Friday, July 27, 2007 on holiday.

In place of the usual work of art..I present five works of 'Art'..a VERY RARE photograph showing us all!!Here we are at my Brother-In-Law's wedding today in Litchfield. Tomorrow we all go off for a week on holiday. So don't expect any posts until I get back which will be on 5Th August. i hope you all have a lovely week and that you'll rejoin me when I get back......See Y'all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Games 26 you can see..progress is slow..but that is only because I can't work when my environment is disturbed..children shouting and arguing..all normal summer holiday stuff, but detrimental to me. I don't think I'll get very much more of the picture completed before we go away on Saturday. Tomorrow I've got to take the children to my Brother - In - Law's wedding..Jan is already there for a meal and will stay overnight so she can be there for the hairdressers at 8:00 in the morning...a fact that only just dawned on me as she was heading out of the door. I'll post tomorrow night and let you know how the wedding went..

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Games 25

I tried a few different methods before I got the strings right on the racket..even so they are unrefined at the moment so should look more even on completion.Basically I used two set squares (one 'blue tacked' to the paper) to draw the strings in pencil..I then dotted the squares in.when satisfied, I rubbed out the pencil.
the trees on the horizon have continued to appear. I have now completed 99 hours work on this piece..will do some more tonight!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Games 24 close up

you know..I'd not actually thought what I would do with the horizon in this part of the you can see here the start of what I hope will be a convincing series of twiggy trees. the next thing here is to decide how many globe thistles are going to show thought the strings of the racket. we're planning as family to go away on holiday at the weekend, so I don't think I'll be taking this along with me..can i live without it for a week?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Games 23 - Monday 23rd

Well, here I go again..another attempt to gender some consistent input to my work. I've begun a course of Saint John's Wort which should make life a little bit easier to navigate. I only tell you this because I know some people have said to me in the past that 'not going to work' means i must have an ideal existence and an enviable one at that. Well I can tell you it's not. Perhaps an explanation of what lies behind the picture will clear a few questions up...perhaps it's the nature of the background reasons that have triggered some of my negativity..perhaps it's the continued isolation I find myself in that distorts reality..perhaps not. One thing is certain:..I will never allow the experience to go unrecorded or ignored...I will always continue to learn and grow.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Games 22.....

It has taken me longer than I thought to rid myself of a rather troublesome virus which has knocked me right out for a couple of days..even though the stomach cramps and aches left on Thursday..what has remained is the total lack of drive and passion. No inspiration, no desire to do anything...I've moaned and groaned, criticised and been thoroughly comes at a time when we have to book a holiday to which we hope to go next Saturday..our planning is handicapped by the need to keep the days free in case Jan gets offered some work...we're now looking at the prospect of a dingy flat in Dunbar...saddled with the prospect of further bad weather and a grumbling teenager, it should prove to be a time of (philosophically speaking)..personal discovery.

Back to today...I've actually managed to do a bit of work on the picture!!!which was hampered by the news that after 3 months of my prints being available to buy at Tourist Information Centre in Derby and a art/print shop in the Indoor Market, I have sold the grand total of zero pieces. I know it's not an indicator of how worthwhile my work is..but it really is disheartening and I do tend to take news like this fairly badly until I've got a more objective point of view.

Please take the fact that I've been depressed into account when reading my miserable writings..I'll hopefully be back to my old self very soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Games 21 (sort of)

I actually haven't done any work all day..I am ill..have slept lots, and moaned lots ( I am a man after all)...headache, neck ache and a stomach which feels like its been inflated with concrete..the above shows progress achieved yesterday...

I hope I'll be back to form tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Games 20

I juggled with roses,grass,nothing..but settled on Globe Thistles (Echinops) to clutter the foreground. These will continue across the picture..I'll do the tennis girls legs as I pass!I still have work to do on 'Dark Clown's' face and robe, but will wait to see what he looks like surrounded by thistles.
The picture here shows what a gorgeous sight they are around this time of year.I remember seeing a long railway embankment of them when I was in Scotland last year.They have a fine and dynamic presence! It is again an example of how I love contrasts of texture in my pictures, metal trains, soft flesh,hard stares,fluffy clouds,gentle shadows, prickly thistles...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Games 19

I've been working on refinement and details today..of note..Tennis Girl's hair and dress..The Skull and hand. And the cross just under the Dark Clowns chin is now the silhouette of a Space Shuttle!..Since this photo was taken this afternoon, I've started adding foreground in at the extreme right..join me tomorrow when you'll see the beginning of the end!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Games 18

I have progressed the 'pattern' to the ground and will shortly begin work on adding shading etc to the robe.
As I sat in my bedroom drawing this morning..I looked out of the window ...enjoying the view..wondering where our summer was (it's rained almost every day for weeks!)...listening to a tape of Steve Hackett playing loudly...when my 15 year old son Sam came up to my room...what do you think he asked of me? pocket money?....a can of beer? asked ME to turn the music down as it was too loud!!!! I will have a smile on my face forever as I remember that!
Went to my friend Paul Taylor's 50Th Birthday party tonight..was great to see him...and meet two VERY old friends from years ago...Paul and Mark Whitehall...I know you'll be reading this...we will get together again soon!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Game 17

I have decided after much thought to decorate the robes of 'The Dark Clown' with crosses and eyes..if you are thinking you've seen something similar, it's because you have..check out 'death And Life' 1911 by Gustav Klimt.His figure of death differs in that the head is a skull and the crosses are more closely bunched . I've added eyes for a special secret little meaning of my own..although psychologists might interpret my images as the work of a tortured mind...perhaps they're right? Anyway..if you would like to try and interpret the picture , I'd love to hear what you think! And, if anyone arrives at the same explanation I have..I'll send you a free mounted print of it when it's finished!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Game 16

This afternoon I hit a patch when (as Martina Navratilova would say) I was "In the zone'. Things just seemed to come together, the ink flowed and it seemed as if the picture was drawing itself. In some ways (and please don't misinterpret my analogy here) it's like I'm forming a magic I start to incant the words..there is a stage at which the spell becomes active and it is with my pictures..i have spent nearly four weeks working on this till now, and only today did my vision become alive before me...I've got a long way to go yet, and many decisions yet to make regarding the 'Dark Clown's' robes and the foreground..there's also the small matter of rendering the tennis racket strings correctly..but it feels good today!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Game 15

You may have noticed a change in the title of this's actually only a 'work in progress' title so will change when I've got the real one worked out!..I've enjoyed working on the sky/lightning stuff today..I'm looking forward to being able to get on with refining the figures and working out what I'm going to put in the foreground..meanwhile I'm itching to get back to some colour work soon.

I should also take this opportunity to mention my Brother Tim who this week (thanks to being laid up with a back injury) has actually had a go at dotting. you can view his work on his own blog:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Games 14

At last I can begin work on the lightning to the church..somehow this seems significant!..Today, Jan and I took a trip up to Wirksworth to visit the site of my exhibition for the arts festival in September. the site was shut down( See below ), but I'm assured that 'in season' passenger trains run on a regular however I failed to imagine ever attracting a worthy audience!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Games ll - 13

OK..the church looks a little 'clunky'..but easily remedied!..I'm beginning to get the atmosphere that I like in my more surreal pictures..dream like and spooky! Preeti emailed me today with a link to an American illustrator who uses dots (stippling) in her work. It's so exciting to think that I'm not alone!! Noli (if you're reading this..please get in touch!)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Games ll - 12

The All England Lawn Tennis Championships have dominated my weekend..(also the Live Earth Concerts)..I was not surprised yesterday the Venus lifted the trophy once again..although if you'd asked me at the start of the tournament who I thought would win, Venus would not have been my prediction. As for today..I had predicted Federer to face Nadal..and what a contest!!Having recovered from the sadly futile challenge yesterday of Djokovic who so admirably fought long and hard to reach the semi's..I now had to sit and watch five sets of the most accomplished and ferocious grass court tennis one is likely to see.Made all the more emotional seeing Bjorn Borg's record of five consecutive Men's Single titles at Wimbledon equaled. Who would have believed that during the rain soaked first week , we'd have such a stunning end?

Oh yes...I nearly forgot..I did as bit of work on the picture!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Games ll - 11

I have watched some fantastic tennis from Wimbledon today..every year we Brits mourn the ever repetitive failure of our Tim to progress further..but I didn't miss him once I saw the spectacle that is Novak Djokovic..Richard Gasquet..Marion Bartoli..Venus Wiliams and (of course) Roger Federer..Some stunning matches. Special note regarding Djokovic who has battled on consecutive days two matches each over 4 hours in's quarter final vs Marcos Baghdatis may rank as one of the greatest ever...still, no one can live up to my all time favourite player Chris Evert!!I like her so's a picture:

Work progresses slowly on the picture, but having done four hours of sky today , i'm knackered!..also inbetween watching the tennis...this weekend there are the finals and the televised 'Live Earth' concert to disrupt my's all fantastic!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Games ll - 10

There are some very obvious progressions to the picture today. Namely the train and sky..The Skull is better highlighted by the addition of the background shading which will also have a moon in the top right of the page.

Today I had some good news. Last week visitors to the exhibition urged me to apply to take part in the Wirksworth Festival. Wirksworth is a small town in the Peak District that once a year in September hosts an Arts Festival to which thousands of people take part in 'Trails' which take the visitor on a tour of venues displaying the work of Artists and designers. The deadline for application had passed, but I was encouraged by one particular visitor who is a well know artist in Derbyshire to apply. Jan contacted them by email and today we a mail from one of the organisers who has visited my website and thinks my work is appropriate!!..this is great news, as it will enable me to show my work to vastly greater number of people !!!! The festival takes place in September and I've included the link to the website in Wirksworth if you fancy a look.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Games ll - 9

I'd like to thank my faithful protege Oskur for looking after the blog whilst I was resting..he really is a lovely little chap..trouble is he keeps on asking me to let him have his own blog...maybe one day.

By way of an update on the Arboretum Residency, it's still supposed to be going through..the managers at the City council have to re-write all the leases for the buildings they own in the city..mine studio being included in that. Despite the fact that it is an honour to have been asked (in May 2006!!!!), I am finding it increasingly is something which if it goes ahead will alter the whole of my working process..and will mean a lot of hard work and planning to furnish (I have to arrange all that myself) the studio before I can move in....i hate the uncertainty of it all.I hope I'll have better news soon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Du master iz awaeee

Ello..I'm Oskur D' Wyld monkey. Yoo miyt rembur mee..I rote befor wen du mastur had a rest..wel ee iz havin a rest haz bin workin very ard at drawing and dur iz avin a liy down and wochin Wimbuldun on dur tellyvishon.

wot av i bin dooin i eer yoo ask?..i av bin dooin sum typ ritting wiv my frenz...wee av ritten a buk called 'shaykspeer..wot iz he awl about?'...see yew agayn soon. dur master wil bee bak toomowow.

luv and banarners



Monday, July 02, 2007

Games ll - 8

I am exhausted..I feel as if my 'tank is empty'..poor sleep too..Have done some work today but to be honest, I just feel like sleeping. I did watch a thrilling rain interrupted match from Wimbledon between Serena Williams and Daniella Hantchucova..if you're a tennis fan, you'll know what I'm talking about!

hope to get back some sparkle tomorrow..till then ..

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Games ll -7..End of the exhibition.

The exhibition has come to an's always sad to take down my pictures ..I consider art needs to be seen..not for any conceited reason, but there is so much we can learn about the world and each other if we only took the time to see thought the eyes of another.

As I was packing away, a young couple came in to view my work. In talking after, the young man explained that he was an artist who drew in pencil..I gave what i hoped were helpful pieces of advice nice to share with a like minded individual..He gave me details of his web site and we parted. Then when I got home I had a look..I am absolutely blown away with the level of skill and dedication Mark displays. I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU FOLLOW THE LINK to Mark's site and wonder at the jaw droppingly brilliant pencil drawings he has created. Mark..I salute you!

I just want to end this post by publishing this drawing done by my youngest son William. I think it's wonderful..shows good vision and has echos of Dali and Picasso. What do you think?