Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coat of many colours.

Hello you...remember me?...I thought it was about time I let you know I'm still alive, although the kicking has had to take a bit of a back seat...Christmas is a little like a family sized sledge hammer..(sadly no snow to actually sledge on !) of good company, food, organisation and (this time) more virus's producing coughs and colds throughout the family.

The traditional round of family gatherings has this year met with two new Christmas outings for Jan and I. Just before Christmas we went to the 'Hurly Burly night' at Derby Dance Centre...a night of burlesque performances including escapologist,comedian,chanteuse, mime artists and lots of lovely ladies taking their clothes off (In a very tasteful and artistic way!!)..was fantastic and lacked only the Absinthe. Next we went to the Derby Comedy Club which held a knock out tournament...one of Jan's friends was performing but sadly never made it to the final. But so inspired were we that Jan is going to enter one of the competitions...i may even have a go too!

I'm not one to tell you all about the lovely gifts i received this Christmas....but I just had to show you my new rainbow jacket (pictured above). It's knitted in wool with a fleece inner layer..it also has a hood and is really warm. Jan gave me this after I subtly showed it to her on a web site of wonders!! Wizadorea's Wardrobe is a goldmine of wonderful apparel...take some time to see what i mean!!!

I've not put pen to paper since 18 December in open hostile artfare...but I wanted to let you know that normal business will be resumed shortly after the New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Seasons Greetings...Peace to all !


The Christmas holidays have arrived at last, and I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. May peace reign in your hearts and minds...may you find joy and happiness in all you do, may wars end, may famine be eradicated and may you find good fortune in your lives.....and if not, please at least hit each other gently....and shout in a nice polite way.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Preeti!

I wanted so much to do something special to commemorate your birthday Preeti...so here's a little message from me...can you guess how I did it?

Star of India
Happy Birthday
From Niall Young

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas approaches.

I've spent ages deliberating over what to publish here...my gripes about the commercial present orgy that is Christmas...the effect of the economic downturn.....my lack of motivation to press on with my work...the lack of 'Christ ' in Christmas...my teenage sons who think life will be made complete with the addition of an X-Box...One thing that will stun you is the fact that over Christmas Day and Boxing Day..a group of 12+ family members will descend upon us, and you may well laugh (as I'm doing...but not for the reason you'd think!) I am the only one who'll be drinking alcohol!...now this might be a good thing as the lovely bottles of Red we've bought...and the Brandy...will see 100% of my attention.But with a solidly tee total family,I'm bound to say something I'll regret!...and if I perchance cause myself a self delusion that through toxic over indulgence, I'll forget and not care what I've said or done , I'll surely hear about it on every family gathering for the rest of the year.My thinking and advice is , if you're going to get a reputation...get a big one!

Oh yes...the photo is of my front room a few minutes ago...darkness has nearly fallen and everyone has left the house except me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Enigma - 3

Trust me to have been wearing a dark t-shirt!..it also had a logo on the front, but i decided not to include it..I heard a great saying today...

"Do not measure the quality of life by how many breaths you take..but how many times life takes your breath away"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Enigma - 2 Cool pics

I'm so sorry you have to look at this picture of me for the next few weeks..I'll try to make it interesting! As for the photos below...I'm responding to a Tag I have received from Preeti
It seems you walk into anyone's home and often you'll see the fridge covered in drawings..postcards..magnetic alphabet letters....all manner of things....and mine is no exception...
From a large oil pastel drawing by my daughter of 'Daddy'..to Christmas recipes....

newspaper cuttings...Doctor who magnetic pictures...Tweenies figures...school news letters..pens...and two magnetic photos of Jan playing the role of Elizabeth Strutt. the Doctor who magnets have also invaded the side of the Micro wave oven too!

Of course I've now got to tag some friends too...ok Devil mood Sue Julie and Tysonice it's over to you!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Enigma - 1

OK..I've spent so long deliberating and fussing, I'm just going to get on with this...I've started with the eyes as usual and radiated out from there.It's important to achieve the right balance of contrast early on as it will affect the rest of the drawing...also to establish which areas of the subject will have the most light...currently the subject is surrounded by plain paper, but eventually I'll want the right side of the face to be the brightest...so a very careful omission of dots is needed to achieve the desired effect.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Enigma - sketch

I'm not sure how this is going to go...I've been working on sketches for weeks now, it was to have taken one particular route, but I've decided against the original intended one and developed a new theme..of course all of this is meaningless unless you live inside my head ( not recommended!). so the best i can do is let things unfold here before you.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spinning down The Derwent

'Spinning down The Derwent' is a new film released by Maypole productions and Treacle City films..starring renowned Derby actress Gwen Taylor(see above photo). It tells the story of the building and development of the first mass production factories in the world on the banks of the River Derwent in Derby by Sir Richard Arkwright and Joseph Strutt.

Last night , Jan and I went to the premier of this independent film at The Ritz in Belper, Derbyshire.Jan had acted in the film playing the role of Elizabeth Strutt.Below you can see a photo of the cast and crew celebrating ( as is the tradition) 100 hours of filming by drinking Campaign. Jan is on the far right holding the baby.If you fancy seeing other photos and reading info about the film.then follow this link:


I hope you'll all forgive my absence from posting. I'm finding work very difficult at the moment, with my abortive attempts on watercolour, my week long viral infection and the complicated nature of my next big picture, i'm a little unfocused. I shall try to get myself sorted out over the next few days and let you see the start of something new!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Watercolour didn't workout

I decided to produce six small pieces using simple washes...then adding washes on top, then adding landscape or other detail...I got the first and second washes down alright, but I'm afraid everything went wrong after that.I made a total mess and (no disrespect to a three year old) but my work looked like it had been done by a three year old....a colourblind one at that! So I'm going to shelve the watercolour experiments until after Christmas and get back to doing what i do best.

i love the delicacy of watercolour and the texture of the paint on the paper....but I'm going to have to practise a whole lot more!
I hope you enjoyed the previous post...the video is not very good but i chose it because it features the lyrics to the song. I've been a fan of Peter Gabriel's music since way back in 1970 when he was lead singer with Genesis.

The Book Of Love - By Peter Gabriel

I thought this was wonderful....

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Watercolour workout 2

Well, the watercolour didn't work out..and to make matters even worse, I felt achy and full of cold all day..I need to look after myself better.

On the good side ..Mr Postman called with a package from Preeti in India...above is '34 Bubblegums and Candies'..a selection of tasty treats from Preeti's own blog, 'Just A Mother Of Two'...I like to refer to Preeti as 'The Star Of India' as she's someone whom i value immensely as a friend. So I was anxious to see how the writings contained in the book differed (if at all ) from those on the blog...perhaps it was just me, but there seems an extra sparkle..an added something..to tell the truth, I had cried by the end of the first piece!...then I read on and laughed...a bit more..I pondered...then smiled... what a great little book,I shall treasure it forever and you could do no wrong by ordering your own copy here

Monday, December 08, 2008

Water colour workout.

Well...here I am after a prolonged layoff. I've had a viral infection which (similar to influenza), completely knocked any desire to work on the head.But today I've felt well enough to do some work. I did mention that I had a few projects which i was looking forward to launching. well, the first is in response to my readers comments about my water colour paintings. now, bearing in mind I haven't done any painting for around 10 years and before that nearly 20 years...I've got a lot of catching up to do technique wise. so I've tried a few simple little washes here just to get the feel of the paint and water.

i have to admit that I'm very impatient when it comes to painting..i want it to look perfect immediately and i hate making mistakes....something that rarely happens with my dot work! but I've got to learn to experiment and try out things .....I'm perhaps confining myself to a too smaller size and need to 'breakout'....the one hard and fast rule I am going to set myself is that i will complete each picture in only one day!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


I'm ill today..i've not done any artwork...Annie is also off sick from school, so we huddled up together and watched 'Charlie And the chocolate factory' dozed and moaned.She's a lot better this evening..I feel worse..I'm off to bed soon ...See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Will - Self portrait at Nottingham University

This is my son will who's 13.He's a great lad, caring, gentle but deadly in a rugby scrum! As part of a working partnership with the teacher training dept at Nottingham University, a selected few of the pupils artwork is chosen to display with in the campus. Here's Will standing proudly alongside his blue self portrait..which is framed along with one of his class mates self portraits by Rika . I was so proud of Will and loved the fact that i was attending HIS exhibition.
Here's a better view of Will's painting...(photo by Annie)
I promised I'd tell you about my next project today...well, actually it's one of three projects.I'm still preparing sketches for my next big black and white picture...I'm also working on a commission...and more immediately I'm about to attempt to produce a series of watercolours. I had a go today and the results were disastrous!!! It didn't help having a fairly heavy cold and a daughter of sick from school with all the demands that brings with it.So hopefully I'll have another go with the brushes tomorrow and show you what I've been up to!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bench - finished

Just finished work on this piece. My final tasks were to increse the amount of purple and green in the shadows and add a little more interest to the fallen leaves. Tomorrow I shall revealing what I'm going to work on next.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bench - 14 Happy Birthday Tysonice

Again..more interruptions,I'm still responsible for school runs etc...and also had to go to the dentist for my routine check up...all is well with my teeth! but managed to get on with the shadows...I spend so much time up close that when i reduce the size for posting here..I can see what it is I've done...sounds strange doesn't it? I spend time every day staring at this as it grows...only just over 40 hours of work..but you can imagine what it's like to work on a 200 hour piece which takes weeks....when I hang my work for exhibitions..I see something altogether familiar but new if you get my meaning...like meeting an old friend.People often query why it is that I don't sell the originals....to me, it would be like selling my children....hey, now really do sound like a mad artist!

Quick Niall, change the subject before the reader realises i'm well and truly bonkers! Below is a photograph...I didn't ask the owner if I could use it ( I hope he forgives me!?)...but this man is someone very special...we've never met, we live thousands of miles apart. He writes a blog which i read..he makes me laugh...he makes me think..he's also on occasions makes me cry, but he doesn't know that. We have many things in common..we're both married to special women...we both have wonderful children..we both like drinking Jack Daniels..we both are often puzzled with regards to women and life in general, and on the subject of terrorism, both horrified at the depth of evil to which the human mind can sink ...both mourn the loss of innocence..the loss of the innocent...

My friends...please pay his blog a visit..be prepared to have your senses..and even your 'chuckle muscles strained....i give you The Man Tysonice! Happy birthday!!!!