Friday, December 16, 2011


Yay, Christmas hols are upon us. Seems to have been a very long term - everyone is ready for a break.
Been playing around with the robots and matching them up to an idea from ages ago. I created some pics of older, more 'curvy' ladies - belles - and did drawings based around the letter 'B'. Didn't get anywhere with them but have resurected the idea with my 'bots. These are just some quick prelim sketches - Big Top 'bots (as in circus type stuff!);

Have gone through the dictionary and have a lot of 'B' ideas fermenting away in my head - should keep me occupied over the hols!

Have a great holiday season folks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

xmas market

Visited Hameln (Hamelin, of Pied Piper fame) Christmas market with the children today - weather quite kind. Lots of the usual stalls selling edible goodies and trinkets. Came across this chap in a little side booth using an electric fretsaw to cut wooden decorations. These are usually done nowadays by computer-controlled lasers but it was nice to see it being done traditionally (albeit powered and not by hand saw).

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Made some octahedronal (?!) decorations today - bit fiddly for the children but they managed!

On the run-in to the holidays now - visiting a Christmas market tomorrow - hope the wind and rain stay away for a while.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

'nother 'bot

Another robot, just doing what comes naturally!

pen & crayon, A5

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yay, just realised the blog 'hit'counter has passed the magic 10,000 mark. Been busy of late chasing paper/data, meeting parents and generally fighting the chaos that is the run up to Christmas in a primary school! Managed to scribble a few xmas robot designs in a few spare minutes - not for sale (much too late to market them), just as one-off originals to be sent as and when.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a is for ... scorpion

One of the 'characters' in my class was playing with a paper scorpion today. He'd made it himself bless him. Inspired, I penned a simple 'how-to' to show him how he could also draw one, based on the ubiquitous 'A'.
Also sold another one of the 'A is for Art' booklets as well ! Probably still won't make it onto the Christmas best sellers list though. Still, I live in hope.

Friday, November 25, 2011

in progress

Not posted for a week or so as it's been 'assessment' time at school. Just another ball to juggle in the run up to Christmas, along with parent meetings, data collation, xmas performance rehearsals, oh, and a bit of teaching!

These are a couple of pieces currently on my painting table. Same 13x18cm format, mixed media works.

Have just added 'Skiffle' and 'Washday Blues' to my Folksy shop. It's positively bursting at the seams! Please click on the button to the right to check it out.

p.s. I am open to commissions should anyone take a liking to the style but not necessarily the current subject matter.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


"Washing day blues"

Mixed media- acrylics, collage & ink on 13x18cm canvas board.

Not sure how appropriate folk think this is but it's meant to be a bit of harmless fun.

Monday, November 14, 2011


A painting of a 50s skiffle group - 4-string banjo, tea-chest bass and washboard. The thimbles on the washboard players' fingers and the banjo skin surround are done in silver acrylic , hence the brightness. Makes a change from a sporting picture. Might need to take a better photo before I put it into my Folksy shop though.

Mixed Media - acrylics, collage & ink on 13x18cm canvas board.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

in process

Can you tell what it is yet ?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

recent sketches

Some recent sketches and layouts.

'Designed' to fit 13x18cm canvas boards. I'm favouring this size at the moment as the final pieces end up a convenient size for postage and, as I offer free world-wide postage in my Folksy and Etsy shops, it seemed a good idea. And really, I just like working at this size although it makes for some tight compositions!

Bought some more boards today, so watch this space!

Friday, November 11, 2011

shop filling up

Just added 'Goalmouth Tussle' to my Folksy shop - use the link on the right to see all (!) the pieces currently in stock.
Some 'non-sporting' ones on my painting table at the moment - please check back soon to see when they get listed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

chasing shadows

Been creating shadow(ish) puppets today. We kept it simple - one moving part only. Unfortunately no black card so not the full, silhouette effect. We used an old frame, G-clamped to the table edge, with the back removed and tracing paper taped over the glass. It still had the 'wow' factor with the children though.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

new painting

"Goalmouth Tussle"

Mixed media, 20x20cm on canvas board.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

paintings listed!

I've just uploaded 4 of my recent pieces to my Folksy shop and have also managed to add a logo link on the right side of the page should you wish to take a look. As befits a re-stocking of the shop - virtual nibbles, and wine for those not driving!

Friday, November 4, 2011

mending ukelele's!

In our school we are lucky enough to have class sets of 'real' instruments so that each KS2 child has the opportunity to play a clarinet, cornet, djembe drum, violin, guitar, recorder or ukelele! My Y3 class (7/8 yr olds) are currently sampling the delights of the latter. Unfortunately they aren't the most robust of things and a couple have necks that have parted company with the bodies. A quick glue and screw has hopefully seen them brought back into service.

Thought a quick recent sketch of a banjo player might be an apt accompaniment to this post! (It's a very near cousin!). Pencil & ink in pocket moleskine.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

'nother one

Not a film based one this time but simply a straightforward sporting painting.

"Lineout Tussle"

Mixed Media - collage, acrylic & ink on 13x18cm canvas board.

I'm thinking of listing these at £20. I was toying with the idea of (whimsically) basing my pricing on the length + width. So this one would have been 13 + 18 = 31, rounded down to £30 - but I thought this was a bit too steep. Would welcome any thoughts on this.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

yet another film!

'Blues Bruthers' !!

Acrylic & ink on 13x18cm canvas board.

Monday, October 31, 2011

another 'northern' film

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - Northernised!!

Pencil & pen sketch in my pocket Moleskine

The 'ugly' is supposed to represent someone gurnying (not sure that's the correct spelling). Am just putting the finishing touches to several paintings - hopefully will be listing them on Folksy later in the week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

little red riding hood

Have just listed copies of my unique, innovative book in my Etsy shop. Decided to get it out there before someone else comes up with a similar idea and am tired of waiting for a very slow response from the real publishing world. No wonder book publishers are being left behind and struggling to combat electronic alternatives- they are still working to an incredibly slow model that was fine a few years ago but doesn't even go near the mustard these days, let alone cut it!

I feel better for that! Please tell your friends to snap up a copy in time for Christmas - it will be the best stocking filler at pocket money prices that they will buy this year!! It's a story book, colouring book and a find the 'hidden' mouse book all rolled into one!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

todays sketches

Half term - should be marking/planning (hang on, something wrong there!) but instead did some sketches in my moleskine.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

jazz combo

A sketch of a jazz trio.

Pencil crayon and pen.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A is for...Halloween

Have just listed in my Etsy shop an easy 'How to draw' guide to create Halloween images. It's an electronic/e-mailed listing 'cos of the time frame, what with it being Halloween in a few days!

Keep an eye out for the upcoming listing of the most innovative, unique picture book ever!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

rugby again

Spot the differences between this pic and the previous one (no prizes!).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

more rugby

Another sketch - monochrome this time. As well as the current Rugby World Cup I seem to have the old B&W film, 'This Sporting Life', in my head. At least I think that's what it was called. Seem to remember Richard Harris being in it.

Pencil & ink in pocket moleskine.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Another, 'see how it looks' sketch. This time in honour of the upcoming battle between the French and the All Blacks. Hopefully this time the match won't be affected by a dubious refereeing decision.

Am liking the hands on this one - think I've found a way that works for this style. Pencil crayon & ink in pocket moleskine.

Friday, October 14, 2011


A quick doodle/try-out in my pocket moleskine to see if I could 'do' a figure that had slightly more about it than just being a head and shoulders. Pencil crayon & ink.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Found out an 'old' pop-up of a sailing ship I made a few years ago. A colleague is doing 'Explorers' so I thought she might be able to use the idea. The children could use it as part of a 'log' or journal perhaps. Made using simple box-fold mechanisms with card, paper and wooden dowel additions.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

more paintings

Managed to find time to 'do' another couple of pics.

'Off t' Match' -blue version.

& 'Wun flew o'er t'pigeon loft'

Both mixed media on canvas board, 20x20cm.

This last one has got me thinking about 'Northernising' other film titles. Am open to suggestions! Not sure whether to put these in my Etsy shop - I've noticed it's a little bare! Though not quite sure how well 'Northern' pics would appeal to a world-wide audience. I could always list them in my Folksy shop - which is also lacking in stock! Not sure on pricing - would obviously like them to go to good homes but then again I don't want to give them away. Any guidance would be gratefully received.

Friday, October 7, 2011

off t'match

Finished the painting yesterday but ran out of decent light to take a pic. Quite pleased with the end result.

mixed media on canvas board (20 x 20cm)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

recent doings

More card model try outs - seem to have got a bit of a thing for these at the moment;

All constructed from the same basic template.

And on my 'painting table' (ooh, sounds grand when you say it like that) - 'Off t'match' ;

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Just been to a Picasso exhibition - early 20th century stuff. A very good overview of his work at the time and the influences he had. Charts his work just before he turned to his more recognisable 'style'.

Sort of ties in nicely with the 'cubist' figures I've been making of late.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Managed to try out a cowboy version of the model figure. Quite pleased with how he's turned out.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

doodles, elephants & vikings

A couple of recent sketches. The robot conker one was for a lad in my class - he brought me a conker in (!) so I gave him this pic as a thankyou. Well, the 'bot is playing with a sort of nut, so I'm sure it's within international conkering rules!

It's appliqued & embroidered elephant time again for our Indian topic. We made simple patterns from 3x3 grids.

A colleague is 'doing' Vikings. Did a figure based on the simple 'robot' model that I made ages ago. The blob of glue on the front is 'cos I was rushing it!

Got me to thinking that the basic template could be utilised for a whole host of figures/characters with very little effort.

Friday, September 23, 2011

indian doodle

We're looking at India in y3 and so I did a doodle in my pocket moleskine. We've looked at Indian elephants for art so I thought I'd do a procession - colours a bit washed out 'cos I had to take it with flash the on. Can you spot the 'A is for elephant' ?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

card racers

Had a few moments to play around with some pieces of card and create a simple racing car model. Here's a picture of prototype 1 and 2. Found out that you can 'blow' them along, so you could actually 'race' them using straws (a la blow footy) should you so wish!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

elaborated sketch

Managed to add a few more ideas to the previous sketch.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

recent doodlz

A couple of sketches. I'm thinking of painting up the top one (sometime!), though might add a couple of footy scarves. The bottom one was for a 'reluctant learner' in my class - it's from a book idea I had a couple of years ago where a boy, on a rainy day, decides to make things out of a cardbaord box. I was going to have double page spreads with the 'actual' pic on the right (the boy and his box) and what he's imagining on the left hand page. Haven't got round to doing the full thing yet needless to say!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

car booty

Been to a car boot and bagged a book for 2 euros. My daughter has just gone off to UK to study art/textiles and I thought she might like it. I do anyway - an early 60s reprint of a 1952 volume with some wonderful colour plates and line drawings.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Back from grouting in floor tiles, painting internal walls, pointing stone walls and putting shutters on. Also managed to make a large table base (2m x 1m) from a set of bunkbeds that were otherwise destined for dumping or burning. I worked out that the middle section was exactly the right size. Quite proud of how it came out - just need to find a top for it now!

Back to school on Monday - gradually psyching and gearing myself up for it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

summer school

For the last 6 years I've helped run a summer school for gifted & talented youngsters in Art & Drama. This year the theme centred around Shakespeare. The children produced some fantastic pieces, that unfortunately I can't show you because we have hush, hush plans for them!

Here's a diptych I quickly painted using acrylics and inks. I tried to be all arty farty with different sized images. Can you guess the characters (no prizes )?

Now off on summer hols down to deepest, darkest rural France.

Have a great summer everyone.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

a is for...

In between tidying and sorting the classroom at the end of the school year, managed to doodle a few 'new' images, all based around the letter 'A'.

Am contemplating another 'A is for...' booklet - might do a mixed one like the first (a few copies still available! - please see my Etsy shop) or do a specific 'A is for...Animals'. Would appreciate any thoughts on this.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

clay animals

Today we managed to paint up some clay pieces made a while ago.

I love the drop of 'blood' on the bottom lip of this snake!