Where’s the joke?


I got into this by accident. I always wanted to be an advertising art director as it sounded glamorous and there might be lots of travel. Photo shoots in glamorous places with glamorous people go with. I had a brief period in the business before I got the order of the golden boot, not fired, just not wanted.I never went anywhere glamorous, but met some lovely people.

The agency that I then worked for: S.H. Bensons was one of those grand old men of advertising where famous novelists started as copywriters and Mr Benson himself was famous for being the original ‘marketing man’ when they had not existed before. He was responsible for marketing Bovril ( that’s a meat extract drink for those not familiar, yes they drank meat extract, had to be better than coca cola ) and made a great success of it in the First World War. He’d long departed this life by the time I was there in the early seventies.

Located in Holborn right across the road from the tube station, the agency boasted a large artwork studio in addition to the many offices with art directors and copywriters. There must have been at least 15 people working in that artwork studio. They also had 2 or 3 full time illustrators working there who had their own room! It was said they could work in any style you required, a Van Gogh type drawing would probably be turned around in a day or so. Full colour Vermeer would take a couple of weeks. One of the illustrators there was responsible for a large imitation of the Bayeux Tapestry for a poster campaign for Guinness, he didn’t weave it, he drew it!

So when I went freelance after they ‘let me go’ I considered myself to be a ‘commercial artist’ and would attempt, like the guys at Bensons, to do almost any style required and was happy to have a go at anything. Apart from airbrush stuff which was beyond me. All that spraying and masking gave you coloured teeth, no matter how careful you were.

When I came into my own, so to speak, doing cartoons, and developing my own cartoon work, much of the other stuff got left behind.

So recently I’ve turned back to experiment with some drawing like I used to. I’m working on a series of ‘silkscreen’ type prints taken from places I know. I’m not a printmaker in the traditional sense, and these are drawn in line first then scanned. Colour added digitally. Actually anyone can add the colour and might be able to do it better than me.

So there’s no punchline here, no joke. Nevertheless I hope it lifts your day.

The image above is one of the valleys coming out of Stroud in Gloucestershire towards Frampton Mansell from Chalford. It’s a magical place. The one below is the simple line work before ‘faffing’ of a view towards Sheffield.Shutsheffiledblog





Scooterists, they live down the road.

I’ve been involved with doing some work on scooterists, my name for those little people who fly through the air on tiny scooters. I went to the local skate park to look at them in action and witnessed hordes of these small people flying through the air doing impossible things with scooters. Quite incredible.

Wandering home just before Christmas I noticed a few doors along from where I live a young boy trying out his scooter tricks, and realised it was the place where my wife visits occasionally. So I gave her a print of one of the drawings for lwhen she next went to give to the young chap.

I was delighted to get the following card from Ollie just a few days later.


Then I did another print for Ollie’s younger brother George, and today George gave me his super card.


I think they are rather better in some ways than the originals! Which look like this:




How does she do it?

This is a lino cut print from one of my old college chums, Rosalind Forster. I’ve just been building a website for her ( don’t get too excited, I don’t write code or any of that malarkey, it’s all template stuff ) and have had the chance to look through a lot of her work. Like me she’s been drawing for a living for years but her strength is really in capturing the light and printmaking. This is a lino cut and I’m simply amazed at the skills she has to be able to produce such wonderful images.You can read more about Rosalind’s work and working methods, as well as some of here brilliant watercolours of England and Spetses in Greece where she now lives all on her new website: http://www.rosalindforster.moonfruit.com .I’m sure you won’t regret dropping in.Wave Spetses

Fuelfish and other creatures…

A day trip to London to see friends I was at college with back when everything was in black and white. Armed with my handy coach card all aboard the National Express to Victoria. Express? Well it would be if it was n’t for traffic, oodles of it jamming the last couple of miles.


On the way back noticed this little thing on the side of a bus, I wonder if the media planners knew that the fuel tap would be in the middle of their lovely image of the fish in Thailand.


And then there’s this enormous horses head that someone left at Marble Arch.

Cotswold sheepsf

So it’s back for a bank holiday weekend and a chance to get out into the countryside, and here’s a real creature, a real cotswold sheep! Fine beast and very friendly. Walked in an area where you can see no human habitation and the where there’s no sound of traffic, even on a day when it’s not as bright as of late,it’s a joy. A small glimpse of the sun and the areas true green shines out, could be an image from a 100 years ago.

Cotswold field

A glimpse of colour on the ground, the remains of a bird’s egg. Stunning colour. I looked it up in a bird’s egg recognition site and it would appear to be a starling’s egg, but I’m not sure myself.


Tomorrow I’m back to drawing.

After the eclipse,it turned out very sunny.


So here in Cheltenham at 9-30 this morning it went darker, not much darker than normal, and then it went light again. Very light. So I took advantage of a it and went for a walk with ‘she with the map’. A new booklet came through the door with walks in the area and we tested one out: Sheepscombe



Brilliant sunny afternoon and we came across this, which is supposed to be the most beautiful cricket field in England. It’s in Sheepscombe in Gloucestershire and has just the most stunning views across the valley. Laurie Lee, the famous poet and writer apparently used to play here and had a hand in preserving it as a cricket field ad infinitum. The gorse was beginning to open and the birds were in abundance enjoying a warm afternoon. What could be better, perhaps a half pint of bitter before a return to urban life, if it can be called that in leafy Cheltenham. Sadly the pub was shut, and activity around the area was just mums collecting children from the local village school.

Drawing cartoons is best done on days when it’s cold and rainy outside, an afternoon like this afternoon is best used for getting out and feeling the sun on your back and looking at the birds and the trees.


Ye Olde Sunne Dryed Tomatoe

Visitors to this remote and historic ex-hostelry, far up in the hills where rivers rise, always used to enjoy looking at the old photographs on the wall. These reflected a bygone age when the local produce show was held here, customers formed football and darts teams and turned up in Toyota pick-ups.

Those were the days, my friends, when the pub was the social sine qua non of a scattered rural community. The community is still scattered but if anybody wants a pint now it has to be a widget tin from the supermarket down the valley; no pints have been sold at Ye Tomatoe for a twelvemonth.

Yes, in that short time Signor Pomodoro Lambretta, front of house, and Darren ‘Sharon’ Maclaren, chef, transformed the place. Before, you could only get bitter, lager, Guinness and two sorts of sandwich: cheese and pickle, or cheese. Under Pommy and Sharon, you could have Saltimbocca Siciliano, Fegato alla Milanese, Pavarotti alla Mariolanza and various fusion dishes, including Szechuan Ostrich Stroganoff and Thai Broken Harbour Soup with Wild Orkney Octopus. You washed these down with 35 different sorts of Bardolino and 27 of Frascati. If you got too merry you could have bed and full Italian breakfast for the price of a farm labourer’s week’s wages.

It was not long before the two proprietors discovered that Upper Weirdale was no place for a gastropub. Their loan was called in and they had to sell the place as a private house, so that was that.

mp coverforweb

Another of the drawings featured in the book. Words by Mr Thorburn of course.

It’s that time of year when all the stats come out for the blogs and I note with some disappointment tinged with hope that the most popular blog was the one about my holidays in Crete


and the next best was one announcing an exhibition of my wife’s paintings.


Cartoons came a poor third! That aside I intend to persist. This site and the other one: unexpecteditems.com will hopefully develop over the coming year.


I have a number of followers in Brazil, they seem to drop in every time I post so for them I have put this next paragraph through a translation sausage machine and hope that it works. Many thanks to our followers there.

Olá Brasil
parece que tenho seguidores no seu país e estou tendo esta oportunidade para agradecer-lhe para largar no site.Sinta-se livre para me acompanhar e passar no meu endereço do site aos seus compatriotas e mulheres. Saúdo-te para o seu senso de humor!
Que se refere ao
Paul Davies

Fish…perfect for the hard of hearing.


I’ve recently retired from my ‘other job’, I had respectable employment with a fine company of printers over in Gloucester.They gave me a very generous send-off last week,which was very gratifying. My daughter asked me if I cried, not bloody likely said I, I could not stop smiling. So, now I’ve been repointed to my old job. I cannot believe that I used to make my entire living from this sort of thing, but I did.My time in print was brilliant in that I spent my days speaking to people and meeting all sorts of people in a wide variety of jobs and professions. I have threatened to write a book about it, but as one of my colleagues said, ‘no one would believe it’.

Here’s one of my favourite subjects, I’ve been drawing my father for years, it’s almost a default action.He’s 93 now and as sharp as ever, though his hearing has deteriorated recently and he asked me to sort out a new hearing aid for him. So I sent an email to the suppliers and it was only when I looked afterwards at the sent email that I had requested a new herring aid for him. It was fitted today and he loves it, I suspect it might look like this.

Did I learn nothing about proof reading at Severnprint?

Obviously not.

For more about me go and take a look at http://www.pauldaviescartoons.co.uk
which has had over 100,000 visits.

For more about where I used to work take a look at them here

Though they have been rebranded now and call themselves Severn.

Hanging pictures and a great day out.


All the effort of the past months that my wife, Elisabeth Le Vierge has put into creating some really super paintings has come to fruition in an exhibition with other talented artists at the Garron Centre in beautiful Herefordshire.


The centre is taking part in h-Art and Elisabeth is one of the guest artists.She’s been working on these for quite a while and it was great to travel to such a lovely part of the country to hang them in this brilliant venue.She’s exhibiting with quite a number of other artists at the centre and it’s on until this coming Sunday. It’s a great mix of talents and the work is varied and ( unlike my cartoons! ) colourful.


I’ve had visits to this site in the past few weeks from Canada, the USA and a number of South American countries. Now some of you people out there might never ever have heard of Herefordshire, but believe me it is, when the sun shines and at this time of the year, one of the most beautiful places in the UK.

The exhibition on at the Garron Centre is actually attached to a small church in the middle of this rural hamlet which is spread out over quite a few miles. One would be forgiven for thinking that no-one would come to see art in an area like this, but the reverse is true.The people of Herefordshire seem to like their art and flock into the centre.




Take a look at her website for more info on her work.


What’s different about Tuesday?

One post 2 days ago gets an audience spike of over a 100 in a day, I thought for a moment that I might have the right formula here so that I could build on that and get loads of unsuspecting people to look at my handywork. Today back to what might be called normal, five viewings and all those were from France. I’ll need to do more, or find out what was different about Tuesday.Image

While I’m at it here’s my new old drawing that I am using on Twitter, you can find me by searching for pauldraws, but only if it’s Tuesday it would seem.