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Friday, 30 August 2013

Artist Kevin Walsh

Kevin Walsh's artwork is highly sought after by jigsaw manufacturers. In today's post, 30th August 2013, I am using three pictures of jigsaw puzzles featuring  his paintings. Kevin hails from the rugby league town of Castleford in Yorkshire and his early affinity for painting was nurtured at Wakefield Collage of Art. His early success was in the aviation field but his love of painting saw him branch out into community life, landscapes and transport. His love of the latter is clearly illustrated by the inclusion of some type of transport of bygone days in many of his pictures. Rural associations are strong features in his paintings with nostalgia buried deeply in his brush strokes. Several of Kevin's rural scenes include a steam train as an important element of composition. At my last count, twenty four jigsaw puzzles  named in my inventory of over eight hundred steam train examples, replicate Kevin's artwork. Gibsons, Ravensburger, Wentworth and Falcon/Jumbo are among his patrons.
First up is a picture of the Ravensburger 500-piece jigsaw unimaginatively titled Green Steam Engine.  Kevin's painting features Gresley 'V2' class 2-6-2 locomotive No.4791 passing a rural house with two children looking on from the garden gate. A man standing by his vintage Austin car is also included, admiring the green engine as it roars by.

Next are two pics showing all or part of a Kevin Walsh painting used in the jigsaw trade. The first, picture number two overall, shows the 1000-piece jigsaw by King International titled Following the Trains. The painting  is typically Kevin's featuring a wonderful steam train, in this case the famous express 'The Flying Scotsman', being admired by a couple of children and the family pet. Included in the scene is a tractor, a vintage Royal Mail post van and a postman collecting mail from a lineside post box. The scene is typically rural and nostalgic, the inclusion of the vintage post van and tractor adding more impact the the countryside scene isolated in the jigsaw pictured below. The locomotive heading the express is Gresley 'A1' class 4-6-2, No.4472 Flying Scotsman.

The jigsaw in picture number three has the same title as the  example  immediatley above. It is made by Ravensburger and produced in the vertical format from the same Walsh painting (or is it?). To accommodate the shape of the Ravensburger picture the tractor, postman, mail van and post box are 'cut off'; hence, it loses the extra impact inherent in the King jigsaw. The cut off point offers much discussion though. A vertical cut on the right hand side of the King jigsaw, excluding the Royal Mail content, and matching the Ravensburger example, appears to be impossible.

Apologies for using this picture for a second time, but it was important in the context of this post.

The headboard 'The Flying Scotsman', complete with defnite article,  was sparingly used from c1950*. The headboard 'Flying Scotsman' was used from c1928 and subsequently remained the most utilized  headboard (with slight shape changes) used on the express. However, the number of the locomotive 4472 and the tender lettering LNER (London & North Eastern Railway), infer a pre-1948 date, for the painting. 1948 was the year when the four UK regional railways (LNER, SR, GWR and LMS) were nationalised as British Railways. 
A 1928 photograph of the 'Flying Scotsman' express, headed by the Gresley 'A1' class locomotive No.2547 Doncaster, can be viewed on the Internet (Wikipedia).
* Locomotive Headboards. The Complete Story. Author Dave Peel. (ISBN 0-7509-4462-5)