It must seem slightly odd, posting a poster about March trees in July. Mind you, the weather round here recently has had me out gathering wood for the stove, I can tell you. No, this one's because I've been fortunate enough to land some Shell Posters. In the 1950s these were essential educative wall decorations, and a set of Nature Studies adorned my school hall. No.6 June was a favourite, with the same scene of a country house divided into day and night, but they could equally be illustrations of the salient features of counties or the twelve months of a year in trees. Artist S.R.Badmin (1906-88) produced this series, brilliant evocations of the natural history on our doorsteps with each illustration showing pertinent trees with their leaves and fruit in the foreground. Badmin will be remembered for the Ladybird Book of Trees (still one of the best) but his watercolour skills produced hundreds of atmospheric paintings and his fine eye many meticulous line drawings. I was very privileged to be invited to Mr.Badmin's West Sussex home in 1987, and my girlfriend commented that it must be wonderful for him to have the South Downs just outside his big picture window. He poured out some more tea and said "Too close for me my dear".
Down Street, London
2 days ago