Who’s lost their marbles?

Well it’s the Greeks if you must know and they did n’t lose them, we nicked them. High time we gave them back.

That aside and it’s a big aside and much more important than my ” What I did on my holidays” essay that follows, the Greeks were in my experience, the friendliest people I’ve met for a long time.

We’d gone to Spetses, and make no mistake about it it’s a long way from here in the UK. At least it is for us British who don’t travel well.(Don’t mention Brexit. Don’t you think that it sounds like a brand name for constipation? Just a thought ). Anyhow, back to the trip.

First of all I’d recommend Aegaen airways, not for the food which was like almost all airline food is not unlike school dinner at it’s worst ( or if you’re German wurst, and please don’t mention the Germans in Greece ) No the staff are the things that are notable. Now I know that airline hostesses are made up to the nines, blokes as well, but this lot looked like they’d strayed of the pages of Vogue. Except that they smiled genuine smiles, none of that fake smile hidden by the permafrost, the speciality of almost any advertising agency receptionist.

Greeted at Spetses by my old college chum Ros ( fine printmaker and watercolourist:
See her work here ) she had an idea where we awere staying. No road names on Spetses, so quite a puzzle finding anywhere. There are no cars on Spetses apart from a few taxis, they get around in the season by bus ( not many when we were there ) and loads of little scooters. Not all were as in fine condition as this model.

Rosscooter

These scooters can carry a family of four in close proximity and sometimes the dog, as well as a week’s shopping.

Rosdogbike

The dog also is trained to look after the bike when you are in the shops, and can possibly drive away if there’s a problem. I did see one scooter with an addition padded stool welded to the front platform for an additional person. There appear to be no crash helmets in existence on the island, speeds are generally quite modest and roads outside the main ones can be pretty rough and dusty. There are numerous bycycle repairman probably making a good living.

Rosbike

This is a relatively light load, two kids and a little bit of shopping.


 

So we’d arrived and now it was time for landscapes, in February!

Roslandscape

and boats

Rosorangeboat

They seem to use an orange paint on their boats to repair them, bright!

Riosships

These tubs apparently bring in extra water for the island

Rosgrapehyacybths

Grape hyacynths in February

Rosgreekshed

and nothing would be complete without a decent shed.


 

” That’s the sound of the man working…

 

…on the Chain Gang.

I’ve been reviewing, it’s that time of year. I took this bit of video in Gloucester where they repair and refurbish boats and ships some time ago. This one is a fine tall ship. I was struck by the fact that these guys were chipping away at a chain! How much more interesting if they’d got a bit more of a rhythm to it. Perhaps they could have done it to the sound of the Chain Gang as sung by the great Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke

. I think the ship is called the Kaskelot, and it’s worth looking at the site from the link below. Re-caulking is what the chap by the ship is doing, that is hammering in bits of rope that are in between the boards that make the hull, there’s much more information on the link that will give all the interesting details about how it was all done.

There’s more information right here: The Kaskelot

As you can see I’m trying my hand a little videos, I hope you enjoy them.

There’s no such things an original, is there?

They say that there are only six jokes in the world, and that those are just recycled and remade. I have no idea what the original six were.

It would seem to me that in what I do there are now no such things as originals, or perhaps I’m wrong. All my drawings these days start with a line drawing that is essentially unfinished. The drawing is then scanned and put into photoshop and digitally worked up to get the final. Which is the original? Possibly the initial line drawing can be described as the original, but it is not what I’d call finished. In the time before digital work I’d finish and faff with it until I was relatively happy and then that final flat piece of paper can rightly be described as the original. So perhaps that discounts this first drawing. May be those pixels in the mac are the original.

Anyhow here’s a first line drawing without any messing, apart from the scanning. It’s for a series I’m working on the British, although the boat could be a metaphor for the country ready to set off on its round the world trip, apres Brexit.

Please note the adventurer’s website address on the banner above his leaking boat. I wonder if that domain is taken?old-boat-finalsf

The British…what are they like?

pontnavigationalskills478sf

THE BRITISH CHARACTER
An innate ability to look forward with hope


My New Year’s resolution of “do some drawing every day” is being strictly adhered to. I was admonished the other day, good word that, better than being ‘told-off’. The reason was that I’d described my drawing as a rough, when the viewer thought it was finished. Well, in common with many other artists, one has never finished a drawing so they can all be described as rough. This is one such.

My journey for the year is to navigate towards a project about the British and I was inspired to start this by coming across a book about a cartoonist called ‘Pont’. His real name was Graham Laidlaw and he died quite young in 1940. A Punch cartoonist of some repute  he specialised in drawings about the British and their ways of looking at life and living. He’s worth looking up on Wickepedia, his drawings are just lovely.

I’ll be following in his large footsteps and hoping to bring his ideas up to date. Some of them will not need a complete revamp as they are still as true today as they were 60 plus years ago. This drawing is the first to be done and wether or not it makes the final cut will depend on production over the next few months.

I’ll be dropping them into my blogs over the coming months and hope that you enjoy them.