- 14th August, 2005 -

In the last year or so, I've been very fortunate to meet Geoff Ridgway and get to know him as a real person. He has proven to be a generous and forgiving friend, putting up with my endless gabbling at him both in blizzards of e-mails and on the phone. I first ran across some of his extraordinary illustrations a couple of years ago, then pursued him relentlessly across the Internet to obtain more of his incredible work.

Geoff has a unique style that I've seen nowhere else. I suppose you could say his illustrations are, in many ways, Steam Age/Victorian in their appearance, and that alone makes them stand FAR out from the crowd. Not only are his human figure and face renderings beautifully done, but his attention to detail and the way in which he illustrates the machinery he so loves is outstanding. Every little rivet, stain, rust spot or patch of paint is believable in its authenticity ... and his machinery ... well .. you have to see it to believe it.

He is, like me, a steam locomotive nut case, and this is reflected in the designs of his diabolical devices with the use of madly circling eccentrics, gleaming pistons that thrust smoothly backward and forward with mechanical precision, jetting steam, and spinning flywheels driven, on occasion, by flapping drive belts. All in all, it's a visual feast the like and combination of which you'll NOT see anywhere else on the Internet, other than perhaps the stuff that the inimitable Gord does, in real life, on HIS site.

Being of UK origin and still living there, he has a deft and certain feel for the industrial landscapes, country estates of the rich and famous, and abysmal worker's housing that used to be so prevalent and he shows this eloquently in his art, when it's required.

Geoff is not ONLY a static artist though, for he does exquisite animations of the situations his heroine/victims find themselves in and so you get to see what's going on from all sorts of interesting aspects.

I cannot recommend his material too highly, and have had the honour and pleasure of Geoff creating the cover art for my book: CHAINED CONVICT FOR LIFE, THE BIOGRAPHY OF SABRINA. I think his job has been outstanding.

Before I began bothering him, Geoff had already created a couple of excellent CD's of his work and the covers of three of them are shown below.

All in all, Geoff has an incredible talent, and top of that, is a genuinely nice guy. If you buy any of the CD's shown (and he has more to come), you'll NOT be disappointed.