August blogfest – day 12

by thisnorthernboy



When I was seventeen, studying Graphic Design in York, I bought a book called The Anatomy of Illusion. It was the collected art of a British illustrator called Michael English.

The work in the book varied from early psychedelic posters for shops on the King’s Road in London, to hyperrealistic paintings of trains.

All the art was amazing. Staggering really for me to comprehend, as someone just starting out on a career in design / illustration, the level of talent, technique and precision.

There was one painting, part of the Nature Series, that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. Mouthmill, an astonishingly realistic rendering of water flowing over moss, over hanging ferns stand out against the dark background… It’s flawless.

Michael English simply said of Mouthmill – “This painting marked the climax of all my nature work in the 1970’s. It has no equal.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Michael sadly died in 2009, you can read his obituary here.


Mouthmill, Michael English, 1980.