Doodles in the margin from an artist living and working in the Scottish Borders.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Three Parts Oddness to One Part Peculiarity.

The LaFarge cement works near Dunbar. Lovely for a bit of a sit down.

Why turn around and look at the sea when this spectacle unfurls its refulgent majesty before your awe-seared gaze? Unknown gentleman and lady, I tip my hat in salute to your nonconformity.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Gloria! Gloria! Ba-da-daddle-addle-ah, ba-da-daddle-addle-ah.


Twenty-two days after I finished the preliminary character sketches, this morning I scanned, tweaked, saved and sent the tenth completed page of 'Here Comes the Neighbourhood.' Matt has been in touch with the editor of NBC Vol. III, who "likes the sound of the story," which is encouraging.

Overall I'm quite pleased with it. From drawing the panel frames to finishing touches, I'd say each page has about ten hours work in it, and (as usual) I could give you a list long as my arm of things I wish I'd done differently or taken more care over or could do better next time and so on and on, but given that we were up against the deadline of the end of this month for submitting the final thing, I don't think it's bad. I've a pain in the joint where thumb meets wrist which may or may not be related to pretty much twenty two days continuous drawing, and to which I've been applying frozen peas. (Art. My God. The suffering. And they say those Chilean miners have it hard.)

I think it's a good story. Matt has heart and wit, and I like that. I'll link to an online version sometime soon, but hopefully to something more exciting like an actual paper version you can exchange money for. I mean, howay, look at Gloria there - look at that face. Look at those novelty spectacles. What editor could resist?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Tower of Power

We were on the beach at Coldingham the other week, collecting sea glass and generally breathing in the briny splendour when I got the inevitable sub Goldsworthy itch. It was very absorbing, and interesting to feel how the sense of balance in the structure changed with every stone I put on it. I had four or five collapses before I got one I was happy with. I artfully arranged the photo so it looks like a teetering head-high behemoth, which it was not; had you been close by when it crashed down into gravity's embrace, it could have lightly bruised your knee.

I'd like to say that I built it deliberately in the eye of the advancing tide so that I could capture the moment of destruction, but I hadn't noticed that the tide was creeping so close, nor that I'd built it on the highest part of the beach and we had to wait for about forty minutes for the waves to finally get to it. Don't get too eager about the video; it's stop motion, and decidedly unspectacular, but at least it made me want to go back and give it another go. (You might spot that the top fell off, and I went back to re-stack it: the whole thing went only seconds later.)

Clever bugger, that Goldsworthy.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Putting on the Style

I lost a plug from the handlebar end a while ago, and anyway it had 'Bikehut' on it in big, clear letters, which were visible no matter how much black marker I applied.

My friend Colin - cyclist and Nature Reservist (in the event of war he is camouflague) - asked a while ago for some champagne corks for just this task, and they've been lurking in my car for months now so I thought I'd put them to some use. If it's good enough for his Mercian, I reasoned, then it'll do for my eBay Dawes. I spent a very pleasant half hour whittlin' with a Stanley knife and - voila. Bar end plugs with a bit of panache.

Putting the 'bar' into handlebar. Yaboom.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Strangely Like Cattle ... But Cattle on Bikes

The Pave, oil on board, 24" x 18".

This year's Tour de France
was fantastic, not least because of the use of the treacherous cobbled roads over which the Paris- Roubaix road race ("The Hell of the North") is ridden.

Dust, colour, spectacle and noise, all at collarbone-threatening speeds, it was magnificent to watch.

Next year, Andy - next year.

Actually, I'll add something. Ambivalent as I may be about the finished product (I'm in post-painting tristesse) that little bleeder in the yellow t-shirt there on the left gave me no end of trouble. That he ended up with a fecking great big hat on is not unconnected with the difficulties I had with his face.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Small Faces

I'm awaiting the finished script from Matt, but I've been eagerly doing preparatory character sketches for a comic strip which we're going to try and get in New British Comics Vol. III, which will apparently be thumping boisterously onto the desks of major international people and demanding attention after its publication, so if we're in it that would be rather splendid.

Means I have to make the drawings top quality, and I'm psyching myself up to make them the badger's nadgers. Got the paper (Daler Rowney heavyweight 220g/m2, mmmmmm) all cut to size and the frame drawn out (B5 size, proportionally) and some new indidan ink bought. Can't wait to crack on.


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