Damp Skoolboy

I like to get out for a walk, whatever the weather and the other day, it was whatever the weather. Rain coming down like stair rods and this called for full kit walking gear. Well “dubbined” boots, that is greased up to keep the wet out of my socks, weather proof coat with inner warm lining zipped up to the chin with hat to steer any drips away from the face area, and rain proof over trousers, which I generally refer to as ‘nipple trousers’ as the waist band reaches this area. I can go out in almost any amount of rain in this kit and the inner me stays as dry as a biscuit.

As I was tramping the streets on my way back to base camp in front of me was “damp skoolboy”. Dressed in his usual thin shirt, skool blazer and cheap grey blotting paper trousers he trudged ahead of me on his way home. He seemed completely impervious to the rain and did’nt even have a hat. Following on behind him I felt like Nanook of the North. I imagine that once he got home, his mother would have squeezed the moisture out of him like a sponge before parking him in front of the fire to fill the room with evaporating steam. He would then have probably shrunk to even smaller proportions.

blogskuleboy282

 

Rare breed spotted in Hackney

rarebreed

This is a very rare breed that does not seem to exist in Cheltenham but seems to thrive in Hackney in East London. “Man with Brush” used to exist in large numbers countrywide, with the country versions as well as the town breeds having areas to look after day in and day out. The result as illustrated here is a clean street. “Mother bird” collects the assembled droppings collected by “Man with”, as it is termed in shortened version. In many areas “Man with” has been dispensed with. The result is that droppings are left in corners where “Mother bird” cannot reach or can’t be arsed.

It is rare to see “Man with” and Mother bird” operating as successfully as these two seemed to be doing in Hackney and all credit to Hackney Borough Council for their visionary breeding programme. Love Clean Hackney

It would seem that the “Man with” has been reintroduced in the Hackney area and it is hoped, that it will breed successfully and will result in fewer visible droppings countrywide.

I managed to get this grainy shot this morning, so to illustrate the breed in full high vis plumage here’s a drawing so that you too can spot one, hopefully in your area in the coming year.

pavement-artists

Who chucks the rain down?

My son, who did philosophy at University, came out with this question when he was about 3 or so. When he’d only just learnt to talk and walk really, so the signs were there very early that he was going to be doing a lot of thinking. He certainly did not do much sleeping and I recall with a shudder the long nights of questioning. Including the one where he admonished me for going ‘off piste’ when reading Postman Pat, telling me that Mrs Goggins could not possibly be a bank robber, “it just did n’t add up”.

I recall this as I’ve been busy trying to draw rain. I’m in the middle of a series of drawing about the British and it has to feature rain in quite a few of them. It’s one of those dilemmas where you do the drawing. Get it to a certain acceptable stage, and then look at it and ask yourself. “How do I put the rain on here?” Not just a light shower, a continuous downpour. Just like we had here yesterday. Should I just scribble over the entire drawing in a moist sort of way, or add it with white flecks of paint and hope for the best, knowing of course that any mistake or unsuccessful attempt will render the drawing almost useless and will have to be done again.I’m working on it by just thinking about it.

Joe answered his own question with his own answer at the time, but looked at me for confirmation as I was looking so bemused “Perhaps it’s Boris Becker Dad”

Perhaps it was.

who-chucks

This is one of the drawings in question and it’s part of the series of drawing based on the British, this one is titled:
“The Optimism of the Camper”

I’ll be enhancing or ruining this drawing in the next few weeks, if it goes well I’ll publish the final.

It’s based on fact, that’s me hammering in the tent pegs on a windy and rain beaten slope somewhere in Devon, wondering why on earth anyone thought this might be a good idea. I’ve refused to go camping ever since.

There’s more to this story but best not to tell that here.

 

Tim Bird

Well there are people with unusual names but it is odd how they seem to get work which suits them. I was reminded of this when this morning I had an email from my phone suppliers signed by someone in sales called Samantha Honey. What a great name for someone in sales. It could have been better, Beatrice would have suited her well.

There are times when ideas come a little thin and enthusiasm for an idea gets above its worth.I’ve generally no idea whether this is the case with any ideas. I go off them and then later find them unreasonably amusing and carry on with them again. This is the case with Names. I did a series of drawings on this subject some time ago and then an email reminds me that it might not have been as bad an idea as I originally thought when I abandoned them. Digging them out yesterday, the drawings need finishing but I’m re-envigorated to do so.

I have an exhibition coming next year in August and with a bit of luck I’ll get them into that, together with other random ideas that will hopefully seem worth it. Unless I go off the idea altogether again and do something else.

Here’s a sample of one of them. This is Pastor Al Dente, of course!pastor-aldente2


Tim Bird used to be the tree officer in our local town.

 

Just seen this in the Park and thought it well worth adding, what a wonderful name. I bet he was a lovely gent, and he probably deserved to live till 90.fullalove

 

One of those ladies…

pont-gallerylady236

She’s visiting a Country House somewhere in Great Britain, which she still insists on calling it.She knows about these places as she looks after one on a purely voluntary basis near her home in Norfolk, and tries to stop small children crawling over the fine furniture or bouncing on the four poster in the master bedroom. The bed would not survive the bouncing as it’s only the fact that the woodworm is holding hands that it stays together. She’s not sure of what to make of the recently acquired ‘art’ in this place but is told that it cost thousands, she’d prefer a Constable any day.

 

 

Blank looks

blanklook210

The agony of the blank page afflicts more than just artists, writers have the same problem. Say no more.

“If I were you I would n’t start from here”

So goes the alleged first line of directions to a driver in Ireland. Now I’ve been to Ireland and the only time I got directions was from a taxi driver in Dublin when trying to find my way to a particular street where awaited a bed and breakfast for myself and family. As I got back into the car my other half asked me what he’d suggested.

“I have absolutely no idea what he said to me his accent was so thick, but he did smile a lot giving the impression that the place would be hard to find”

As I drove off and took the next left I could feel that he was watching me having probably told me to take the next right, right?

This was of course well before the invention of sat nav and nothing could give that frisson of excitement as one set off knowing that we’d get lost at least twice on any trip. Even with the benefit of sat nav, which I have but failed to switch on my last trip to Yorkshire. I became overconfident of my sense of direction and managed to circle Sheffield before plunging into the centre to find myself again, making a journey from Holmfirth to Sheffield at least 20 minutes longer than it needed to be.

All this to illustrate what I’ve been working on recently. It’s a continuation of a set of drawing about the British, based on the work of cartoonist “Pont” who was actually someone called Graham Laidler ( The man himself ) and did a series of cartoons about the British in the 1930’s. I’m doing my best to bring this up to date and will be exhibiting the drawings both here and for real at a Gallery in Cheltenham in the Summer. A deadline that I hope I can find.driver207sf


This particular one is perhaps not quite as up to date as I think, as although there is a sat nav in the car, none of them is looking at it and all of them, bar the driver, think they know where they should be going. This is the line work, not the final drawing. I’ll post the final one if it reaches the ‘cut’ with the others later in the year.

 

 

 

 

Pancake tosser…

pancaketosserfinalsf

It’s not often you get a pancake tosser on the front of a magazine, but this one made it. I quite like the art director’s note  in the top right not to lose the pancakes at the top when placing. I’m assuming I did this for pancake day.

I was always inspired by the wonderful invention and drawing of William Heath Robinson, where he imagined machines that could do all sorts of wonderful tasks. I think this drawing would benefit from some simple animation.Flying pancakes, lovely.

Heath Robinson


I’m having a week of postings to see what sort of response they get rather than the once a week, as per normal. If you have dropped into my site then thanks for visiting.

 

The view from the Victoria sponge

This blog covers a multitude of recent popular subjects. Baking being one of them. The drawing (it’s not a sketch for crying out loud ) is a first idea put down on paper very quickly and I just hope that I can get the same feeling onto the final as happened in this. It’s part of a series on the British which was somewhat interrupted by the Brexit shenanigans, and has caused me to think a little more about the project. We are not quite what I thought we were before the vote. Anyhow, politics aside, and that’s where they are best left for the time being, this is a drawing of a typical Summer fete day somewhere in the British Isles.

the-view-from-the-sponge205

 

The word fete is almost guaranteed a day of dark clouds and some teeming rain.Ladies of a certain age will have spent some time baking the obligatory Victoria Sponges for the teas which of course is the highlight of a local fete. The sweet peas will have been through the judging at the plant and produce table, and at least one of the gardeners entering the competition will grumble about the size of someone else’s onions.

Some of the ladies there will be wearing what we used to call pacamacs, which were basically plastic bags pretending to be coats, and will also have smaller plastic bags on their heads to prevent dampness getting to the ‘blue rinse’.

Dogs will be in evidence as will be the odd harrumphing retired colonel who, no doubt will be chewing on a pipe.Inevitably fetes happen only in villages, it’s rare to find them in towns ( they are then referred to as “street parties” and only happen when HRH reaches a significant milestone ). These days villages are mainly populated by incomers and people who can afford the massive prices for peasant cottages that are the norm these days.

So there you have it, Summer’s gone now and the village will be gathering large amounts of wood to burn an effigy on November the 5th to celebrate someone who tried to burn down the Houses of Parliament. Oh crikey! Back to politics.


 

 

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