Coming up next year…

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I’m working on a little book written by my chum Gordon Thorburn, ( Men and Sheds ) who apart from writing about sheds and bomber pilots from the Second World War ( Books about all sorts ), has written a little tome about…well, I’ll leave exactly what it’s about until I have it all ready.

I’m doing the drawings for it and hope to publish it on-line in the New Year, or perhaps will be able to make a start before Christmas, as you’ll have plenty of time to read, learn, and digest. We’ll see.

It will be on this site every week, on the same day, until it’s demise. I found it entertaining and witty. I suppose it is aimed at children so it did suit me very well.

Here’s a rough of one of the drawings for it, followed by the next version, some of you illustrator people out there might be interested in the technicalities: there are none. It’s drawn straight onto layout paper with a Pentel sign pen, then drawn again, then drawn again for the final, then mounted onto board with Studio Gum ( today’s equivalent of Cow Gum ) and some pastel half tone and shadow might be added and perhaps a bit of whiting out of some areas with Dr PH. Martin’s Bleed Proof White ( I kid you not! ). If it needs any more surgery after that then I use a scalpel to cut out or amend, cutting through the top layer of layout paper. Then the final is scanned and if necessary some final tweaks are made, digitally.

This is drawing one, followed by drawing two, final will follow when the book is published here.

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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.

Desmond Pratt

Des to his chums. He does a lot of on-line gaming and delves into on-line dating describing himself as a “buff twenty something” when he’s a good deal older and not buff at all. He rarely meets his intended date, thank goodness. Lives with his Mum, which again is perhaps just as well. Nobody ever goes into his room apart from his cat and whatever the cat had brought in. There is nothing he does not know about computers and could probably hack into the Pentagon if he wanted to.

I’ll let you fill in any other details from your imagination, but don’t waste too much time on it, or him.

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Thanks to Richard who came up with this name for me and suggested the possible drawing too

Ooooer what a kerfuffle…

 

Seems like the Turner Prize has manufactured a bit of a ‘kerfuffle’ yet again. I think that if no one took any notice of them they would consider it a failure. Politicians sticking their comments in are only good for the news about it. The public, we the great uninformed, get to show our outrage, contempt, shock, horror,  curiosity, admiration, and in my case envy, at what they have been allowed to do. Strewth, I wish someone would give me a few thousand quid, a large warehouse and ‘people to help me bring my vision alive’ that I’ve drawn on the back of an envelope. I’d love it. I’d talk all the ‘art bollocks speak’ using the word juxtaposition juxtaposed with just about everything, and leave the public gasping at my daring and skill.

But that’s the point is it not. The fact that they have the freedom to do this stuff is the essential thing. The fact that a lot of it is just ‘art bollocks’ is the price of freedom.

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I’ve called this one “Drawing a blank”


It’s one of the drawings that will be in my exhibition in August of next year,
I’ll post details nearer the time.
Thanks for looking in.

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.

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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.

“Aulde Bribery”, it’s the time of year…

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This is from last year when I was commissioned to do a Christmas card for a very loyal client of mine, who’s company mends large trucks and is keen on motor racing in his limited spare time. It reflects the big story at the time which with today’s sort of news seems a little insignificant, that is the fixing of emissions that VW got involved in by tampering with software. He’s asked me to do another card for this year, which is kind of him and he must like them, but for me it seems an odd way to market yourself. Perhaps it’s just the cynic in me, but Christmas cards have a very short shelf life and are probably seem by the wrong people. ( He always sends me one of my own cards, and I don’t have any big trucks to mend, or to drive )

When I worked for the printing company locally there was always a big effort at Christmas to send out shedloads of paper with Season’s Greetings on them, or a calendar.Our best ever idea in that regard was Witty’s Little Red Book, which was a collection of overheard remarks made in the office heard by one of my colleagues, who happened to be called Witt. Some of the stuff in there was a little politically incorrect but almost all of it funny in some way, and it was fun to do.They let me loose on cartoons for it too.shedloads190

Shedloads, the word gives me the excuse to include this.


 

In the late seventies ( yes I really am that old! ) my then business partner and I used to go to some trouble to give out Christmas pressies to keep our clients sweet, and in the main it  did. Just the odd bottle of wine, nothing over the top, and we always did our own label. When I went on my own I gave out very small bottle of whisky ( I was doing well, it was tax deductible! ) and I did a personalised label for each of them. I called it Aulde Bribery and the sub heading and contents read: “99% proof that you gave me a job last year”.

It went down better than a Christmas card, in both senses of the phrase.

I shan’t be mentioning Christmas again,( Bah Humbug! ), I’ve used up all I can usefully say on it here, but I hope you have a good one.fatherx229

 

This will take your mind of it…

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Drawing and painting is therapy and we could all do with some of that at the moment. These are landscapes by a bloke I went to college with way back in the 60’s and who had the somewhat dubious pleasure of sharing the same house with me and others in Rusholme, in Manchester. It was certainly not a place to rush home to and when my father visited to help me with my luggage I detected certain misgivings not just about the area, but about the premises. I would not let him through the front door with all its bell pushes and when he asked me to describe it I merely said “spartan”, quickly followed by, “but better than school”. He went very quiet. If memory serves me right there was a lady who worked nights upstairs.

In the next room lived Joe Wilson and another bloke called Bob, both of them fine art students. My abiding memory of Joe from that time has nothing to do with art but more to do with music. Walking into his room, probably to ask him something inconsequential, I could hear very loud music with Joe on the bed playing what’s known as air guitar these days with a broom handle. I left it for a short while before interrupting him with my request. At least he had his pants on.

Joe’s been doing more than that since and in my recent trip to the North I met him with Dave a mutual friend and former Manchester College of Art lecturer. I haven’t seen Joe since 1967.

He’s now one of Ireland’s foremost landscape painters and looking at his work you can see why. He goes out there to draw these scenes, walking the mountains of Ireland and recording them in all their glory.

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Hopefully you will find these as therapeutic to view as I did. The energy in them and the feeling for colour and mood are really something to behold. All painted with palette knife from large charcoal drawings.

He’s come a long way from playing air guitar in Rusholme.


To see more of Joe’s work take a look at his website: Joe Wilson

Or take a look at this article with more in depth words about Joe and his painting:
joe-wilson

 

It’s a sort of revolution.

turnthebook135.jpgI’m re-blogging this from some time ago as we are in the season of celebrity books and here in Nam ( Cheltenham ) we’ve just had the what people call the ‘lit fest’. It’s a great boost to the town bringing in loads of worthy media folk and writers looking for an extra sale of a recent tome.


Here’s something that I am wont to do now and again.

I’m sure that many people like me, take against certain celebrities. One of my own dislikes is that chap who swears a lot whilst cooking. I do a bit of that myself when cooking but not at other people, and if I did would expect more than a mouthful back. There are others but for the time being we’ll limit it to the one. In general I don’t dislike people but it’s what they do that at times finds my disapproval.

So what to do about it? I suppose I should take direct action and write to this chap and ask him to moderate his language whilst  in the kitchen, but it’s hardy likely to succeed. After all his success is based upon his base language and the reaction to it.

Celebs such as he generally write books. It funds their lifestyle and they do need to make a living.

So here’s a plan learnt from my father, who apparently did this on a regular basis with anyone who wrote a book and who he thought did not deserve to sell it. When next in the bookshop the book of the celeb will be prominently displayed with aforementioned celeb photographed in action on the cover.

Turn the books. Put them back on the shelf but back to front.

That’s it! Not earth shattering but a gesture of disapproval that hurts no one. The back of the celebrity book is likely to be deeply uninteresting but if it has the celebrity on the back too, then turn it upside down too. They look quite ridiculous upside down. Come to think of it, it’s only people who are quite ridiculous that deserve this sort of revolution.

Turn the books!

I’ll be looking in my local bookstore to see if this catches on.

Cutting remarks…

If you thought this was going to be spiteful then think again. I’m talking about lino cutting and before you reach for the mouse to click off take a look at this. It’s result of lino cutting.

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It’s a print by my chum Rosalind Forster who is not only a talented printmaker but a talented artist all round. It’s beyond me how she gets results like these from cutting out bits of lino. Illustrated here are the bare necessities before you even add ink and colour.

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It’s the merging of the skills with the cutter and the printing and still getting it right that is so bloody clever. Added to that is composition and drawing.

Great stuff. See more here: Rosalind Forster

She’s having an exhibition in November in Derbyshire, go and get one of these wonderful prints.

Rosalind Forster & Josie Walter


 30th. ANNUAL EXHIBITION

Paintings, Prints & Pots
Greetings Cards
Sea Findings Jewellery

Saturday Dec. 3rd10am to 6pm.
Sunday Dec. 4th.  11am to 5pm.
SOUTH DARLEY VILLAGE HALL
Oposite St. Mary’s Church on the B 5057
Darley Dale to Winster Road