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!