Saturday, May 30, 2009

Exhibition Day 1-Saturday
Took ages to set up ! Very hard trying to make fire station & scaffolding look like an Art Gallery, which it isnt, so I didn't.
Myself & Bruno-dog were wilting in the heat & with both doors open the wind whistled through the station sending everything flying. With all the hype I'd forgotten how wierdly quiet Saturdays can be for trade, so it was all a bit of an anti-climax after all that work. Did have some sales though and managed a few brush strokes. Tomorrow should be less work & more visitors !

Friday, May 29, 2009

Exhibition setting up.Friday evening.

The worlds worst floor to mop.

So it was 6 degrees yesterday and 26 today-thats west coast weather for you. The poor dog didnt know what to do with himself, nor does he like the firestation and all the activity. 

The neighbours cat is either stupid and doesn't realise that Bruno-dog is a deer killer, or is very clever & worked out that the heat had left him to tired to chase anything.

Hanging paintings up on Donalds kindly lent scaffold, in blazing heat.

Press cuttings about Fire Station Exhibition.

West Highland Free Press 29/ 05/ 09

Ross Shire Journal 29/05/09

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Processes.I generally take lots of photos as I work. The camera gives me fresh eyes & speeds up the amount of time i need to pace about taking breaks from painting.  So just for fun, heres one of the paintings i'm working on just now.  
I'm enjoying this one as its big enough to get really stuck into,and its providing a nice break from twiddly details of fire fighting gear.
old unfinished work, this was something to do with dicotomies and finding our inner strength or such laboured nonsense. out with the white paint & lets recycle that canvas!

 Its got a long way to go... but thats basically how I start.
BBC news feature,

Can't get better publicity than this ! I'm rather childishly excited now. Very grateful to Steven MacKenzie at the BBC for all the support he gives us with Hi Ex.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Manga masterclass.Gairloch Library with some Gairloch Highschool pupils. Photos Thanks to Fiona Downie, Youth development officer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I haven't got any oil based printing ink so experimenting here with oil paint. the line it gives isn't intense enough & it  also quickly builds up a lumpy residue on the glass. I'm going to try some colour washes over these.  I love the messy lines of mono printing. The crows were free hand drawn in with a blunt pencil, the others were basically traced off my photos with a pointy stick...too easy? is it art ?

meanwhile, anatomy ( without photo refs ) is my weakest area, I've been trying to learn Poser Pro to help set up poses for comic strip reference, but am finding it very unwieldy. For practice & to play with wonderful new pentel Brush pen, been sketching from women's fashion magazine. Most of the photos are unusable vacant bony looking rejects from drug rehab. What I need is magazines with gorgeous shapely dancers & gymnasts.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rainbow over training- finished
final version. I can't scan in a canvas this size, I'll need to find a friend with s decent camera to get a good image of this, more & more I'm becomeing aware of the limitations of a cheap snappy camera. A couple more firey pictures to do them I'm all set for summer exhibitions, first one starts next week... yipes !

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rainbow over training.
Here's the latest finished firefighter painting subject to paint drying & tweaks.  This was from a snap taken on an RTA extrication course over at Invergordon training school.  I'll get a better picture up as soon as possible. Canvas acrylic 60cm x 80cm.
This has been hard work emotionally. Its not that i start dwelling on firefighting nasties when i paint- I do that when i drive. But i think painting comes from the same buried part of my brain where all the big emotion, tragedies and fears are lodged, same way that i used to only be able to write when upset, so all the writings are wibbley un-usable nonsense. I think next project needs to be knitted t-cosies or I'll be a wrung out wreck.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Young Carers Dragon story.
This is a first working of an illo for a childrens story written and designed by Skye Young Carers.This dragon puts out fires rather than causes them.  The character is also part based on a plaster sculpture version the children made. We're hoping that some of the artwork will be done my the children but they voted for me to do the bulk of it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

lost in the woods again.
A second bit of weekend blob out colouring.
Wild West Wendy.She's been quiet for a while, but plans are afoot..... I'd forgotten what a horrible mean character she is.
this was a quick sketch which i've just coloured for practice & play.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hoses Ready !
Painting finished yesterday. 33cm x 50cm acrylic. This was from a photo I took at Brigade training school, firefighters donning their kit before heading into the smoke house with a charged '45' hose. Hot heavy work - I was glad it was their turn not mine. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bristol Expo 2009.
Had a fantastic weekend at Bristol International Comic Expo & the Small Press expo 2009. Though smaller than previous years, the atmosphere was great and it was wonderful as ever to catch up with all my favorite comics creators. Most of the highlights involve shameless namedropping or anecdotes which are unrepeatable. 
I had my Hi Ex hat on & am really pleased with the positive feedback from everyone, It looks like we'll have an awesome guest list for 2010 ! some Big big names in there.
I've also got a long list of comics projects which i will need to get done FAST!
I managed to get some con sketches which i'm usually too busy to do...

Wolverine by Laurence Campbell

Rorschach by John Higgins.

Shakey Kane.Steve Sampson. Dave Gibbons.

Paul Grist - the Eternal champion

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

painting more firefighting today, got bogged down with a big one, so by way of interlude is a doodle, the game was to use only a brush, no pens.

heres a canvas painting done a couple of years ago, i've just got around to scanning it in.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

'Going into Smoke'
todays finished painting, I'm trying to get a less laboured look, so forcing myself to work faster & bypass my irritation at details. I've got another 3 big ones and 2 canvases on the go in this set. 
Naming them is a strange one, trying to avoid scary, dramatic, technical or jargon words - ' 'Donning preceedures according to TB1/97' or 'Fearless Heros brave the dry ice machine', might not work so well....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Firey paintings.
This is me starting the marathon run of firefighting paintings for this summers exhibitions. A couple of small ones to ease me in. these are both 21cm wide.

I particularily loved doing the smokey flamey bits in the second one, I wish I could get away with a more expressive abstract style, instead of having to make things look so recognisable, but thats another day another market.
I tend to work more than one painting at once, so I can alternate while wet layers dry. On bigger pieces this is less of a problem as i can just move to another part.
two down, 6 big ones to go- yipes !

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sundays adventure in colouring.
getting prettysick of highland cows so back to girl & wolf. must take time to sketch more ravens & crows, they want to join in the adventures but i havent got a feel for them yet. Meanwhile, more pressing is the need to produce painted paintings for summer exhibitions, i'm just working my way up to it, honestly.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Heiland Coos.

 Too ill with the cold ( swine flu ) to function properly, so messing on photoshop so i don't implode with non-working guilt. playing with how to get textured coloured layers built up, after much ado found the most ergonomic method, basically pencil sketch scan, duplicate 'lighten', colour lines, 'multiply', then lasso areas cut & fill with bits of paintings & scribble over top...sort of.  Now wheres my lemsip.