Archive for April, 2008

I Love my dog…


Anne and myself went away for a break to Cornwall a few weeks ago and I took my sketchbook with me with no real intentions to do anything. I’ve been scrutinising and  looking at peoples faces almost daily for more than 15 years now and I got to thinking that over that period of time there must be some kind of visual record in my head that I can tap.  So, just as an experiment  I thought I’d try and see what kind of a head I could draw straight out of my head with nothing in front of me and this image grew over a period of hours almost entirely spontaneously I guess, though I was making narrative judgements along the way to give the head a context.

It looks a bit too much like caricature for me in retrospect which is not an avenue I really want to explore in any depth but it was a great little exercise for me to do, just to see what materialised. I put the typography on when I got back home using my printer. The title refers to a song that my wife introduced me to by Cat Stevens – ( currently Mr Yusuf Islam) and I just liked the idea of him being a Ramones fan.

April 20th, 2008

Leukaemia charity art auction in Birmingham


I made this drawing very recently for a charity art auction in aid of Leukemia research at the Queen Elizabeths Hospital in Birmingham. It is a drawing of a Voodoo Doll that I brought in New Orleans who now sits on my shelf in the studio. I haven’t been cooking up  a voodoo hex on anybody, it’s just a lovely piece of magical iconography which to me is extremely aesthetically pleasing.

The main auction is on 20th May at  St Paul’s gallery in Birmingham and there will be a few days prior to this where you can take a look at the full body of work which will be auctioned.

 Dig deep and bid hard.

For more information about the event please take a look at the following website.


April 20th, 2008



Here is what I am working on at the moment. It is a portrait of a lady called Doreen.  Luckily for me Doreen has a very interesting face, piercing blue eyes orange / red preraphaelite hair. I immediately wanted to use the cloour of Doreen’s hair in the painting and I always love the way that complementary red and green work together so I asked her to wear a green jumper which also contrasts beautifully with the red sofa too ( which I will be working on next). I think the portrait was more the conception of her husband than Doreen and I’m sure that she won’t mind me saying that she was  very uneasy/uncomfortable  about sitting for the commission initially but as the hours went by I think she became more relaxed with the whole thing and we began to get some nice images. In contrast, her husband took to being photographed extremely well when I took a few pictres of him later  on.

 The family  had two lovely dogs and I really wanted to include them within the painting because they were so much a part of the family , at your side all the time. While I fear with dread the idea of “Pet Portraiture” I think putting pets within paintings where they are not the main subject, just a little section of a painting works extremely well and in some ways just puts another heartbeat into the painting rather than an inanimate object. I also really enjoyed painting the dogs too, other than drawing my own dog I have never really painted a dog before and their hair, paws and eyes were  the perfect subject matter for my detailed style.  I’m just about to start the sofa which has incredible detail  in the pattern which I’m quite looking forward to.

More updates soon.

(click on the images to enlarge)

April 20th, 2008