Sunday, December 09, 2012

Macclesfield

Another trip over to Macclesfield this time by car which is so much easier than by train which takes ages. Hazel used the sat-nav to guide her but not really necessary as its a pretty straight road and signposted all the way - infact the sat-nav took us through Knutsford which is about 4 miles out of our way! Why? On the way back we came the via Chelford and it was much quicker and not having the low sun in our eyes helped. The exhibition is very good though my work was squashed into a corner with a shadow over it which I was a bit miffed about. O well, you have to try these places. We enjoyed our walk around the charity shops of which there are many - though didnt get any bargains. Bought a "dutch" loaf and custard "danish" from a nice deli we found. ===========================================================================================================================================================================This morning it was the indoor boot sale at Winsford and a rainy ride through to the Asda car park opposite. I found two old 60's CD's - re-issues ofcourse - The Doors "Soft Parade" and "Best of the Merseybeats". Hazel got a few stocking fillers including an officers monocle which makes her look like Patrick Moore!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Rogue Studios

Archie has a video piece in this exhibition in Manchester tonight and next week. It's the Gherkin Training video he made for college. Must try and get over to see it in situ and all the other weird stuff!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Charity Market

I look forward to the annual charity market but know I will be bitterly disappointed by how many stalls are just tombola and covered in those nearly new gifts people have had mouldering away in pantries and cupboards for the last year! It was as I suspected- old dusty bottles of Blue Nun and bath salts, doilies and knitted whatsits. Stuff people will win and then bring back the next year to be in the next raffle - and so the wheel of life goes on! Anyway, I bought a couple of stocking fillers and a DVd of some Roger Corman films for 50p. Then a mooch round the rest of the towns charity shops. Home again to add finishing touches to this collage that was intended as a banner for my audio blog but realised it wasn't quite up to scratch.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Exhibition - Marburae Gallery

Exhibition I'm taking part in soon at the Marburae Gallery in Macclesfield. It's actually situated in a piano showroom but a very nice big light space and they have piano recitals there too sometimes. Do come along if you live nearby. I took the work along recently in a large carrier bag. 6 collages in all. Quite cumbersome on the train but I managed to get there OK . Changed at Stockport and then just one stop. The Virgin train to Bournemouth was very packed but got a seat. Macclesfield is very hilly but has a very nice pedestrianised shopping street with lots of charity shops which is always a bonus as you know. I didn't find any bargains but had a good nose round. Found the Silk Museum ( two of them infact ) and went to both- the larger being full of amazing looms and machines for doing things to silk thread.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Post Early For Xmas!

Norman has asked me to remind you all......

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday Walk

Nice walk around town to buy supplies- art folders from Works ( third cheaper than anywhere else ) and more DVD's from library sale. Then a pleasant autumnal walk along the river through Carey Park looking at all the yellows and russets and feeling like we were in the middle of nowhere but in fact Marks & Sparks is just 15 minutes walk away! Sat down on a Rotary Club donated bench to see the river cruise go by and wave - just then a heron swooped low over the river and did the most amazingly huge dump just missing the boat. It was like when one of those helicopters fighting a bush fire dumps gallons of water from a bucket! Then onto the Anderton Boat Lift for lunch in the cafe as the nearby pub was being refurbished. Luckily they had a some nice seasonal parsnip and pumpkin soup you could stand your spoon up in - along with half a buttered baguette. That and a decaff cappachino was ideal lunchtime fare Two coach loads of tourists had just arrived so just got into the cafe before they filled it up.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Best Of The Christmas Catalogues

My latest paperback is just out in time for Crimble! ( Launch date 15th October )  121 full colour pages of festive nonsense!  get your copy HERE. You can also get it from Black Scat Books in the USA. Thanks to Norman Conquest for allowing my silly cut ups to find a wider audience. He's as mad as I am!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Crewe Market

As Summer slides slowly into Autumn we find the bees still buzzing and burying their snouts into the pollen orifices. Off on a jaunt to Crewe on the bus which goes round several villages and takes ages but listened to Yoko Ono on Desert Island Discs and Michael Flanders biog on my trusty MP3 player which helped pass the time. Got to Crewe and met up with old chum Tony in the flea market. Wandered around looking through junk and piles of old 78's which caught our eye. I bought one for 50p - terribly worn and scratchy "comic duet" with Harry Kirkby & Harry Hudson ( without his Melody Men ). You can find it on my audio blog. Then a short shower so dived in the bakery cafe upstairs for a cuppa and cheese and onion toastie. Thankfully the sun came out and we were able to emerge fully restored with beverage and nosh. Then to Crewe's Victoria Park to see the new boating lake sans boats but a few laughing ducks. More coffee in the new cafe which looked a bit like a crematorium Tony said. Afterwards to Alsager to say heloo to Tone's other half Pene who had been ill but was now feeling better. Shandy and chat. Tone gave me a pile of stuff for Archie he had lurking in his copious shed/garage. Then off to the allotment and some free beans and that aniseedy root thing that I've forgotten the name of.? Tone kindly gave me a lift home - the scenic route past the salt works and the station at Sandbach.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mouseion Exhibition

More photos from the group exhibition in Leicester that Hazel and I are taking part in HERE. It's on until next March I think so plenty of time to go and see it if you are anywhere near Leicester. I have 6 small collages on show and Hazel has filled a cabinet full of sketchbooks, collected gadgets and ephemera and some of her latest work that's been inspired by her finds and her involvement with the Mary Gregg project.Mouseion website is HERE.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honeymoon in Wales

Lagging behind with my blogging so this is a hasty update. We drove to Ruthin (pronounced Rithin) in Wales which is about an hour or so away round some very narrow lanes and hilly roads. beautiful country around there though- never been before, Had a delicious 11'sis breakfast in a friendly cafe in the town square and found a nice antique market nearby. Then to the farm just outside Ruthin where we stayed the night in the B&B. The other guests were two young Germans who had been travelling around Wales and going home to Hamburg? the next day. It was a great place and very friendly and comfortable. We went for a walk up the lane and back again to talk to the four chickens and feed them our sandwich crusts - well, Hazel did- I ate mine as I was so hungry!
The next day it was off to Llandudno which is one of our favourite haunts and a delightful olde worlde seaside resort that is relatively unspoiled. In the evening we went to see Ken Dodd again and decided he should retire gracefully as he was getting a bit dithery, the poor old thing- he is 85 or 86? after all! Did the usual touristy things like go up the Orme on the old tram and walked down again being chased by seagulls and sheep. Also dived in the local museum and art gallery when the rain got a bit too much. The B&B Hazel found online was excellent and did lovely breakfasts of smoothies , kippers and scrambled egg ( not on the same plate!).

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

New Book

A new book just out with some of my collages in by Martin Dawber called "Modern Vintage Illustration". I'm in excellent company with the likes of Peter Quinnell and Marty Gordon etc. This has been a great year for published work what with the "Artists' Postcards" tome and collaborative works at Issuu and Magcloud. A good year all round infact!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wedding Photos (First batch)

Kindly sent by Jackie Aplin who took them with her camera obscura.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wedding Day/ Hazel's 50th Birthday

Here's the lovely cake that one of our neighbours made for us. Only wedding photo I have at the moment as I neglected to take a camera with me knowing there would be lots of other cameras there at the registry office and the pub afterwards yesterday. Indeed it was a bit like being among the paparazzi at one point! Archie , the ring bearer, alone took over 500, mind you he was a bit tipsy most of the time! Anyway, we tied the knot after 29 years together - one of the longest engagements in history someone said. I don't know why it took us so long really. Sorry we couldn't invite everybody but we wanted a a quiet intimate wedding with just close family and mostly friends of Hazel as it was her idea and her 50th birthday treat. Luckily the registry office at Winsford was a good choice as the lady registrar was lovely and very laid back about the whole thing. We had a pub lunch afterwards at the Golden Pheasant in Plumley - a small village nearby with a function room that lead out into a nice garden and play area where we were able to take some photos after the meal. So lucky with the weather too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Space Age Chicken

Hot off the press! A slim volume of my collages that people have been asking me for over the years. Thames & Hudson etc. weren't too keen so in the spirit of DIY I've had to go elsewhere. You can find it via the HP button in the side panel. Other news is it's still raining but the sun did shine long enough yesterday for a walk to nearby fishing ponds where we sat admiring the dragonflies and the scudding white fluffy clouds in a bright blue sky. The lane was relatively free of rubbish so not much to pick up on the way home. The hedgerows have grown amazingly though after all the wet stuff so imagine a lot of rubbish has been obscured by grass and foliage!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Wobbling Daffodils!

Updated video of Archie's amazing machine he made from recycled biscuit tins etc.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

65th year on the planet. Who'd have thunk it? Will be nice to get a pension at last after all my hard work - ha ha! Archie going to college will make it even more useful! Lots of nice presents including a new Panasonic Lumix SZ1 camera from Hazel which I have been playing with- trying to figure out all the settings. Here's one I took at the Salt Barge beer garden where we went for an evening meal of vege burger, salad and chips. A huge plateful - couldn't eat it all. Delicious Tatton Ale too. Yum! In the morning I walked into town to take some photos of the gargoyles and other buildings of Northwich, some of which look very old but in fact are quite recent comparatively speaking. These carvings are all covered in netting to keep off the pigeons which spoils them a bit but I suppose is a necessary evil. Archie made me this lovely birthday card.

Friday, June 15, 2012

New Collaborative Online Book.

Just one of the many collaged pages from a new collaborative bookwork with Norman Conquest of Beuyscouts Of Amerika fame. Get it FREE HERE.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Michelle & John's Wedding

Nice weekend in Chatham Kent courtesy of Michelle and John Delamare-Timms who got wed in the Commissioner's House in the Historic Dockyard. The journey down was a bit fraught as first the trains were cancelled at Hartford so we had to go home again and phone for a taxi. None available but luckily our kindly old retired taxi driver Roy came out of retirement briefly to give us a lift to Crewe. What a lovely man. Just in time to get the 11-10am train to Euston. Then a short walk to St. Pancras which is a nightmare. No signs and nobody to ask for directions- how foreigners cope is beyond me! So eventually found the right platform and the train to Chatham. Walked round Chatham for a bit. Bigger than we thought. They even have a Primark and THREE pound shops! Then a taxi to the Historic Dockyard and the hotel. Had a wander round the boats, ships, submarines and cranes etc. (photos on Flickr). Found out later we should have paid £45 for a family ticket! (We tried creeping in the back way the next day but got spotted by a tubby security bloke who told us to wait until the wedding, then we would be allowed in. Nice to see everyone at the wedding he following afternoon. I don't have much chance to meet up with my family so a rare happening. The short Flip "Magic" mix film gives you some flavour of the afternoon and evening. I even had a slow waltz ( or was it a foxtrot?) with Hazel and managed to avoid most of her toes! The next day we woke bleary eyed as we didn't get much sleep due to ranting couple in the room above ( or was it outside?) I should have recorded it all. I'm sure Harold Pinter could have worked it into a fine script! Got taxi to station and then to Brighton via Victoria which was a mistake - nevermind. Dragged ourselves round the degree shows for two hours - saw lots of nude cyclists zoom by the art school and then went home. Audrey picked us up from Hartford station which was working this time thankfully. Still in recovery mode.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Daffodil Wobbling Machine

Sneak preview of mad machine that Archie made for his final piece at his art foundation course at Mid Cheshire College. Daffodils made from recycled biscuit and choc tins. Powered by electric drill with simple cam attached. He's going to make a better film once it is installed properly with a white background and no extractor fan noise.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tatton Biennial

Lucky enough to sneak into the PV of the Tatton Biennial Sculpture exhibition in the grounds and gardens of Tatton Park. We got there early so were able to eat some nibbles and have a drink before wandering around the gardens looking at the excellent work.
Many of Hazel's ex-students and students were involved in some way. All based on the theme of "Flight" there were the obvious aeroplanes and UFOs and less obvious inflated winged heads and Barbara Cartland's glider.
We missed all the boring speeches and got back in time to look around the Mansion house at the smaller works dotted around amongst the plush surroundings.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Barb & Des Visit

My lovely sister Barb and lovely other half Des came up to visit yesterday on their way to the Lakes for a holiday. Luckliy the weather has improved a bit so we were able to go out for a walk around Marbury Country Park and squelch along the muddy paths to see the bluebells. The woods were a little dull and not the intense bright blue one expects - probably a bit early for them in all their glory plus the sun had gone in!
We went into town afterwards to wander around the Continental Market which had popped up unexpected. So Hazel bought some odd looking cheeses and chutney for later and Des bought some brioche and tasty sunflower seed bread to have with the lasagne I made later.
Then to Doreen (Granma) and Audrey's for tea and cake. We inspected the new recycling bin system and wondered why somebody would run off with their front gate? Nobody had ofcourse - it was just a trick of the light.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New Mail For Old


Good news is that Archie did get into Brighton so we celebrated by having extra helping of Marmite gravy on our Quorn roast- hooray!
Been sorting through lots of old photos and mail art trying to find things suitable for the Southend Art School group on Facebook. Added a few things including old Beecroft gallery catalogues and snaps that have seen better days. Blimey they look pre-war some of these! The envelope above is one Hazel sent me when we were courting back inn the 80's. I sent it to her first and she added to it and sent it back in the usual mail arty fashion.
Good to see old art school chums like Fred Eve, Barry Wenden, Dick Woods and Russ Colombo popping up to wallow in nostalgia at the SSA group. Also go a nice email from Derek Ellard who now lives in Australia.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Brighton


We went to Brighton on the train last week. Archie had an interview at the Art School Sculpture Dept. so we went along to help carry his stuff and keep him company. A chance for three days by the sea and to look around although we'd been before many times when we lived in London- for day trips. The train journey was really quite quick considering and we were in Brighton in 4 hours and that's with a hellish tube journey on the Victoria line which is very crowded , even in the middle of the afternoon! Coming back it was even worse!
Anyway, that bit over with we eventually found our B&B which was very nice and called Paskins Town House - highly reccomended despite all the stairs to the third floor. We could even see the sea if we balanced in the window sill and craned our necks! Delicious vege and even vegan breakfasts if you wanted them. We went to the beach and piled up pebbles and then walked to Hove where Jilly & Roger live to have dinner and look round their new flat. Yum! Delicious aubergine bake and salad and wine that we bought in a nearby shop. Roger read some of his poems and Archie attempted to tune the ukulele without much success. We got the bus back to the B&B as it was quite a long walk and our little legs were worn to a frazzle already.
More walking the next day- all round the Lanes and then back to the B&B to get Archie's folders and sculpture to lug back to the art school which was near the Pavilion. It all seemed to go well and they even bought some of his Knob Bags. Fingers crossed!
The weather was really amazing for March - it felt more like July! Got sun burnt and more achey from walking along the prom several times- listing to live bands and people watching. Took loads of photos but only two here. More at Flickr.
Delicious fish and chips at renowned Italian restuarant towards Hove in the evening- sat outside to watch the sun set.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Southend Art School 1966/7



A few faces here that I remember from my art school days. Just found this on the Southend Art School FB page. Lots of interesting photos on there including some from me if I get around to it. Most of them are from after 1967 so don't recognise many people in the years Ken Bottom took over as principal. Not sure when this function was or where it was? One I missed obviously.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Modern Vintage Illustration


Books are like buses - none come along for ages and then two at once! This time it's "Modern Vintage Illustration" by Martin Dawber - due out this year he tells me. I have a couple of collage works in it. This year seems very lucky for me so far - let's hope it continues!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Artists' Postcards Book


Jeremy Cooper's fabulous book artist's postcards turned up today which has several of mine scattered through it , all in glorious colour. Some of the text is slightly off and the index misses a couple of pages but otherwise I am thrilled. I am in good company as many of my old mail art chums are represented including Anna Banana, Mark Pawson, Nigel Bents, Robin Crozier etc. and a good range from Fluxus to Brit Art and beyond. Good to see Angelica from Scrapatorium and Flickr in there too.

More details HERE

Buy at Amazon.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Knutsford




Nice walk around Knutsford this morning to see a few charity shops and mooch round the graveyard. Amazing to see the path made from old grave stones and this huge wall made of grave stones. The coffee morning was interesting too we saw advertised - a white elephant stall, home made chutneys and jams, cakes and a book stall. Hazel bought two knitted outfits with hair and eyes for Cadburys creme eggs. I found a DVD of a French film about a ventriloquist with Eric Von Stroheim. Also got a small picture frame from another charity shop. Sadly the Oxfam was closed for refurbishment. Popped in to see Hazel's Mom and sister afterwards at Lostock - saw some Spring lambs on the way.

Friday, February 17, 2012

More Shopping


We don't often buy furniture, infact hardly ever as we have no room for it and we aquired most of our wonky chairs and tables from other people over the years. But Hazel spotted a lovely old oak tambour in the antique place near us recently and she had to have it.When she knocked the price down and said I could use it for my spare DVD's it then became more of a required item. Later we discovered they are quite pricey going for 300 quid or more so ours seemed quite cheap by comparison and it certainly looks the part - goes where the chair used as a coffee table used to be in the front room. Just the right height for a cuppa and glasses and oofa-doofahs fit on top very nicely thankyou. Oofa-doofahs in case you were wondering are Granma and Auntie Audreys name for the remote controls! Also in the antique place I found a clockwork Grinning Gorilla and some postcards. It was like Xmas all over again. More like a post Valentines treat what with the egg on toast and side order of chips in the cafe. Yum!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Petite Pierre



One of those little joys of a film that we managed to capture on the old VHS machine many years ago and have looked for a better copy but never seen one until now. Not sure this IS better but its slightly longer than the copy we have I think. Emmanual Clot who directed it does a wonderful job with the atmosphere, editing and the music.
Short films don't get any better than this!

When Pierre dies his creation was neglected and vandalised but thankfully it has been moved to a Outsider Art Museum called Fantabulosa? Kenneth Williams used to love it there.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Murry Krishmush!



More nonsense from the past. A small publication I churned out every festive season for friends and family based on those annoying little mags that drop out of the radio Times and Sunday papers when you least expect it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Peace In The World Or The World In Pieces 1984



I have been having fun trying to figure out how to transfer old 'zines and catalogues to Issuu - a site for publishing online documents of all kinds. The pdf files give me a lot of trouble - also working with Word which refuses to do anything I want it to! How do I get rid of those big borders round the edges of pages for a start? Ill figure it out eventually I expect after tearing my hair out and ranting at the PC screen for hours!

I proposed the idea of a mini mail art show on an 8 foot long pinboard for the Whitechapel Open back in 1984 and to my amazement I was accepted and the board with help from my old chum Dick Turpin was duly installed in the warehouse the Whitechapel was using that year to show the work as the main gallery was closed for some reason. I didn't have a grant of any kind to had to bare the expense of materials and postage myself which wasn't easy on the dole!
The invites sent out I waited for all the mail on the theme of war and peace (or 1984 ) to come rolling in - which it did and during the exhibition , which was about a month long, I religiously took the daily mail along to the exhibition space to pin the participants work up onto the board. You can read inside the catalogue just how many and from which countries etc.

Dick's cousin or Uncle , I forget which, kindly donated the catalogue, which was litho printed in the East End of London or Barking? Anyway, totally over ambitious and a big headache at the time but I look back with fond memories of putting it all together and as I leaf through this slim volume I wonder what happened to all these people I used to correspond with?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dad's Army Art School


Had a strange dream last night which centred around the old Southend Art School but all the tutors places were taken by the cast of Dad's Army! Arthur Lowe was teaching lithography and a squirted water in his face squeezing a sponge as I mopped the litho plate ( this did actually happen! ) and hilarity ensued. Captain Mainwairing called me a "Stupid boy!"
Leo Hardy's ( the principal) was played by Godfrey. he just stayed in his office all the time and poked his head out of the door occasionally to say "O dear!" and pop back in again.
Pike was teaching life class and getting very embarrassed and calling for Uncle Arthur who was the ceramics tutor I think. It all gets a bit confused and fuzzy.

The collage above is the card I made for Archie to celebrate the confirmation of his dyslexia. He's been having an ongoing test at college and at last he's found out what we all knew all along but his High School and 6th Form college failed to spot or even acknowledge! Thankfully the folks at Mid Cheshire take it more seriously. Its good to know he'll get some extra help whilst at Uni. and a free laptop and printer!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Poop Poopy Doo


Another week whizzed by or maybe two. My resolution to make one collage a day is going well. This is the latest for the Kollage Kit theme of Tigers, Lions and Bears. Do bears sit in the woods? Also completed a flick book for a project in Holland. I don't usually bother with mail art projects these days but this one caught my eye - in a few ways. Luckily a had a small book of receipts that was ideal. I traced some old zoetrope illustrations from a children's book and repeated them a few times. Simple but effective. I'll see if I can film it with the Flip camera.

No boots this weekend or any walks as the weather was a bit iffy.
Today I walked into town and back. Very mild for January so surprised to find a squashed snowball on the way - maybe thrown from Norway by a troll? Bargains of the day were two tiny memory sticks from the Isle Of Man for a quid each in the Red Cross Shop. They had details of some conference or other and lots of photos of the island and hotels etc which I deleted. Also got some films including Red Dwarf series 3, The Jolson Story and The Day Today - Series One. No sooner have I made lots of space on my shelves than I begin to fill them up again!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Welcome to 2012


Blimey- it's windy out there - a gust caught my shopping bag whilst I was trying to stick a stamp on a letter by the postbox and tipped most of the contents out onto the street where they blew in all directions! Arrgh! Mad scramble for the precious things of the bag- namely letters, bus pass and library card. Lost a few receipts and bus tickets but they don't matter too much - they must be halfway to Chester by now!

That's Xmas and New year's Eve over for another year. Back to normal now with all the decorations and cards taken down and that feeling of living inside Miss Haversham's shed elimenated.

Also had a nice walk around Shakerley the other morning to see the ducks and other bird life on the lake. No ice this year but a bitter cold wind blowing so we didn't stay long.
My only NY Resolution is to produce at least one collage a day no matter how small or ill conceived it might be. Day two and two in the bag ( folder ) so on course so far - so good.

Another walk involved taking out lots of plastic carrier bags and filling them with the roadside detritus that the council doesn't pick up for some reason. We felt good about ourselves being so community spirited despite the odd looks from passing motorists who were probably responsible in the first place!