Friday, July 3, 2015

All new

I have had a total redesign of in order to showcase the new woodblock prints that I am working on. If you like dogs you might be interested.

Got to now

The new site includes a blog - - and from now on I will be posting there instead of here. Many thanks Blogger, you have served me well!

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You can also find me on Behance and Etsy

Friday, May 8, 2015

on The Nightmare of Milky Joe

The Nightmare of Milky Joe is my favourite episode of The Mighty Boosh (Season 2, Episode 6). It's also the episode that has made me think the most. If you haven't seen it yet, go and watch it now because this post contains spoilers. 

Harold Howard Moon and Vince Noir are the epitome of the classic Double Act, expressing two very different world views and approaches to life. They are similar in every way but their outlook on life and it makes all the difference. Vince (played by Noel Fielding) has the populist viewpoint; a fickle follower of fashion who is ready to make friends with everyone. Howard (played by Julian Barratt) is an outsider; focusing on how different he is from everyone else. Vince is obscenely confident while Howard’s self worth is reliant on others' opinions. Vince will take credit for anything and look good doing it, while Howard tries to avoid blame, looking guilty all the while.

In The Nightmare of Milky Joe the pair are marooned on a desert island, so the idea that they construct they own realities is compounded by the fact that all the other characters on the island are imaginary (arguably). While Vince sees opportunities (like selling bamboo trousers to pandas and coconut three-ways), Howard sees the world closing in on him as the imaginary police give chase after he flips out and kills his abusive imaginary girlfriend.

The pair are like are like Yin and Yang. Their conflict is usually over what approach they should take with a problem. I used to be like Howard - shifty, awkward, unsure - but over the years many things (not least of all this episode of The Mighty Boosh) have made me realise that Vince Noir has got it right. I do my best to follow Vince’s lead and cultivate an appreciation of the simple things in life (not Kings of Leon though). I have found that when I make an effort to find the good in things, more things start looking good to me. 

In Taoism there is a balance in the world: No good or bad, things merely are. This way you can turn constraints into structure, problems into solutions and try to see things as they are before figuring out how to make it better. 

It’s good to see things from both sides, Howard’s concern for self-preservation and Vince’s belief in possibilities, but these days I choose not to let the emotion of anxiety prevail.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Peckham Print Studio Field Trip

Climbing Trees at the Horniman Museum

Continuing my intermittent flirtation with screen printing, I joined Peckham Print Studio's Field Trip to the Horniman Museum & Gardens towards the end of last year. My resulting two colour screen print is above.

The Horniman is a fantastic local museum that was opened in 1901 by a Victorian collector and, in the spirit of the age, it's crammed full of fascinating and exotic stuff; including natural history, African and musical instrument collections.

The Horniman Museum

The trip was led by Tom Murphy, an artist and fastidious screen printer, and consisted of one day of drawing at the museum and another day of printing at the studio. On day one we started out in the Natural History gallery, moved on to the African gallery, then the Music gallery and ended with a bit of sketching outside. Below are some of my sketches. They are all done with india ink in a Pentel Aquash brush pen on tracing paper.

Baboon and skeleton

Spectacled Caiman

Tree climbing mammals

Two tree shrews

Gold figure of an African hunting dog

Various figures and skulls

A case of horn instruments
Tom having a sketch in the gardens

On day two the group worked on producing a 2 colour A4 print each, back at the print studio. We were very thoroughly guided through the whole process by Tom, and as I only vaguely remembered what to do it was very helpful. We chose a composition from what was produced the day before and then exposed the tracing paper drawings directly onto a screen.

Exposing my drawings onto a screen

My exposed screen

A fellow field tripper preparing her print

Just the black layer
I chose the case of tree climbers and the horn assemblage to overlay in black and gold. It looks like an almost claustrophobic layering of slightly random stuff that - I think - represents the museum quite well. I'd highly recommend a visit and, if you're interested in joining a Field Trip, keep an eye on Peckham Print Studio's Twitter account.

My final print with black and gold layers

The view from the Horniman Gardens