Gibsons Games are known not only for the quality of their jigsaw puzzles, but also for their beautiful range of imagery. Gibsons puzzles are all illustrated by talented artists, each with their own distinctive style. Here is a brief introduction to some of the most popular Gibsons artists.
Steve Crisp is one of Gibsons' most popular artists and is known for creating beautiful nostalgic scenes. He was educated around the late seventies at St. Martins School of Art, London, at a time when many young students were graduating from college with new styles and ideas. He is a fine example of someone who has gone on from that period to become a well-established, internationally known, award winning illustrator. He has a large and diverse catalogue of work especially from the eighties and nineties, many of which have become collector's pieces. Steve has managed to adapt well to the changing needs of illustration especially with the introduction of digital techniques ten years or so ago.
Terry Harrison was born near Wendover and attended Farnham Art School. He subsequently became a graphic artist in London and later worked as an illustrator for the Yellow Pages and Thompson Directories. During his spare time, Terry pursued his first love; landscape painting. In 1984, due to high demand for his work, he began to paint full time. After 12 years, the Fine Art Trade guild awarded Terry the Best Up and Coming Published Artist of the Year. He has now published a book, 'Brush with Watercolour', which sold over 140,000 copies.
Kevin Walsh was born in 1950 in Castleford in the heart of former industrial West Riding of Yorkshire, from the same town as famous sculptor Henry Moore. During his degree, studying illustration at the Wakefield College of Art, Kevin became well known for his aircraft paintings and became a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists. His paintings are part of the Gibsons nostalgia range and many of his original oil paintings can be seen at the Headrow Gallery in Leeds. In recent years he has become increasingly known for a much wider variety of subjects, such as landscapes, transport and city life. Many of these subjects focus greatly on nostalgia and can be found on a diverse range of products, from greeting cards to biscuit tins. Another of his subjects in recent times now include classic cars from the Twenties through to the Sixties. Numerous limited edition prints available from The Oakwood Grange Collection are posted to collectors in the UK, USA, Australia and Japan to name a few countries. Accurate technical and historical detail combined with and ability to capture the warmth and atmosphere of his subjects are the hallmarks of this remarkably accomplished artist and he travels many miles to research his painting and spends countless hours sketching before committing the final composition to canvas.
Trevor Mitchell left Bradford Art College in 1979 with a Diploma in Art and Design. He subsequently began his career as an art director at a London advertising agency. He returned to his native West Yorkshire a few years later and worked for several design studios and advertising agencies before going freelance in 1986. Commercial illustration work rekindled his love of painting and he was encouraged by finding a market for his work among the publishers of greeting cards and jigsaw puzzles, and art prints of his paintings are now sold worldwide. Trevor's paintings reflect his enthusiasm for steam and vintage vehicles and his fascination with recreating the past in pictures appears frequently in Gibsons’ range of nostalgic puzzles.
For the past 50 years, Robert Opie has been finding the pieces that make up the giant jigsaw of British social history. He started recording the history of everyday products at the age of sixteen. He built up a collection, starting with a packet of Munchies, that now extends to all aspects of daily life: toys, magazines, technology, travel, souvenirs, fashion and design. His collection can now be viewed at The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising in Notting Hill, London, where the displays give visitors 'a trip down memory lane' and a chance to see how many brands around us have evolved from the naive charm of Victorian times to the greater sophistication of today.
John Francis was born in 1950 and grew up in Nottinghamshire. A self-taught illustrator, he specialises in Natural History and his work varies widely from precise wildlife portrayal to the more loosely drawn children's books. John is renowned for putting 'life' into his pictures and is in demand from a world-wide client list featuring Dorling Kindersley and the Sunday times. He has travelled far and wide and is a committed conservationist with a genuine interest in the living environment.
Tony Ryan is known for creating beautiful nostalgic scenes from the 1950s and 60s. He decided he wanted to be an artist when he saw a programme on the commercial artist's life when he was just twelve years old. Leaving school at 16, he went to Bolton Art College to study Illustration and Design, and then did a Postgraduate course in Illustration at Bristol. He is now a freelance illustrator and experiments with watercolour, gouache, oil and pastels. In recent years he has taken courses to develop his interest in printmaking and Japanese woodcut and many of his paintings are influenced by his own personal life and memories of when he was growing up in Lancashire.
Artist of many puzzles in the Gibsons range, Linda Jane Smith, is renowned for painting puzzles of cheeky kittens causing havoc. Linda studied Graphic Design at Bournville College of Art in Birmingham, and her time there gave her the discipline to work very precisely and enabled her to combine the two great loves of her life – cats and painting. She is an avid collector of old objects; hat pins, china and fabrics are treasures to her and they often turn up in her own paintings. Humour is also a big part of Linda's work. She works with designer gouache, in a Pointillist style, making a detailed drawing first, then meticulously putting on dots of paint to slowly build up the colour so that it has form and texture.
Derek Roberts was born in Birkenhead in 1945, and has had a fascination with all things mechanical from a very young age. After training at Birkenhead Art School in the 1960s he was accepted to work as a car stylist with Ford Motor Company. Derek specialises in nostalgic scenes depicting motorsport and vehicles from the 50s and 60s, as well as modern subjects. He also enjoys landscape painting and teaches watercolour to adult groups. Other commissions have included marine scenes for calendars and numerous commissions for private clients depicting Classic Cars, Sailing Vessels, Aircraft, Steam Loco's, Trucks and Portraits.
Gibsons Thelwell Flower Show Jigsaw Puzzle (1000 Pieces)
Norman Thelwell was born in Birkenhead on 3 May 1923. His love of the countryside grew through childhood visits to a North Wales farm and was strengthened throughout his life. His first cartoon for Punch was published in 1952 and this relationship lasted for 25 years and over 1,500 cartoons. The first pony cartoon was published in 1953 and, by accident, led to a lifetime of association with the image of the little girl and the fat hairy pony. As Norman said in his autobiography: 'I was a sort of unofficial country cartoonist, doing funny drawings that involved birds, cattle, pigs and poultry. His 34 books have sold over 2 million copies in the UK.