Sunday, 8 July 2012

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Just before the floods here in the UK, I ironically tweeted a Youtube Clip from the movie Singing In The Rain. It was the scene were Gene Kelly is dancing with Cyd Charisse. I simply titled it Seduction and Chemistry,  a few days later it was re-tweeted by a gentleman in New York, if it was the gentleman himself or the organisation representing him, I'm not truly sure. If it was the gentleman, it was legendary writer illustrator Hilary Knight.  I'm flattered more than words can say, I couldn't be more flattered if Gene Kelly himself had reached out,  took my hand and waltzed me round my living room.
If you don't know who Hillary Knight is,  don't worry,  at first neither did I,  but I did recognise the name Eloise.  Myself  and my own 6yr old daughter watched the movie together this Christmas gone,  the story is about a 6yr old little girl living with an English nanny (Julie Andrews) in the Plaza Hotel New York.

 So I did a little research.

Eloise was written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight.

 Hilary Knight was born in New York on the 1st November 1926, his parents also Artist writers, were aviation illustrator Clayton Knight and fashion and book illustrator, Catherine Sturges.
His first published work appeared in Mademoiselle magazine in 1952 followed by House and Garden, Good Housekeeping Gourmet Magazine and Vanity Fair.
Mr Knight has illustrated over fifty books, nine of which he wrote. His work has included note and greeting cards, children's fashion advertising, illustrations for Cricket magazine, record album covers and posters for Broadway musicals. Half A Sixpence, Hallelujah Baby No, no Nanette, Irene and Gypsy.

I tweeted the Singing In The Rain clip because I was researching for my book, I was looking for glamour, seduction and chemistry, style and class with a true Hollywood essence. I felt the clip showed it all. As my book is set in two countries England and America I wanted to capture quaint essential England and the style and class of Hollywood legends needed for my characters and my locations.

Here in the UK the sky has been grey for many weeks and the rain has brought heartache and devastation to thousands of people including members of my own family.  But that one single re tweet brought sunshine back into my life and most certainly chased the clouds and blues away.  I felt for a brief moment I had been touched by a true legend, the kind most of us only ever dream of or watch in Hollywood Movies!. Mr Knight belongs to a league of illustrators, writers, actors directors, producers, camera and lighting people, that made the silver screen what it is today. His work along with many others of his generation paved the way and gave inspiration to us all who love the arts be it the printed word, stage or the cinema screen. I feel truly privileged and honoured. Little did I know what a single tweet would bring. I suppose the moral of the story is every cloud has a silver lining you just have to look somewhere over the rainbow to find it.

So if you read this Mr knight Thank you, you brightened my day and gave me something to cherish for the rest of my life which is why I have wrote about you here in my blog a diary of life's great adventure written for my own two daughters who I hope will never forget me, or the things that were magical within my life and now you and Eloise are part of that magic too. X


I saw myself in this one!
We love having Hilary Knight, Eloise illustrator, dash off his musings for us. Here, his take on a lady in the Hamptons, complete with high-maintenance pup. Is that Perrier in his canine sipper, we wonder?
Illustration by Hilary Knight.