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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Angus Scott

Angus Scott was a Scottish artist educated at Glasgow School of art who became a prolific illustrator for numerous magazines, including Punch. He wrote two books on drawing, The Art of Pen & Ink (London, Linden Lewis, 1947) and Drawing in Pen and Ink (London, Batsford, 1985).

Scott had worked on the Daily Mirror’s cartoon strips, including "Belinda Blue Eyes" and "Ruggles", in both instances ghosting for Steve Dowling. As a comic artist he is best known for his work on Charles Chilton’s "Riders of the Range" which he drew for ten months; his sketchy renditions of Jeff Arnold and Luke were somewhat uncomfortable next to other more realistic strips in Eagle’s pages, although Luke, with his spiky beard and piercing eyes, became the standard rendition, continued by Frank Humphris. Scott’s artwork has been criticised for its inconsistency, sometimes showing flashes of excellence but more often let down by his inability to capture the majesty of sweeping prairie landscapes or the heroic stance of his leading man.

He also illustrated a series of dog care features by Barbara Woodhouse published in Girl in 1956 which were later collected as Walkies: Dog Care the Woodhouse Way (London, E. Benn, 1982).

Regular Bear Alley contributor Don Grant recently turned up some examples of Scott's earlier work for a pre-war motoring magazine called The Light Car. "I was going through some more of my dad's papers and found an article written by him," says Don. "It was illustrated by a great friend of his, Angus Scott, who used to draw the Eagle strip 'Riders of the Range', which made me and my brother pretty popular parading our signed copies of the Eagle in the playground.

"The article was 'The Misunderstood Scot', and was a humourous side-swipe at what it was like to be a Scot in England, and an English driver in Scottish events. At the beginning of the piece there is an author's note:
After great difficulty and at enormous expense, the accompanying sketches were obtained from Angus Scott, who is busy searching for his Uncle Dugald - last seen entering a public house near London, which was tantalizingly inscribed "Free House."
"Angus Scott had scribbled alongside, Dear Gregor, herewith picture. My uncle Dugald did not pose for this particular sketch, but I've drawn him from memory. Angus.

(* Riders of the Range © Charles Chilton; artwork © IPC Media; cartoons with thanks to Don Grant.)

Update: 28 April 2009

With the aid Barbara Halpin, who was related to Angus Scott (he was the brother of Barbara's grandmother) I've been able to locate a little more information. Scott was born on 12 January 1909 and lived at Trees, Ringles Cross, Uckfield, in East Sussex from at least 1956 on. His artwork can be found in the collection of the Burns Museum, Irvine, North Ayrshire, Scotland, who commissioned five large paintings illustrating Tam O'Shanter from the artist which are to be found in the entrance hall.

Prints by Scott were to be found on the walls of the Bank of Scotland in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, the latter accompanied by a plaque.

Scott died in Uckfield in around March 2003, aged 94.

9 comments:

Damian Andrews said...

My nostalgia for "Riders of the Range" stems from Angus Scott's stint on the strip. I was only about seven years old at the time but thought his depiction of Jeff, Luke and Jim definitive. Frank Humphris was good as well but I liked the "cartoony" look. Incidentally, I also prefer Frank Hampson's more humorous "Dan Dare" drawings, so there!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your article on Angus Scott. I found it very informative as he was my Grand mothers brother. I would appreciate any information you could provide on Barbara Halpin to continue with my family tree.
Thank you,

Stuart McG.
stuartzzr@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Thank you you for posting this information about Angus Scott who was my Grandfather. I have a couple of photographs of him from the early 1930's with my dad (his son) but unfortunately (largely due to Adolph Hitlers intervention I suspect) they lost touch some time after that and never saw each other again. I wonder if anyone has any more recent photos of him? If so, I'd dearly love to see them.

Steve said...

Hi Anonymous,

Hopefully someone will spot this and get in touch if they have any photos. In the meantime, would you be willing to share the photos you have? Scans can be sent to the e-mail address just below my photo.

Regards,

Steve

Jinty H said...

My family have several original painting by Angus Scot. He painted several for Irvine Burns Clubalso when my father was President. On his trip to Irvine he stayed with my family. If anyone is interested in any of his painting please contact me .

Barb Halpin said...

hiya iam margarets granddaughter my email is barbarahhalpin@rocketmail.com I have a folder full of letters and little pictures he sent to my grandma x

Rob said...

I'm glad to discover information about Scott and his work, as he is fairly new to me. If anyone has original artwork by Scott that they're interested in selling, I'd love an example or two. Many thanks.

Best,
Rob Stolzer
rob@robstolzer.com

Jinty H said...

Hi Rob, I do have one of Angus Scott's original painting and my family have several others if your interested.

Rob said...

I was lucky enough to pick up an original Angus Scott pen & ink political cartoon from "The Light Car", and thought folks might be interested in seeing it. The cartoon pictures Hitler and Mussolini getting a flat tire on the rough road of the "War Path":

http://www.robstolzer.com/cartoons/Scott-Angus-War-Path-Light-Car-May-1941.jpg