Thursday, August 30, 2007

Madeleine again

I've never liked that EP artwork I did for Maddy for that EP she never made, and always intended to do another for her. The other day, entirely on the bus, I did this with a photograph Jacob Todd took that she doesn't like but I do.


Char and I went to Edinburgh for an extended bank holiday weekend to check out the festivals. I never believed all the positive reports about going up I've had over the years, I think because my knowledge of Scotland is formed almost entirely by Trainspotting. Even when we walked around the city, which was constantly impressive, whilst I was not shocked by the large amount of pretty and tanned people there were milling around in the sunshine- I assumed they were fashionable London media types seeking out some culture, like myself- but I was, to my shame, always shocked when I heard them talking exactly like Begbie. It really was amazingly fun (read: expensive). We saw loads of shows and comedy in our four day stint there, and some of which was good but a lot of it was really dire. The advice is often given to listen out for word of mouth, so when we arrived and our new housemate listed some of her must-sees, we immediately rushed out and booked ourselves up for most of the weekend. Unfortunately after the first show: some family-friendly acrobatic slapstick nonsense, Traces, it became clear our new friend has the mental age of about two. She probably made her recommendations based upon those that had the best shiny bits on the tickets, a view that was reinforced when we sat through two hours of children's puppetry the next day, which was like an itsa-bitsa remake of a kind of dumbed down Tweenies. As we watched it, hungover and trapped in a small black oven, it was obvious why all the infants around us were crying.
As you wander around the city, all the posters are crammed with stars and plaudits from vaguely credible newspapers and slightly-less-so websites. A lot of the things I'd seen before and I was bewildered as to how anyone can possibly say these things. There are very average comedians boasting quotes like "definitely the funniest man that ever lived" and you just have to wonder how anyone can ever think these things, let alone apparently write them down and put them in the public domain. It'll probably turn out that our housemate is a journalist with the Scotsman and although if that was the case the quotes would be more like: "I liked the way the man wore a hat indoors...". We did see some very funny stuff, but most of the laughing was definitely done with/at our friends who were there too: Archie, Sophie, Sandeep, Arron...
I went there to broaden my mind and reignite/ignite my flames of passion for theatre and live performance, but came back less keen than ever. However I did re-realise several of my other passions: wandering around, super shandies, rum and ginger, falling asleep in clubs, McDonalds breakfasts and seeing old friends.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Just did Italy

Just had a really fun time in Italy for a week with Char and her family. Here's a collection of photographs to prove it, including a couple of inevitable I've-got-a-phone-with-that-panorama-function-and-so-use-it-at-every-opportunity shots.

I didn't get to really draw that much whilst I was there, but I started this one from the poolside:

And did this one of the house, which I really enjoyed doing but am quite disappointed with. Nonetheless, expect more water colours from me.

Otherwise I haven't had the chance to do that much. I'm trying to think about entering this competition and working on a couple of genuine bona fide commissions (all top secret, of course), but most of my time is spent travelling round Grey Britain and beyond. Not only (though primarily) to Oxford for my two-day-a-week job, but also back and forth to Italian villas, down to Brighton- where I was for Loop festival this weekend, not that I paid much attention to it once I was there, and tomorrow up to Edinburgh to see Sarah's play and to stand around in the rain drinking and perfecting my Scottish accent. It's really like I've got several jobs, but I get paid in fun rather than boring old money.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

IA: K, L , M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U...

The Inappropriate Alphabet: it's back. I should have this filthy childrens book ready soon. Printed up and on the shop shelves, or at least, printed up and in my desk drawer...
Charlotte's away in Italy this week, leaving me home alone. And whilst this does give me a break from the endless drudgery of married life (lawnmowing, bickering, Big Brother, Big Brother's Big Mouth etc.) and chance to work on "projects" like this it has been pretty lonely knocking round the house on my own. The two shootings pretty much on my Stockwell doorstep in the last week and a half have ramped up my paranoia from it's default code orange, which still means that when I'm home alone I mute the TV every five minutes because I think I can hear someone creeping up behind me (though I do this a lot less since I realised we have surround sound installed) all the way up to code FLASHING-FUCKING-RED. Utter, all consuming paranoia. I've been spending most of the days urgently, nakedly and armed with a non-stick frying pan pacing between the many windows and doors of the house, checking to see if the human hairs taped across their openings remain intact.
Living in complete isolation has driven me slowly insane.
Within about an hour of Charlotte's leaving I was arguing bitterly with an avocado onto which I'd drawn a disapproving face. I have entirely abondoned ablutions and dressing and just sit, for hours on end, dizzy with the heat pulsating through the closed blinds above my desk, flicking emptily through porn (as research) and that is it. My life alone. Sweaty. Filthy. Disgusting. Scared. I even did my shopping in Iceland.
Still, I'm off to Italy to join her tomorrow, so that's alright.

I'm not sure about V, W or X. Any suggestions?
I also recently did this elaborate sketch of a pretty girl, and idly started colouring it on the bus to work. It looks shit and off-balance now- not helped by the complete lack of lips, but may turn into something quite pretty. Then I'll ruin it by drawing in the rest of her, tromboning some old pervy Chris Langham type.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Trafalgar Square

I've got a new widescreen sketchbook, and yesterday I took it to Trafalgar Square.