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25 November 2011

'Red Feather' - Chapter (Cardiff) exhibition

It's a rare event for me to consent to doing a solo show, but the lovely people of Cardiff's Chapter were ever so persuasive and twisted my arm to create a collection of new work as part of their ongoing project called "Assembly: Art in the Bar".

The show is called 'Red Feather' and will be structured around a very large mural, which I'll be painting in the run up to the exhibition launch. All are welcome to join me at the opening on 9th December, 6pm - RSVP here.

On display will also be a selection of limited edition prints and some original paintings of my ornithological artwork. The show runs til 5th February 2012.

Chapter - Assembly: Art in the Bar
Market Road,

Opening hours:
Open seven days a week from midday
Late night opening until 12.30am every Friday
and Midnight every Saturday

24 November 2011

Collab Nation - the Prints show at Grain Barge (plus live drawing)

Having been involved in Collaberation Nation since the beginning it is obviously great news that the first "print" exhibition, will launch on the boat, Grain Barge next week.

The opening night - on Wednesday 30th November from 8pm - will see a bunch of us doodling on the window, creating a collaborative picture (of course!). RSVP here so the good folk of Grain Barge have some idea of numbers.

Here are the prints that I've contributed to, which will be on display and for sale. They'll be plenty more on sale (from other artists) throughout the exhibition, which runs til the end of December.

23 November 2011

Working with Loch Ness on DIY SOS (BBC's Children in Need)

If you had your television set switched on during the time BBC had the Children in Need appeal, you may have spied Loch Ness and myself painting a rather large mural in Norris Green Youth Centre (Liverpool) as part of the DIY SOS project to completely redo the run-down building, sponsored by POSCA.

With a mere 10 days the entire team did an unbelievably amazing job of completely transforming the centre and we're really proud to have been part of it. Arriving half way through the project, we had four days to complete our mural. A daunting prospect, which became more so as we had to spend the first half of our first day on site waiting for the background blue paint to completely dry before we could start to paint on any main colours.

This gave us plenty of time to hunt for the paints, which we'd requested - we eventually found them with the help of the production team (who were incredible) - also, managed to squeeze in time to sketch out some images for the hallway, coming into the centre (see further down this post).
(Earphones in and painting in the eye on one of Loch Ness' characters - a proper collaboration!)
(a worker looks on at the main colours painted on Day 1)
Once we the background colour was dry, we set about drawing on the outlines of our characters and then filling in the shapes with main colours. Hard-hats on (blue for Loch Ness, yellow for me) - it was a building site after all - we worked solidly til around 9pm, only stopping for the occasional coffee and some warming canteen dinner. By the end of the day, we'd got in most of the main colours on the lower half of the mural.

Day 2 saw us back on site for 8am and straight into painting. Feeling a little out-of-place surrounded by a very busy building site, Loch Ness and I had to stay focused and try not to get in the way of lots of volunteers, camera crews and local celebs running through. By late afternoon we had black outlines done on the lower half of the mural and were keen to get started on the top half, but couldn't get our hands on the scissor lifts until they'd finished putting the ceiling up in the other room. Doing the best we could on ladders, it wasn't til towards the end of the day that we got a scissor lift and managed to get in some large areas of colour onto the top half of the mural.

Day 3 - and we threw ourselves at the top half of the mural, fully aware of how much we had to do - pressure being that we had to finish, so they could have time to lay the floor. As one of my characters was over one of the main passageways through the building, I had to be quick in putting in the colour (fortunately the paint dried fast) and then adding the outline almost straight away.
(Loch Ness having a well deserved coffee break and preparing to use the scissor lift)
Surprise visit of the day was by local celeb, Neil Buchanan (of Art Attack fame). A childhood hero of both Loch Ness and myself, we weren't quite sure what to do with ourselves, except say hi and muster up the gumption to ask for a photo with him! After some discussion with the film crew Neil suggested that he could add a character to our mural of himself as a younger lad drawing. Of course, we couldn't refuse and recognised it'd make a great piece to camera for the program too! He's a lovely chap and was really down to earth, friendly and had lots to say about his current art projects. 
(One for the scrapbook)
(Saying something to camera)
(Loch Ness painting around the guttering)
(Loch Ness on the scissor lift)
(End of Day 3 - night time and sleepy)
All guns blazing on Day 4 to get the mural finished and last minute additions of extra floating leaves and musical circles coming out of the trumpet helped tie it all together. In the afternoon I added some birds to the hallway and Loch Ness added some characters underneath them. Below are photos showing the final mural and the hallway drawing. Phew!

Watch a video of us chatting with Nick Knowles here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00ls19j
(Loch Ness character on the left, mine on the right)
(The full height!)

(Our hallway drawing)

The reaction of the youth to the centre was truly moving and Loch Ness and I honestly were overwhelmed and didn't know what to really make of it all. Such a great project to be part of and one we'll never forget. Read more about the project here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0175m8w#clips

22 November 2011

All things POP-UP!

(Drawing on the A-board for the shop, the night before the launch)
Where to start!? Recent times have been very exciting for the Bristol-based (obviously) collective Drawn in Bristol. Not only has the website launched, the blog (follow it gang!) is also looking lovely, and an online shop is on the way too.
(Snapped chatting away with co-members Alexia Tucker and Carys-Ink on the launch night)
To top it all Drawn in Bristol have opened the doors of their very own Pop-Up Shop, smack bang in the heart of Bristol's shopping centre - nip round the back of the skating rink to spot us - Quakers Friars, BS1 3BU.
(A new tee of mine on pre-release by Vapour sandwiched between the incredible work of Tom Berry)
(Screen printed cards - limited run of 15 per design - only £3 each)
Already over a week in and prints, toys and all sorts of wonderfully illustrated items have been flying out of the shop in the eager clutches of discerning shoppers. I've a whole selection of prints, cards, framed originals and t-shirts for you to pick from - although be quick, as the shop is only open til 3rd December!! There's even a shop PARTY this Thursday evening (24th) from 6pm, with a bar and live drawing from members Laurie Stansfield, Emily Daly and possibly Tom Berry and myself weighing in too (Click here for more info).
(Adding some doodles to the window last Saturday)

Live Drawing at Venturefest

Photo courtesy of Lorna Picton (http://www.flickr.com/photos/venturefestfestival/)
What with all the Pop-Up Shop action I've been a little slow on blogging recently.

Just the other week the lovely Lorna Picton (an incredible drawer) invited me to draw at 'Venturefest' (3rd Nov) alongside illustrators Natalie Al Tahhan, Benjamin Bones & Liv Bargman, as well as some tip-top UWE Illustration and Animation students. The event was at the newly built Bristol and Bath Science Park.

Our task to illustrate themes of science and innovation across some large letters spelling "INNOVATION SHOWCASE". I dived in on the letter 'W' with lots of test tubes flowing towards the charming drawings of Liv Bargman. And managed to get in a chap pulling out optical illusions and thoughts from his head, reflecting the idea of coming up with new, mind-boggling ideas!
It was a very different kind of live-drawing day, tough on the knees and fantastic to be working alongside a group of talented illustrators who I'd not met before.