Teddy Bears’ Picnic – Bear-a-thought Illustration

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…

I think the majority of us will be familiar enough to sing along to the tune of this light classical tune, composed in 1907 by American composer, John W. Bratton.

Over the last fourteen-years, I have produced over a hundred teddy bear illustrations, which have been seen by customers all around the world in the form of greeting cards and calendars. Some of these illustrations bring back lovely memories.
Teddy Bears' Picnic for blog
My illustration of ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ – probably the archetypal picture of bears together – reminds me of a former next-door-neighbour, who was always peering out of the window when I was in the garden setting up teddy bear scenes to sketch and photograph. She never knew it was, at that time, my part-time career to draw teddy bears, so I can only guess at what she thought I was up to. I can imagine the conversations she would have with friends, about her ‘eccentric neighbour’.

Whilst setting up this picnic scene, she plucked up courage to venture into the garden and peer over the fence and say, in a querulous voice, “Oh, they are having a picnic today are they?” I replied in the affirmative and making small talk, about how they liked cakes more than sandwiches, got on with the task at hand, watched unashamedly by my neighbour…

In the illustration, the bears are enjoying Victoria Sponge (it wouldn’t be a proper picnic without it), Battenberg cake (which my friend, Sara, knows I dislike very much), muffins and Jammie Dodger biscuits – always a favourite! These sumptuous treats will be enjoyed with a hot pot of tea.

The background shows the flower – the Rose of Sharon, which blooms in my garden at this time of year and the bushes are currently covered in flowers.   The bear wearing the purple, gold and green coat belongs to my friend Mildred and is, I believe, quite collectable. A number of my friends and customers are keen arctophiles have some marvellous collections of teddy bears. One of these collectors is Peter Masscharis, who has a marvellous collection of teddy bears, which is affectionately known as a ‘hug’.

It’s little wonder that teddy bears have remained so popular – they are wonderful to cuddle, never complain and always listen to your cares and worries. Perhaps, their ‘Picnic Day’ is the only day’s holiday they get and that’s why it’s probably best to leave the woods well alone and let them have some much needed peace and quiet!

The song by John W. Bratton was composed in 1907 and released in March 1908. The ‘Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ lyrics were written by Jimmy Kennedy in 1932. Many well-known artists, including Rosemary Clooney and lesser-known recordings, such as that by the comedian John Inman, have been released over the years.

8 thoughts on “Teddy Bears’ Picnic – Bear-a-thought Illustration

  1. It’s funny that you mention your neighbour, Michael, because I have the same situation. I take a lot of photos of my “hug” in my garden. My next door neighbour (who is very nosey) is always peeking from behind her window when I am in the garden with my bears. But so far she hasn’t asked any questions, although I know she is dying to find out. Thanks for the mention. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the comment; it would seem we have something in common Peter. We must keep these neighbours wondering, with regard to our antics. I have enjoyed illustrating the bears, but I have often found myself in embarrassing situations! Keep up the good work with the bears Peter, you have the most marvellous collection…

  2. I would love to use this your illustration on a facebook event invitation for my niece’s and newphew-in-law’s baby shower (July 2020). Do I need to buy a copy of the jpeg/gif from you? I don’t want to breach copyright by just downloading it. Please email me. Thank you.

    • Hello Tania, thanks for your message. I am more than happy for you to use this image for your niece and nephew-in-law’s baby shower. You can copy the image on this website (if you click on the image on this blog post it comes up with a clearer copy, which, you can right click on and save). Thank you so much for asking me, as most people would have just copied it. Could I kindly request that you give my name a mention, that is the only ‘payment’ I would require. Thank you again for your interest in my work and your honesty, I hope the baby shower is a wonderful event. Kindest regards, Michael

      • Thank you so much Michael. I will definitely credit your name and add a link to your website for the artwork. Your drawings are beautiful and so detailed. Just wish I could draw like that, love you dog pictures. Have you ever done one of a german shorthaired pointer? I have two. Stay safe, Tania

      • You are very welcome, Tania and thank you for the credit and link you are doing for me. Strangely enough I have just drawn my first shorthaired pointer (I think this was an English one) for a project that I am working on that probably won’t be published until the end of this year or into next year. It’s quite a cartoonlike one, but it’s definitely some kind of a pointer. So watch this space. Thanks again and take care of yourself, Tania. Warm regards, Michael

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