Still life?

Pubs are disappearing at a rate of knots, and that comes as no surprise really when one things of the sea change in attitudes to drinking and even smoking.

In the ‘good old days’ pubs kept pies in glass cases and never seemed to have any sell by date. There was probably so much salt in them that they may well have been preserved for years. In years to come someone will dig out the site of an old pub and will find a glass case complete with pork pie. It will be examined and dissected by future archeologists and deemed to be fit for human consumtion as long as it is washed down with a beer of the same era. It will have on it the DNA of the landlady who put it there before the place was demolished to make way for a mobile phone shop, which has also now been demolished.

I found this drawing this afternoon when doing one of my periodic clearouts, which never really become clearouts because I can’t bring myself to clear out drawings. It was one of many, this one never got into the book, about “Some Missing Persons”, a book that my dear departed friend Gordon wrote about people and types that seem to be gradually disappearing. It was a good book but did not do as well as it deserved. Such is life. Perhaps someone will find a copy in many years to come and deem it to be the great work of truth that it is. They will then go out and celebrate with a “beer-style” beverage and a vegetable-style “pork pie” savoury, poor sods.

Which one?

3 years ago tomorrow this little chap was born with his brother, am not sure which one is which in this image of him with his Dad taken by me at the hopsital where they were re-potted to grow on a bit. They’ve grown more since. Happy Birthday boys for tomorrow.

Am I in a creative rut or just bone idle?

I keep pretty busy and I look busier than I am. It’s a few years since I had to earn a living from drawing related activity. So the temptation these days is to create my own self imposed work load and recently that has been light. Every now and again I get enthusiastic about an idea. I had one about haircuts of all things and did loads of drawings of the male haircut. I’m not sure quite why now, but it was fun to do. Names was another ‘thing’ and I have quite a lot of drawings in the desk, you can find them on-line too right here, in fact you can find loads of stuff there. I’ve done the odd political cartoon here and there. Interesting that this cartoon done all those months ago might still be able to be used again now.

Boris emerges from the shallows…

I suppose the one consistent thing that runs through all of my work is that there’s something truly British about it. I suppose that’s inevitable: its part of my DNA.

I’ve reinvented myself and done some so-called proper drawings as well as shown my collections of photographs.

Well to get to the creative point here. I am at present wallowing around trying to find my navigator again. I’m looking for my next project and something to get enthusiastic about again. It really should not be that difficult to find it, especially with the rain we’ve been having which is the best sort of weather for me to be drawing. Speaking of weather, I’ve even done a series on that.

Intelligent suggestions are always welcome, but for the time being, and so that I can buy some thinking time on this, I will be publishing seven days of photos over the next week. Starting tomorrow. These will hopefully fill a creative gap and as they are from my archive, requiring next to no effort. Bone idle.

Thanks for coming this way.

Olive Trees: I’m reticent about this.

My good friend and fine printmaker Rosalind, lives on Spetses and has made some wonderful prints of olive trees, so I m a little reticent about putting my own out there. The competition is a little on the hot side. No matter, here they my trees. I can’t remember now if these were from Crete or Spetses, Crete I think on a walking holiday. These trees are probably many years old and make a natural subject for almost any artist. Given that the light in these areas is bright and crisp it’s no wonder.

Spetses is one of those Greek Islands that you might think is covered in tourists, but as it’s a long boat ride to get there from Athens, it’s not. Retaining a lot of charm and tranquility. Ros has been drawing there for anumber of years. She’s a printmaker specialising in reduction lino cuts where many colours can be added to the process. It’s worth taking a look at her website where you can buy original lino prints of limited editions from her shop on the site. Like many artists she’s not as well known as she ought to be despite having many keen followers and owners of her exquisite works.

Enough about her, this is about my drawing! This one has not progressed beyond line drawing as yet, and like many of these, the colour may never happen. If it does not work for me then I ditch it, just keeping the line drawing in case I want to have another shot at it. You can see the ones that did get beyond the black line right here

I hope you’ve enjoyed these one-a-day-for-seven-days series and that you’ll come back soon.

Just outside Sheffield, there’s been rain.

It’s non-news really. Rain in Sheffield. A bit like three coming after two, or that a politician might have been flexible with the truth. Perhaps best not to go in that direction.

This drawing too managed to make it through to colour and you can see it right here. In many respects I like the simple line drawing.

Speaking of rain in Sheffield, then if you happen to be there, feel free to go here and get yourself one of their brilliant coffees, and the brunches and cakes are worth a detour to the summit of Walkley just on the outskirts of town. I declare an interest here, my son Joe is the prop here. He even does toast and jam some days, like it! He must take after his father, as jam and bread was my most favourite thing when I was a small child. I recall being at my most angry at a birthday party when all the fancies in the world were on offer and there were no jam butties. What was mine host thinking of for crying out loud. I even have a photo below of the event to prove it.

That’s me: Mr Grumpy fourth from the left, with my brother in matching jumper on my right.