Apr 21, 2017

Just because they Arrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Hey, I've been studying NC Wyeth.

What an amazing illustrator he was.

And I didn't know he was Andrew Wyeth's dad.
See what you learn :)

Here's two.  They kind  of look like dancers - but I think it's because of the cannon balls flying past.
Dangerous job, being a pirate.


Hope you are well and making lots of art.

Jan 12, 2017

Happy Elephant day!! Well, this one has an elephant but it is hiding in the shadows...

This one is Nial of the Nine Hostages running into a little trouble with the local Saxons who were expecting him to be taller. Little do they know Nial is waiting outside on his horse in case he is needed - and that the little fellow is one of his twelve sons ...

not to self - straighten kids legs, they look weird ?? make his pants darker , maybe he needs a sword?? add scars to Saxon faces and crooked missing teeth.

Jan 2, 2017

Is this  thing on?

Hello World.

Happy 2017.

I hope the world is good to you this year.

I need to leave this image here. :)

Hey that rhymes....

It's an elephant doing stuff. I'm not sure why, not sure when.

Jul 19, 2013

The Fish That Got Away: Nursing Home Robots

The wind is up today.
People go crazy when it's windy.
So do cats in trees.
And Robots in Nursing Homes.
Here's Ralph telling Roger
How big the fish once was.
The one he caught just before he went rusty.
(Illustration from: The Year I went Rusty, and Other Robot Nursing Home Stories.)

Here's the photoshoot Negs, just to prove it's true.

My Dark room work is not what it used to be.

Jul 18, 2013

D'où Venons Nous / Que Sommes Nous / Où Allons Nous.

You ever ask yourself where you are going? Where have you been? Where are you now?
In an alternative sense, do you ever ask yourself why you make images?
I used to think we make 'art' because human beings have a basic need to create. We make buildings, children, bowling greens, fruit salads - and scribble over cave walls. All of it satisfies a basic need to make a mark on the planet, to say "yes look, I was here. I existed for a brief moment in time. I made my own lunch."
Now I'm not too sure about that.

For several years now I've been getting up at 6.oo am every morning and starting to make images. If I'm not going to work then I will work at image making till about 8 o'clock at night. During the day I might have a surf for a few hours or a run - but most of the time I spend doing digital work - or being at the studio. And the days I go to "work" I still work on images for 5 or 6 hours.
I guess I'm obsessed.

Then last week,  for the first time in several years, I lost my inertia. At last.
I guess that's a good thing.
Take as examples of excellence in obsession our friends Van Gogh and Gauguin.
Van Gogh and Gauguin don't need first names because we all "know" them so well. They were both obsessed and that's why they made such beautiful work. Still, Van Gogh being obsessed with being a priest, then being obsessed with a young girl, then his art, then his ear - died at the age of 37. And his friend Gaugin, obsessed with his own self importance, his own confidence in his art, abandoned his wife and children and ran off to Tahiti to die at the age of 54.
Strange eh? To sacrifice happiness in the pursuit of happiness.

So where is this going? Where am I now? Who have I been?
I have no idea.
But I can tell you that I've been watching the tour de france for a while now and all those little bike riders when seen from above seem to me to be a metaphor for life, that they are riding along in this mass of changing colours and whirr of wheels governed by their own strange laws - the marshal vehicles, the sides of the road, the nutty spectators who run along side them yelling 'allez, allez!"
Their ultimate aim of course is to create a metaphorical Zygote somewhere on the Champs Elysees, stand on a podium and hold "it" above their heads and say "Look at me. I exist! See I have this big gold thing in my hands and everyone in the world is looking at me."
An alien seeing it all would just shake both their heads and say "gummahgoo" or what ever is alien for  "what are they doing, where are they going and I wonder if those men in tight shorts taste any good with space ship juice."

These image for IF's "Travel', inspired as they were by the OMNI magazine of my youth and images by people such as HR Giger and Ben Bova induced mythology. No to mention Ray Bradbury's The Silver Locusts.

I know they are the kind of thing a geeky kid might scribble in the back of his text book during religious studies - but what the Hell eh?

Thank you for looking :)  The images are all about 2000 pixels so if you click on them you can see the grains of sand.

 I hope none of you are contemplating having your ears cut off or running off to Tahiti with a paint brush in one hand and a chisel in the  other.


The Silver Locusts
Ben Bova
OMNI Magazine
HR Giger
Gaugin's Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

Jun 28, 2013


Well, I don't know about you, but I've been discriminated against all of my life.

It all started when I was a child and my mother used to make me give up my seat in the bus for little old ladies.

Just because I was a child and they were old.

But of course in those days I was short and now I am tall. Then I was smart, now I am confused. And fat you ask? No, now I have matured, like cheese left in a cage full of mice ...

No, that's not right.

Let's start again. That sounded like incoherent rambling.

Did you ever study 1984? by Thomas Orwell.

Hmm that doesn't sound right either. Frank Orwell? No he invented air-o-planes. Thomas Cromwell... no he has his head on a pike somewhere. That will teach him for having an affair.

Anyway, in 1984 .... no I mean Animal Farm .... they have this saying. "All animals are created equal. But some animals are more equal than others."

Or similar.

But don't you just love it? Big brother. Doublethink. We have a lot to thank Orwell for. He put labels on concepts that we sort of suspected existed, but couldn't discuss until we had the correct etymology.

Hold on, let me go and goggle etymology.

Ahh, just as I suspected, I don't know what I am talking about.

Of course Etymolgy is the study of insects.....

So yes, where were we? Ah, that egalitarian concept of equality. What a lot of doublethinking hoohah. If everything was equal we would live in a land of no sense. There would be no contrast, no stimulation.

Did you know that if, as an experiment,  you sit on a really cold chair (eg. one that has just come from a cool room) then your bottom bones will become really, really cold? In fact your bottom's nerve receptors will go 'twing twang, twong"

And if, while you are wriggling away, deciding if you really want to take part in this experiment, someone comes up from behind and drops a small brick on one of your toes, you immediately forget about the cold sensation in your bottom?


It's plain we react to contrasts, that the joy of our world is contrast, that our raison d'etre is to contrast.

It's obvious to people sitting on really cold chairs, that the idea of all things being equal, isn't quite as beautiful as it seems.

There, I've made my case, I've dugged my dirt, I've used "twing, twang twong" in a sentence.

Time for me to go and sit on a really very obnoxiously cold chair and wait for someone to come along with a brick. Or a little old lady, to whom I would willingly up my chair give -as Winston Smith Churchill avoiding sentences ending in propositions would say.


Oh, I really need to tell you about Henri Cartier George Orwell Bresson and his compositional devices which some of these silly pics are based on.

Hold on, here comes a little old lady heading in my direction now! She's kind of smiling oddly. And looking at me.

She's holding something behind her ba....

By the way  thank you artisjokken and thank you deeol, :) I'm glad you didn't mind my rambling! cheers from ere :)

Jun 23, 2013

TV Surveillance Beam and Miss Pat.


"When I was a kid.... "

Now how often do you hear when I was a kid in a story that someone is telling you?

"Yeah, yeah," we think, "I was a kid too once. Tell me about it.."

So when I was a kid I used to watch this nice lady on the TV. She had a kid's show, and at the end of each show would pull out her magic mirror and hold it in front of her face. The magic mirror was so magic it didn't have a back or a front to it, which means that the nice lady could look through it, straight into the camera, straight into my living room and straight into my poor little five year old's soul.

Well so she thought.

Next she would say the magic incantation: "Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?"

Then she would say "I can see Ces, and I can see Luedek, and I can see Theresa and I can see Amalia, and Shirley, and Linda and Karen and Aino, and I can see Janne and I can see Martine and I can see Bella and Brian and Bob and Bernadette and Belinda and I can see ...."

Well you get the picture,

But she would never see "Andrew" because just before I turned on the TV I would carefully place a set of Invisible X-ray glasses (reg. trademark) on my head. These Invisable X-Ray glasses made me impervious to any TV surveillance beam - well that's what it said on the back of the comic book we ordered them from.

In a nutshell,  as long as I was wearing my Invisable X-Ray glasses  I could see her. But she couldn't see me.

I still have those Invisable X-Ray glasses to this day. In fact I am wearing them now. Which is why you can't see me. :)

And you probably really want to know this next bit.

In Oz our "hostesses", as they were called, were Miss Susan, Miss Patricia, Miss Colleen, Miss Helena and Miss Megan.

So there.


Thanks for reading.

This image isn't political. It's just a Rorschach test . I make the image. The emotive correlatives of the participant elements suggest the meaning, a meaning which is dependent on audience and context.

The sheep on the left is asleep by the way.

Sorry I haven't been around. I've actually been making a lot of images.

I have images coming out of my ears, running across the floor, hiding in cupboards, at the back of the dishwasher, in half empty Kellog's Cornflakes packs and even sliding between the mouldy old oranges in the fruit bowl..

I even found one in back of the the freezer the other day, shivering away. I think it had hidden in there by mistake, but when I asked it what it was doing there it was too numb to talk.

I warmed it up with the iron - which was a mistake because now it is very flat but the plastic coating kind of got stuck on the iron....

Wonder what my wife will say when she tries to iron her white linen business shirt tomorrow morning?

Seriously, it's alright to be nuts. It hasn't affected me one little but... er "bit".

"But" is what they say in New Zilland.

P/P/S My IF Catcha Code was exhalations longovie. I think someone is watching me.... do dooo doo doooh

Apr 17, 2013


Holly came from Miami, Florida
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she
She says, "Hey, babe
Take a walk on the wild side"
She said, "Hey, honey
Take a walk on the wild side"

Walk On The Wild Side
Lou Reed, 1972
Remember those "halcyon" days of our youth?
No, me neither.
The first time I heard the word 'Halcyon", was the same day that I heard the word "Luddite".
They came from the mouth of the same man, a friend of a friend.
I was a naive 29 year old. He was a worldly man with too much money and a world weariness that hung around him like the smell of a freshly boiled onion. We were on our friend's boat out on the harbour, drinking almost French Champagne and watching  the world go by.
Our mutual friend was newly very rich and enjoying his wealth by acquiring paintings, toys - (Sports Cars, Ocean Cruisers etc)  - and houses over looking the water. Even with all that, he was a "good bloke" - and very generous. We met when we were studying English Lit together.
Of course I had to ask what both words meant - and I've never forgotten what a Luddite was - because as I grow older, I feel like I am becoming one.
But Halcyon? I never quite grasped the meaning. 
So let me google it.

Ah, here it is. Halcyon:
A fabled bird, identified with the kingfisher, that was supposed to have had the power to calm the wind and the waves while it nested on the sea during the winter solstice.
Well I never knew that.
So the Halcyon days of our youth translates as: "those particular days of our youth that we used a fabled bird to calm the waves so we could nest on the sea."


And by some dogmatic coincidence, that is exactly what my illustration is about......
Do you know the word Verdaccio?
Well, it's something the old master's used to use occasionally (not the word but the technique). It's where you paint a green monotone under painting - a dead painting) then glaze over it with translucent colours. The idea is that the green under painting glows through the warmer layers and gives that nice harmonious glow that suggests depth in human flesh.


I've been invited to a show with "Nightmares" as the theme - so I've been working up this painting.
for a few weeks. It's 90 by 120 cms on linen.

And in  that time I've spent a lot of time looking at anatomy drawings as well as Greek statues. It's all very interesting what they were doing a few thousand years ago. I've also been looking at Da Vinci's working methods and his sketches. How smart was he, eh? What a mind....

In verdaccio  you are supposed to paint two tones lighter than the finished painting is meant to be.
So I still have a lot of work :)

The big advantage is that, in taking out the colour parameters, you just need to be making tonal decisions for the underpainting stage. It's a learning curve -  but not very steep. I'm also changing the characters as I go, slimming them down, changing hand positions etc.

Above and below are pics of  it as a work in progress in situ in the studio. If you look very closely you may recognise some of the characters.... :)

PS: Whoever invented the saxophone obviously thought no one in their right mind would ever try to paint one.



And finally, below, a self portrait (the big guy, not the rat).

Thanks for looking. Hope you are well!