplinary arts.
We had previously become acquainted online and had both been invited to a summer Femdom party near London but owing to an unfortunate cancellation we arranged to meet up anyway so as not to waste the evening. After a delicious Japanese meal and an introduction for her to the London pub, I took the opportunity of gifting her a book I illustrated many years ago-“Queen of the Grove”.
I had been producing illustrations for an occasional journal “The Governess” in the early ’90s. Apart from the watercolours which is my usual technique these days, I was also developing a style of black & white illustration – itself reminiscent of an earlier era.
“The Governess” magazine also produced a number of books for which illustrations were commissioned and this book was the first of them – and to my mind the best – a collection of stories by the pseudonymous Louise Malatesta. Over one summer I was quite inspired to develop this dramatic monochrome style, and the book sold well, published by Chardmore Press who still retain the rights. You can buy a e-book version here, though the printed book is definitely worth acquiring if you can find it.
Mrs Weltsova was delighted with the book and commissioned me to reprise this style in a set of artwork for one of her own stories called The Secret Garden.
The style is still there. But though much is still drawn with brush and ink, a lot of digital modification goes on after scanning, replacing the traditional method of erasing pencil lines and altering by white paint (with resultant crumpled paper!)
Together with the story these make an original and exciting addition to Mrs Weltsova own personal blog.