Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Pics!

Pretty much done here! The painting is for a collection of poems by DH Lawrence, and the one we chose to illustrate was 'Pomegranate'. I was after a really hot, intense juicy and visceral image.

Also completed, and coming in on a very different tack is a new painting for a soon to be republished 'Anna Karenina'. The scene illustrates Anna falling for Vronsky while dancing at a ball. It's a really warm, romantic image - and I think cropping Vronsky's eyes from frame lends it a little ambiguity - which I like.

A big thanks on this one to the delightful Miss Sarah Lindsay and (equally pleasant) Fletch who very patiently baked under tungsten bulbs in 19th century duds while I faffed around with exposure settings. Also to Christine Isteed (my agent at Artist Partners) who was a superstar booking the job and costumes in for me. Cheers guys!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

41 Ford, not a 69...

My in-laws celebrated their ruby wedding anniversary recently (congrats again M&J!), and were generous enough to treat family and friends to a slap up Sunday lunch at The Haynes International Motor Museum.

I took my camera to record the family event for posterity - but returned home (in my now seemingly soulless Honda) with a memory card stuffed full of classic cars instead. Now - I have to point out that I'm in no way a petrol head - but those cars (and there were plenty of em) were just beautiful.

Personal highlights were a slew of 60's and 70's pony/muscle cars that still ricochet around my early childhood memories like battered matchbox minatures off chipped gloss skirting boards. In particular a sweet white 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was just begging to be stuffed under my jumper and smuggled past the attending staff.

And when I saw their jet black 1980 Lotus Esprit Turbo (anti-aircraft missiles optional)...

...(recovers) anyway - look go see!


... for a new cover commissioned by Penguin. Details and finished work to follow! Trying to keep this one nice and loose - but will probably tighten it up a bit towards the end.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


A nice little series here - which formed part of a commission undertaken for Gallery 58. Interesting for me - because the images were taken by the clients (Stuart and Stephanie Hay) on their honeymoon - which made this project a collaboration of sorts. The photographs themselves were good enough to hang on the wall - so I really wanted to work them up into vivid little paintings that spilled off the canvas. Everyone seemed best pleased with the results - so a big thanks to Will McKeown (G58 owner) for making it happen.

Pictorially - you couldn't get much further from the great British summertime. At present the UK resembles 'Blind Light' by Antony Gormley, albeit on a tectonic scale. Prospective visitors from warmer climes might want to save themselves time and money by setting their bathroom shower at home to 'lukewarm' and sitting fully clothed beneath the tepid salvo.

Oh yes - and for that real 'London tourist vibe' pour yourself a small, warm glass of cola and throw a couple of quid out the window whilst you're at it.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Building a picture... 2

Another 'work in stages' for those that are intereseted. See the final pic here!

Building a Picture

This went down quite when I published it over at the Myspace Art Association the other day - so here it is again. It shows the first four stages before the final painting (shown as part of my first post last December).

In other news - nothing happened. For those living outside the UK, be warned that this country seems to suffer a collective post Christmas hibernation. Having built up my red wine reserves over the festive period (much respect to those who gifted alcohol this year - I feel the love!), I made a nest on the sofa and have slowly been burning through the stockpile. February beckons though - and I'm sure to emerge blinking into the light like a bear with a sore head - stumbling around the Tescos wine aisle looking to replenish spent nutriment. I'll be flipping bottles from the shelves like a grizzly plucking salmon from a river.... "Grrrrrr" (coughs).

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Short Stories 2

Finished this over the Christmas Break. Not the greatest photo-reproduction (taken in my murky studio) - but I'm well pleased with the picture, thanks largely to the lovely Heidi Russell, who kindly lent her 'boat race' to the project (despite feeling spotty with seasonal vitamin C deprivation and having to squint into a low winter sun). Thanks missus - you're a star!

Right... what's next!

Friday, January 5, 2007

New Year Resolution....

....Is to do lots more drawing.

I've gotten pretty lazy about keeping an A5 sketchbook (a habit I've done well to keep in previous years) - which acts as a sort of diary and clearing house for ideas. Usually a mixture of representational study based on observation (from 'life' and photo) - and more imaginative dredging of the imagination (which start out as automatic drawings - and develop into 'things' as the work develops). I'll post any interesting ones here. To kick things off are a few scans from a previous A5 sketchbook I turfed up the other day (c. 1998).

Peter Blake

Usually nonchalant in such situations, I was un-characteristically wobbly when meeting Peter Blake at the V&A Illustration awards the other day. Although nerves prevented me from embarrassingly blurting Peter into a corner of the gallery with a tirade of superlative praise (thank god), it was a bit fantastic to meet a British artist of such standing.

The only shame of the evening is that the 2nd prize for book cover illustration wasn't 'a nice new jaw' - given that (looking at the photo) I seem to have half a dozen fleshy rolls of flab under-hanging my (smirking) mouth, that tower over Mr Blake like a duvet of freshly fallen (slightly sweaty and bristled) snow. Thankfully the subsequent polite applause was not enough to trigger an avalanche, jepodising the national treasure smiling to my left - (oblivious to the fate of 'burial by chins' that very nearly was his).

Thanks to Annemarie for the photo (since cropped to key areas of interest).