Friday, 19 December 2014

Winter sketchbook - more trees

In the woods by the canal, Hyde.
Looking over to Houghton Green.
Dark and muddy walk home...


Monday, 15 December 2014

Old Stuff...

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A highly colourful portrait of Dad - about 1983. Probably when I was at Leeds Polytechnic (now Leeds Beckett University, I see.) Dad was very tolerant, but grew his beard around this time. Probably nothing to do with my ruthless portrayals.  
 The life model at Chelsea School of Art, 1983/4. Can't remember this striking-looking girl's name. I like the vigorous mark-making on the hair. Maybe because I didn't know her, I felt less constrained. 
 An early life-drawing from Leeds Poly - probably 1981. Beginning to realise that I had a facility. Didn't know what to do with it though.
A drawing from around 1999, when I was still the artist-in-residence at MMU Didsbury, in the Printmaking department.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Sketchbook this Autumn.


Ink and pastel. By the Peak Forest Canal (Hyde), looking towards Houghton Green.

Charcoal & ink.Not a very good photo of it.

Colour added. Better before?


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Coombes Rocks

This one is from Coombes Rocks last Sunday... 27th July and some from last Autumn, Spring, last year. What a magnificent place - great, sculptural forms, stark shadow shapes, brutal masses.The changing light making concave into convex - you have to work fast. The wind blasts in from the West, from the Irish Sea, across the Cheshire Plain and batters this first high ridge at the edge of the Peaks. Apart from the last two, these are all from sketchbooks. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Diary notes

Visit to Centre for Chinese Cultural Arts with kids from school - curating their upcoming exhibition, inspired by the Stanley Chow 'Takeaway' exhibition, which is on until June 22nd. Fab stuff. 

Took a 5 minute walk around the block from the CFCCA,  in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. It was like Porto - warm sun, people drinking coffee pavement side, old and new buildings side by side. Cool.

Weekend in Ludlow - friends' beautiful communal garden.

Jazz on a summer's day, by the river, in Ludlow.

Book bought on Ludlow market. Never know when you need to know these things.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Pages from sketchbook

None of this is of a professional standard yet -
I know that! I'm trying to find my process as
 an illustrator. I can't just do my usual doodles.

Trying to make this image work. The moment
where satellite gets blasted and Spacebub
saves the day!




Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Creative Display Work

These wall displays are interesting to do. 
I try to make them eye-catching, informative,
attractive & educational. 

An Art Timeline - pre-history to 'the present'. 

A kind of mind map of Art skills and techniques for Art teachers to use
with Year 7 students.

     Did this 'what use is studying English?' display about 4 years ago. It's still on the wall.

 A 'Well-Dressing'. A Derbyshire custom - an annual 
 procession, culminating in the placing of decorated
 panels next to wells. The school has created one
 every year for several years, except, I think, last
 year. I did this one with Art club kids. One Year
 11 lad kindly brought me his fag packets to use
 in the middle bit. It's called 'Bring Back the Green'
 & is made almost entirely of re-cycled materials.

( I wish I knew how to put the images side by side. Blogger
 is very frustrating!).
 This display explains the ideas behind and the work
 produced during a Printmaking Workshop day I did
 2 years ago with 'Gifted and Talented' Year 7s.
 I photographed them all, using 'horror movie' style 
 lighting. We then looked at the work of early 20th
 century Expressionist printmakers & I showed e.g.s
 of how horror films have been influenced by their
 imagery, even up to the present day. They then
 created their own 'Horror Movie Poster', using the
 photograph of their own face. They learnt about the 
 technique of Relief  printmaking - cutting lines and shapes
 into a surface and how to ink it up and print their image.
 I was really delighted with what these 11 and 12 year olds
 produced - some very  sophisticated images, showing their 
 strong grasp of the process and the use of stark 
 black & white shapes and lettering to create dramatic

Friday, 23 May 2014

Sometimes my day job is very rewarding! I'm not a teaching assistant though...

One of the paintings produced back at school.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Random black and white ink, paint, charcoal sketches...

Doing various things - Starman, writing, other ideas. Garden, house. Time with family & friends. Need more hours in the day.


Some black & white landscapes. 
Mainly because it's time to post something. 

Three are of Coombes Quarry, a spectacular place - a view West,right across the Cheshire Plain to the Irish Sea. Great to draw.

The last one is near Doctor's Gate above Old Glossop.

The Blackie

I found this in an ancient sketchbook of mine. 
I've never been any good at drawing buildings, so it's very rough! But it's a historical sketch from around 1984, of The Blackie, a well-known building in Liverpool, just at the edge of Chinatown.The sketch captures it as it used to be, i.e. black. Why did they clean it? It's not the Blackie now.