Monday, 5 November 2012

I am moving to wordpress!

I am moving to wordpress, so if you want to follow my creative journey go to:

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

York Mystery Plays 2012

Last Friday I went with my dad to see an evening performance of the 'York Mystery Plays.' This is a York theatre tradition that has been around since the late 1300s and has been revived for a modern audience. The play took place amongst the gorgeous ruins of St Mary's abbey, the stage surrounded by theatre seating. The scenes of the performance were well known Bible stories with a strong emphasis in the second half on the life of Jesus. Effective costumes were threads of a 1950s style. The music and the spectacle was lush and this was an even I will never forget. These sketches are a commemoration of the performance and a thankyou to the whole cast and production team of the 2012 mysteries. I don't have anything more to say other than have a look at the York Mystery Plays website for a sense of the production in full:

Monday, 13 August 2012

Online shop is... open!

There was no red ribbon but my online shop for my artworks/portraits/illustrations is now open. So excited. (The above image is of the Sex Pistols and is for sale. It was a contribution to the magazine 'One and Other York.') Later this week or next I hope to make some big improvements to the website and connect up the shop to the site so it's all hunky dory and as smooth as a pebble. Here's the link for my online boutique/store/shop/gallery:

Monday, 23 July 2012

Olympic style promo poster for Six Lips Theatre, York.

Six Lips Theatre recently commissioned me to Illustrate and design their poster for an upcoming interactive family production, due to open in York and then all going to plan on tour. Here's a detail from the poster. A few things are being finalised but generally this image went down like a storm.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Verdict inked- but more ink please.

Due to the advice of artist friend Charleine Boieiro (French-Portugese wunderkind.) I have inked my self portrait. This is still an unfinished drawing and is still not quite right. It needs pools of black and lastly white ink used very very sparingly here and there.

Monday, 11 June 2012

work in progress: to ink or not to ink..

This piece is going down to London this weekend, to be put in a group exhibition as part of The Streatham Festival 2012. The theme is 'flames' hence the stylised flame balancing above my head. This is an unfinished drawing...still not completely satisfied with everything and haven't made my mind up whether to ink it or not.. Making a self portrait is the hardest thing to do, to capture the features as they stand.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Happy Jubilee!

Happy Jubilee too all! Long live the queen! Here's my piece of jubilee ephemera commemorating the lion and the unicorn!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Happy St. George's Day

My grandpop, from Sheringham, Norfolk, loved making wooden toys for me and my siblings. Since it is St. George's day I thought I'd share an image of the St. George and the dragon toys he made, which I loved a great deal. Sadly the dragon is missing a wheel. I'm not sure how St. George's day is celebrated, but apparently, my Lancashire grandad would wear a red rose in his lapel, which of course is both the symbol of England and the symbol of Lancashire. If I go out this evening I will be sporting a red rose in the same fashion. Otherwise I am watching the 1966 film version of the English comic series 'Modesty Blaise,' with a large mug of coffee, some wasabi peas and a chocolate and cream dish. Happy St. George's Day to you all!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

phrenology medley

Here's a phrenology head drawing I made for the magazine 'One and Other.'
I decided to give the editor a choice of images. I personally like the ones with
colour and hope she chooses one of those.

I tend to use mapping pens as you get a really satisfying fine line, and it's
easier not to make any smudges or blotches.

My Grandpop used mapping pens to make maps amongst other drawings, and it's nice to inherit these and keep them in use and part of the family. I feel like I'm part of a tradition, using these pens, the old fashioned and ornate brass and wood inkwell, and the victorian hinged cabinet, with variety of nib pens and papers.

Friday, 6 April 2012

the queen in the morning, tom gauld in the evening

Yesterday morning I took the train bright and early to visit York and join the crowds outside York Minster waiting for the Queens 'Maundy Thursday' arrival. There was a blustery spring feeling in the air, a police and dog presence adding a frisson to the atmosphere. A friendly nod from the bobby as I crossed the bridge to the heart of the city. End of the street to the minster, a bored teenager holding a big macdonalds sign, a tubby bloke in a leeds united scarf loudly selling jubilee union jack flags, one sided with the queens image in yellow hat on one side.

I joined the roadside crowd, near the front, anxious children with parents in front of me. Behind a few rows, a very frail lady unable to see yet passive. I spoke loudly to let people know there was an elderly woman who couldn't see and happily she could come closer to the front.

Overall there was an unreal feel to the waiting, flags fluttering from edwardian hotel windows, vans with old well dressed old people ready to recieve the traditional maundy money, slowly entering the minster. a tight knit and electrically red rank of beefeaters, straight out of a jaunty colonial era poster, marching with smart whimsy.

The bells were varied, light and tuneful...a very long wait...then the roar of the crowds further down the street attested to the queen's arrival...

she briefly passed in the royal car, waving, in blue, with prince phillip inconspicuous, princess beatrice opposite, with tiny hat, brown wavy hair looking overexited and beaming, then she met the archbishop, was given a posy, tottered up the steps, waved to the crowds. Then we oiks were shut out to the ancient ceremony.

an agonising hour later, the crows stayed put. frail old woman moved closer to the front, supportive daughter nearby. ten minutes to the queen coming out again, she had to find a seat, and sadly missed seeing the queen, post minster service.

and that was that- the queen drove to the mayor's smart mansion house for lunch. I slowly pushed through crowds to the train via the pasty shop. Chance brought me closer to mansion house, and I saw the queen's car pass again- the royal flag on the bonnet only in view weaving along the street, then stopping, out she gets, stands in the mansion entrance, a tiny speck of blue- waving, the doors close. Our monarch, representing us all, is closed to the world.

Strange realising at the train station that the queen whether we like it or not, are aware of it or not, is something we all share.

And why the unfinished unedited image of a lion tamer here? In the evening I went to see the Illustrator Tom Gauld in Leeds..where he spoke about his new comic. He inspired me to finish unfinised projects. This lion tamer image is one I now want to conclude thanks to Tom Gauld's inspiration.

And watch this space for a comics rough which I'm making over the weekend! It's a treat even in its sketchy form.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

solo exhibition coming soon to york

I haven't posted here for a while- blogs are so tricky to update!

The past few weeks I have been like a monk, whittling away at creating some ink based black and white portraits for a York based exhibiton at 'City Screen Picturehouse.' If you're around on the 21st of April from 6pm onwards, do drop by and say hello.

It's been a mild nightmare sorting out finances this year, so hopefully this exhibition and improvements to the website, plus a few spare days to create more idiosyncratic and daring pieces of work should keep me fighting fit, and due to see a more comfy summer of holidays and parklife leisure!

Monday, 13 February 2012

valentine's day is nearly here!

Not much more to say apart from 'Valentine's day is nearly here!'

I have tonnes of things to prepare for, screenprinting sessions to book,
3-5 large screenprints to get done well before my exhibition date of the 21st
of April. Promotion of the exhibition needs to be sorted in various ways.

In fact valentine's day is at the bottom of the list of priorities. Enjoy this heart image anyway. I would like to have an exhibition of fancy looking hearts similar to this one, one day.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Deep in the Mire: an odessey in music and pictures.

At the beginning of December I was restless for another commission from a band,
and not just an ordinary band. Thankfully Arya Bobaie the Iranian lead singer of Manchester progressive rock band 'Deep in the Mire,' got in touch with me through a recomendation from Wolfgang C. Bailey of the Harrogate band 'Pseudo Nympho.'

Arya provided me with tons of images and ideas to really get stuck into and an ideal theme- that of mythical imagery from ancient Persia. We spent a long time in discussions before the first execution of the image, and once that was produced there were a few changes that needed to be made.

After several weeks, the image is almost there, all the details are in place, and all it needs is for the text to be incorporated. The mythical character is that of the Huma bird, which is the Persian version of the griffin.

The wings with eyes are typical of Greco-Persian imagery, and other details are snippets taken from the Persian mythical canon, which is vast and endlessly fascinating.

In future I will show you the finished image with text, plus the previous versions so watch this space.

Oh...and 'Deep in the Mire' are playing 'The Library' in Leeds tonight- sadly I can't make it there, but there's a strong chance that this Persian Huma bird will get projected up behin Arya and his bandmates.