Thursday, May 31, 2007

Anyway 4

Not done an awful lot on this today..(children on half term holidays)..but I'm feeling excited about all the other things I can do with the rest of the composition. I'm enjoying the fact that every now and then I can work on one of these surreal images they are the things I enjoy drawing the most. I love the fact that a riddle, an idea, a concept can make itself known from the various parts of the whole. I also like the fact that I can use my 'characters' a bit like a rep theatre..I feel the need to audition a few more ..

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Anyway 3

He's annoying me already!..his smug look is making me wish bad things for him!No I'm not talking about Tony Blair's successor Gordon Brown..I'm talking about my picture..but then again he does represent the bad things in life..but then again , he's playing my favourite instrument..and hang on another minute..he's my creation.What does it all mean?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Anyway 2

I've started to sketch and fill in some of the surrounding detail..Despite the glum look of the character, I'm quite fond of him really.He represents selfishness.He represents that which takes no account of others..he's a bit like Nero fiddling whilst Rome burns.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Anyway 1

My very aloof and pompous 'mad vicar' is starting to take shape..I'm making this picture up as I go along so can't tell you much about the rest of it apart from the fact that there will be a large very misshapen tree in the background and lots of Cow parsley.

On a slightly different note..Thankyou Devilmood for commenting in the last post regarding Derby winning their Championship play off final at Wembley thus gaining promotion to 'The Premiership'. A game which in real terms was worth around £60 million to the club!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Anyway - Sketching

Began with this old favourite. I've worked with this image before but have altered the head for this with many of my works..sketches are laid down in a sketch book then transferred by tracing. Here you can see the new head transplanted onto the old body.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Anyway - The blank page

This what I sat and looked at this morning...the blank page. All the images swimming behind my eyes..permeating my mind. somehow I seek a way to free these images so that they might live and find form. To let them make the journey down my arm and out of the pen in my hand.

They are there and waiting....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Finished Street

Hot off the drawing board, the finished article!!I hope you've enjoyed following the progress of this picture over the past couple of weeks. It's been one the most satisfying pieces to work on and I'm pleased with the result. I think i've uploaded the picture correctly so that when you click for an enlargement, you'll see it at it's full size.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Street 20 - Thursday 24th

The last phase of the picture is under way. He is watching..but who/what?..I like the fact that the red of his shirt sets off the green also echos the red in the Kentucky Fried Chicken banner and the red in the carrier bags.

Today I am a little more positive about myself. I've also done something that I've never done before!..I've had one of my teeth crowned. I asked my children if it means I now owe the Tooth Fairy money because I've had 3/4 of a tooth's odd, but driving back from the dentist's, I had a big grin on my's as if I've cheated the natural order of things..the 3rd law of thermodynamics...something that has decayed has been renewed.

'The History Of Love' is deepening it's hold on me..such beauty ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Street 19

Some people are born to be artists..some become skilled at is unusual to find someone who is both.tonight I sat in a meeting at which several 'successful' artist business type people told the gathered masses that basically we needed to turn ourselves into replica 'Allan Sugars' to make a living in the art world..on the strength of this I can't ever see myself as able or even willing to make a success of making a living from my art...Please excuse the negativity I might be radiating but I feel lost at the moment. Art-wise I've no problems..I am at my most content whilst creating. I said before that a drive exists deep within me that I cannot ignore. But it doesn't pay the bills..and I can't see things very clearly at the moment. It hopefully will pass..but until then , I'm not very nice to know.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Street 18

I think I can safely say that the end is slowly coming into view!I've really enjoyed much of this piece including the crowd on the left and the pavement, which you see just about complete here for the first time. I now have to work on the woman's white skirt the the final figure will be the boy in the foreground..he'll add an interesting dimension to the composition. He will also be wearing a bright red shirt.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Street 17 - 300th Post!

I'll begin this 300th post by sending out my thanks to all of you who have written in response to my writing over the past eight months. I've learnt and grown so much in experience and knowledge..made some wonderful friends along the way . Fantastic is all I have to say...!

Have worked on the figures in the shadows today..I'm loving the blues and muted flesh tones..I'd love to do a much larger picture with this effect...Tomorrow I Hope to get a full working day in on this as today I've had to look after my daughter whose school had one of those 'Inset' days.It's been lovely playing together..went to the sops, went to the park and played cards ('Pairs')..'s to the next 300..please stay with me for the ride and see what
I can create along the way. I really do take on board all the suggestions, praise/criticism you give me... and who knows..maybe you will cause me to create my 'masterpiece' someday!?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Street 16

Looking at the close up view I can't help thinking of the Seurat picture 'Grand Jatte'..I don't mean to compare it, but as in the painting, my picture contains people out enjoying a sunny day albeit out shopping . Today I enjoyed putting in the two figures highlighted by the sun just to the left of the woman in the foreground.It needed a minimum of dots to achieve the correct effect and one false move could have messed things it was, it worked OK.
I'm really enjoying the book I told you about yesterday.I love it when you can disappear into someone Else's life and experience..It got me thinking, what do we look for in a 'good book'?..always assuming you're not after a text book to study..what makes your perfect read?..personally I need something to 'affect' 'move' me in an emotional way..I like something that challenges my preconceptions, i like something that gives me a window on another person's life..I like to reach the end of the book and BE a better person for it and be able to apply something I've learned from it into my about you?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Street 15 - Sand in the pages.

I seem to be doing less and less at the moment. life is busy..whilst Jan is out doing her play and the children need lifts means a little change to the routine. This is not a bad thing.Last night it turned out that I had the chance to actually go out with Jan..we so seldom manage it these days. We drove to Litchfield and watched a performance of Samuel Becketts's 'Waiting For Godot'..Jan warned me I might find it boring..but nothing could have been further from the truth. The play has some very deep observations about life..a lot of it is metaphorical and talks about how we are basically an unfulfilled breed of animal..always looking for something that in our own concept is the 'answer'..but not actually knowing what the answer will look like or when it will arrive..It tells us that we occupy ourselves with the worries of tomorrow and fail to live in the least that's what i think!

My book arrived yesterday.'The History Of Love' by Nicole Krauss. I have noticed that some of my readers have cited this a s a book they have either read or intend to..then when looking at reviews of it on Amazon I decided this was for me.I sat in the Derby Dance Centre this morning whilst Annie went into her class. I read about the character of Leo Gursky..well written and conceived, I felt as if I'd met him before..I wondered about the mind ..I wondered what was in the minds of those sitting about me..did they share the same bright place..the warmth of another life living in their senses?..I opened the book at page 23 and saw little black specs deep in the fold of the spine..I was shocked at first as I'd had to comb my hair in search of head lice yesterday (an occupational hazard of having children)..but was fell onto the table next to my empty coffee cup ...someone somewhere had read this book on the beach..did they feel as if they knew Leo..It was a wonderful thought, that each book is like a window of sorts..where you look into other peoples lives and worlds...where occasionally the people who seem so real in the pages might look out on the reader..or so I'd like to imagine. So sad and lonely is the man was as if he was thanking me for releasing him again from the confines of the book.

Content in the knowledge that i have such a rich and moving story for Leo to play out for me..I will say goodbye till the next time.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Street 14 - Ingenue

Once again a late night snap disappoints on the reproduction front.However, i hope you can see the little progress I have made since yesterdays post. The reduced time working today has been due to a trip into town to pick up prints which have been mounted for sale and an attempt to find a new book to read. Did i tell you I am a voracious reader?..I have always had a book of some sort on the go since around my search was futile...but I take a lot of recommendations from 'Amazon' which I find the reviews to be most helpful. I've just reached the end of probably one of the most 'visually' inspiring writes ..'The God Of Small Things' by Arundathi Roy is a rich and vivid portrait of the relationships within a family in India...recommended to me by PS of 'Just A Mother Of Two' . wonderfully written and worth a re-read someday.

Today I was looking for 'A History Of Love' by Nicole Krauss ( I've ordered it from Amazon now) which seems like my kind of book. I need a book which moves my spirit and emotions..I have not read anything which has so far moved me as much as 'The Time Travellers Wife'..but my search continues....

Now a confession..Those who know me will testify to my dislike of 'Country And Western' music. I hate sugary sweet twangy warbling about dogs and blankets on the ground. But..(and this is a big but)..I am moved by the deep and emotional music of ....( wait for it!)....KD Lang. Ever since I heard the breathless desire of 'Constant Craving' her voice has haunted me. Melodramatic?..Me?...yes probably..Romantic?..definatly!..KD has the ability to weave the heartfelt desire and longing hat every human will connect to . My old colleague Vicky Schofield who introduced me to her music would be pleased to know that I bought today a copy of 'Ingenue'...I am now deep in the most moving and beautiful of human expression which is the voice of love and truth. Perhaps I'll find a 'Youtube' bit to post sometime..until then..whatever you do..listen to your heart!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Street 13

I've done a lot of walking today, Jan needed the car for the day so I'm exhausted tonight.I'm off t o watch a programme about schools in Pune (where author of 'Just A Mother Of Two' lives) Preeti I shall look out for you!
On a slightly different home town's football team Derby County last night made it to the playoff final at Wembley in a couple of weeks. The prize:..promotion to the Premier League!..The atmosphere in Derby is great really is a footballing town and having won the league championship twice back in the 1970's..Derby fans feel that we will be back where we belong...exciting times!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Street 12

Life consists at present of this (above) and facilitating children getting to and from school..Jan getting to and from the Station and cooking meals. I am at present very happy with this arrangement..I am creating and going to bed tired because this is what has made me tired. Have completed a couple more hours work after this photo was taken this'll see much more progress tomorrow I hope.

How to waste time

Here's a link to a little pointless game my friend Allan found. My best score was 274. Can you beat me?..let me know...incidentally, better make sure you can see a clock,you could be at it for hours!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Street 11

Worked on the figures in the right hand side of the scene today. This was in between doing lots of school run stuff . Jan does some work for a company that employs professional actors to act in role-play situations for Medical students. Today acting the role of a psychiatric patient..she had to be interviewed by Doctors who are assessed on their technique. She has also begun the long haul tour taking her children's play 'Whose Shoe' around various school and theatres in the area.

I continue to aim at doing 4 - 5 hours of dotting a having reached the half- way mark on this one, I need to go up to Cromford / Matlock to take photos for material to sell at the exhibition in June.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Street 10 - Aquavit and Eurovision

I continue to develop the shadowy area to the left..the figures gradually take on a personality of their own..all engaged in their own story.It's actually very interesting to put down dark blue blue..yellow..then suddenly there's someone there!

Last night I went with Jan to a party held by our friends across the road: Andrew and Jane..both lovely people, they had lived in Norway for many years and therefor celebrate Norway's National Day. However, this pales into insignificance compared to the event here in Europe known as the Eurovision Song Contest.Around 40 nations compete to have their song voted the best..on the night, 24 countries are in 'the final' and watched by an estimated 100 million people around Europe. Live from Helsinki (The previous years winners host the competition) it was never going to be UK's mattered not weather the song was good..UK is not in favour with the rest of Europe at the moment..and cynically all the Baltic countries seemed to vote for each other..therefor the 'dirge' that was sung by Marija Serifovic from Serbia.For the record, I thought the UK entry 'Flying the flag' by Scooch was diabolically bad ..and from a nation that bought you The Beatles, Queen, Elton John, David Bowie, Rolling was pitiful! Still, my enjoyment continues as 'Eurovision' is in a world of it's own...cheesy, bland,trite..and brilliant.
We had a wonderful evening eating delicious food, chatting to neighbours and drinking 'Aquavit' (Water of Life) which is a traditional Scandinavian beverage ( by some is called "Rocket Fuel") .

Friday, May 11, 2007

Street 9 - close up view

Here's a little section of the picture I mentioned yesterday. I love the way the blues and red play in contrast to the yellow Taxi and figures in the sunlight.Today Jan and I went to visit Claire who is the manager of the Tourist Information Centre in Derby. I first met Claire last year when she called in to see my exhibition at the Guildhall. Claire suggested that if I produced images of Derby, she might be able to stock a selection for sale in the shop. So today she was able to view some of my recent work. The pictures of Derby are a direct result of her suggestion and have represented some of the more obvious advances in my technique..So thank you Claire!. I have therefore been invited to supply mounted and wrapped examples of my work for sale. This is a wonderful opportunity to see my work for sale in a prestigious environment and hopefully take yet another step towards being able to earn a living from my work.
Take a look at the link to see the Tourist Information Centre in Derby :

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Street 8

I've actually done slightly more than you see here's now 9pm and I've just done a couple more hours. I'm very pleased with the section of crowd over to the left in the shadows.In fact the whole area with the shop signs has turned out well. I only wish this was on a much larger scale!!Still, it's little things like this that plant the seed of an idea for future projects. I've found my eye drawn towards crowds on more than one occasion..I need to explore further the wonderful tones of the shadows, the anonymity of the faces and the forms of the buildings.

I've spent most of the day with neck unfortunate side effect of my work..I can see it becoming more of a problem in later life..will have to look at the way I sit and work..consider alternative seating. I feel as if I am living in a bubble at the seems to consist of fitting everything else around my drawing. this is what I have dreamt of..but there is so much more to consider. I am so guilty of disappearing off into my room to head being full of the next colour to apply and the the next idea..the next thing to do..

It would be wonderful to just walk away from it all and disappear over a hill..find a beach somewhere and lie looking at the sky. But I know it will never happen..this my calling, and this is my is my joy, my job and my is me.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Street 7 - Close up

I have been the 'Taxi' driver for my family today doing school runs, youth club drop off and pickups..going to the station picking Jan up..Still, managed around 4 hours of drawing . Here is a close up view which gives you some idea of the detail. As I move further down the composition it should get a little quicker and less fussy.
On a more encouraging note, i sold two of my Arboretum prints today. Nick came to collect them having ordered them during the Arboretum exhibition. thank you Nick and Izzy! was just the encouragement I needed.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Street 6

Today saw history being made in the UK. The inauguration of the Northern Ireland Assembly which will now govern the day to day running of the country.For myself and many others, 'The Troubles' have been a darkness from which decades of pain and separation have blighted the lives of all concerned. In 1998 the 'Good Friday Agreement' was made to begin the process which lead to lasting peace. Many have said that the legacy of Tony Blair would be the fiasco which was the war in Iraq..but here is the thing he worked tirelessly to see come to fruition. I pray that peace now will be lasting ..that today's and tomorrow's children will know unity and prosperity.

I've pressed on well with my work today and added the first of many figures into the scene.For some reason the intensity with which I work has changed..I am currently seeking greater detail and colour for the image and have already spent just under 25 hours on this one. ..I'm probably around 1/4 of the way through!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Street 5

I honestly haven't spent my Bank Holiday doing this..I did do some yesterday but decided to post the 'Blair' video instead.So having an hour to use this afternoon I did this whilst watching the final of the World Championship Snooker.( do I maintain this level of all out excitement?)..Jan and Annie had popped out to buy some stuff for school, Will is out with his friend Reece and Sam has gone to Oxford to a concert. So a quiet evening will be ours.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Yes it really was him!


I thought I'd post this video which was shown as part of the BBC's 'Comic Relief' night which raises money for charities at home and abroad. The night in March this year raised around 63 million pounds. This video shows Prime Minister Tony Blair in a sketch with Katherine Tate playing her most famous comedy character Lauren Cooper.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Street 4

Have been working on the traffic lights and the window far left..not spent a lot of time today on this..I've had a headache which is still with me despite painkillers..I took a walk into town and bought a re-mastered Genesis album ( And then there were three). I've been reading about a British Abstract painter Gillian Ayres..still painting at the age of 76, her work is innovative, vibrant, challenging and basically wonderful.

Probably a style I once would have ignored..Gillian's work resonates deeply with something basic and yet emotionally to me is like looking at the visual representation of a feeling or thought....don't believe me?..check out the link.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Street 3

Got my head down and worked for about 5 hours on the building to the left in grey.Sadly you can't see the colours clearly in the green pole..but I used the theory developed by Seurat which meant I used red to shade the worked very well ..I really enjoyed my time on this today! I totally lost myself in it..I love it when a plan comes together!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Street 2

H.Samuel is a famous jewelers in of 400 stores nationwide it is well known in Derby as a meeting place.."under the clock at Samuels". If you were to go to and stand under the clock you would be looking along the Corn Market which was of course the subject of my last dot picture. It's still only late afternoon at time of writing, so I have a couple of hours yet to do today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Street 1

Just a small area of the picture has developed so far. And for some reason, the camera is acting up again..a strange blue tone has invaded the image.At least you'll see it grow from these humble beginnings...and hopefully after a good battery charge things will be back to normal.

Have provided prints for the shop in Derby to stock..there was some confusion over how much to set the prices at,but I think they are sorted out now..All I have to do is sit and wait..seeing all the wondrous prints already for sale there, I don't think I stand much chance of selling many at all.

I find I am so much in need of a proper holiday..I am so tired and to be honest, worn out. My thinking has suffered and sometimes it's hard to remain positive..I tell you this because to understand my life, you need to know that despite being blessed with an does not guarantee happiness.

I hope to bring brighter things tomorrow.