A few scans from one of my favourite Christmas books 'The Santa Claus Book' written and illustrated by the super talented Richard Scarry featuring two unbelievably cute mice.Published in 1969. Merry Xmas!
Whilst we never actually stayed at Butlins I do have memories of childhood day visits to the Butlins in Bognor Regis. The highlight for me was the boating lake which had two small islands in it which were chock full of crazy fibreglass creatures including a huge lumberjack man about 20 feet high complete with giant axe.
(I discovered years later that in america these figures are called 'Muffler Men' as they are usually holding exhaust pipes and stand next to roadside garages)
The boating lake is now long gone and buried underneath their extended car park.
I feel that the end papers in books are a bit of an under rated art form that often gets overlooked.
But they really help to set the style and tone of a book, leading the reader into the story, often in really clever or visually surprising ways whilst creating a sense of anticipation.
These are a couple of my favourites from Ladybird Books.
Both drawn by James Hodgson, the first is from 'Bedtime Rhymes' and the second is from 'The Blue Book of Bedtime Stories'.
I did these fake advertisements for the childrens magazine 'Anorak' about a year ago
and they were kind enough to put them on their blog.
They were done in the style of old travel posters from the 50's and old Guiness adverts.
I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, I like the retro nostalgic feel to them.
Unknown to Sarah when she went on holiday to Cornwall several years ago she had a stowaway with her!
it was only when she looked at her holiday snaps later that she noticed this cheeky chap. Hope he had a nice time.
I think secretly i'm a hermit at heart. They tend to crop up in my work fairly often and i'm quite drawn to the idea of a cosy cave (as long as friends and family drop round for tea every once in a while.)
Rye Art Gallery situated in the heart of the amazingly picturesque town of Rye, former home to lots of smugglers and Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan is holding its annual Christmas show at the moment. If previous years are anything to go by, then it will be an ecclectic mix of work all of a very high standard with prices to suit all budgets.
I've got some of my larger papercut pictures in the show and a couple of smaller ones.
You can find out more about it, including opening times, on the galleries website:
I've done quite a few t-shirt designs over the past few years for a company called SP:UK. They recently started producing tshirts in conjunction with Movember the mens health charity who use the moustache as its main marketing device. So thought I would post a few of my unused moustache related tshirt designs. The design above is called 'Must hava moustache'
the design above is called 'Must dash'
the design above is called 'Heavy metal moustache'
'Eerie, spooky, mysterious, terrifying - these ghosts followed the Westward trails'
I found this book at a jumble sale many many years ago although its falling apart now its still one of my favourites. Published in 1973 it has an array of striking linocut illustrations. The stories are pretty good too!
illustration above from 'The Hexer'
illustration above from 'Jhonny who rode the Ghost train' - Poor Jhonny!
and finally my absolute favourite 'Ghost Wolf of Thunder Mountain' I just love the layout and slightly strange flattened perspective, the Ghost Wolf and the boy look pretty nifty too.
Ever since I was little back in the mid 80's I can remember seeing these strange creations. Most commonly found in Little Chef restaurant and Happy Eater outside play areas, play parks, crazy golf courses, themes parks etc. They seemed to be everywhere, usually the designs were a variation on a few themes, like elephants, trees, clowns etc with a swing or slide built into them somewhere. Even at that young age I was quietly fascinated with them. They all have their unique 'charms' but the common thread that ties them is that they are usually slightly disturbing to look at, faces a bit lopsided that kind of thing.
As I grew up they got forgotten about so I didn't really notice the decline in their numbers until a few years ago when I saw one in a play park looking very sorry for itself. After that whenever I saw one I would photograph it, I told myself I was documenting a dying art form, but really it was just an excuse to look for and photograph these crazy creatures. Time has not been kind to them and most of the ones I've found have been pretty neglected, peeling paint etc which only makes them look more haunted and sorrowful.
The only information I've been able to dig up on them is that most of them were made by a company called 'Artifibre' I would love to find one of their sales catalogues showing the full range in all its gaudy glory.
It would be a shame to see them disappear completely after delighting and terrifying children in equal measure for so many years.
The above poster is for the Christmas show at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery. Myself and seven other artists will be taking part. Thats one of my pictures on the poster called 'Telling tales'. The girl is reading the mouse a bedtime story and the rabbits are also listening through the hole in the tree.
The show runs from the 15th November until the 24th December. The idea behind it was to provide affordable art (hence the slightly strange title of the show) Horsham Museum are also part of the 'Own art' scheme which offers people an interest free loan and a repayment plan on things bought in the gallery.
This could be a good opportunity to get a unique Christmas present for someone, (or yourself) so well worth checking out.
I got this book a couple of years ago in a second hand book shop without knowing anything about it just on the strength of the cover alone. As a fan of 70's art and design it imediately struck me. I loved all the eerie shades of green and the typeface they've used for the title.
It took me a while to get around to reading it, but once I did I was totally drawn into this very atmospheric tale about a begger turned apprentice in a mill where everything is not as it seems.
After a quick bit of research afterward I found out that it is widely regarded as a modern classic, and has been in print since it was first published in 1971 in a variety of languages. Its been adapted into a Czech animated film in 1977 and a German live action film in 2008.
Above are my entries from the Waterstones Picture This competition. Entrants had to send the original artwork hence the quality of the scans. Its the second year they have run it. The author Michael Morpurgo was chosen to rewrite the tale of Beauty and the Beast. Entrants had to do a page of character designs and an imagined double page spread from the book. I didn't make the shortlist, but i'm sure there were hundreds of entries and if most of the work was of a professional standard then the judging process would probably come down to personal choice on the part of the judges anyway, so I don't mind not making the shortlist but I was still pretty pleased with how it turned out.
Wandering around a reclamation yard near Glastonbury whilst visiting my parents several years ago I spotted 'Griselda' (as she later became known) in an overgrown corner. I'm not entirely sure what she is, some kind of medieval looking pig with long braids sniffing a flower is my best description. She is carved from solid stone about 3 feet high and extremely heavy.
Even though I didn't have a garden to put it in at the time. It was love at first sight and I couldn't stop thinking about it after i'd left. I did finally aquire it about 12 months later.
I've no idea how old it is or where it came from. I quite like the fact that it is a bit mysterious. To me it looks kind of scandanavian and reminds me a bit of Tove Jansen drawings. Most people think it looks horrible
but I love it!.
Sarah and I are massive fans of art and architecture from the 60's and 70's and this is one of my favourite public sculptures. It stands outside the District Museum in Chichester, West Sussex. It was made in 1967 by the artist and sculptor John Skelton. There are various examples of his work around the area but I really like this one for its striking simplicity.