Thursday, December 27, 2007


I had been trying my hand at embroidery and needlecrafts - this is part of a cloth that I have been practicing on. I've never been particularly accomplished at sewing, in fact, I would usually go out of my way to avoid sewing anything. Whether it be a sock or tear in my clothes but I have been enjoying myself with this and it doesn't look that bad...

The Eighth Wonder of the World

pen and ink with digital editing

Say hello to Gef, the Eighth Wonder of the World...

I did have to go back to the drawing book a few times to get Gef's mischievous look right, along with his fine bushy tail (that earthly mongooses apparently lack). I also provided two digital paintings of Harry Price - the paranormal investigator, and of Voirrey Irving - the young girl who was at the centre of the Gef mystery - for Graylien's new website that provides a one-stop, fascinating analysis of The Dalby Spook.

Harry Price

Voirrey Irving

Also see: Categorising Gef (the talking mongoose) on Cabinet of Wonders.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Out of this world...

This freaky fellow is the Bajada Grande Entity and you can currently find a description of the encounter with it over at the fantastic Greetings Earthlings. Fustar was very kind enough to accept my offer of contributing some artwork to his blog. I'm working on some more entries so I'll upload them as soon as they go 'live' at GE.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Latest work

I've mentioned before how much I hate my camera. I really do need to get around to buying a new one. The quality of the following pics is well... pants!

For this painting, I began with the lettering. The sentence just popped into my head fairly randomly. I was bored and just fooling around with the paint and didn't quite know what I wanted to do with it until I put the brush to the canvas. As it was, I didn't sketch anything out at first, hence the jumbled composition. Inspired by my love of all things circus and carnival, I've yet to finish it - the monkey and elephant need more work doing to it and I need to sort out the flag, too. Acrylic, A3 canvas.

This is acrylic/mixed media - it's a recycled-from-my-hoard-of-junk shallow wooden box that I jazzed up with some acrylic. I then rubbed 'Goldfinger' - which gives the same effect as gilding but is much more economic - around the happy skeleton. I edged the box with gold braid, the circular dots are small mirrors which I dotted around the skelly, along with some Victorian-style rose cutouts which I also used on the top of the box.

I'll be attacking the floral cutouts with some homemade varnish (PVA glue with some sooper sekrit addition to it) for an 'aged' effect. Approx. 30cm by 10cm.

Again, acrylic with a rubbed-in, gold 'sunburst' effect around the skull: A5 canvas.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hearts and Spades

I'm finally getting around to posting the final two Queens on here - Hearts and Spades. I completed them a few weeks ago and since then I have been working on some paintings. Two are complete (although I've got apply a varnish to one of them) and I'm still working on the larger of the three. I've also been turning my hand to embroidery while I was on holiday. It helped pass away the long journeys although I occasionally had to pull the needle from out of my nailbed - especially if we hit a pothole in the road - ouch! Hopefully, I shall be able post up some photos of the paintings and needlework tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Queen of Clubs

I finished this earlier this evening. As before, just a doodle while I watch or rather - listen to - TV. A frothy mix of Richard Dawkins, a Law & Order spin-off and Jackass - the movie.

I don't particularly start with any firm idea of what I'm going to draw - I just go with the flow... of the ink. Truth be told, I'm getting a bit bored of them but I guess I'll now have to do the other two.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Queen of Diamonds

Following on from this post, another playing card-inspired doodle. I've spent most of the evening watching films on TV - Near Dark and The Devil Rides Out - and scratching this out in pen and ink.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sketchbook round-up

This is a pen sketch of a Parian ware bust of Dante Alighieri that currently resides next my armchair. I do the majority of my sketches or paintings in this chair. I usually have my handmade craft bag (I bought it at a fete, it's really a knit/crocheting bag but it's made out of quite funky purple retro material) at my feet - it's great in that I can keep and carry the majority of my sketchbooks, pens, pencils, brushes, cutting mat, watercolour pallette and all other sundries in it.

In front of my armchair is a small carved pedestal table that my uncle made back in the 60s. It's handy in that when I'm sat down it is lap height and I can comfortably rest my feet on the circular base.

I wasn't very successful with this scan (I am hopeless), as with the next image I've managed to cut off some of the page. My sketchbook is hardbound and not very flexible. This is just a page of random doodling while I'm watching (or rather listening to) TV. I've got a 'thing' about drawing fantastical birds at the moment.

Fine-liner and watercolour

This is a view of St Matthew's Church, Walsall from the top floor of the New Art Gallery. I was visiting the Cult Fiction exhibition and took a walk up onto the top floor to have a look around the Suzanne Treister/Hexen 2039 exhibit. I keep meaning to write the visit up.

Fine-liner and collage

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Some more images from my sketchbook, this time some cariacatures from the BBC2 prog, Rome. I've edited the layout from how they appear on the page just so I could scan them in.

Atia, Mark Antony and Veronius

You can discuss the programme over on Cabinet of Wonders.


Another page from my sketchbook, Jimmy the Cat:

Friday, June 22, 2007

Four Queens

A bit of a dodgy play on the Kings of Leon track, Four Kings, but here's a pen doodle.

I was stuck with nothing to do while I was visiting my mam. She regularly plays card games and/or dominoes with her fellow OAP friends so I nicked a deck of cards from her (she has got plenty more!).

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cowtoons and grafitti

I've been on a bit of an extended hiatus when it comes to blogging. Mainly due to Uni and various family commitments. Well, I've finished Uni for the summer and managed to get everything in on time and hopefully I'll have some time in the next couple of days to get some scans made of my current doodlebook.

In the meantime, I did manage to scribble up a cartoon for the Cabinet of Wonders' blog for this entry:

I've also got to post the following (else I'll probably be duffed up if I don't)...

Last week I gave my two young nephews, Josh and James, a task while I took their younger siblings to the park. A blank A3 canvas with plenty of marker pens, fineliners and the brief to completely fill the canvas with whatever they wanted. They each had to come up with their own ideas and doodles for their half of the canvas and I'll be honest, I was amazed at what they came up with. They've both talented lads when it comes to art and I'm very proud of them.

I've promised to get some more canvasses for them and new pens (god knows what they did with them in the hour and half) but it kept them occupied for some time. So there's a tip: if you're at a loose end to keep a couple of usually boisterous boys occupied during the summer holidays, you now know what you can do. Get a blank canvas and some pens and leave them to it. You never know, you might find they'll become the next Banksy...

Sunday, May 06, 2007


So, I finally dragged my ass down to the new Pop Art section (re: tiny room) at Wolverhampton Art Gallery and while the visit itself was horrendous* I was totally in awe at the artwork.

I have a new fave piece.

* Trying to take a photo of a Blake screenprint, I almost had my foot broken by a gaggle of amazons, screeching and pratting about in the 60s and 70s costumes that you can try on. Then, while I was trying to take photos of the Warhol print, Jackie, a trio of emo tweenies - decided to heckle me until I gave them the death stare. They soon shut up.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Cherry Blossom

When I was a kid, I would love Spring. Looking out for crocuses and daffodils, walking to the farm with my mam to buy eggs and looking out for cherry blossoms and looking up into the massive beech trees and becoming giddy at the size of them... my mam would call me her cherry blossom... awww.

Oh, how all that has changed. The farm is now a big business 'farm shop' buying in eggs instead of having laying hens, thankfully they got rid of the pigs* years ago but the cherry trees that we used to look at have all been cut down.

Anyway, the point to this post: when I was a kid, I would have given my eye teeth to have hay fever. No, seriously.

If you had hay fever you would be able to get out of P.E. and the dreaded cross-country. As I went to two schools which had rather large grounds, our cross-countries (which we had once a week) were the stuff of nightmares. So why is it as I've got older I now find I suffer when the first blossoms hit the trees? For the past few years it's been hell, excaberated by the fact there's three cherry trees outside my bedroom window and a hawthorn that doesn't seem to realise it's meant to flower in May.

Yesterday was particularly bad. I had to go out to meet my Uncle and everywhere I went, every garden I passed had a flowering cherry in it.

As much as I love looking at the blossom, I really curse the tree pollen. No amount of Max Factor foundation will disguise how pink my nose is at the moment.

* when I was at junior school, if the wind was blowing in the wrong direction we'd have to have an 'inside' break... the smell of the pig swill would be that overpowering, kids would be practically keeling over

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I recently entered some artwork in a competition run by my uni and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

It was to have a bookmark made of your art as well as your contact details which would then be included in the 'goody bags' that were handed out to visitors during the opening week of the new Pop art gallery at Wolves.

Twelve bookmarks were to be made and they were chosen from a range of first-year, second-year and third-year students (I believe there were only two first-years work chosen, myself and a fellow student on my course) and this is the piece that was chosen out of a total of six designs that I sent in.

I'm hoping to track my neice down over the weekend so I can get a photo of her holding the bookmark!

Monday, April 09, 2007


I wouldn't say I particularly look like a murderous, mischievous spirit although I guess some would beg to differ. A digital 'marker pen' effort with some editing on the shadows.

Hat from H&M ;)

The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear


Just some random stuff (old and new):

Monday, April 02, 2007

New BBK instalment - online now

I'm worryingly still trying the finish The Heart's Fire Burns the Hottest but I only have six more illustrations to complete (that's the final two strips!).

I'm quite pleased with this instalment, as ever, it's been a challenge.


Here are a few pages out of my Uni sketchbook/journal. It's basically a visual reference, artists that I'm researching for my Contextual Studies module as well as artists and movements that I have an interest in anyway and also bits and pieces of my own work.

It's a reflection on how I collect information and also how I present it (haphazard most of the time!) but I've tried to make it as visually interesting as possible. I splurged out on a set of new Staedtler fineliners and have been going mad on the pages as well as adding in my own caricatures and portraits of artists such as Keith Haring (2nd image down) and also the Aubrey Beardsley pen sketch that I previously blogged.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Aubrey Beardsley

Here's a caricature of Aubrey Beardsley that I've done for one of my modules - we're currently looking at various artists and illustrators from the Victorian period through to Modernism and Post-Modernism. The bottom image is a sneaky peek at the latest flyer in the Belle, Book and Kandle series (which I'm still drawing!) but there should be a new 'interlude' instalment published on Cabinet of Wonders soon.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Baba Yaga

I couldn't sleep last night (a combination of earache that was worse when I lay down and noisy neighbours banging and clattering about) so at around 3am, I came to the PC to doodle and take my mind off it.

When my silk screen prints have been completed at Uni, I'll be doing etchings and aquatints. I think I might use this for the etching component.

Edit: I've updated the image -

Squiddly diddly

Inspired by recent news that a NZ fishing crew managed to land a colossal squid...

[...] Local news said the Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni was about 10m (33ft) long, and was the first adult colossal squid landed intact.

One expert said calamari rings made from it would be like tractor tyres [...]

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Inspired by Britney Spears' new baldy, blank canvas look, here are some hair do's that I think could be worth her consideration for when her barnet finally grows back.

First up, the 'Perez':

The 'Marge':

The 'Pam Grier':

The 'Punksploitation' look:

Considering how much she loves Vegas, the '70s Elvis' look:

The 'George Romero':

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy New Year!

It is of course, the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar so here is a New year Piggy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Which is of course, a fear of clowns or is it? This interesting article asserts that there is no clinical term for clown phobia and some psychiatrists have never encountered any patients who have such a 'fear'. So is it just a social meme, are people saying they fear clowns just cos 'everybody else is doing it'? I dunno, I do know that I don't have any particular hate towards clowns in general. In fact, I quite like them in that I love circus paraphenalia and one of my all-time dreams is to visit a typical US Carnival and sideshow.

Anyhoo... some famous clowns from film and real life that I have created via the wonderful and fantastic medium of the d i g i t a l tablet... woo:

Capt. Spaulding from House of a 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects. Great character and I met Sid Haig at a Memorabilia convention in Brum, a couple of years ago.

Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's It... nowt much I can say to this other than I remember reading 'It' when I was still at junior school. The description of the first killing where a boy sticks his arm in the sewer grate to get his paper boat back has stuck with me forever *shudders*...

Although she's strictly not a clown in the sense that she wears garish and OTT make-up, dresses in outlandish clothing with ruffles and polka-dots and parades in front of gawping, curious people (oh, hold on) Kelly Osbourne makes it into my clown list (even though I do like her) for the simple fact that the photo that inspired this pic is one of the most hideous 'celeb' photos I've ever seen.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Amy Winehouse

I had the old sketchbook out while I was watching the Brit Awards on TV. There were some good performances tonight and Amy Winehouse collected a gong. Russell Brand was hosting and I was struck by the similarities between his and Amy's hairdo.

This is just a quick digital paint I knocked up just a few moments ago:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Polly Jean

Just to partner the Nick Cave image, here's an unfinished PJ Harvey illo.