Monday, July 24, 2006

An experiment

Eddie Campbell claims, possibly facetiously, that he checks google each morning to see what people are saying about him. I find myself wondering if he'll read this. If he does I hope you'll leave a comment Mr Campbell.

I've long been an admirer of Eddie Campbell and once spent two fruitless days at a UKcac(around 1986) shuttling between the bar and the Escape Stand trying to catch Eddie Campbell and get him to sign my copies of the first two Escape volumes of his works. I Followed Mr Campbells work through the twenty years since then, the early Bacchus, the Eyeball Kid, From Hell, Batman all the way through to The Fate of The Artist. I lent to original Escape books to a colleague and never saw them again. Eventually they were reprinted in a collected volume so I was okay.

I recall my frustration when he fled this country for Australia's sunnier climes, knowing my chance of getting a book signed had vanished because he was in a place I would never go. Discovering a history of champagne through the Tales of Bacchus and later wondering how much was true and how much was the work of the author and wondering that again when reading Fate of the Artist.

Eddie Campbell, if he still resides in Queensland, lives maybe 200km from my sister. If I ever do visit her I may spend some time tracking him down and finally getting a book signed after 20 years.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

New bag

I was so pleased to be drawing again I bought myself a new bag. £6 from Debenhams sale, about the size of a large hardback novel. Perfect size for a sketch pad up to A5, pencils pens even watercolours.

I have a fetish for bags I don't indulge too often as it would take money away from my book addiction but this was too good a bargain to miss.

Darn. Colour's off in the photo, bag's khaki and the patch is in red and black.

no time and other excuses

So I read these art blogs like and it seems like every day yet another person is using their blog to show a daily drawing, and I think to myself each time, where do they find the time and why can't I find the time? Unlike most questions about life this one had an easy answer. The time is easy to find if you stop looking for ways to avoid doing something. I love drawing but, like most artists, I've not a great deal of confidence in my work and, for some time now, have avoided drawing rather than face the disappointment of another picture that doesn't meet my own stringent standards.

Last weekend I had to do two things I don't usually enjoy. One was a quick visti to our local B & Q DIY depot and the other was attend a church BBQ. DIY and Social situations come very low down my list of pleasurable ways to spend time. But I'm getting in the habit of taking a Moleskine sketch pad with me when I go out and in 10 minutes in the B & Q car park I had two fairly competent sketches finished and in 40 minutes at the BBQ I had two fairly competent drawings done. I found time. I FOUND TIME!

I can do it if I try. Here are the two drawings

Man at B&Q. I identified with his slouching and defeated posture. He looked liek he was being pressured into doing something when he'd rather have been in the garden with a cold beer.

A tree growing out of the remains of a house that had been gone at least 50 years.

work cartooning

This was done sometime back during a very stressful period at work. It's a picture of me and my two colleagues showing how we each respond to stress. It was very popular and copies adorn the walls of several offices.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

My daughter sleeping

Molly asleep on the sofa, a sketch scanned and coloured on Photoshop.


The urge to create is always there. Even on the beach working with sand and shells and a 4 and 1/2 year old assistant. Molly cried when we left the mermaid at the beach because the sea would wash her away. I told her when the tide reached her the sand girl would become a real mermaid and swim away. That cheered her up and she stopped crying.

reality blends

I don't know what it's like for the rest of the world, most of the people in my most immediate circles seem to live for sport and music, but every so often I read something that seems like the author had a window into my head. First was a toss up between Tarzan and Jerry Cornelius, both classic outsiders but one powerful and the other often powerless and an observer in his own life. Later there was Matt Wagner's Mage, about a man who slides through life and avoids involvement until it is thrust upon him and he finds the world is all the better because of the people you let in, even when it hurts.

These days it's Carla Speed MacNeil's Finder. A less than simple tale of a man who helps people in the way they need but is never welcome or wanted anywhere.

Damn I like outsider fiction. Apart from that though these books got me where I live on a mystical level that most outsdider fiction never managed, books like Bruce Chatwin's Songlines hit that same feeling of a mystical feeling in a mundane world. They're about seeing something in your peripheral vision that couldn't and shouldn't exist but somehow you're sure it does.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Family Drama

So, my little girl starts school in September, my wife is having a confidence crisis at work and I'm so far in over my head at work that the poem "Not waving but drowning" makes more and more sense. Most times you take on a job you have a hand over period or support from someone who knew what the job was, not me though. And all I get is "why are you so grumpy" and I can't say because everyone else is under pressure and wants my help so what do you

Pardon the expression, but Fuck Knows! You keep going until you learn to swim.