Saturday 29 December 2012

xmas cards for Horse and Jockey pub

Christmas cards for Horse and Jockey pub, Chorlton, Manchester.
Showing christmas market and tree on Chorlton Green.
Sent out to 5000 households in early December 2012.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Merry xmas

Merry xmas and a happy new year to all!

Monday 26 November 2012

Artist pop-up shop

Grumpy  opened up a pop-shop in Manchester City Centre last Wednesday. Located on Brazennose Street (opposite the Town Hall), it stocks lots of Grumpy items ideal for arts, craft and play.

Grumpy in the City also features the Christmas Circus Pop-Up shop!
Selling work and products made by local artists and designers, including my limited edition prints - ideal for Christmas presents! The Manchester christmas market also extends along this street.

Brazennose House
Brazennose Street
M2 5AS

Shop opening hours (November and December):
Wednesdays - Saturdays
11:00am - 6:30pm

Sunday 25 November 2012

Minicomic workshop with Jim Medway

I was tempted along to this workshop at the Cornerhouse by the words 'clarity' and 'simplicity'. Also a curiosity to fathom-out comics, which I've boxed off as being boy's-only stuff, full of action-packed aliens, spidermen and naughty boys sporting stripey jumpers. 

I had a great time. Jim Medway was engaging fun, and the whole group, of twenty or so, got involved. He whizzed us through the world of comics and brought to my attention a whole load of new names and styles, including Charles Addams (great compositions and characters), Marjane Satrapi and Frans Masereel (amazing woodcuts). 

Jim's own very distinctive comic characters are anthropomorphic teenage cats, full of attitude and swagger. He is currently working on a 48 page character-based comic about 3 lads walking around Manchester, called 'Playing Out'    (to be publ. 2013 by Black Slate Books). (photos taken from slide show, sorry about poor quality)

We did lots of hands-on exercises, including drawing quick cartoon self-portraits and 'who dunnit' game, where we matched the image to the person. We also drew animals in 10 seconds with our eyes shut, and most were surprisingly recognisable. Giving animals different occupations was another exercise. We were each dealt a random animal and random occupation, and we had about a minute to draw this clearly enough for others to guess what they were. Mine was a clown crab.

We progressed to 3-act collaborative cartoon strips, where we each filled in the first box of a comic, then passed it on, then filled in the second box of someone else's comic, then passed it on again, and finished a different person's story by filling in a third box. It reminded me of the Consequences game, where a collaboration leads to something unexpected.. Here's a scan of one of the sequences. 

The final collaborative comic in this workshop involved the entire group and one story. We agreed on a crocodile dinner-lady character from an earlier exercise, called Sunshine, and a contrasting round schoolboy character called Alphonse. The genre was gameshow/documentary. We had a random page number each, and developed the story page-by page, person by person. A bizzare story evolved, with a body-parts gameshow, a missing leg,a hybrid body-parts being, a heart-to-heart and a happy ending. It was printed off in time for us to each take a copy home, too - our very own jam comic!

Monday 22 October 2012

Tarporley Art Gallery

Some playful images I did for Tarporley Art Gallery's website.

Tarporley Art Gallery is a fine art and applied art exhibition centre that has recently opened in Cheshire, with a wonderful range of workshops on offer. I was commissioned to provide branding images and lettering, promoting their workshops and shop supplies, which was great fun. Here was a chance to have a badger frolicking through buttons, a packhorse carrying workshop supplies and a fox sniffing a thread trail. 

Monday 15 October 2012

Cornerhouse sketch-o-matic

I will be sitting in the sketch-o-matic box again this year for a couple of slots this wed 17th Oct (1-2pm) and this sun 21st Oct (1-2pm) at the Cornerhouse, doing 5 min sketches of sitters. It's like sitting in a photo-booth, but you get a sketch at the end. I'd love to sketch you if you can make it those times.

Also other artists and poets throughout the week Fri 12 Oct 2012 – Sun 21 Oct 2012
Here's some info from Cornerhouse

"Following on from the huge success of the first Sketch-O-Matic last year, when 40+ artists, illustrators, poets, doodle-makers and pensmiths created instant-ish portraits of almost 1,000 sitters, we are happy to announce that the booth is coming back! It will launch for the Manchester Weekender on Fri 12 October for a 10 day residency. You are invited to sit inside the booth as if for a photograph and make a minimum donation of £1 to an artist through an anonymous slot in return for a self-portrait. But where the machinery should be is a tiny, fully equipped artist studio. Wait five minutes (give or take) and the image will appear. It may be a pencil drawing, doodle, cartoon, collage or even a word-poem. Take it, frame it, consider it. Now you are both patron and muse!"

Thursday 11 October 2012

Dancing on Chorlton Green

Mazazik  ( Egyptian dancing on Chorlton Green last June in a blaze of oranges and purples - a wonderful sight. Lots of people came to watch and join in the dance, part of the summer solstice celebrations organised by Horse and Jockey.
I can't decide if they work better with or without the green colour!

Monday 8 October 2012

Party sketches

Some fast-sketching for a friend's 50th birthday party, with band, ceildh, card tricks, roll-a-pound-at-the-whisky, singing, candles, bar, cake and good company. What a wonderful evening!

Friday 14 September 2012

The fox, the crow and the old smelly cheese

Here are some winter scenes for the reworking of the Aesops fable I started a while ago. I've been experimenting with pencils and tie-dyeing for the backgrounds. I do think the tie-dye textures add a bit of extra atmostphere and light/dark.
Adding that extra eye to profile views seems to add more character, too.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Twitch the harvest mouse

I am working on a new story about a harvest mouse called Twitch. Here are some of the character studies. I am fascinated how these mice use their tails like an extra limb to keep them balanced in the grass. I remember as a child being entranced watching them in a field.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Indigo tie-dyeing inspiration

I went on an inspirational tie-dyeing workshop last week, run by Beetlefelt textile artist Carol Mowl ( in her wonderful studio. After tying-up, pleating, pegging and stitching pieces of fabric in a variety of ways, we dipped them in the dye-bucket for 5 minutes. The colour was green when we took the samples out, but as the dye oxidised, the colour turned indigo. The real fun bit was untying the fabric to see where the dye had taken. Won't some of these patterns look just great in children's book illustrations....