Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Baking calamities & triumphs

Sometimes sitting with my sketchbook it can feel as though my brain is somewhat distracted:

So with that in mind I began drawing biscuits and other baking items sprang into view:

Inspired by the popular TV show The Great British Bake Off,  I came across these unfortunate casualties of bad baking:

Let's hope for plenty of successful baking in the new series (though perhaps that is not as entertaining as the calamities).

Thursday, 8 August 2013

New Studio!

I have recently moved into a shared studio space. It is wonderful to be surrounded by talented, friendly and inspiring artists and great to have a space outside of home in which to work.

Among the items that surround me are - my old dynamite box full of (non-explosive) materials. This was heavy to carry on the tube but at least the word explosives is written in very small type so no arrests, evacuations or controlled explosions were necessary on my way in. That would have been embarrassing.

Some letterpress letters, paper and brushes from Hong Kong, a mug for tea:

A cushion I made:

And a mango slowly ripening. Surely all good ingredients for inspiration.

I have often drawn with a stubbed out pencil dipped in ink, which you can see in the image below. It creates a nice erratic line. Whether I will draw more on my computer tablet instead is something I often think about. It saves so much time not having to clean up scanned work. Perhaps I will use a mixture. There is something so pleasing about real, spontaneous, inky work. There's only one way to find out...

And so to begin...

Monday, 25 March 2013

Lions and Dragons dancing

During the two weeks of Chinese New Year (until the lantern festival at the end) there are plenty of opportunities to catch a Lion and Dragon dance in Hong Kong. At any time of day you may be out and about and the sound of crashing cymbals and beating drums will travel through the air as a nearby troupe burst into action. The Lion has two performers inside and leaps and prowls at the crowds that eagerly await the spectacle. Businesses will offer the Lion something - often a lettuce or foodstuff hanging at the door. The Lion, it's roars represented by the loud bashing of cymbals and drums, scares away the bad luck from the previous year. Mandarins are thrown to the crowd to represent gold and good fortune.

A Dragon often accompanies the Lion to offer good luck in the coming year. The Dragon is carried high on sticks by lots of performers, their number depending on its' length. It weaves around and looks spectacular!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Year of the Snake

I have just been in Hong Kong absorbing the wonderful sights, sounds, smells and peculiarities of Chinese culture. Everyday was a sensory overload. Since my return I have begun digesting into illustrations the noise, bustle, skyscrapers, temples, food and hectic pace of life lived in a haze of red and gold.

The Lunar Chinese New Year was celebrated while I was in Hong Kong so lots of dragon and lion dances occurred to the sound of clashing cymbals, scaring away the bad luck to herald good luck in its' stead.

It was great to be in a city full of activity and familiar things but one that felt very different to London. A trip to Kowloon Park amidst tower blocks and busy roads and you can find a tranquil pond inhabited by flamingos.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cockney rhyming slang

I enjoy incorporating lettering into my imagery. Recently I have been exploring Cockney rhyming slang and these images are in response to that. Cockney rhyming slang originated in East London and is often used as a comical/cheeky way of referring to things without saying the actual word(s). So please give these pictures a butcher's and feel free to let me know your favourite Cockney expressions. I am sure there are many I don't know! Tom Hanks! (Thanks....)