Recent Work

I’m just leaving this here because I’ve unintentionally updated my blog’s theme (the old one now being lost forever). I am not used to it! I want my visitors to see a range of my work, not just the latest blog post (hairy, biker blokes in this particular instance) and so here are a few images from recent months. I have to leave it as it is here I’m afraid – for now – because my main website is offline (this is bad planning on my part, I’ll admit that). So once main site is up and running, I can come back here and get this right.

Blokes with Beards & Bikes

I have a friend, who has a friend, who has a bike. And this friend took some pics at a biker event she went to – and I drew these fellas from her pics.

I love all the badges. I like drawing beards too.

And I am excited about the method I am using here (also here and here), so I am just going to see where it leads.

I guess I’ll have to tackle the bikes next.

The Bones Of You

I love music and the lyrics of songs are really important to me.

Deciding to illustrate a song has come out of wanting a project. I didn’t want to write the words myself because I have written a couple of children’s books which have not been successful in capturing the hearts and minds of any publishers (I’ve been so very close) and I’ve lost confidence in my writing abilities.

So, I decided to illustrate one of my favourite songs, in a graphic novel format.

Here are some early ideas/experiments using ink & brush – which I loved using and am pleased with the results of (no pre-drawing) but which I decided not to use.

WatercolourDrawings

I love Elbow.

To my ears, their music is innovative, inventive and lyrically brilliant.

I could say a lot more about how much I love them and why – but it would involve too many superlatives.

I doubt my art work does them justice but it was a really useful project to set myself and to ensure I completed. And I am actually pleased with the results!

amanofmycalibre-web.jpg

In the ‘reminiscing’ scenes I have tried to use sepia to differentiate them from the present scenes.

 

Bedrooom-WEB

It’s also where I started working in this way – monochrome grey tones, Indian ink and spot colour.

TBOY_WEBTBOYFinal_WEB

Currently I am continuing to develop this technique – there will definitely be another post about this very soon (because the artwork is already completed). And I did All The Houses I’ve Ever Lived In/Little Boxes using the same materials, more or less. I’m pretty excited about working in this way.

In the meantime, here is the finished piece. Hope you, and Elbow & Guy Garvey, approve. Details about their music and links to their website are under the image, at the end of my post.

TBOYfinal_WEB

If you’ve not heard of Elbow (???!!!??) – you can see the song & video on YouTube

New album & tour dates out now – details on their website.

More Little Boxes

Well, I’m still going. There should be twenty when I am finished, even though I have lived in over 24 houses (counting everywhere I have lived for more than 3 months). What I think I am interested in here, not only the buildings themselves – but the potential for hinting at, or picking out some element of narrative from the bare bones of what is, essentially, a visual list, a collection. I’ve always been a little bit interested in collections, specimens, science experiments. There’s something of that in this project.

Incidentally, One of the 24 houses is pixellated on GoogleMaps. So, if you take a virtual walk down this particular street online, you come across a strangely distorted, blocked-out structure. It’s a little sci-fi. This house is one I lived in for 9 months aged 34, I don’t have any photos of the whole front of the building so it’s one of the missing 4. I have yet to work out if it will feature in the zine. It’s definitely one of the most interesting architecturally.

 

Little Boxes

 

 

I’m currently obsessed by houses. It’s predominantly an autobiographical project.

I have lived in 24 different houses (and a few more for just a very short time – or I have totally forgotten the address). This appears to be above average.

There is a story here that I am trying to tell and I think these houses are my way in. I don’t know where I am going, but I like the language I have found to draw these houses. Some of them were short stays – but the longest I have ever lived in any house is 10 years.

I am planning to make a zine. Watch this space…

 

 

The Importance of Planning

I have been exceptionally quiet completely silent on my blog over the past few months. I have been working hard on work for an exhibition that took place over the summer at Chelmsford Museum.

I have taken a year’s sabbatical from my part-time teaching job in order to concentrate on developing my own freelance work and a local not-for-profit organisation of printmakers that I am now a director of. There should be more activity on this blog now that I have a little more time – I plan to use it to help solidify the direction my work will take and, to a lesser extent, showcase some of my new work.

I’ll share with you my latest discovery – that a key ingredient of success, is planning. Planning generally, not just for specific image making. And here are some photos to prove that I can plan!! This is the planning involved with making a coloured screen print. I’ll be honest here – I’m not certain this print will ever get made (have I over-planned?)… but when you are freelance, every day involves assessing your most immediate priority (unless  there is an immenent deadline) and things take over, move on – before you know it you have new ideas and no longer have the inclination to make this particular piece. Who knows – perhaps I will return to it before long, and you will get to see the finished image.

In the meantime, back to my planning…

People from the Window – Tin Foil Litho

A few weeks back I made this print. I used a very home technique, Tin Foil Lithography. The colour has been added digitally. I have to say it was ENORMOUS fun. Shoppers-TFLitho

Here’s another – just the black and white image, no added colour.

Woman_TFL-WEB

Both drawn from my sketchbook studies made whilst looking out of the window of my fav cafe in Colchester.

I love the speed, the thick and unpredictable line. I want to do more!! In case you’d also like to try it – there are many blogs on the technique, or you can come along to Wivenhoe Printworks – http://www.wivenhoeprint.works – we’ll be running more sessions soon.

Naples Feb 2019

I’ve just come back from a 2/3 day sketching trip to Naples.

P.SantaDomenica

My mum’s friend visited Naples and described it as ‘a shit hole’. I can see her point. Naples is busy, polluted, dirty and smelly. Yet – there’s something incredible about it. It feels very foreign for a European city. It’s not particularly touristy. It’s really ancient; it feels as if time has simply passed here, that so much has changed and yet nothing at all.

My main aim was just to draw. I am writing a picture book story that is loosely set in Naples. It’s not essential to the story but Naples will be threaded through it. So I went to spend a few days just observing (and walking lots too). I did one or two touristy things, not a lot – and I tried to capture something of the enormous complexity and manic busy-ness of Naples. I was utterly convinced I had failed, and today, scanning the drawings I  mellowed a little and thought some of my drawings might actually be OK…

Balcony-SanitaDistrict

I learnt some things that could be useful about travel-drawing/urban-sketching:

  1. Take only one type of sketchbook, whichever is best for you. (An A5 Moleskine will be my choice from now on – God only knows why I didn’t do that on this trip).
  2. Use a very limited range of materials – whatever you like, but don’t try endless combinations.
  3. In the case of massively complex views (such as you might encounter in, oh – I don’t know, a city such as Naples)… decide your method of attack beforehand. For example I was poncing about with washes and graphite powder and white Poscas for a while – before realising (on my last day) that I just needed to focus on line drawing.
  4. Lastly – practice before you go away to some strange land. Draw regularly near and about your home area. It’ll help you work these kinds of things out.

2Windows-QuatiereSpagnola

Now my challenge is to keep on drawing – urban sketching – as a regular practice. There’s nothing like a few intense days of work to get you focused – and that’s something that I very, very rarely get. I’m going to do my best to devote some regular time to this (albeit in quieter spots, without noisy Italians, mad motorbikes, fab coffee and huge croissants literally stuffed to bursting with Nutella) . Sketches of areas near me (probably whilst drinking Nescafé) coming soon…

LadyAndDog-SanitaDistrict

NB. Most drawings were done on location – but a few were worked-up after (using iPhone pictures for ref) in my AirBnB room after it had got too dark & cold to draw outside!

 

People from the Window 3

I managed some more drawings from the window of my current fav cafe.

This time mostly with biro… there are definitely some characters here.

In the new year, I’m going to try to develop some of these using various (as yet undecided) printmaking techniques.