Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Working away on the computer today, I a tiny movement out of the corner of my eye.
On my windowsill I have several mugs with pens, pencils, brushes etc.
A tiny black parasitic wasp (I assume, I'm no entomologist) about 5mm long, carrying something bulky, disappeared into one of the caps I put over some of my steel nibs to protect them, and me from getting accidental tattoos.
I tapped the pen holder and the bug flew out of the open window. Curious I lifted the lid to expose the nib to find about a dozen stunned aphids stuffed into the hollow at the base of the crowquill sized nib - food, I assume for the wasp's babies.
Some of the aphids were black and bloated, so I guess they were the ones with the eggs already inside.
Now, I'm an easy going guy, but I can't tolerate wasps nesting inside my tools, so I tipped the stunned aphids out of the window and their inevitable doom.
Am I a bad person? I think I can live with myself.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Furry Feline Fun

Even though I feel I'm racing ahead of a tidal wave of work and conflicting deadlines, I still like to squeeze in a quickie if I can. My chums at Heritage Crafts wanted to extend their range of feline embroidery designs, so on Father's Day last Sunday, I whacked out this shape in pencil and coloured it up in Photoshop over the next couple of days, snatching time between surges of other work. I would one day consider a more complex version of it and probably introduce a few more cats, perhaps in pen and ink. This version is deliberately quite basic because the image is always further simplified to be able to reproduce it in cross stitch.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Just because you have a key, doesn't mean you get the treasure.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fat Chunk 2 - Zombies Now Available

I'm one of the sixty or so artists contributing to the Fat Chunk comic anthology.
This, the second issue, has a zombie theme and one of its many pages has a piece by little me.
Apparently it's now available from comic stores and assorted outlets that peddle comic type stuff.
It's good to be involved with something like this that is so different from my regular work.
It's always good to wander off the regular path to smell the flowers.
Anyway, if you want to sample the delightful combination of zombie and comic - and can live with something that only has one page of me in it*, go and grab yourself a copy of Fat Chunk 2.
Go on, it's only little, I'm sure you can find space for it.

*I don't want anyone coming to me and complaining that they dashed out and bought it on the strength of wading through tons of my work - I contributed one page, that's all, but there's lots more pages of icky gooey zombification from heaps of talented artists from all over this lovely little planet of ours.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Something to worry about

A few months ago, during my first foray into using oils proper, I did a thing called 'The Worrier'.
Looking at it again, I realised that the subject hasn't got anything to worry about, so I added a few shadowy figures in the background and I'm pleased with the effect. The characters can represent anything the viewer wants - I won't make any suggestions. I think it's down to the individual to decide.
Here's an updated version.
In support of my local art materials supplier, I'm considering putting this tiny six and a quarter inch square painting forward for their summer exhibition. The problem is, the paperwork asks for a selling price. I'm terrible at putting a price tag on my work, so any suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Time Flies

Time flies - that sounds like an insect that I need to incorporate in a story or something.
Over the last few weeks I've been swamped by requests to produce some good old-fashioned graphic design work on the Mac. Having been working mainly in illustration and writing for the last seven years, it's been quite refreshing to do the kind of work I carried out for over twenty years. Meeting deadlines and delivering stuff on time has meant I've not had chance to work on any of my own projects.

One interesting development in recent weeks - my book 'The Boy with an Axe in His Head' has finally found its way into Waterstone's stores. Due to an administration hiccup, they were prevented from placing orders for the book.
All sorted now and the orders are coming in weekly.