Tuesday, 18 November 2008

I now have a profile on Creative Times, check it out...

Also, I forgot to mention on here that some work I did for Granada TV is now on the box, on 'Britannia High'. It's, er, not my kind of programme, so I won't be mad if you don't watch it. If you do however, look out for Amy Winehouse and Anthony Hopkins in the school corridors (it's a musical drama set in a British drama school) - also two murals in Mrs Troys kitchen - a crazy butterfly one on the chimmney breast, and a leafy Rousseau style number up the wall by the stairs.

Following on from Emily Gravett, I couldn't resist drawing attention to one of my other favourite picture books of recent times - Beegu, by Alexis Deacon.

picture books

I recorded the first two in the series of documentaries about the picture book on BBC4, and finally got round to watching the first one last night. The way it was made seemed to me a bit like documentary by numbers (such as showing a bit of stock footage from the 60s and playing a hippyish tune to show they had moved on to talking about that era) but the books they discussed were undeniably classics, and it was great to hear the authors and illustrators themselves, such as Allan Alberg and Shirley Hughes. Watching it confirmed to me that I have a real urge to get into a new children's book project. When I look back at the picture book work I did on my degree 3/4 years ago, I really don't think it was actually that good, and I'm eager to try and improve myself.

Two different things are daunting me though. The first is that as such a strong admirer of certain books, writers and illustrators, a nagging voice which I'm sure many people hear keeps making me think it would be impossible to ever reach that standard. I suppose I have to use that admiration and self-awareness to continually improve, but it's hard to swing it round from a defeatist attitude. The second daunting thing is allocating the time. I have in my head that after Christmas I would like to try devoting a day a week to it, but during a recession a day a week devoted to work for which I may never be paid (or if I do then many years down the line) - is a daunting prospect indeed.

Perhaps I'm thinking about it all too much and should just get started!

This is a book which I love at the moment, by Emily Gravett. It's very simple (as the best things often are) and beautifully drawn.

Monday, 17 November 2008

christmas events

I've been a busy bee for the past couple of weeks in the studio in preparation for Christmas. I'm drawing to a close my exhibition and commission activities for 2008 so as to be able to concentrate on Crimbo stock, in particular prints, cards, postcards, cotton bags, decoupage bowls, and small-medium canvases. We're having a late night shopping event on Thursday 27th November at the Craft Centre which looks like it will be amazing, and launching our Sunday openings on the 30th. There'll be food, drink, music, and all manner of good things.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

november already

I'm in the studio today, not too cold, but perhaps this is because I'm wearing two jumpers. Actually, it's quite a bright late autumn day, and I can see blue skies and wintry sunshine through the glass roof, which from inside my two jumpers looks quite nice.

On the to-do list today are a couple of commissions which still need some work, and I'll probably get going on some more little'uns...Christmas present sized canvases. The other week I delivered some more work to Blossom in Chorlton, and Alison from Heart Gallery will be visiting soon to pick up some work. Canvases from Chester are arriving back at the studio on Monday, so if you spotted something you liked there it's not too late to drop me a line.