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

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

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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!!!!!!!??????”

 

The rare breed: a gardener sitting down.

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This is another from my series on the British Character ( Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character ) and is close to my heart. I like order in the garden but not too much, a bit like I like order in my life, but not too much. I’ll let the drawing do the talking today, it’s sunny outside and I need to go and see if that pigeon is eating my veg. The one featured here is a veg bandit unlike the one found the other day ( Pigeons, well that makes a change from sheds. )

Enjoy the day!

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?”

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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

 

Justin Credible

After a bit of a search I found the chap who gave me the idea ( or the excuse to do some drawings ) for a series on names. I’m not sure if he gave me this name but he probably did. Thanks Dennis, you’ve kept me off the streets wandering around pound shops asking how much everything is.

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More will follow on here as we get closer to my exhibition in August, and I’ve set up a new website, so if you feel like looking around the sort of thing that I do then drop in right here: New site

This is a “work in progress”, as is almost everything I do. However I am determined to eventually get loads of finished drawings on there, and you will be able to buy prints of some of them with a special link to a very fine print place in London : The Print Space

The link on my new site says ” Buy Fine Art Prints”. So that’s a first, my work being described as fine art. Har Har!