Monday, June 30, 2008

Absurdities - 15

I spent around four hours working on the left arm and sleeve today in between chatting to visitors. Sold a print to a lovely couple from Texas USA who are over here visiting family..Susan said that she had grown up in Derbyshire...she and her husband currently work in Qatar.

Here's a couple of pictures of me sporting face fuzz and a horrendous shirt...(which I love).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

700th post! Absurdities - 14

Worked mainly on the shirt sleeve and collar today in between chatting with visitors to the exhibition. Met some lovely people today including Pete and Helen who bought one of my Minipix originals!This unfortunately was my only is true that money is scarce..I think most people are putting it in their petrol tanks as opposed to on their walls!

The most amazing thing happened this morning whilst i was working...onto the table landed a beautiful little Hoverfly..!!Here in the picture below you can see it on my hand..the picture below that shows a wider angle including the drawing of the Hoverfly. I have decided that the insect fraternity of Hoverfly's have given me their blessing by sending this little fella as an ambassador..!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Absurdities - 13 Cromford Exhibition day 1

Well..the first day of my exhibition . Hit the ground running as far as the amount of visitors...but unfortunately no sales for me. Still it was great to meet a few of my Facebook friends..Below you can see Brigid and Thurston. Brigid and I used to work together at Eaton Hill.

Then below here is Louise and Ali..I used to manage a support project for homeless people and both Louise and Ali kindly helped with voluntary work. Sadly not included here (because I forgot to take a photo! duh!) is Alan Newton whom I've not seen for around 17 years...!!!!
If you're visiting this blog as a result of your visit today, thank you for your support!!!!Please come back an see how the rest of the week has gone and of course, follow the progress of my work.
Bye for now!

Friday, June 27, 2008

More Story Please

Here is a mock - up of what the finished leaflet/poster will look like.I drafted around eight versions prior to the final piece...the play tells the story of a little girl who at bedtime demands more story..she is transported to as beach where she has an adventure.

It's rare to find theatre created specifically for the age group 2 - 4m, so bookings for performances and tickets are progressing well. Around 60 performances are planned in and around Derbyshire/ Nottinghamshire in the autumn....Details of tickets/performances will be on the reverse side. the drawing is in ink and pencil crayons.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Absurdities - 12

I've been working on the artwork for 'More Story Please', the results for which i'll be able to post later tonight hopefully (If i've finished it!) but I've found some time to work on 'Absurdities'. I'm enjoying working on the many flying insects...the background will be a whole cloud of them!...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Absurdities - 11

Monday, June 23, 2008

Absurdities - 10

Not an obviously large amount of progress can see I've started to add shadows onto my arm and there are some I know what you're thinking re - 'Flight of The Bumble Bee'...that may be a reference but is not the major concept of the piece...( at least in my mind!)

Today i have had two other pressing jobs...firstly, the car has had two bulbs headlight and one brake light.I'm probably one of the most least patient people when it comes to fact it was a near miracle that saw me down at the motor spares shop in the first place! Then trying to access the lamps themselves suggests the designer had not only a dark sense of humour but a multi jointed robot to assemble the thing (thank you Mr. Citroen!)..

The second task was to start on the design for the publicity material for the play Jan's company are producing....(had to go out to buy a new sketch book for the purpose)...looking after kitty litter(aaghhkk!)..and trying to watch tennis from Wimbledon.....I think I might be seeing the men with the big comfy coat that fastens at the back soon!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Euro 2008, Spain versus Italy...a critical view.

Wilba and Tremble have developed a keen interest in we see extra time being played between Italy and Spain (Spain going on to win in the penalty shootout)...Tomorrow sees the start of the All England Tennis Championships from Wimbledon...I know two kittens who'll be glued to the screen!

By the can see their little stubby tails quite well in this photo.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Absurdities - 9 where's the arm in it?

I'm pleased with the much in fact, that i thought I'd give you a close up.(Click on the pic for a really close look).Of course this is actually the bare bones as it were..I need to give it hairs and shadow which means it will look very different when finished. My art teachers at school and at Art College were keen to instruct us to understand what lay beneath.A drawing of a figure must impress upon the mind of the viewer that a skeleton actually resides under the flesh. It was therefore fairly good when I left Art School that I went to train as a nurse and had an excellent grounding in anatomy and physiology. what lies beneath .....the knowledge of which brings understanding.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Absurdities - 8

A week today will see me hanging my next exhibition ..The gallery at the Arkwright Mill at Cromford in Derbyshire will seee my third annual exhibition there. This time I will be sharing the gallery with another artist called Wanda Brookes. Not only is it good to have someone to exhibit with, it enables the cost of hiring the gallery to be halved!

Introducing my right hand into the picture was a difficult task...I've never enjoyed drawing hands..or feet for that matter, but now I'm using the yellow, it seems to be OK. You might be able to see lots of 'blobs' around me..once I've defined what they are, you will see what colour scheme i have planned for the sky. If you thought the sky in my last piece PWM was'll love this one!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Absurdities - 7

Rubbish photo...sorry..can't be bothered to go back and do it all again! The violin belongs to Jan..she was given it by her is around 120 years old and worth hundreds of pounds..this is something to do with the title of the picture you'll eventually see. I'm beginning to get excited about working on this one..I suppose working on yet another self portrait is a little like ground already covered...but you'll see why i decided to do this later....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Absurdities - 6

I'm back!...having had a few days off it's great to get back to work. It's been slow going since I started this picture only a week ago..but I know where it's going and what I have to do..

I had to laugh yesterday as a government enquiry has identified that children in the UK are failing in mathematics. Schools are to have their own 'Maths champions': teachers who are trained specialists . A BBC news reporter went out into a busy high street to ask members of the public to solve a basic maths this case it was : What is 20% of £2.00? lady replied after studying the problem: "oo don't ask me things like that...when it come to numbers I'm 'illiterate'!".......oh dear oh dear!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday cheese...The Sheila's

Some of you might be familiar with 'The Sheila's' for the advertising campaign for 'Sheila's Wheels' motor insurance for women...but here's the video to their first single..which I think rushed into the charts and quickly rushed out again..but I liked it..(there goes my credebility again!)>">

Friday, June 13, 2008

Absurdities - 5 ....oh, and some cats!

I can't believe it!!I seem to given myself a fat chin!..Honestly, I don't have's a trick of the light and the result of having a fiddle stuck under my chin! least that's my story!!

Life adapting to our new arrivals has been so much fun..anyone whose cared for kittens will know what I mean by 'mad half hour' as they hurtle around at top speed.. Here Tremble in the foreground and Wilba have run out of play energy and have flaked out..... I've been reading a few articles about Manx seems ours are classified as 'Rumpy Risers' which refers to the short tail they have..they also have longer back legs than other breeds..they (it is said) came to Britain in 1700's from Spain..Tailless cats can still be found in Spain and Portugal...The Manx breed is often referred to as the 'Dog Cat' because of it's loyalty, intelligence and hunting ability.They are expert jumpers and climbers and tend to be well built, muscular and stocky. The other interesting fact is that whereas other cats reach adulthood at around one year, it takes up to five years for the Manx to reach maturity.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Absurdities - 4

Oh No!...more cat photo's!..Wilba and Tremble.

We now have names for these delightful I am with 'Wilba'..she seems to have settled in really well and had a little snooze whilst on my lap!
Being slightly more timid, we've called this one 'Tremble'. I've still not managed to show their tails which are very fact Tremble very nearly got called' Stumpy'.

"Yo mamma...get down wid da skater boyz"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Absurdities - 3

I've passed the point where the previous version went wrong. I'm happy with the it's just a matter of trying not to spend my entire day playing with the kittens...more pics later!

Our new Kittens

OK...I warned they are! A point of interest is that their mother is a Manx....the Manx breed originate from the Isle Of Man which is off the North West coast of England.Manx cats are distinctive in that they have no tail. These Kittens are not pure Pedigree offspring and have only rudimentary tails, or half tails..Both female, they as yet do not have definite names....stay tuned for further developments...!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Absurdities - second atempt.

Thankfully I had not proceeded very far this morning when it became apparent things were not going to it was a case of starting all over again. This time I've opted for a different strategy. initially I put all colours down gradually extending them in blocks...this time I've decided to try building an almost monochrome image before adding in the brighter colours like yellow.
Today we're going to add two new additions to our family. Two eight week old kittens are coming to live with us later this evening.I've had cats all my life's only following the death of Dusty in 2002 at the age of 18 (about 78 in Cat years!!) that we've not had one. So look out for lots of sickeningly sweet fluffy cat pictures over the next day or two!

Monday, June 09, 2008

Absurdities - 1

Right! we go..yes it's me again,following closely on the heels of PWM and Ball Of Wool,comes this little pondering of the absurdities of certain things, I am confidently able to laugh at myself and accept that what you see, is not always what you get...all will become apparent eventually i hope.But in the meantime, you will notice the pencil sketching, i have begun to lay down basic layers of red and yellow ochre with a little blue in the eyes...

you will also perhaps be wondering where the notion of the violinist has gone...well I'm still on theme here, but the character I outlined in previous posts has stepped back for a short while.I love his story background, so you can be sure he'll not be in the shadows for very long!

Absurdities - The begining

I'm is the blank page, in a few moments I'll begin drawing.My aim is to produce something dynamic, colourful and thought provoking, the sketches I have now and the photos I've taken all point to something exciting...If you're dropping by either by design or accident, why not make the return journey each day and follow the development of what i hope to be my most ambitious and meaningful picture to date.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pinched Poetry.

I have always placed great importance to the substance of books...not just the contents, but their significance as actual objects.Books have places in our lives...they influence, inform, inspire,entertain...Some books have been instrumental in shaping the way I think or feel..they help mould my life...and as such,they take their place in my memory, my experience and on my bookshelf.To look at my bookshelf is to look at an overview of my life in many ways. In fact i would go so far as to say that seeing someones bookshelf is a good a way to see into someone in ways that mere conversation cannot.
I thought I'd post these photos of a book that has been with me for many years. The Cambridge University Press Edition of 'English Poetry Part One' Significant for the fact that it belonged to my Great Uncle John who was in France as part of the British expeditionary Force following WW1. The inscription inside the front cover reads: 'L/C J young 22679, 782 Artisan company, Labour Corps,B.E.F. Pinched from Union Jack club,Lille, France. March you think they'll be wanting it back?
John young left the BEF/Army and returned to work in Nottingham where he worked as a maker of cricket bats for the company of Gunn and of the things he made was a wooden tea tray which I still use to this very day!
Added 9-6-08 Incidentally, for this reason I always write in every book I buy:..Name , date and anything significant at the time...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Gestations - Friday 6th june.

Unlike many other artists..I work with small sketches..this goes against what i was taught..indeed what I teach be bold ..brash and free when composing and sketching. I can visualise things well in small scale..

Here is a view of my desk just now...some photos of me...some Hoverfly's and Bees...I've found it difficult to concentrate today..various things taking up my thoughts... Jan has been away all week doing role play for the Royal College Of Psychiatry enabling candidates to be assessed on their skills when dealing with difficult patients.

On a lighter (but non the less important) note, Jan applied to Arts Council England for a theatre project she has planned , she runs a theatre company which specialises in children's theatre...yesterday we heard the good news that the funding had been awarded.This will enable a new play to be commissioned by renowned playwright Mike Kenny to be written..stage designers and actors to be is expected to tour around 60 venues in the autumn. thoughts are gathering for the new picture....

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gestations - Violinist

I had a great time today just taking photographs of myself...I've not found the right one yet, so I'll just have to do a few more...I'd no idea how tricky it was to hold the remote control and the bow at the same time...then activate the remote and quickly assume a pose.Anyway, out of the 60 or so shots, here are two that will not be used. I look as if I know what I'm doing don't I?

It is from photographs like these I will develop the figure for the picture...I've not discounted the idea of it being me in the final composition...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



...right..wife away all week to sort out kids, schools,laundry,shopping...basically i revert to being 'Super Dad' for the week minus the tights and cape..(that's for my day off!)..but never the less, i've come up with some good solid ideas from which to move to the next stage. I am quite aware in choosing to depict a hypnotic violinist, that I can very easily stray into cliche Fagin/Fiddler On The Roof/ i saw a photo of a violinist which appealed and was looking head on (see 2.)..i'd drawn a full length figure (4.) which although looking nearer to what I imagined, was not dynamic enough....and 3. looked more like the Fagin I referred to earlier.So in 1. you can see the figure has been placed for the time being in the left of the frame with the bow making a diagonal to the top right hand corner....there will be room for another figure/figures there....I've decided to take a few pictures of me playing the violin to get shading and shadows referenced...I also have ideas for a colour scheme.

So there you have a few bare bones as it were...remember to join me each day as I progress from the basic sketches to the finished picture.




Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Irongate - finished

I seem to have been slogging away at this forever..but now it's finished.I really enjoyed the figures in the right hand side of the picture..none of whom were there when I took the photo..when I was thinking of what figures to use..i found that quite coincidentaly, i'd featured the girl in the red top and white trousers...maybe she'll find her way inot other pictures?..see 'The Lady In Red' for her first appearance.

Now it's time to work on my Violinist picture...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Irongate - 14

Here are the figures on the otherside taking shape...sonn be done!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Irongate - 13