Studio: international art — 36.1906

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Jessie M. Kings Pen-and-ink Landscapes

Landscapes in pen and ink


When an artist has been closely identi-
fied with a particular line, and by a new departure
widens the field of activity, it is interesting to note
the influence of early training and association on
the later development. Those who know Jessie
M. King only by her imaginative work in the
quaint illustrations to “The Holy Grail,” “The
Defence of Guinevere,” “ Comos,” and such tales,
would marvel at the scope and versatility of her
activity. Her success as an illustrator of books is
widely known, but as a designer of book-
covers, of wall-papers and fabrics, of
posters, of household articles, of trinkets
and ornaments, she is known chiefly to
those having business connections with
those things ; and now, in the midst of all
this suddenly to turn her attention to
landscapes and to produce something
worthy of a “ one man show ” at Berlin
and London, is surely an achievement
remarkable for a woman. And all this
is done by the medium of a pen, a fact
that should considerably strengthen the
idea of its mightiness.

It was on one of the romantic islands
studded over the west coast of Scotland
that the suggestion of a pen-and-ink land-
scape first presented itself to the artist;
and the initial difficulty was a conflict
between the new and the old, between
nature and art, the desire to produce that
which she saw, or to give rein to fertile
fancy by presenting that which she

To an artist of such a temperament
nature becomes a lesson-book from which
she reads a story, giving to it her own

Fidelity is commendable enough, but
the creative faculty is beyond this : it gives
an added interest and value to the work of
the artist; it is the touch of individuality
that stamps the effort of Jessie M. King,
and that is so often lacking in the work of
most women artists of to-day.

Take The House where Red Riding-
hood’s Grandmother lived, could anything
be more suggestive of a place which a
prowling, voracious wolf would select for
a deed of unparalleled duplicity and
cruelty? Yet the house is no figment of pen drawing by jessie m. king

the imagination : it stands within a few miles of
one of the great centres of civilisation; but the
selection, the connection, and the weaving of
the warp of fact with the woof of fancy, are the
outcome of the imaginative genius of the artist.
A sojourn in a quaint German university town and
in picturesque Avignon provided excellent oppor-
tunities for other delightful studies; and the
marked development shown here when compared
with the first landscapes made by the artist en-
courages the expectation that even more important
work will yet be undertaken by her clever pen.

J. T.

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