Sunday, 31 August 2014

Small Face Box

Just a little drawing on a small cheap card box and a touch of watercolour. Should do more (and put lettering around them, probably rubber stamp). I'll have to come up with an idea for what to put inside. Maybe just a little thought they're having on a scrap of paper might be nice. Yes, that would be nice. I'm going to make some! Sometimes you just have to start drawing/making and then the ideas come. People often think that you have to sit and slave over the ideas first, that way often gets you nowhere. I often think of ideas as being like those little vending machines that turn, spiralling, to drop the snack in the chute. Your head should be like one that is continuously turning, dropping the snacks. You decide later if it's a snack you want to actually eat. There, that's my creative metaphor.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Back At It

This was last Monday's cartoon,
hopefully i'll have a new one ready on Monday

I've been away for a the week catching up with the rest of my family and having a good time. Normal service will now be resumed. Recently, several other bloggers have mentioned a drop in the amount of blogging going on. People are dropping off, photo updates on Facebook along with video posts on youtube/facebook. I'm missing the personal insights to the works being created, along with a bit of humour, friendship and the craziness of everyone's everyday lives.

I've been trying to step it up recently and make more regular posts, in a way it makes it easier because you don't feel each post has to be overly significant or of great interest, you can just feed things in that are happening or you are watching, looking at, or listening too. It's not always for everyone, but hopefully someone will get something from it… mostly me!

It was nice, having been away, to come back and actually have a whole backlog of other's blogs to catch up on. A personal magazine of all the kinds of things i'm interested in, better than anything available off the shelf. I'm not really sure why blogging seems to be dying out, it takes a bit of time and has no real commercial reward (Oh, that's why!), but it has it's own rewards. If you don't have a blog, but check in on some fairly regularly, why don't you start one? You can always give up… you won't be alone! ; )

Friday, 22 August 2014

What's Up Is Down

Here's something to ease you into the weekend. I'm really loving this Doug Paisley album - Strong Feelings. Here's a sampler from my favourite track- What's Up Is Down. It's got Garth Hudson and Mary Margaret O'Hara on it (It's a Canadian thing). It couldn't go wrong! Beautiful.

I strongly recommend picking up a copy!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Goat Head Mask

I've had a blank white plastic goat mask on my studio wall for a while now, but now I shall have to replace it... I got an urge! An urge to paint it and transform it into a Wilder Mann style full headdress. I was sitting in the studio looking at the book again and just wanted to make something like them. I put the mask in my bag and whilst cooking dinner I cut some card into strips and made a domed cylinder, with the hot glue gun (that just happened to be next to the kettle). It sits on the top of my head and is about 14 inches tall. I had some hairy/ furry scarf I'd used for a previous costume (chewbaca for a kids party... don't ask!).

Anyway, it stretched brilliantly and it now hangs down the front and back ... And I can see through it. I sprayed the mask gold first, then painted it, there are nice touches where the paint has missed bits and the gold comes through (though you can't see them in this photo). I glued two old cedar moth balls in to the eye holes to make proper eyes. Then the whole thing got 2 coats of varnish.The painted mask will be fixed on the headdress and then I need some extra fur trim , maybe some chain too or bones etc, just to up the freaky nature of it. Then what? Nothing. No reason. Just because I wanted to. Just the pleasure of making something. Should be clay, but it isn't. I just have to deal with that right now. It feels beyond my control. Can't keep stressing about it.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Great Studio & Father and Son Film

I saw the film of Casey Neistat and his son a while back and really enjoyed it (although it made me not want my boys to grow up even more!). The studio film i saw on Lloyd's blog, a great source of all things interesting. Now that's a studio i could get comfortable in. Oh to have a space like that! Yeah, he's a control freak and just a bit ocd, but i like that (probably because i'm not!). Anything where you can feel the power of an individual, a human force. Hope you like them too.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Nice post over on the Tiny Life blog by Ryan Mitchell. Here's a little extract, hope he doesn't mind. Please go and read the rest of it though.

I recently was listening to a podcast where a quote was given that struck me.  I have been thinking a lot recently about how predetermined and designed life can be for us unless we wake up and take charge.  The quote was:

It’s called the American dream because you

have to be asleep to believe it.

Wake from your slumber!

The scary thing is if we don’t wake up from this slumber of complacency, our lives are influenced to a point that defies common sense.  It may be extreme sounding, but to be a cog in the machine, to work long hours only to “buy, buy, buy!” it’s like we are merely an engine which we fuel consumerism.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Puppet Challenge Round Up

I've been very slack in updating the splendid Artlog Puppet Challenge on this blog. Clive has put a lot of effort and care into putting together the final posts. There have been some great puppets made and lots of interesting techniques and insights. I'm so glad i decided to sign up... and find the time to make something.

Here are my final puppets for The Earl of Rone and The Straw Bear, i've also added some pics of a few of my favourite puppets from the challenge  (i wanted to add more, but blogger is driving me nuts with the way it won't let me move my images around! grrr. Sorry Rima Staines, Lynne Lamb, Caroline McCatty, Andrew Grundon and Peter Slight!). If you're interested, i highly recommend going over to Clive's Artlog and scrolling back through the last month or more's posts. The comments are often just as enlightening. I wish blog commenting was still going strong ;-)

Both are just simple glove puppets. Great fun!
Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Stuart Kolakovic (fellow Heart artist)
Nomi McLeod

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Neurotic Zombie

Memoirs of a Neurotic Zombie by Jeff Norton, with cover art by me, is out in the shops now. For all those with teenage kids.... and get those boys reading!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Life Behind Glass

Was flicking through an old notebook/sketchbook yesterday. This one's 14 years old, 2000. All my notebooks used to be titled- A Life Behind Glass (that's how i view the world, from behind my two little panes). This one also has the sub-title- Portrait Of An Unfinished Man, which i really like and fits perfectly the nature of a notebook, that's exactly what it is.

Anyway, i thought I'd share a few simple drawings from them. I used to have a lot of ideas back in the day! I tell you if my kids take an artistic route and are ever struggling for an idea or a project they will find lifetimes worth sitting in these little books. Ideas i skipped over, i could easily have developed over months. Too many of them never got their full worth pulled out of them.... and I'm still doing the same today!.... I need a team!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Face Plates and Playmates

Took the day off yesterday and had great fun in the garden with my two boys. I was making these wooden heads and they were making their versions out of card. I was inspired by Pep Carrio and the simple faces he had made out of scraps, you can see a good range on his pinterest. I particularly liked the drilled out eyes, they add another dimension to just sticking some on. The bat headed one is probably going to get pulled apart and remodelled. I'm happy with the other 3. So simple, a couple of charity shop wooden plates and a cheap bamboo chopping board. Drill two holes, add some found bits and you've got some new friends! Look forward to finding a wall for them, though they'd look good fixed to the top of a wooden post too. Be inspired!

This was my cardboard attempt.

Monday, 4 August 2014

The WALL #2

Here's this weeks instalment of The WALL. If you miss any you'll be able to catch up over on my website