Jasper Johns must have been a gardener.

Or at least a man with a shed.

For those not of an artistic persuasion, you should know that Jasper Johns was, and perhaps is, a great American artist.He’s still with us! I recall in my late school days loving his work. As I understand it he went out of favour later on in his career, though I claim no special knowledge. He has an exhibition on in London at present at the Royal Academy, so I presume that those in the flow of these things, consider it’s time to resurrect his reputation.

Jasper Johns Exhibition at the RA

I am going to go along for old times sake, and to take a look at the people looking at the work. Great place for people watching.

There’s something slightly ‘up cycling’ about his stuff to me. He makes common objects into things of beauty, but then I think many common objects are. Perhaps it’s just that he makes us look, or at least helps us look. The RA says this about his stuff: “His treatment of iconography and appropriation of objects, symbols and words makes the familiar unfamiliar, achieving this through the distinctive, complex textures of his works.” Anyone know what that means in plain English?

I was reminded of his work as I strolled back from my allotment. There I was “appropriating objects”. Perhaps he was a gardener too?

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Jasper Johns: Ventriloquist, 1983.

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Paul Davies: Sheddist 2017

Some of my friends have gone…

Travelling in leatherweb

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Pont watercoloursmallweb

These chaps above have all gone to new homes as well as the finished version of the one below. In many ways I prefer the one below to the final. I’m sure they’ve all gone to good homes. The bike drawing has been sold for charity, so I am particularly pleased about that. It was bought by a chap who’s friend is greatly into motorbikes. The charity that will benefit is Headway. This one’s for charity

Hoping for a fine day today so that I can find new homes for some of the others, but it’s been a good week anyway.

Interestingly, the drawing that has had the most reaction is the one on the poster below and still no one mentions the bear,like it’s normal to have a stuffed bear in the loft.

A quick tour of the exhibition.

Pontart

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Thanks to all those people who have dropped by in the last few days and to those of you out there worldwide who have dropped in here.

You can see more of what’s on in the show right here:My site where you can buy prints of many of the images that I have in the show.

How much!!!!!!!!!??????

Bendover

I’m in the middle of getting together my exhibition stuff for August, and here’s one of the final pieces. If a cartoon can be called a “piece”. There I go again devaluing what I do. In the good old days when I was working for ad agencies and design companies these sorts of drawings were commissioned and the fee was based on the use it was put to. If it was a visual then you’d be lucky to get £60-00 for it, if it was used for editorial in a magazine then it could be less than that. On the other hand if it was used for a small ad campaign then the fee could be aropund £300-00 or more to include the rights to the drawing. For a big ad campaign it could go into four figures ( rare this! )  This was in the 80’s and in the heyday of illustration being commissioned, and I was lucky to have had my best years of illustration commissions then.

Now I’ve changed direction and I’m doing all my own ideas and will soon be publishing them as prints from my website and having an exhibition of the originals. This one is just  a sample of one of the prints on drawings about people with apt names, these two being Valerie Uptchuous and Benjamin Dover: Ballroom Dancing Champions. The original of this will be on sale at the exhibition, and this version as a print. Here’s another : Desmond Pratt

As someone who’s been ‘in the business’ for years I’m used to people saying ” How much!!?? ” when I tell them what I want for a drawing. This phrase is usually followed by the muttered, spluttered  “…but it will only take you a short time to do it” as if creative work should be charged by the hour like a taxi driver on a meter.

The point of this is “How much?” I want to sell them, and of course I have digital files of all of them and I’m not selling the rights to the images, just the orginal black and white artwork.

I guess I’ll find a way, or let the market decide as they say. We’ll see. I’ll be posting more on the exhibitoion as we get closer to it in August. Apart from the drawings about people with apt names, there will be a series about the British, see here for more about that: Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character  Indicentally I’m still trying to find living relatives of the esteemed “Pont” to invite them along to the exhibition, but no luck so far.

I’m looking forward to it myself. I’m looking for other venues around the country to show it too, so any suggestions on where I might be able to take it, then let me know. I’ve looked in London but my reaction when I saw what they wanted for the rental of a small exhibition space was “How much!!!!!!!??????”

 

I’m not going to tell you where this is…

Miserden

…apart from the fact that it’s not that far away from where we live. I don’t want all of you crowding in there getting in the way of the scenery. It’s like all those holiday magazines with the headlines “Undiscovered Thailand” which is not now going to remain undiscovered for much longer as everyone now knows, thanks to the magazine.

Stunning photograph by my friend Sally Ware, as is the following which she also took. She’s taken lots of photos of these wonderful leaves and this is just a sample of one of them.

Leaf

Both photographs copyright Sally Ware

The Art of the shed

The Art of the shed

I’m a fan of this artist’s work. Guided here by my other half who discovered him for herself some years ago, and is herself inspired by it, take a look at Antoni Tapies

In a homage to his paintings here are my own images, gleaned straight from the plot. A heady mixture of art and “sheddism”. A sunny day helps both the art of the shed and the growing of the plot.

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This one is called “Untitled 1”

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This one is “Unititled 2”

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and this one is “Rusty nail”

and finally this one:

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which is called” Self portrait with shed door juxtaposed”.

All are available as fine art prints, of course. Get in touch with your bank details.

 

Yes, but is it art?

I’m a big fan of art galleries and love to watch the watchers. In my quest to get together my exhibition about the British inspired by cartoonist “Pont” I’m working at present on  the one featured below. The people looking at the art are at times as entertaining as what they are looking at. There’s usually a bloke of a certain age dressed with the cravat and matching floppy kerchief in the top pocket, a large woman who can be guaranteed to block out most of what’s on view as well as one who dresses in the same colours as the paintings, so has a tendency to look like a piece of artwork. “Certain Age Gentleman” is able to lean forward from a fixed spot as if his shiny brogues are nailed to the floor inspecting the detail of what he’s not understanding at all. Small boy is more interested in what’s up his nose than the valuable piece in front of him, the painting only serving to remind him what’s up there. There’s likely to be the odd Japanese person if this is in London, it’s on the itinerary of the group trip.

This is the first rough, the final artwork will be at my exhibition in August here in Cheltenham, I’ll be putting details on here as well as featuring a lot of the drawings, which might be described as art, “but not as we know it Jim?”

Pontart

This will tell you more about “Pont”  Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character

Three stages of artwork, is it ever finished? No.

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This is the first rough, or the idea stage for one of my drawings for a coming exhibition here in Cheltenham in August, that I published here some months ago. Here are some links to refresh your memory:

More on my Pont project

Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character

A lot of the drawings are about ” The British Character” and are loosley based on the works of a cartoonist from the 1930’s called “Pont” but who’s real name was Graham Laidler. I’ve been helped by the Cartoon Museum to try and contact his descendents so that they can come along to the show sometime, but although they have forwarded my details to some surviving cousins, they have sadly not been in touch.

Anyhow, just to illustrate how these things are coming together, here’s the drawing above in progress, this next image being the next stage from that above, with the tools of the trade: Pentel sign pen, a thicker marker, some of Dr Ph Martin’s Bleedproof white to pick out highlights and correct some of the errors, and some soft grey pastels to get the half tone for the final, plus some erasers to correct the half tone here and there. There is much washing after this stage to get the pastels off where I’ve rubbed the drawing and pastel has transferred to my hands or my face. Fixative makes sure it stays mainly on the paper. The drawings are done on layout paper and glued to card with studio gum before the pastels and amendments are made. No pencils are harmed in the preparation of this artwork! I like pencils but hardly ever use them.

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Then below here is the final stage. This is the image after it has been photographed and made into a digital file for any last minute alterations and faffing. This is one of quite a few drawings that will soon be available as prints from my other site: My other site

I’ll keep everyone informed on progress towards the exhibition and will be publishing more in the series as we get closer to the August deadline.

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A prediliction for visiting the houses of the gentry
THE BRITISH CHARACTER