Monday, November 29, 2010

Anaconda (Tribal Guarachero Mix) is out NOW

It's out as an MP3 download and a 12" vinyl, complete with sleeve decorated by me!

The tracks are great; first is an anonymous remix of Untold's Anaconda, and on the other side is Pulso by Dubbel Dutch.  Listen to a sample on (link here).  If you feel it buy the vinyl or download the tracks.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Albatross by C Baudelaire

I've finally got another one for you; another of Charles Baudelaire's splendid poems, accompanied by an illustration by yours truly.  This one equates the poet with an albatross; the best flier but rubbish on land.  Or something to that effect.

The Albatross
C. Baudelaire

Often when bored, the sailors of the crew
Trap albatross, the great birds of the seas,
Mild travellers escorting the blue
Ships gliding on the oceans mysteries.

And when the sailors have them on the planks,
Hurt and distraught, these king's of all outdoors
Piteously let trail along their flanks
Their great white wings, dragging like useless oars.

This voyager, how comical and weak!
Once handsome, how unseemly and inept!
One sailor pokes a pipe into his beak,
Another mocks the fliers hobbled step.

The Poet is a kinsman in the clouds
Who scoffs at archers, loves a stormy day;
But on the ground, among the hooting crowds,
He cannot walk, his wings are in the way.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Image Hoard 4: Tropic Tough

This is the final instalment in this run of Image Hoards.  I hope they've been as interesting and inspiring for you as they have been for me.  Let me know if you'd like to see more; I'm still collecting!  :)

The set below pulls together tropical energy in a hard package; a flashy array of colours, along with leather and studs; it's pretty like a flower, but still mean like the jungle.

Click the image to enlarge

1-3:  Christian Dior F/W 2010
If I were a fairy, these dresses would be in my tiny wardrobe.  They are beautifully fantastical and romantic, with a tough of humour on top.

4:  Dendrobeum Orchid

5:  Missibaba moulded and hand painted leather orchid necklace
Missibaba is a South African based luxury accessories design label.  As you may expect, they mostly deal in deliciously girlish and good-looking bags and belts, but they also make leather jewellery.  Website link here.

6, 7, 9, 11 & 12:  Burberry Prorsum F/W 2010
This runway collection has such a stunning mixture of textures, along with nicely contrasted acid and muted colours.  I liked it so much I have included 5 pictures here!

10:  Christopher Kane F/W 2010
Black, neon and kaleidoscope prints: so nice.

8:  Roller by Andrew Zuckerman
13:  Parrot by Andrew Zuckerman
Andrew Zuckerman is a photographer who crisply and cleanly documents many subjects, from age, places, music and creatures, to food-stuffs in motion.  Visit his website and say OK to not stealing his pictures.  (personally I think the disclaimer at the beginning comes across as a little paranoid, but perhaps that's just me...)

14:  Sketch by Ashley Wood
Mr Wood is a brilliantly original comic artist and a good painter to boot.  Browse his website or get news and pics of paintings in progress by following his Bambaland blog.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bird girl

Monday morning; lost in thought.
The drawn part...

With ink...

Excuse the shoddy image quality, it was photographed from an A3 sketchbook with an iPhone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Image Hoard 3: Folklore

Click the image to feel the twin benefits of size and detail

1  Hubble photo of the Eagle Nebula
Nebulae are so beautiful and fascinating to look at, with every rainbow colour of refracted light and shapes so random, yet sometimes so familiar.  The names we give them make it clear that we want them to be more than clouds of gas and dust; to mean more than an untouchable and barely formed celestial body.

2  Random Dreamy Photo via Durban Central

3  The Crane Wife by Carson Ellis
Carson Ellis is the wife of Colin Meloy, The Decemberists' frontman, and a very talented illustrator.  She has created, I believe, every cover of every record The Decemberists have ever released, and this is a section of the sleeve artwork from the album The Crane Wife.  Enjoy it on Spotify.  

4  Vasilissa the Beautiful at the Hut of Baba Yaga by Ivan Bilibin
Baba Yaga is a witch of Slavic legend, who flies on a mortar, lives in a house that has chicken legs and, naturally, eats small children.  Beautiful Vasilissa is the girl who outwits Baba Yaga in the end and she is turned into a crow.  And the skull lanterns?  I don't know but I want one.  

5  Yoshi by Mark Ryden

6  Jessie & the Deer by Sally Mann
I saw an exhibition of Sally Mann's work at The Photographers' Gallery earlier this year and was awe-struck by it; these huge monochrome images, sometimes grubby and taken using not just analogue but antique technology, are arresting, unsettling and quite thought-provoking.  Indescribable.  Swot up on her Wikipedia page and conduct an image search post haste.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Very Black Ferragamo Shoe

I was drifting through the V&A last week when this shoe (Salvatore Ferragamo, 1935) caught my eye in the same way a black hole might.  And I mean Black; it's like it sucked all the light in and only exists as a beautiful silhouette.  The fact that it was made 75 years ago surprised me too.  To me, it looks like it could have been made yesterday; it's avant garde and it hasn't aged at all.  So gorgeous.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Image Hoard 2: Man & the Sea

This week I'm back with another collection of images from my little treasure trove.  For these pictures there's a loose nautical theme, but it really is loose.  

1- Marie Antoinette by Jean-Etienne Liotard, 1762
Former Queen of France, and nothing to do with the sea.  I recently watched Sofia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette and thought it was a lot better than I had been led to believe.  It's visually spectacular and poignant in it's own way, with a great soundtrack (click for Spotify link).

2- Dress by Alexander McQueen
It's gorgeous and frothy, simple as that.

3- Baudelaire poem & Illustration by Pierre-Yves Tremois
Tremois is an artist with a cheeky way with lines that is quite striking and different.  You can also see his sculptures on his website.

4- Sketch by Mark Ryden
Ryden did the cover for One Hot Minute and many other magnificent paintings involving meat, girls, toys and Abe Lincoln.  He's a long-time favourite of mine.

5- The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel, 1863
It's twee, and the cherubs totally spoil the mood but I've always loved this painting; the way Venus lies unconscious and pristine on the water.

6- An illustration of Baudelaire's Man & the Sea by Shannon May
This image has given the page to man and nature in a 50/50 split.  It has tension and depth, but is so simple.  Beautiful.

7- Giant Squid, Architeuthis dux
This image is of a Giant Squid that was publicly dissected at Melbourne Museum in 2008.  The latest episode of Inside Nature's Giants is about the Giant Squid and it is one of the most gob-smacking and inspiring things I've ever watched.  See it here on 4oD.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baby, It's You: a fashion editorial

Here are some pages from an editorial I found in LOVE magazine (A/W2010).  I thought some of the photos were ripe for illustration, and the whole piece was more about the 'in' models than the fashion; which is an interesting concept.  I wanted to work on the idea of love at first sight; how in Disney movies the woodland animals come out of hiding and woman conspires with nature to put on a show.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Image Hoard 1: Man and Other Beasts

I save images, lots of them, like a squirrel hoarding nuts. But I'm also really anal and like to categorise, classify and alphabetise. I can't help it, so I thought I might turn these two potential character flaws to some advantage and provide an outlet for foibles on my blog. This is the first Image Hoard post, where I will provide you with a selection of images, links and whatever I remember about them.  

So here goes "Man and Other Beasts"...

click for a better view

1 - "Madagascar" by Walton Ford, 2002
Watercolour, gouache, ink, and pencil on paper
Walton Fords work is just jaw dropping to me. He does Natural History in a big way: big in size, big in depth and meaning. This painting is of an Elephant Bird, native to Madagascar and extinct by the 17th century. They are believed to have been "over 3 metres tall and weighing close to half a ton". The extinction was almost certainly at the hands of colonial pilgrims.
Wikipedia page on Mr Ford here.

2 - Vintage ring, c.1960, wood and gold
I love jewellery and this lady has interesting taste and access to a lot of money. She buys and sells antique and vintage jewellery. I immediately snapped up this gorgeous ring (in my mind, of course. It's $2,200) as I have a real fancy for natural materials and thought it was most unique.  

3 & 6 - Marios Schwab 
From his Spring 2011 collection shown at London Fashion Week
I can't stand the way the models are styled and the clothes are hit and miss, but when he manages to balance soft, floaty-ness with toughness Marios really gets it right.

4 - "Mallam Mantari Lamal with Mainasara, Nigeria 2005" by Pieter Hugo
From "The Hyena & Other Men" 
When I first saw these images I assumed they had been staged for some underground fashion magazine or ad campaign; they're so cool, yet raw at the same time. Reality is truly stranger than fiction, because Pieter Hugo, SA PhotoJournalist, worked his way into a small group of street performers in Nigeria, who trap and keep Hyenas, monkeys and snakes to do shows with and earn money. Realness.

5 - Random Pic
This photo is a random find with a beauty that transcends its intended use. As I recall, someone wanted to sell a pair of Mountain Goat trophies.

7 - "Obstruct the doors.. Be dangerous" by Craig Ward, Sean Freeman & Alison Carmichael
Laser cut type
I love this retro-futuristic-looking 'calligraffiti', with its movie line brashness and disconnected meaning. It's bold and pretty and pointless.  
Craig Ward's site, Words Are Pictures, is crammed with tasty type for those who are that way inclined. You know who you are.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The long and short of life

I've recently started doing a weekly life drawing class at the Prince's Drawing School; I thought it would be good to have a bit of disciplined drawing practice. And it's an extra challenge because it's late on Monday and it's really warm in the life room!
Last week's session was two and a half hours of two minute poses, so the pace was fast a furious. You have to be brief with your marks and allude to body parts rather than describe them. It's hard not to get bogged down in the details, and of course it also helps if you think about what you're doing first.  So much to think about in such a short amount of time, it's difficult just to fit everything in in two minutes. You end up with a lot of disembodied parts.  Below are some of the most complete sketches from the session.

This week we did three longer poses and it was a real luxury to have time. I was most pleased with the last drawing I did (below), in 50 minutes, using oil based pitt pencils. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fashion Baby

Work seems to be crawling along at the moment, which is quite frustrating, but I still hope to have another Baudelaire illustration done by the end of the week.  In the meantime we will commemorate London Fashion Week with this sketchbook page.  (From a photo in Love Magazine AW2010)

Viva La Mode!

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Une Charogne" (or "A Carcass") by Baudelaire

I have started a series of illustrations to accompany poems from Baudelaire's "The Flowers of Evil".  This is the first, an image for "A Carcass": A beautiful and romantic poem about strolling along with your lover, on a Summer's day and finding a lady's rotting corpse.  It's not a poem for the faint of heart, and not if you've just eaten either.  I've driven myself half mad with reference images this week but I am quite proud of the results.

Choice extracts below, or you can read various translations of the whole thing here.  My translation is by James McGowan from the Oxford World's Classics edition.

"Remember, my love, the object we saw
That beautiful morning in June:
By a bend in the path a carcass reclined
On a bed sown with pebbles and stones;

Her legs were spread out like a lecherous whore,
Sweating poisonous fumes,
Who onpened in slick invitational style
Her stinking and festering womb..."

He continues to get more graphic for 7 stanzas, then...

"-And you, in your turn, will be rotten as this:
Horrible, filthy, undone,
O sun of my nature and star of my eyes,
My passion, my angel in one!

Yes, such will you be, o regent of grace,
After the rites have been read,
Under the weeds under blossoming grass
As you moulder with bones of the dead.

Ah then, o my beauty, explain to the worms
Who cherish your body so fine,
That I am the keeper for corpses of love
Of the form, and the essence divine!"

Quite romantic really.  "'Ere luv, that rotting corpse reminds me of you!  Gizza kiss."

More less gruesome poems and illustrations to come in the following month!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Few of Kilgore's Favourite Things

So this is what I've been up to today.  It's like a visual quote, if you will, from Apocalypse Now.  I tried to capture a bit of the chaos that pervades the film.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Sweet Scent of Free-lance-dom...

This week my life of Freelance Illustration begins. Broken out of the shackles of "gainful" employment; I'm ready to strike out on my own with a brush in my hand and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts blasting out my speakers. Lots of exciting things are going to be happening, so for now I'll be blog posting every Monday.

The pic below is the section of wall in front of my desk. I'll probably be looking at it a lot, hence covering it with interesting bits and bobs that I've found or made and want to develop.

Now I can. *victory air punch*

Also a very big thanks to my smokin' friend Lexi for putting my pic up on her mucho entertaining blog Durban Central: It's all about the gorgeous fashion, yummy recipes and the occasional yummy guy. Mmm... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Two totally unconnected things

Firstly, a beautiful Rick Owens jacket made of leather and felt. The picture is from an i-D fashion editorial. I'm not sure what the 'theme' was; but a few of the images caught my eye.
I've tried something new, with a tea-stained sketchbook page and some white gouache. I really enjoyed it and I think it works pretty well, certainly for a fashion illustration.

And secondly...

I recently read "The Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad and I highly recommend it, though when I read it I had no idea that it inspired the film "Apocalypse Now". Funny how things work, because it took a while to click with me that, while the film and book are very different, they are (kinda) the same story. So I rewatched "Apocalypse Now" and now I have a few ideas bubbling round in my head.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Unidentified deep-sea creature

I tore him out of the Metro paper. I like to call him Squellyfid.

Rendered in Quink, Dr Martens' and bleach.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


...Just finished; a small study in india ink. I'm still working towards that Phoenix...

What's more, I'm about to crack these babies open; a full set of Dr. Ph. Martin's Hydrus liquid fadeproof watercolours! OMG the technicolour excitement!!!!!1!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bird Brains

These two are images from my sketchbook; I've been working on feathers as I'm planning a big (at least, bigger than I've done before) painting of a Phoenix.

I love the patterns that feathers make; alternately bold and subtle, individual yet congruous.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Fight Club strip

Be warned, it's a spoiler. So if you haven't seen Fight Club, (!) and want to, then this might give the game away.

The following is my response to a recent competition brief set by Little White Lies, to create a black and white, six frame comic strip that totally explains your favourite movie. It's a tough one. But here's my effort...

Click for a larger image.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wine by Some Young Punks; Awesomeness by Tomer Hanuka.

You don't get much more 'New World' than Some Young Punks. They're a bunch of Aussies who make wine and, though I can't vouch for the taste, it always looks damn good! These are the the two latest emissions from this small estate, artfully dressed by Tomer Hanuka, an Illustrator with vats of talent and a subtle and beautiful sense of colour.
I found this on Tropical Toxic, Tomer's blog which he shares with his bro Asaf.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spookasem at Salon 91

Rrroll up, roll up! Spookasem is opening soon! Write it in your diary. It's an all girl art show "conjouring up fairgrounds, forgotten lands, extinct creatures, imagined monsters and friendly ghosts..." It will feature some works by yours truly and a whole host of talented ladies. If you're in Cape Town on the 20th, get you heinie up on Kloof street for the opening. Check the pretty flyer for the specifics. Unfortunately nearly 10,000 kilometres prevent me from attending, but I'll be there in spirit.