Sunday, September 09, 2007

Audrey Fawley [Charlotte Fawley]

Back on 30 November 2006, I wrote a brief piece about Audrey Fawley who was credited with work in Swift Annual 5 (1958). I noted at the time that another artist called Audrey Fawkes was credited in Swift Annual two years later. There was an Audrey May Fawkes (1925-1990) but I managed to contact a relative who told me that "We do not believe 'our' Audrey is the one you are looking for." So, no luck there, but thanks to Linda all the same for such a prompt reply.

I'm pleased to say that I've recently been corresponding with Charlotte Fawley. Charlotte, who used the name Audrey for her illustrations but later reverted to using her real first name, also cleared up the Audrey Fawkes mystery: "That was me but the publishers spelt my name wrongly -- mystery solved!"

Charlotte has her own website which includes a great deal of information and many examples of her work, much of which has been inspired by her love of the performing arts, particularly ballet, opera and the theatre. To quote Charlotte: "For me, dance expressed in art is about energy and emotion. One line can sometimes express just that. A splash of colour will enhance the drama, be it passion, joy, anger or despair ... I am fortunate to have opportunities to draw some of the greatest dancers and singers in the world today."

Charlotte was the subject of a BBC2 film entitled Making Their Mark (1990) drawing dancers and, at the other end of the scale, soldiers on manoeuvres in the Falklands, reconstructing graphics she had drawn for Newsnight. "I experienced something of what it was like to endure the cold and bleakness of the Norfolk landscape, where those young recruits were going through their arduous training for a not far distant war. I followed them with my sketchbook -- through the woods, gunfire ringing in my ears -- keeping up as fast as I could."

Before concentrating on her later art, Charlotte worked extensively for British comics. After graduating from Blackpool School of Art, Charlotte moved to London and worked as an art director in advertising and television, all the time illustrating books, magazines and national newspapers including The Manchester Guardian. She also worked for major agencies such as Young & Rubican and J. Walter Thompson.

As well as her illustrations for Swift Annual, Charlotte contributed to the weekly title, illustrating the serials 'Journey Into Danger' and 'Aztec Gold'. She also drew several serials for Robin and, in the 1960s and 1970s, worked for Teddy Bear, Bunty, Tammy and Jinty.

"Like most illustrators I knew, we seemed to be quite prolific and all those deadlines kept you on your toes," Charlotte told me recently. "I was working as an art director in advertising at the same time doing a lot of storyboards for TV -- my comic strip experience was very useful."

"There were some wonderful artists working at Young & Rubicam in the '60s -- former top illustrators like Ken Petts and Harold Forster who later drew for Look and Learn. I rarely got ot meet other comic illustrators, though I met artists like John Whittam and Fritz Wegner whom I admired much for their Radio Times work.

"I did regular covers for Princess Tina as well as Tammy, including black & white illustrations for stories. Also a regular strip serial 'Make-Believe Mandy' for Jinty. I was asked to write a story around some full page illustrations for Teddy Bear. They were very nice people to work with. By contrast, D. C. Thomson frightened me rather! No news was good news according to the agent I had at the time. I occasionally got a message from them to say children had written comments such as why was one of the character's glasses missing that week, etc. It didn't often happen as I lined up all the faces in front of my drawing board to keep the continuity. But I couldn't escape those eagle eyes all the time!"

Books for Children
How-Do-You-Do Party Games. London, Nelson, 1967.
How-To-Do Baking. London, Nelson, 1968.
How-To-Do Paper Toys. London, Nelson, 1968.
The Spring Fairy. London, Snowball Books, 1975?

Illustrated Books
Argle's Oracle by Margot Mary Pardoe. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1959.
The Pennor Mine Mystery by Wallace Bertram Nichols. London, Dennis Dobson, 1959.
Island in the Ice by Kenneth Rudge. London, Hamish Hamilton, 1960.
Bunkle Brings It Off by Margot Mary Pardoe. London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961.
The Double Dealer by Peter Burgoyne. London & Glasgow, Blackie, 1961.
Holiday in Holland by Jill Stevens. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1963.
The Thing That Swallowed Our House. A story for today and tomorrow by Jack Eyre Miles. London, Ginn & Co., 1963.
Veronica in Venice by Jill Stevens. London, Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1964.
Akua, the Ebony Doll by Patricia Gray. London, Dent, 1973.
The Policeman Comes to School by Dorothy M. Glynn. London, Oliver & Boyd (Dominoes ser.), 1973.
Hot and Cold by Albert James. London, Macdonald & Jane's, 1974.
I Make a Noise by Margett. London, Dent, 1974
Light and Shadow by Albert James. London, Macdonald & Co., 1974.
Springy Things by Albert James. London, Macdonald Educational, 1975.
Words by J. D. Bevington. London, Hamlyn, 1975.

(* My thanks to Charlotte for both her time and for providing the photographs that appear in this column. 'Boss of Beadle Street' is from June, 1973.)


  1. Another nice piece, Steve, always like it when you have an interesting article on a creator I haven't really come across before (or if I have I didn't know it was their work)

  2. Thanks for this!

    A great article on one of those artists you know instantly even though you've never heard her name!



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