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

Monday, 30 May 2011

Music on Monday: A Bit Special

I was only ten when I first heard this, so the layered critique of Thatcherite Britain passed me by a bit. All I knew was that it sounded slithery and sinister, and it wormed its way right inside my head. I still think it's one of the best singles ever, one of those three minute masterpieces like I Can't Explain or White Lines (Don't Do It.)

Anyway, I can listen to this again and again, and it still sounds like every fearful white-tiled windy underpass and pissed-up McDonalds-littered town centre in Britain today.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rallying Round

Tried something a bit different today, photographing objects that were moving at something more than geological speed.

The Jim Clark Rally was going on just up the road so we took a wander up there yesterday evening, I forgot my memory card, and we went back this afternoon for another go. It was fun.

This was nearly the best one, being a Mini, but I just clipped the wheel off.

And there were lots of photos like this;

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Numbers and Letters

Work in progress; I've got four fishing boat numbers on the go, in various stages of completion.

I decided a while ago (somewhat grandly, you might think) that as it was becoming a series it deserved a title, so I've called it 'The Price of Fish.' Partly because of the nature of the paintings, partly just because it sets someone up to look at one and say "what's that got to do with the price of fish?"

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

One Step Back

I was getting geared up to draw a new collaboration with Matthew Craig, but it's fallen through as the anthology people decided not to take the story. Damn. It was going to be really good; a dark fairy tale, all twisted oak forests and strange cottages. Bugger it.

I might still draw it anyway, because I wanted to.

Still, to make up for that, here's a panel from a strip I've entered into a competition.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Music on Monday: Weather Report

Baboonery is - like I have to tell you - a white hot place to keep running. Being this far out at the forefront of Web 2.0 is like being the heat shield on the front of a blogcraft burning through the geistosphere. Cutting edge. Twenty-four oblique seven. Just last week there was a bee got in and I had to get up and open the window to let it out.

Here's an old blind bloke playing a nice tune.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Up Around the Bend.

I think this is my favourite thing at the moment. It's a 1944 map of the 'Mississippi River Meander Belt.'

This is why maps are lovely things; fact and beauty together.

Came across it via In Focus, the Atlantic magazine's fantastic online photojournalism blog, which has some impressive photographs of the current flooding.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

My Darjeeling Senses Are Tingling: Did Someone Call for a Sconeslinger??

Quite a nice, and fair, review from the Forbidden Planet blog.

"Much of my enjoyment comes from the writing of Matthew Craig, because he writes these superheroes with a kitchen sink perspective. It’s more about the conversations, the characters and less about big blokes and badly proportioned women in spandex beating up supervillains. And this is good.


There’s a bunch of giant mutant moggies that need more than litter training and it’s up to the Bostin’ Heroes do do the cleanup. It’s a fine, fun tale, and with artist Rich Johnson, there’s a really nice look to a lot of the pages – although Johnson is far better with people and crowds than he is with superhero battles – a weakness he’ll need to work if he’s carrying on here. But his sedate, crowd and conversation panels, just like that opener above are really quite attractive."

He's right on both counts. I like doing Matthew's stories because they've got a big heart, and they are about things like, just what would you do if your wife found out you were a superhero?

Right about 'sedate' scenes, too. I think in my heart of hearts I'd rather draw people having a nice cup of tea and a cake than mutant troopers razing Mars Colony to the ground. Because, in its way, the same passions may rage beneath the surface while barely ruffling the tea meniscus.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Dancing For Paint

Competition entry, on Windsor and Newton 5" x 5" canvas, to try and win some painting materials.

It'll have to be finished, as it's got to dry out before I post it.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Music on Monday: Head, Hands and Feet.

I love Chris Smither. Sure, he looks like a dinnerlady, but he's an heir of Mississippi John Hurt's sparkling guitar picking, and he's one of the cleverest lyricists around. Good feet, too.

To hell with it, let's have another one:

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Uneminent Victorians

I found this on my desk. I sketch I did of some Victorians, from a contemporary photograph.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Now Looky Here...

I know kids, and if there's one thing that nine year olds want from their comics it's veiled references to early 1960s blues songs. I see them in newsagents, listlessly thumbing through Spiderman and Swamp Thing and Tracey Lorimer, Lens Grinder until they slap them back on the stands, lips quivering, demanding of their mother, "where's Mr Charlie? Where's the John the Conquerer root? Lawdy, mama, where's the mojo?"

Monday, 9 May 2011

Friday, 6 May 2011

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Roughting Linn

Decided to use the sunshine yesterday and go to Roughting Linn, to have a look at the neolithic markings and the waterfall. My mother shudders at the mention of Roughting Linn, in an I-won't-set-foot-in-there kind of way. I could see why; I imagine that the gully and waterfall is a dank and gloomy sort of place in the right (wrong) sort of weather, but yesterday it was all bosky and pleasant.

There was a man photographing the spiral markings, who was of the opinion that some of them were representations of LADY PARTS.

He said to Laura "you'd know better than me, what do you think?" I should have struck the bounder.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


I think you either love or hate the oilseed rape and its acres of spectacular lemon yellow. I think it's beautiful. I got my backside out of bed this morning very early (bastard birds) and was parked waiting for the sun to come up before Farming Today was even on the radio. It felt good; I haven't been out on a trip (even if this was just up the road) after proper photographs for a such a long time.

Tried out some new photo-stitch panorama software on this (on account of not owning a Hasselblad panoramic camera) and think I've finally found something that works.

There's a couple of these on my website here, but I think I like this one best. Sometimes it's the other one.

This is a small image file for the website; you can see them both in original expansiveness on Flickr.

Faint Praise

A review of 'New British Comics Volume 3' from the Forbidden Planet blog.

"Next strip of enjoyable note is Matthew Craig and Richard Johnson’s “Here Comes The Neighbourhood“. Craig’s comics (Hondle, Trixie Biker et al) are well enjoyed round these parts with their typical mix of nicely done characters and a big dollop of cheer – sometimes wrapped in sadness or melancholy perhaps, but they’re a celebration of humanity for the most part.

But not here. Neighbourhood is a comedy sure, but it’s a scathing and dark one, attacking today’s mass media, celeb obsessed cultural vacuum where someone as worthless to the gene pool as Kerry Katona makes a fortune simply by being alive, stupid and always available for interview.

Taking Big Brother and it’s ilk as a starting point, Neighbourhood simply takes it a little further. If everything is televised, and if your life is just a gameshow, open to the whims of the public, how bad do you want to play? In ten pages, Craig delivers a dark, funny, scarily believable tale with a nicely sketched out cast of diverse characters. Most enjoyable, and the art by Johnson is rather nice as well. Rough in places, but there’s a lot of promise of these pages, a real improvement on his previous work in the other Matthew Craig written series; the Brummy super-saga Bostin’ Heroes."

That's about right, I think. It is better than the Bostin' Heroes I did, some of which makes me squirm, and it is rough in places. If I could remove the roughness maybe I'll be onto something. Thing is, I often know the roughness is there and don't do anything about it, whether through cack-handedness, idleness or deadlines, and then they're the bits I berate myself about.

I'm still very much learning to find a style, I think. The more I do, the less I like what I've done before.Still: there's always the next one, and I shall make the next one better.

I hope.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Music on Monday: Go South, Young Man

I've been banging on about Danny Schmidt to anyone who'd listen for some time now. Oddly, as you can see from the sumptuous auditorium in which he is here performing, he doesn't yet seem to have eclipsed Bob Dylan in the public consciousness. This even despite having the full weight of the internet juggernaut that is Baboonery behind him. Baffling.

I love 'Southland Street.' It's essentially a 'Little Musgrave' for industrial America, and is a demonstration of everything Mr Schmidt does so brilliantly.

He carries off a hat well, too.


Related Posts with Thumbnails