Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Back after awhile stuck in horspital enduring torture, boredom and long dark nights of the soul. Its been good toughening and cleansing in a way but I wouldn't wish anyone to go through it.

A few works today show what we in the industry call "w.i.p.s": works in progress. That little acronym reminds me of when I started at Disney, they were a few of us there secreted away, sad little dessicated creatures taking shelter from the big bad outside world who had worked for every man and his dog, but inside Disney it was different. It reminded me of the world in Logan's Run, all very artificial with people walking around with this false sense of security and purpose and an aura of certainty. Those of us from the outside world were the ones walking around whispering that this was a world built on artifice and fantasy and that anyone in reality would be looking to what was next in there future career. Unfortunately a few of those former folks had to find out the hard way, most realised and saw the house of mouse cards slowly topling. Where "wip" got me reminiscing was because if ever one us "worldlies" would use it, in conversation or in a naming convention, it would cause confusion and in some cases merry hell particularly in the delicately orchestrated world of the naming convenvention.

See you next time...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Jo my brilliant partner in crime and I have collaborated on this series of images. I'm really pleased with them and its prompted me to want to do more pieces together. The beauty of collaboration is you each bring your strongest asset to the table, what the other person lacks is compensated by the strength of the other. I would never have come up with this myself and likewise Jo has said the same. Together we formed a new creative entity which is stronger than each of us working alone, it helps shake you out of those cliches and old habits I spoke about in previous entries.

What I find interesting about us focusing on using a dead bird and the backdrop of letters, old notes and manuscripts is that letters have formed a strong element in Jo's work over the last few years. Old letters to me represent family and friends and also a dying art in and of itself. The dead bird was one of the girls finchs, they are very sensitive little creatures and we have lost a few. Jo took the photos and I think they have a eeriness to them and also a quiet dignity. Birds in many cultures symbolise loss or the souls of dead loved ones, I've heard that if a bird comes in the house it is really the soul of a lost relative trying to connect with their loved ones. Read into it what you will, I'm just very proud of our collaboration and its symbolising a renewed sense of closeness and shared purpose.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Just discovered this guy through John Krikfalusi's site (John K. who created Ren and Stimpy) and I'm a big fan straightaway.


Monday, August 23, 2010


You may have noticed that my work veers wildly from one style to another. I put this down to a few things. Firstly it has a lot to do with being primarily a satirist at heart, I can't take anything seriously. Even my most deadly sombre work has an element of humour in it if you look hard enough. Can't help myself. Secondly, working in animation and also as a satirist, your constantly aping other styles and techniques, so you become a bit of a chameleon anyway. Thirdly when I have an art direction gig my main task is to find the style for the project and automate it so that everyone else working on the project falls into line and you have a cohesive whole that appears to be done by one idividual.

This brings me to the gist of today's entry. In an attempt to escape from my reverting back to the tics and habits I always fall back on I force myself to wear different artistic hats. The hope is that I will create new and fresh directions that don't look like stuff I've done before. Usually I don't achieve this but every now and then peaking between the wobbly lines and rough pencilling I will see the tiniest glimpse of an alternative voice speaking that I don't recognise. It's as exciting as panning for gold, most of my work is as useless and boring as gravel but occassionally a little shiny piece of heaven will catch the light. This is what makes it all worthwile my friends.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Better today, ready to take the world on, it's my birthday too so no need to be glum. Here's some works in progress that have fallen prey to the curse of overworking. By this I mean often the fresher the idea the less contrived the brush strokes and the more direct the communication. I have become a little over-precious with these two. Nonetheless I'll put them out there as this forum allows me to show everything warts and all.

By the way, if you are a tea lover, the T2 brand of teas are so damn good they leave everything else in their wake even Twinnings I hate to say.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

UPs and DOWNs

This entry finds me a bit flat. I'm hoping this mood will pass as I have been generally pretty up most of the time. I think I have to stop getting up at midnight and doing work it tends to throw me for the rest of the day.

Here are a few more completed works, these may or may not be in the show - just trying to sort out what we have and find out if we can get the venue we want. Its going to be an interesting couple of months.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Second session of the hardcore chemo, on Monday. Not as badly affected this time, my body must be getting used to the poison. I even had a Guinness last night with 'Sick-Bed-Invading-Lady-Jesus-Liesl'.

Here are some collagey things. I like playing with shape and colour and arranging the elements to produce an appealing end result. The aim is that something of yourself will seep into the final product. Somebody else would choose completely different colours and arrange the elements in a way that pleases them. What you get then, is a reflection of the individual's taste and mindset at that particular moment. This would be a very interesting experiment: select a pile of collage elements and give each person the exact same pieces. Leave them to make a number of pictures each without the influence of other participants. At the end it would be interesting to see how different or how similar each persons was and what that said about each person and where their head was at at that particular moment. It's all rather abstract but often in abstraction we can find more meaning than in specific representational images.

Anyway enough blah blah from me the last image of the Carney's painted in their true colours, may be an important breakthrough thematically for our show. The clownish, circus, sideshow freak thing has been done to death I know, but I still think it has some mileage particularly for our family. The best way to get through a crisis is to put on your clown suit and behave like an idiot.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I must admit I've been suffering from a bad case of insomnia lately. Bad for my mental state but great for getting lots of stuff done. Last night I was up from 11:30 onwards and decided to scan some stuff from older journals that I had overlooked. In doing this I found stacks of drawings I'd shoved to the back of each journal obviously with the intention of sticking them in to that current one but of course I never got a round toit.

Here then is a bit of old and a bit of new, its all new to me because I'd forgotten about most of them so I've reappropriated them and I'm calling them all new and relevant to reflecting this journey I'm on. I trust you will agree. As time goes on I will gradually filter through all this stuff and scan what's worth seeing and also use some for bigger finished pieces for our exhibition.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


"I see the divine in a doodle"

I am an incessant doodler. I think of it as serving a number of important functions in an artists practice:

1. It is a form of daydreaming but with a visual end product. It is as if you stuck a tap into a barrel and let the contents pour out at the fully open setting without any filtration. I see it as the unfettered link to the artist's subconscious and often reveals a lot but sometimes is quite boring or uninspired.

2. Doodling is like taking notes it can help organise thoughts and ideas and try things out before moving on to the next step of refining ideas into something that will be effective communication.

3. To me it can be like jogging, yoga or meditation. It helps me relax whilst also excercising the muscles of the brain and body associated with my craft.

4. Every piece of art I have ever created started as a doodle. It is an essential practice and not to be smirked at even if it has a silly name.

5. It helps keep you loose and freed up - it keeps your feet on the ground and also can help to simplify large or complex projects.

Here are a compilation, the greatest hits of many pages from my journals. This will be a regular excercise I will partake in and the chronology of when I did any given doodle will be unknown but I will throw together things I think connect somehow.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


More installments in my blogiary, the images seem to be getting more and more warped, sorry to the small children who want to see my cute creatures. I'll do some soon to counteract the disturbing stuff that's leaking out from my hands.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Finally its time to get down to being serious about all this mark making and funnel it into something a bit more cohesive. It looks like there will be an exhibition of some kind relating to this whole experience and it will involve the four of us - Me, Jo, Astrid and Portia. Its going to be a family art exhibition and fundraiser combined. Jo and I were up till about 12:30 last night discussing it such was our excitement. We started seeing connections and having ideas that fueled others and its got us all fired up. So now we have to start getting the work together.

The first image is part of a series of images from purely digital source files which I'm going to get big, high quality, archival prints of. They will be limited edition and framed. The other one is a recent journal image I think I overworked but I like the strangeness of. The next few months are going to be busy as we create and plan everything. Its going to be fantastic to have something to work towards.

What I'm most excited about is to see how all 3 girls express themselves and document how they are feeling about this whole period its going to be really enlightening to go through it with them and hopefully we will all experience a good level of catharsis from the whole exercise and perhaps raise enough money to do something nice together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


More journal pages for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


My next little lot of stuff will be about painting and paint, shape and abstraction and colour and how it plays together and sometimes works and sometimes falls apart.

The reason I love watercolour paint is the way it follows it own course. Paint hitting wet paper does wondrous things. It spreads and grows with branchlike tendrils, I get mesmerised watching it. Sometimes that’s all you want the picture to be but often times it will change once its finished spreading or will not look so exciting when it dries. The same feeling comes from cutting things out and sticking them together to create something new. Collage or whatever you want to call it takes drawing out of the making of art and it is always enjoyable to cut and glue and position because this is something we have done since we were small and it has a playfulness to it.

The overriding theme of this entry is probably that the act of the making is more important or just as important as the end product. Being fully immersed and enjoying every minute of the process is the reason I do what I do and if you are more focussed on creating the end product than the actual experience of creating something then you are doing art for the wrong reasons. I don’t think most musicians think they are making a hit song everytime they pick up their instrument and have a play.