Feast

This is a picture I’ve been meaning to colour in for a little while… Finally got round to it!

Greedy_Grain_sm

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Tattoos and mild, stylised violence

Sailors fighting in the dance hall

Oh man!

Look at those cavemen go

- David Bowie, Life on Mars

A big fight between some very tattooed fellows. I think they are all from different clans or guilds; each man has a different theme in his tattoos- to name a few there are insects, horses, food, riches, luck, fishes, and assorted patterns. As individuals they are like canvasses, but when they fight together they become a sort of confusing mass of pictures and limbs.

Fight_v001sm

 

 

 

 

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Catch of the Day

Just a quick piece; I want to do some more pictures about tattoos as soon as I have time but this week I’m too busy. I’m learning about trains for a tour I’m starting next week. Its not a position I thought I would find myself in. Broad gauge vs Stephenson gauge, anyone? No? Never mind.

Catch_sm

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Project Twenty Fourteen

Things are still mad work-wise so I haven’t been able to focus nearly enough on my art. Luckily should be finishing up soon, so I can return to form.

This is the piece I did for Project Twenty Fourteen . A different person does a picture every day of the year about an item of news from that day. It has the catchy title Network Rail Apologies Over Level Crossing Deaths.

2014_Project_Small

 

I was doing it under difficult circumstances. Some delightful but unfortunately-timed French visitors plus an explosive visit from a plumber who was not only Irish but looked like the bloke from ‘The Fall’ (with Gillian Anderson). Luckily he did not seem to be a serial killer.

You can check out the Twenty Fourteen Project here:

http://twothousandandfourteen.com/?p=404

 

 

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City Eats

Its been a bit of a while since my last post. I’ve started a new part-time job and its been eating up the hours, but things should level out soon so hoping to get back to more drawing. In the mean time, here is my latest. I wasn’t specifically thinking of anything while I was drawing it apart from possibly sink holes (all the flooding in the UK this year has led to some sink holes opening up, and also in general… sink holes! Just google them. Absolutely terrifying) but when it was finished I realised the monsters looked like giant vermin. Massive Medieval vermin monsters from hell.

Its A2 in real life,but here’s the little version.

City_Eats_sm

 

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In the Forest

I’m having a terrible day. Everything’s going wrong. Oh well… You don’t get a rainbow without the rain… so here is something very rainbow! I did a couple of versions for different moods. My first version was the massively bright one and I thought ‘Eek, should tone that down’ (although I love bright saturated colours and want everything to look like an ice cream wrapper, possibly from another planet) so I tried it out desaturated and also a yellower version to try and reflect some of the influences (Islamic art and Indian art). In the end though? I just like the original. Its the way it should be… like a party with too much sugar. Which I sort of need today. I’ll have to settle for tea though… speaking of which (makes cup of tea, breathes rapidly into paper bag, lies down with flannel over face)

Saturated version:

Forest_Acid_Version01smYellow version… which doesn’t really look that different:

Forest_Yellow_Version01sm

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Spirits of the Forest

I don’t think I could live permanently in any other country (well… cluster of Islands) – I love the British countryside so much. This is a picture about the feeling I get when I’m in the woods. Its an A2 picture so I don’t know if you’ll be able to see the details very clearly… had to shrink it a bit for blogging purposes. There are lots of little hidden things to find… get involved!

ForrestsmI wanted to put in the entire poem ‘Oak, Ash and Thorn’ by Rudyard Kipling, buts its too long, so here’s a tiny bit I like in particular for its unabashed Pagan undertones:

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But—we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!

As usual, need to colour this beast in. I wish I had more hours in the day. Seem to be getting a back-list of things to colour and things to finish and things I want to draw next…

 

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Lots… Plenty… Too Much

When I’m doing a picture like this I usually chose a broad subject, then zone out and let my hand draw what it wants to. This one is kind of about excess, and how too much is a bit disgusting. Will probably do a colour version…

Greedy_sm

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Southwark marshes and the Rockingham Anomaly

London is a city of layers. Like a painting, some of the layers have been worked up so that they have become fully opaque- we can see only the top layer, the new modern buildings that seem to spring up weekly. But in other places we can see right through, back to former times.

David Shariatmadari asked me to create a piece of artwork around the area where he lives in Southwark, South London.  First up, here is the picture, for those who prefer to look at pictures (a standpoint with which I have great sympathy):

Final_Adjusted_01sm

Going way, way back, the area where David lives used to be marsh and wetlands. He referred me to this excellent article on London’s hidden rivers, and something called the Rockingham Anomaly:

http://www.thenewwolf.co.uk/2012/11/adrift-beneath-the-city/

To quote directly from the article:

‘What I didn’t know, but which was revealed by the geological survey, is that underneath the Elephant & Castle there lies… a peat bog. You can see it clearly on the British Geological Survey, and on my map – a dark grey smudge, two concentric oval pockets of alluvium and peat. Covering the ancient village of Newington, this feature is a one-of-a-kind within the London landscape. This peaty bog sitting in a deep depression in the gravel is known as the Rockingham Anomaly after the housing estate above it. Perhaps it’s a scour-hole caused by the shifting, eroding Thames after the last ice age? We don’t know for sure. It’s possible it is the collapsed remnants of a periglacial phenomenon known as a ‘pingo’. This is a volcano-shaped mound of ice that develops when water freezes and expands underneath permafrost. When the ice melts, the mound collapses, leaving a spherical depression in the earth. It reminds us that London was once a landscape of wind-blown frozen tundra.’

Anyone familiar with Elephant and Castle, and the fate of the Heygate housing estate (see also the wonderful artist Marcus Coates: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/apr/08/marcus-coates-artist-elephant-castle) may feel as I did, that this absolutely makes sense- it’s a weird area, with a bit of a cursed feel about it, as places always are in stories when they are built over an area which basically had no business being built over: sacred lands, burial grounds, swamps.

But I digress… the picture is not about Heygate or elephant and castle, but the modern growing up through the ancient. Or it could be viewed as a projected future- that whole area is a flood plane; if people ceased for whatever reason to intervene with the environment it would in time revert to its original state.

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Wild Hunt

The Wild Hunt is an ancient folk myth prevalent across Northern, Western and Central Europe. The fundamental premise in all instances is the same: a phantasmal, spectral group of huntsmen with the accoutrements of hunting, with horses and hounds in mad pursuit across the skies or along the ground, or just above it

- Katharine M.Briggs, An Encyclopedia of Fairies, Hobgoblins, Brownies, Boogies, and Other Supernatural Creaturess.v. “Wild Hunt”, p 437

(or Wikipedia)

I was inspired to draw the Wild Hunt by looking at some antlers mounted on the wall during choir practise at the Cecil Sharp House. I think I might need to have a second go at it; A3 isn’t epic enough. I’m also toying with the idea of extending it to the side and having two armies facing one another rather than one hunt riding forward- that’s another option.

Ghost_Ridersv002BG_Grainsm

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