Bear with…

Bearwith

I’m working on a load of drawings for my exhibition in August, this is one. many of them based on the work of Punch cartoonist “Pont”.

Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character

I’ve also put together a new website for the project which is very slowly coming together, where people will be able to buy prints of the work from the show as well as other selected pieces.

It’s taking a while, so as the saying goes ” Bear with me” In the meantime I’ll be blogging about pigeons, sheds and allotments as normal in addition to random stuff.

The Art of the shed

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

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

Pont: Graham Laidler, and the British Character

A quick aside from my musings on Greece and our trip to Spetses.

I’m working towards an Exhibition in August here in Cheltenham of drawings that go under the title of “The British Character”. This project was inspired by the finding of a small book that I found in a charity shop by the same name which had an intro by the late Alan Coren – now there was a funny man.The drawings in this book are by Pont, who’s real name was Graham Laidler. Mr Laidler was one of the country’s leading cartoonists in the late 1930’s and had a perceptive eye for the way of the British, as well as wonderful draughtsmanship skills. I have used his ideas as the basis for my own interpretations and drawings for the exhibition.

I thought it right in the circumstances that I might invite relatives of Pont to the Exhibition to see a modern take on his thoughts, so I embarked on a search to find them. Everyone I asked has been quick to respond but until today I have had little positive feedback. An email to the Cartoon Museum has today resulted in a positive response and someone who knows of living relatives. As I write I am waiting to see if there will be more, and if I am able to invite them down here in August. A big thanks to Anita O’Brien at the Cartoon Museum for her help.

I’ve never been to the Cartoon Museum, perhaps I should!  Cartoon Museum in London

Inventiongreyweb341

The British Character
A capacity for invention linked to great optimism


You can see some of Pont’s fine work here and even buy one of his originals.
Pont at Punch     Chris Beetles Gallery

More on my Pont project

This is nothing to do with  French bridge building, but my recent plans to revisit the work of Graham Laidler : Pont

Here’s an example of what he did about the British and below is my own version, but mine is just a rough for the time being. I’m trying to go through as many of his versions as possible and in this instance the drawings have a similar construction, as the subject leaves little to be updated really. Other subjects may well have changed. My exhibition is in August next year so I have plenty of time. Sometimes this is not a good idea as I have a tendency to leave everything to the last minute, and at times produce my better work when under pressure.

Anyhow, today was a simply beautiful sunny day here, bright blue skies and lovely sunshine all day, but cold. It would have been easy to use this good weather to go out for a random walk, but I kept my discipline and got on with the drawing. With Bruce Springsteen at some considerable volume the day has gone well.

punchpont

Punch was a very well known magazine in the UK which was a haven for cartoonists and it was always my ambition in the early days to get something published in there. I managed it once when the magazine had a brief revival after going out of publication, and that was my Punch career over as it folded properly. Hopefully nothing to do with my contribution. Pont was popular when it was in it’s heyday, which I missed. However, it does seem to still exist on-line as a repository for a load of cartoons from it’s archives, so it’s still making money from the cartoons. I wonder if the cartoonists or their estates make anything? It would be good to think that they do.

Here’s my own modest take on the one above.pont-bighserough238

I hope to get that lovely feeling of light and dark into the final drawing. It will have the same title as the Pont  version and an acknowledgement to him too.


More news on my exhibition will be posted as we get closer to the deadline.

Proper Doctor

docweb

Isolated examples may survive in remote parts of Scotland.

One of the strangest varieties of all, Proper Doctor only existed in one sex and did not have adolescent stages (vide Goat Woman). Proper Doctor simply appeared as an adult male aged 45 with his Gladstone bag already battered. In daylight, he would often wear plus-fours and a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches (vide Schoolmaster). If he came to see you at night, he would be dressed in black tie and dinner jacket.

Proper Doctor’s role was one of reassurance and confidence building. He was not familiar with the panoply of new drugs and tended to believe that illness should be carefully watched but allowed to run its course, with a little doctoral steering and an aspirin. He looked after his own health with Player’s Navy Cut (ready rubbed) and regular doses of Highland Park, or Laphroig if he was feeling coldy.

When he went to the shop in the morning for his newspaper, mints and matches, any locals in front of him would step aside deferentially. At the lodge and the golf club he was well liked and referred to as Doc.

At the age of 65 he would retire to a country cottage, having rarely interfered drastically with anyone’s life although he would have been greatly appreciated at the beginnings and the ends.

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http://www.gordonthorburn.co.uk