Thursday, October 30, 2008


A couple of labels for some booze I have recently concocted/ decocted.
Creme de Groseille - redcurrant liquor - made from vodka, sugar & redcurrants from my friend Posy's garden in Faversham, and
Cherry Brandy, what remained after macerating wild cherries we picked beside the river Lee a few months back in brandy with some sugar.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lost Food

The names of some foods, mostly Medieval & Elizabethan, lost to the English table and the English language.

I have just made Medlar Cheese, which is a delicious confection.

Click on the Image to better read the Names

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Daily Mail - Saturday 8 November 2008

Winter-flowering honeysuckle ( Lonicera Fragrantissima), aka Sweet-breath-of-Spring


Just back from harvesting a bumper crop of that much overlooked favorite of the Medieval and Elizabethan table, the medlar. Inedible until the first frosts 'blet' them on the branches, they shall be boiled down with allspice and sugar to make a sweet confection known as Medlar Cheese ( a little similar to spanish Membrillo or quince paste I'm guessing).

The fruits are beautiful in an offbeat rusty russety way. In the 16th and 17th centuries, medlars were, in this country, bawdily called “open-arses” because of the shape of the fruits and associated with loose women and prostitution - the french call them 'Culs de Chiens' I believe. Not hard to see why, even if the name could be somewhat offputting.

I shall keep you posted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guardian Education -28 October 08

Another Phil Beadle piece for tomorrow's Guardian Education section.

This one was about the use of blackboards, then whiteboards and now finally new digital displays in classroom teaching, where the realtime interactive quality is lost.

I tried here to keep the colour palette very simple/ limited to emphasise the linework.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Restaurant magazine - November 2008

A piece I just finished ( and started in fact!) this morning for my monthly gig at Restaurant magazine. I love this job/ client.
This month the subject was Menu Engineering, the science of distributing incremental increases in retail prices across a menu to cover the increase in cost of various supplies, such as red meat or rice.
Staedtler pigment liner 0.3 plus PS

Click on the Image to Enlarge.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daily Mail - Saturday 25 October 2008

My first job for the Daily Mail. For a piece on gardening hints and tips. One large central image and four smaller drop-ins.

Click on the Images to Enlarge

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Christmas on Cheshire Street, E2

I was asked to do this year's flyer/ invite for the annual Cheshire St mulled wine and mince pies late evening openings, this year with an old East End/ pearly kings and queens/ costarmonger theme.

If you're about, come along, me ol' China!

Click on the Image to Enlarge

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baron Munchausen I

The first of a series of images I'm working on for the Adventures of Baron Munchausen. Its a story I love and one that they've made several films of, most famously Terry Gilliam's but also a brilliant ( and indeed much better) German version made during the Third Reich and a fantastic Czech adaptation called Baron Prasíl made in the 1960s by Karel Zeman.

In this scene, the Sultan has asked the Baron to convert to Islam, but the Baron countered that he could not as he enjoyed his wine too much. At this the Sultan admitted to being himself partial to a glass or two of fine Tokaji (Tokay) to which the Baron added that the best was to be found in the cellars of Empress Marie Therese in Vienna. Baron Munchausen wagers that he can get a bottle of the stuff into the Sultan's hands within the hour....

Staedtler pigment liner and brush & Indian ink, worked up and coloured in PS. Particularly happy with the coloured ink washes - they look like watercolour (almost) but with that convenient digital editability.

Click on the image to Enlarge

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Drunk as a Boiled Owl

A fantastic expression I stumbled upon in a old copy of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, which I keep on the bathroom window.

A simple sketchbook doodle coloured up in PS.

Click to Enlarge

Restaurant magazine - October 2008

A new client this week - Restaurant magazine.
I've worked a lot for their sister publication, pub trade mag The Morning Advertiser, and Art Director Gary Simons got in touch saying he liked what he'd seen there and would I be interested in illustrating a monthly opinion piece. To which I said "You bet!" ( or words to that effect)

Again the subject matter is the current financial maelstrom, and its implications for the restaurant industry. Ultimately, the article concluded, people want their little luxuries, whatever the fiscal climate - be it a good coffee, a glass of wine or a fabulous meal. The author, Mark Stretton, dubs it the 'Sod it' factor.

Click on the image to Enlarge

Guardian Money -27 September 08

This image was for the cover of last Saturday's Guardian Money section, commissioned by Sarah Habershon who I'd had the pleasure of working for many times before.

The article, like so many right now, was about the Credit Crunch/ global financial crisis, but here looking at one positive - that in a period of reduced lending the bank are offering some very good interest rates to encourage more saving.

Guardian Education -23 September 08

A piece I did the other day for my regular (ish) gig in the Guardian's Education section.
Again a piece by the brilliant Phil Beadle, this time about the need for the choice of 'blue-collar' vocational training in schools and not just 'white-collar' academic teaching.

Fahrenheit E17

A piece I did for the recent E17 Arts Trail.

It was for a group show entitled "The State of the Borough" - the borough in question being the London Borough of Waltham Forest, where I live at the moment.

The council here are a real pack of idiots, horribly corrpt and self-serving, always screwing things up and closing things down - museums, libraries, public toilets, cinemas, &c., &c..

One of the really shocking things that they'd done was to close down one of the local libraries under the guise of regeneration, and spent a fortune on a brand new one with no room for the books!

So here is my piece - Fahrenheit E17 (E17 is the area's postcode) - a localised take on Ray Bradbury's famous novel ( and film) Fahrenheit 415 ( the temperature at which paper burns) about censorship and blind ignorance. Some council tyro lobbing books into a fire. The swatzika-like tree emblem on the banner and arm-band is the symbol for Waltham Forest.

The piece is acrylic and Indian ink painted onto the back of an old 2 volume edition of War & Peace.