Wednesday, August 29, 2007

E17 Art Trail - "Inspire"

Art Grows in Walthamstow
9 days, 97 exhibitions & events and over 300 artists in galleries, museums, shops, cafés, houses....
Sat 1st Sept to Sun 9 Sept 2007

Check out

I am part of the above, in an exhibition entitled "Inspire"
- work inspired by ( local boy and alround hero) William Morris,
organised by the campaign to save our (e17's) museums, antiscrap

My piece (above) shows the man himself
and one of his lesser known quotes
a celebration of diversity and a call for tolerance
A great sentiment!

As always, please click on image to ENLARGE

If you're anywhere nearby do drop by and 'ave a butchers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Visitors"

A bit stretched, so I haven't had time this week to create a brand spanking new bespoke image.

This is a job I did for the Guardian newspaper a few years back - a shamelessly cynical take on Clement Clarke Moore's 1822 poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas".

It's quite different to the way I work now ( I was a 'vector' man in those days) - it might be quite nice to re-do or tart up this image ( I still like the idea), add some more mood and shadow.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Word of the Week: "Stentorian"

As an aide memoire to myself I have decided, whenever possible, to illustrate a word a week whose meaning was either hazy or unknown to me before.

This week's word is stentorian,
here applied to the late great (grand) Dame Edith Evans
as Lady Bracknell in Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest"

Stentorian a. Of or relating to a person with a powerful voice
[from Gk. Stentor, herald in Trojan War
(Homer, Iliad v.785)]

It can be very hard to capture a likeness well
I certainly didn't want to create a 'caricature' as such
(shudders at thought of 'pavement artists' around leicester square!)
but I do think I've caught something of the old trout

Click on Image to Enlarge

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Captain" (No.2)

Not really a captain as such

But the word made me think of various Captains, fictional and otherwise, and Ahab in particular
- bitter, obsessive and doomed ( something an illustrator can relate to, perhaps!?)

So I mocked up this cover for Moby Dick

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on my name at the top to see my Blog
and my other IF* 'Captain' offering

Oranges & Lemons

"Oranges and lemons", say the bells of St. Clement's
"You owe me five farthings", say the bells of St. Martin's
"When will you pay me?" say the bells of Old Bailey
"When I grow rich", say the bells of Shoreditch
"When will that be?" say the bells of Stepney
"I do not know", says the great bell of Bow
Here comes a candle to light you to bed
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!
Chip chop chip chop - The last man's dead.

I'm doing a short course in Screen Printing at the moment just down the road from where I live. This ISN"T a screen print, but I wanted to play about at capturing that look in photoshop, and in particular with mis-registration and overlap.

The limited colour palette I've used is inspired by mediterranean fruit box labels.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tired of London, Tired of Life - No.1

In light of the staggeringly depressing and insane spate of recent knife crime in the capital, I propose this update to the city's coat-of-arms ( 3 extra weapons added).

{Nota Bene:
I adore heraldry - its history, meaning, designs and lore in general.
I appreciate that it is a subject so dry, marginalized, antiquated and essentially pointless that its beyond nerdy,
but I have always been captivated by it , ne'ertheless
and can make no apologies for its inexplicable hold over me}

Illustration Friday - "Captain"

Here's this week's IF* -

The Captain's Log

(Hope I don't now log on {ouch!} to IF* and find there's 40 versions of the same idea already!)

Click on image to Enlarge
and header to view the rest of my blog


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Word of the Week: "Picaresque"

picaresque (-k) a. ( Of a style of fiction) dealing with adventures of rogues
{F. f Sp. picaresco (picaro = rogue; + -ESQUE)}

Here's a Gallery of coffee-stain Rogues,
based loosely on characters from Jacques Becker's great 1952 film "Casque d'or"
starring Simone Signoret and Serge Reggiani

I've made up a few names for them
(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Emergency"

My take on 'Emergency'

(In case of Emergency, break glass!)

Click on the Image to Enlarge

(Have just realized how to link this page in particular ( and not the entire blog) to IF* - d'oh!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Joseph Andrews

I stumbled across a paperback copy of Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding ( of Tom Jones fame) for 30p in a local charity shop the other day, so I snapped it up.

I haven't read it as yet ( having just finished 'Three Men in a Boat' by Jerome K. Jerome ( brilliant!) and just started the latest and last Harry Potter) but I do have very dim recollections of seeing the Tony Richardson film version on TV once, at an age when I probably shouldn't have.

I am hoping the book will be full of bawdy wit, farcical confusion and ribald misadventure
( otherwise I'm taking it back!).

Here's a cover I've recreated ( based on those selfsame dim recollections).

Click on Image to Enlarge

Thursday, August 9, 2007

illustration Friday - "Missing" (No. 2)

Another foray into the various meanings of 'missing'
( and a self-portrait to boot!)

Click on Image to Enlarge!

(It seems you can only have one entry per week! Maybe I'll try flickr)

Illustration Friday - "Missing"

Missing teeth

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Variant 28

Here are a series of images I did a little earlier in the year for independent free arts magazine Variant, for a piece on Climate Change, Natural Resources and the Future of Capitalism. For more details see

I used it as an opportunity to try out a few new techniques, including the use of brass-rubbing crayon and stencils/ paper cut-outs. It was also a great chance to work closer with a more graphic use of ideas in conjunction with my partner N, as a prelude to further collaboration in the future. Watch this space!

Click on any Image to enlarge

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Vin de Noix

I am currently in the process of decocting a large batch ( 20 L or so!) of Vin de Noix (Walnut Wine).

It's basically red wine ( le gros rouge qui tache) fortified with spirit ( brandy in this case), preserved with sugar and honey, and flavoured with green ( wet) walnuts and spices, all left to macerate and steep ( with the occasional shake) for 4 months or so in a cool dark place.

The end result, if the alchemy has worked, is "christmas in a glass" (and half my presents solved).
For now, all I can do is wait and hope and agitate the huge plastic container when the mood takes me - and let Time work its magic.

Here's a label I've created for the resulting liquor.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Observation: Boy Eating Crisp

I did this sketch the other morning , sitting in the l'Hirondelle Café on Hoe St. Being the summer holidays the place was jammed to the rafters with mums, buggies, pushchairs, babies and kids.
One small boy was eating a packet of crisps, and, rather than wolfing them down as you might expect, he was placing each one far back into his mouth with an almost liturgical solemnity, as if carefully placing them on a shelf at the back of his head, and almost dislocating his jawbone, snake-style, to get the snack passed his teeth without breaking it. Very funny to behold and done completely unselfconsciously.

( I am here continuing my exploration of the simplest use of colour and line - I have, in the past, had a tendency to "over-egg"!)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Computing Which? Commission: Sept '07

Just completed a job for regular client Mark Massey at Computing Which?

The brief
"Basic idea:
It's for a feature on Free Security Software, and the main aspect we want to highlight is that they are all FREE.

So, a shop front with 'SECURITY SOFTWARE' as the main name of the shop, with lots of brighly coloured stickers and signs plastered all over the shop front. Sign to say things like...
etc etc"

Normally ( and particularly recently) I might have used a more restrained palette but here the job called for bright colours, so thats what I've given them. The figure was an optional extra but for me really helps to pull the whole thing together and affords the composition a certain dynamism that it would otherwise lack.

My Anniversary

August 2nd '07 marks 10 years to the (very significant) day when first I clapped eyes on, and grabbed the hand of, my Lammastide lover N - the absolute love of my life and the best thing to ever happen to me by the longest of chalks. You are my world and everything in it!

Doux présent du présent
Fraîcheur de la nuit
Chaleur de ma vie

Jacques Prévert, 'Alicante'

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Illustration Friday - "Moon"

Here's my first attempt at an Illustration Friday topic - now I've just got to work out how to upload it on the IF site.