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 John Batchelor

John BatchelorIt has been a privilege for BANNERLINE and several of our clients to have worked with one of the world's most successful artists and technical illustrators, John Batchelor of Wimborne, Dorset, England.

There are few libraries in the world that don't contain Batchelor art within many published works. He has illustrated several prestigious collections of military and war histories, and books on many other themes. His clients have included the Smithsonian Institution, the Imperial War Museum, Time-Life Books, Microsoft Corporation, Popular Mechanics Magazine and the postal systems of more than 30 countries of the world. A particular forte is cutaway illustrations, depicting both the exterior casing and interior workings of ships, planes, cars and machinery.

John Batchelor's work for BANNERLINE over the years has included commissions for:

  • British Columbia Ferry Corporation
  • Collingwood School
  • Paul T. Clough
  • Imperial Parking Limited
  • Interpro Technical Services Ltd.
 BANNERLINE / Batchelor Projects

A few of the BANNERLINE/Batchelor projects are illustrated here:

INTERPRO's U.S. Navy Turbines
Click to see intro Bannerline created using Batchelor's paintings When Interpro began marketing mint-condition, never used, U.S. Navy turbines for conventional industrial use, it was decided that it would be good to illustrate the ships for which General Electric designed and built the turbines, but to also illustrate the unique modern opportunity. Batchelor painted World War II cruisers USS Oregon City, USS Cleveland, the turbines themselves and a typical industrial scene. Some of these images were used in the Flash intro Bannerline created for the Interpro website. See the Interpro web intro here

Interpro commisioned John Batchelor to create these 4 paintings

HMCS Collingwood HMCS Collingwood
One of Canada's most prestigious private schools was named after a ship. HMCS Collingwood, once commanded by the father of this school's founder, was Canada's first corvette of World War II, the tiny, uncomfortable, generation of warships described by Nicholas Monsarrat in The Cruel Sea as the true heroes of the Battle of Atlantic.

Collingwood School commissioned John Batchelor to immortalize the vessel that was its namesake.

Batchelor with Collingwood students
Batchelor with Collingwood students

Sir Francis Drake and The Golden Hind
Sir Francis Drake's ship The Golden HindJohn Batchelor was retained by the British Columbia Ferry Corporation to paint cutaway illustrations of company ships for the International Marine Transit Association 1996 annual convention, which was held in Vancouver. After an agreement was reached on the cutaways, it was proposed that John might paint an original oil, which could be a lasting memento of the event, reproduced as signed limited editions for all delegates. The subject put forward by sponsors was to be historical speculation, the increasingly documented supposition that the west coast of Canada was first explored by Sir Francis Drake in 1577, two centuries earlier than what is generally regarded as the first European Pencil sketch of The Golden Hinddiscovery. These various works are presented here.  The pencil sketch was completed by Batchelor in 10 minutes, as he awaited a drive to a meeting at which the project was discussed. He passed around the table what he described as his "doodles".

Batchelor's research in all projects is meticulous. When he delivered the finished oil of the Drake vessels at the entrance to B.C.'s Active Pass, he added this amusing postscript: "The ships are accurate with the exception of the ceremonial sails. Had Drake used them during this long voyage, barely a trace of the red would still be visible. The Cross of St. George was reserved for royalty and great occasions, not the stealthy prowls for which Drake was famous."

Cutaway of a B.C. Ferry "fast ferry"
Batchelor cutaway of a B.C. Ferry "fast ferry" a $210 million three-ship project that went
way over budget ($450 million) with ships that failed to perform as expected, creating 
one of the greatest political controversies in the province's history.

Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic

This motorcycle, owned by Paul T. Clough of Vancouver, B.C., became the subject of a large oil painting, commissioned as a gift to Clough in 1998.

1929 Auburn Boat-TailThe 1929 Auburn Boat-Tail
 Was one of four original oil paintings commissioned by Paul T. Clough and Imperial Parking Limited during 1997 and 1998. The plan at the time was to create a gallery of classic automobiles, with the large 36" x 26" originals at the core, but duplicated in limited edition prints and posters for multiple corporate promotional purposes.

This message accompanied the Auburn painting:

The small town of Auburn, Indiana (1998 pop. 10,000) is one of the most important

But Frank and Morris Eckhart were the first to put Auburn on the map, when they began manufacturing cars as early as 1900. Their Auburn Boat-Tail Speedster, styled by Count Alexis Sakhnottsky, emerged from a long line of high performance cars. The Boat-Tail offended the sensibilities of the social elite, who denigrated both its "vulgar" sweeping lines and reasonable selling price. Priced far below rival sports car builders, this extrovert vehicle had a two-tone paint job and an eight-cylinder engine. The Boat-Tail was entered in many time trials around the United States, bettering many stock car records.

E.L. Cord, an auto mechanic born in Missouri, acquired the Auburn Automobile Company in 1924 and led the creation of its most distinguished vehicles, the Cord and the later editions of the Auburn. A 1935 Auburn 851 was driven by Marlene Dietrich in the movie Desiré.

Paul Clough (right) and Batchelor with three of the four paintings at the framing shop
Paul Clough (right) and Batchelor with three of the four paintings at the framing shop
Other paintings in this series:
  • 1914 Stutz Bearcat Roadster
  • 1914 Model T Ford
  • 1936 Duesenberg SSJ
The HectorThe Hector
This original John Batchelor oil on canvas depicts the perilous voyage of the vessel that established the first permanent Scottish settlement in Canada's Nova Scotia, at Pictou County in 1773. Most of the settlers were from County Sutherland in northern Scotland. Of the 33 families and 25 single men who sailed, 18 people died during the 11 week voyage. This painting is in the private collection of Gary and Patricia Bannerman.

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