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Frank Wootton - Some Favorites
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February 26, 2011 - 9:52 pm
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Well, although I’ve now sold most of my Woottons ūüė•
I have bought a new one recently which will be framed and displayed. It’s one I’ve been after for some time and it came still wrapped in its original packaging !

Meteor Stikes Its First Blow :

Signed by Frank Wooton, the pilot depicted F/O Dean and the inventor of the first aircraft turbo jet engine – Frank Whittle ūüėõ

Pete

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February 27, 2011 - 3:02 pm
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The last of Wootton’s WW1 prints I’m aware of:

Frank Wootton “Knights of the Sky”

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March 2, 2011 - 1:11 am
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There are many great Mosquito images out there, but I think this is one of the best.

Frank Wootton “Mosquito”

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March 3, 2011 - 1:27 pm
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This one seems to be one of Frank’s lesser-known prints. Not pilot-signed, just a fine image of a Spitfire in the Med.

Frank Wootton “Top Cover”

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March 16, 2011 - 8:48 pm
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From here on out, I’ll be pulling images of Frank’s prints off the web. Some are good, some aren’t, so please excuse the quality of the photos.

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March 17, 2011 - 1:24 pm
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What a great thread! ?¬†Somehow I seem to have missed it. I was introduced to FW very early on, but was seduced away by more ‘popular’ rock star types to emulate. ?¬†

Keith Ferris for one readily gives truckloads of inspirational credit to FW, and rightly so – colorful without being garish, shapes accurate precisely only as is needed for the statement being made, masterful control of lines and edges, most pleasing palette that has ever existed in aviation art, and … where to stop? ?¬†The best, was (is) he.

My favorites of his remain the plein air works done as a combat artist. Now, time to get those FW books off the shelf!

Wade

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March 17, 2011 - 7:52 pm
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Speaking of Frank Wootton books, there are several titles. I’ve managed to scrounge up the following over the years:

How To Draw ‘Planes

The Aviation Art of Frank Wootton

At Home in the Sky

Frank Wootton – 50 Years of Aviation Art

Frank Wootton – A Career in Perspective

“50 Years of Aviation Art” is currently in print in softcover (I have not seen the softcover version in person). Seems like it’s not too hard to find one of the old hardcovers on eBay or through a used bookseller. The quality of the hardcover is excellent. I’d start with this book if I was interested in seeing more of Frank’s work. Some print images are in there, but most of the book features images that have not been put into print.

fuzzy

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March 19, 2011 - 1:18 am
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Here’s the companion volume to the Fighter book I posted an image of a while ago. If the Fighter cover is by Wootton, I’m guessing this one is as well:

….and Ian, I would be more then happy for you to pass on this tale and sincere thanks to those concerned.

I certainly will be happy to the next time I speak to them. By the way Chas, it’s looking like I’m going to be making a visit to Shawbury at some point over the next few months.

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March 19, 2011 - 1:39 pm
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Thanks for posting your FW book collection, Fuzzy! Not being as into FW as perhaps I should be I was unaware of two of them.

One of the many benefits of ASAA membership is sometimes you get ‘inside’ deals or opportunities in this business. My first forum in 1999 there was a short announcement that the UK Guild was allowing ASAA members to purchase their ‘Members Instruction Manusl” (forgot the exact title, not at home at the moment), which included a full(?) reprint of “How to Draw Planes”. Of course, I reserved a copy!

This, evidently, is the softcover version of “50 years …”. I have it and it’s nice:

Here’s another in the FW library (web image):

Wade

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March 20, 2011 - 9:49 pm
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The Aviation Art of Frank Wootton


fuzzy

Thank you for posting the image of this cover Fuzzy. The unusual perspective of the three Spitfires at altitude against the clouds has to one of my all-time favourites in aviation art.

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March 20, 2011 - 10:30 pm
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I think the three Spitfire painting was called ‘Looking for Trouble’, and I seem to remember he painted two versions of it, many years apart. I had the great privilege of spending an hour with the second version, photographing it for the GAvA at the RAF Museum.

It is for me without doubt the best aviation painting I’ve ever seen, the clouds are breathtakingly beautiful to behold, unfortunately this doesn’t come through on any reproduction of it that I’ve seen since. I guess the original is still in the RAF Museum store, hope they’ll display it sometime.

Mark

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March 20, 2011 - 11:39 pm
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I never knew “Looking For Trouble” was ever released as a print. I’d never seen a print before, but coincidentally, one was just on eBay a week or two ago. I downloaded the image for this thread.

Frank Wootton “Looking For Trouble”

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March 20, 2011 - 11:41 pm
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I agree, Mark – while many others have gotten some well-deserved press, I too have always come back to Looking for Trouble as the most iconic painting in all of aviation art.

Wade

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March 21, 2011 - 1:11 am
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Another of Frank’s images that I would also describe as iconic:

Frank Wootton “Steady There, Them’s Spitfires”

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March 21, 2011 - 9:56 am
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I never knew “Looking For Trouble” was ever released as a print. I’d never seen a print before, but coincidentally, one was just on eBay a week or two ago. I downloaded the image for this thread.

Frank Wootton “Looking For Trouble”

That one is the one that i fell in love with and got me interested in aviation art.
A brilliant piece of work that can be interpreted in different ways,off to war,back from war or even nowadays a peaceful air display.

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March 21, 2011 - 11:55 am
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I was at the RAF Museum a couple of weeks ago and, unless my mind is playing tricks on me, I’m pretty sure the original of ‘Looking for Trouble’ was on display as part of the ‘Art of the Battle of Britain’ exhibit in the Battle of Britain Hall. I should be down there again within the next week or so so will confirm if it is on show or not once I’ve visited

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March 21, 2011 - 2:56 pm
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Looking forward to that, Ian.

If they’re OK with taking photos, perhaps you could show us some of the paintings on display.

fuzzy

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March 23, 2011 - 2:08 am
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Continuing on with the Spitfires.

Frank Wootton “Achtung Spitfire”

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March 25, 2011 - 12:17 pm
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Frank Wootton “Bader Bail Out”

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March 26, 2011 - 10:47 pm
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I think the three Spitfire painting was called ‘Looking for Trouble’, and I seem to remember he painted two versions of it, many years apart. ?¬†I had the great privilege of spending an hour with the second version, photographing it for the GAvA at the RAF Museum.

Today I received my copy of “At Home in the Sky”, which is the catalog of his NASM retrospective solo exhibition (Sept 83 – Sept 84; 58 pieces). ?¬†The reproduction quality is excellent, and I was amazed at the significant color ‘shifts’ in a few of the works as compared to the images in other books I have. But I digress.?¬†

What most intrigues me are the two versions of “Looking for Trouble”. ?¬†I honestly doubt I would have noticed if Mark hadn’t mentioned it. No doubt, as Mark recalls, there are two versions of this great work. I’m not a detective, but just for fun I made these notes:

ver #1: ?¬†Shown on the cover of ‘The Aviation Art of Frank Wootton’. ?¬†Credited in that 1976 book to the collection of HQ 11 Group Strike Command, RAF. ?¬†No size/no completion date given. ?¬†Appears to be a slightly rougher (but still highly attractive) brushwork finish, especially noticeable in the cloudwork, when compared to ver #2.

In the 1976 book, LfT is signed lower left as follows:

FRANK
WOOTTON
(‘Frank’ centered *above* ‘Wootton’)

This exact same work also appears as a print (see Fuzzy’s image above). ?¬†Notice the painting’s signature is lower left as before, but appears on the print as such:

FRANK WOOTTON
(one line)

ver #2: Appears in the NASM exhibition catalog on p. 63 (completion date given as 1940 – has to be wrong), and in “50 Years …” on p. 46 (no date). ?¬†Size given in the NASM catalog as 27.25 x 39.25 in. ?¬†Size given in “50 Years” as 25 x 36 in. ?¬†Credited in the NASM catalog as Collection of the Artist. In “50 Years” Victor Gauntlett, Esq. is shown as owner.?¬†

Numerous points of difference in the clouds as compared to #1, especially in the lower right quadrant of the work, and subtle points on the three aircraft. Overall much smoother brushwork in the clouds. ? 

In both ver #2 images available to me the work is signed lower left in typical FW fashion (signatures are identical).

WOOTTON
(no ‘Frank’)

What does this all mean? ? Nothing, really, other than there were definitely two versions as Mark says and it appears there were alterations to the signature on ver #1 at least once.

My favorite? ?¬†It’s obvious that FW generally tried to duplicate the work, save the ‘improvements’ to the clouds in the lower right quadrant as seen in #2. I do like the directional flow of the clouds in #2 much better, compared side to side, and since the printed images in my books are nearly the same size, I’ll have to go with #2 by a smidge.

Cheers!
Wade

(Now back to drooling over my FW book collection!)

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