Thursday, November 8, 2012

Happy 165th Birthday Bram Stoker!

Today is Bram Stoker's birthday.  This Google doodle is a nice birthday present, don't you think?

By the way, I've chosen the dancing bears "Exit Stage Left" as the raffle prize for the Cuidiu Fair this weekend.  I've added some colour to it so it's a little different to this one, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cuidiu Craft Fair

I'll be taking part in this fair this weekend.  One of my prints will be a raffle prize (if I can decide which one that should be...)  There will be lots of gorgeous things to see and buy, so check it out if you're in the area on the day.  Could be a good chance to get a jump on the Christmas shopping.

So far my choice for the print to raffle is between these....

and various others I haven't scanned yet!
Any suggestions would be welcomed....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Exhibition "A Line Less Ordinary"

I'm currently having an exhibition of some of my illustration work over the last few years.  The opening is taking place tomorrow night between 7-9 in 15, North Frederick Street, Dublin 1.  There will be wine, two authors will read excerpts from their works and my pictures, of course!  On sale at very reasonable prices, if I may say so....Allow me to extend an invitation to you, dear reader...if you find yourself in the vicinity consider yourself invited..mention my blog at the door and you might get a 5% discount (as I've already pointed out my work is very reasonably priced!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I'm taking part in Phizzfest at the moment. I'm having an exhibition in a local beauty spot known as the Basin. This park has a real Secret Garden quality to it. I had this idea a long while back and suggested it as part of a group exhibition but that idea never went anywhere so now I'm getting to do it myself as a series of illustrations and installations based on popular fairytales and what they might be like if they took place in the Basin....
(here's the link to the festival if you want to have a look-see)

Here's a look:

She looks surprised to have woken up in a flower.  Let's hope the rain holds off...

Puss in Boots:
He's fishing for his dinner, but no luck so far...

Hansel from Hansel and Gretel. 
The gardener's cottage reminds me of the Gingerbread House. 

Hansel has found himself in a cage made from candycanes...

The Ugly Duckling
Someone released a turtle in the Basin. 
We haven't seen too many ducklings this year (thanks to the herring gulls).
Maybe the turtle will become part of a blended family...

Little Red Riding Hood:
Which one does the wolf want for dinner tonight?

My photos are not the best quality, but they give an idea.  I worked with pen and ink, watercolours and collage.  Then I had the illustrations scanned and printed and laminated - because they're going to be outdoors for a week or two.  The installations of Thumbelina and Puss in Boots are wood block and the  figures are made from reinforced card and have been varnished.  Response has been positive since they went in yesterday.  I'll put scans of the originals up soon.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Watching too much Bette Davis...

This could be me, if I somehow morphed with Bette Davis and developed a really bad attitude..Mean and ornery..I'm not there yet, but that's not to say it isn't a temptation from time to time... More of the Wicked Stepmother and less of Glinda the Good Witch... I haven't been posting much lately because there simply hasn't been time... but hopefully it'll be business as usual in the near future. I'll be posting photos of work I've done for a local festival and there's some other stuff in the pipeline

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flight of the Conchords Ep 7 'Albi the Racist Dragon'

Oh, Albi, when will you ever learn.  Oh, you did, just there at the end.  Well, Bret and Jemaine aren't the only ones who are crying now.....

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

W. Heath Robinson: Crazy Contraptions & Lavish Illustrations

This is an Abe Books introduction to the art of W. Heath Robinson.  I have a collection of Hans Christian Anderson stories which he illustrated and his work is incredibly beautiful.  I have a special fondness for his black and white work.  Check him out - a google images search will provide plenty for you to admire.

W. Heath Robinson: Crazy Contraptions & Lavish Illustrations

This is an Abe Books introduction to the art of W. Heath Robinson.  I have a collection of Hans Christian Anderson stories which he illustrated and his work is incredibly beautiful.  I have a special fondness for his black and white work.  Check him out - a google images search will provide plenty for you to admire.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Laurel and Hardy Way Out West Dance Flash Mob

This is a flash mob carried out by Tilda Swinton and Mark Cousins on behalf of the 8 and a Half Foundation - which I think also involved a mobile cinema travelling around rural areas to stage mini film festivals.  I would have loved to be part of this flash mob....

And this is Laurel and Hardy showing us how it's done....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Angela Carter Illustration Competition

There was an illustration competition this year to create pieces based on Angela Carter's collection of short stories in The Bloody Chamber.
I love this book of short stories.
I was in high school when I read it and I was inspired to create a piece for my end of year art project. It was a book which one person held open while someone else took the ribbon at the end of page and walked backwards - it was one long piece of paper folded many times, so the story unfurled and the illustrations revealed a condensed version of the story The Company of Wolves.
This is the link showing the winning illustration entries (there are some very nice pieces here):

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Charity Shop Book Shopping and Sesame Street: News Flash - Old Woman Who Lived in the Shoe

So my I cannot resist going into charity shops with my four year old.  Sometimes you find real gems - especially in the book sections.  This was our most recent haul, setting me back all of two euros!

Forgive my terrible photograph, but this is My Naughty Little Sister, by Dorothy Edwards.  I had heard of this series of books, but didn't read them myself until now.  My four year old loves them and so do I.  The stories are well written, witty - something for the parents and the child to laugh about, which is always good - and the stories sound authentic to the child, getting up to mischief, tantrums, etc.  These stories are more than 50 years old but age has not withered them...

This is part of the Frog and Toad series by Arnold Lobel.  A lot of his stories were illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  Haven't started in on these yet, but his previous stories are great - amiable nonsense about an owl who thinks the moon is following him, who feels sorry for the cold winter and opens his front door to let it in to warm itself by the fire (he lives to regret this decision...)

Another series by Arnold Lobel.  

The Dolls' House by Rumer Godden.  Written in the 1940's it tells the tale of a family of dolls who long to move out of their shoe box and into a proper doll's house.  Their dreams come true but then Marchpane arrives - a beautiful, but cruel, doll who plans on taking over the dream house...! We read the first chapter of this at bedtime tonight - so far so good!

The Little Girl and the Tiny Doll, by Edward and Aingelda Ardizzone.  We already have this in an anthology of childrens stories.  It's about a tiny doll abandoned in a shop freezer and the adventures she has there (stacks of frozen food are like skyscrapers to her) until she is finally rescued by a little girl.  It's one of our favourites. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mo Willems reads We Are in a Book!

This is a piece about Mo Willems 2010 "We Are In A Book". 
Mo Willems is great, as anyone who's read his Pigeon Series or Knuffle Bunny stories will testify. 
He also works on Sesame Street so that would make him all right in my book anyway.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Father's Day Card and Louis C.K. on Father's Day

This is a card my four year old made her daddy.  As you can see she is a superhero(ine) and she is peeping through a window preparing to do a super good deed for a friend.

And this is Louis C.K.'s take on Father's Day...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

10 Best Illustrated Books for Children

This is a list that was published in The Guardian some time ago. The list includes books such as Dare Wright's "The Lonely Doll", "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans and "The Sign on Rosie's Door" by Maurice Sendak.
What do you make of this list?
Is there anything else you would include on this list?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Letters of Note: Part of this world, part of another

Letters of Note: Part of this world, part of another

This is amazing; a letter from Gene Wilder with notes on the first sketches he had seen of the Willy Wonka costume.
I do plan on posting some illustrations again soon!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom Animation

If you saw "Moonrise Kingdom", Wes Anderson's latest film, you will have noticed the books Suzy packed in her suitcase when she ran away. Six artists were commissioned to create the artwork for the front covers of the fictitious books and then six short animated pieces were created as a supplement to the film. These are great and there are no spoilers if you haven't seen the film.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Child Star and Patience and Prudence - Tonight You Belong To Me

It took a lot of hard work to keep from tipping over under the weight of those eyelashes but at least her cape was nice....
Patience and Prudence were very famous for a brief period in the 1940's - you might know this song of theirs from a certain Steve Martin film...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Countess and Pandora's Box - Louise Brooks Dances

This is the Countess.

I was thinking about a comic strip I used to do when I was in my teens.  It was about an almost wilfully naive girl named Charlotte, who was always having misadventures with silent screen stars.
I managed to work in references to this film.
The Countess I drew looked a little bit like this.   You can see she's doing her best "come into the parlour, said the spider to the fly" look.
Here's how she looked in the film.
Bit of a risque scene, this one, what with the Countess making a blatant play for Lulu and then they dance the tango together - at Lulu's wedding.  Eyebrows were raised... although it took more than a hint of stocking to shock people in the 1920's (don't ever believe those stories about Victorian piano legs being covered for modesty's sake, either....)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bill Murray Hosted Tour of Moonrise Kingdom

I just saw this film.  I love Wes Anderson's films (even though I couldn't get on board The Darjeeling Express).  Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the first films my little girl saw in the cinema.  Moonrise Kingdom is great.  Here's Bill Murray living la vida loca in this short about the film.

Bill Murray Hosted Tour of Moonrise Kingdom

I just saw this film.  I love Wes Anderson's films (even though I couldn't get on board The Darjeeling Express).  Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the first films my little girl saw in the cinema.  Moonrise Kingdom is great.  Here's Bill Murray living la vida loca in this short about the film.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lightswitch moment and Mary Tyler Moore

This girl turns on the light in my studio....

Ta -dah!
Not just a pretty face.
But this girl turns the world on with her smile...!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Magic Roundabout - Magic Carpet

Anybody remember this?
Eric Thompson (father of actress, Emma Thompson) wrote and narrated the English versions of a French children's television series in the 1970's.
They don't make 'em like this anymore...more's the pity!
Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Exhibition - Musical Youth Foundation

I posted a while back about an upcoming exhibition for the Musical Youth Foundation. The exhibition opens tomorrow night and runs until June. Check out the link below the images or google The Musical Youth Foundation for further details. I had a sneak preview this evening and everything looks great. All proceeds from sales of the work will go to the charity so pop along if you're in the Stephen's Green Centre (the exhibition will run in the Dome); you might see something you like and it's all in a good cause. If your budget doesn't stretch to purchasing a piece then there's a book of postcards on sale featuring the work.
Here's my contribution:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thumbelina in the Kitchen and Dean Martin - Thumbelina (1953)

Look who I found on the kitchen table today... Why, it's Thumbelina - in a natty little cardigan..
She met a friendly flock of geese...

Then she hitched a ride across the shelf...
And she finally landed, not in a pot of jam, but upon a giant strawberry (almost as good)..
Quite an adventure for such a little lady.  And now here's Dean Martin to serenade her.  Thumbelina!  Put that thimble full of scotch down now!  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Jesse Pinkman's Future

I discovered some additions had been made to the Jesse Pinkman (water bottle) drawing. My four year old has drawn his future in which he is settled down with a family of his own. They are all wearing flags on their head, because that's how you express great contentment and happiness with your lot in life. Obviously...
Being an avid viewer of Breaking Bad I'm not so hopeful this is how the future for the non water bottle version of Jesse Pinkman will pan out. Fingers crossed though! Flags on his head would nicely set off the hoodies he lives in...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Jesse Pinkman, Water Bottle and Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad

I'm a big fan of the tv series "Breaking Bad".  My four year old brings a pink water bottle to school which she calls Jesse Pinkman.  She doesn't watch the show herself (mainly because I know she'd want to re-enact scenes and I'd always be cast as Walter White).  I haven't really done the bottle justice in this scribble, but I haven't posted in a week so, here we go.... I've added the clip I've referenced below for your viewing pleasure..

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

James Gandolfini reading In The Night Kitchen

I posted this reading by James Gandolfini back in April, but it seems appropriate to post it again tonight.  I read this to my little girl tonight.  I feel the world is a poorer place for having lost Maurice Sendak, but wasn't it wonderful that he was here in the first place?

Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Mauric Sendak

R.I.P. Maurice Sendak

Monday, May 7, 2012

Taxi Driver by Walt Disney (and Martin Scorsese)

What would the film "Taxi Driver" be like if it had been made by Walt Disney and not Martin Scorsese?
Here's your chance to find out! (It's brilliant, by the way.)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dr. Seuss: "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" Motion Graphic

I found this motion graphic animation of the "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss on YouTube.  The text is typical of Dr. Seuss; funny and clever, with an undercurrent of sadness (this was his final book).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Baby Face

Is that the moon, looking nonplussed?  Or is it a little boy peeping? 

I like working in black and white.  My work was, at one time, very detailed and took hours upon hours.  Now that I don't have the luxury of all that time at my disposal I have tried to develop a new way of working; using one or two colours only, making expressions "pop" and working fast - less than 10 minutes if possible.  I like the old way of working but I like this way too.

Here's Whispering Jack singing "Baby Face" in 1926.  Sounds like the kind of musical entertainment that wouldn't have been out of place in the Overlook Hotel.  (My drawing and the song put me in mind of The Shining.  Funny that...) 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

B is for Birthday Boy

My four year old was invited to a birthday party this afternoon.  We all had a lovely time.  This is a quick impression of the birthday boy.  Impression, not precise portrait -note that!  Just in case people who know the birthday boy might see this and think "that's not very like him at all - she's not very good at this drawing lark - for all her talk", etc., etc...!  I took a photo of him and his expression was very sweet so I wanted to try and capture that.  I set myself the challenge of completing drawings such as these as fast as possible.  Five minutes ideally, but ten minutes maximum.

Here's the Little Rascals and The Beatles:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Cool for Cats

Louis Wain is a fascinating character; an illustrator, born on the 5th of August, 1863, who drew cats obsessively.  His work featured in picture books, newspapers, magazines, comic strips, adds, etc.  He was thought to have been schizophrenic but may have been undiagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.  His studies of cats were anthropomorphic, occasionally a little chocolate box at the start of his career but his later work was, at times, psychedelic.  He fell out of favour after his Victorian/Edwardian heyday but was rediscovered in the 1930's thanks to the efforts of H.G. Wells.  Personal intervention by the Prime Minister saw him relocated from the paupers ward of a mental hospital to a pleasant facility with gardens and colonies of cats, where his interest in drawing was reawakened and he saw out his days.  If he had a guardian angel (apart from his friends in high places) it must surely have had whiskers.....  Contemporary collectors of his works include Nick Cave and Tracey Emin.  

Friday, April 27, 2012

Muppet Cabaret

It's no secret that I love the late, great Bob Fosse as a dancer, choreographer and director.  When I was in high school I decided to make this poster.  I didn't want to make a portrait of Joel Grey, who played the M.C. in the film, but the man in the poster bore an unfortunate (and completely accidental) resemblance to my school principle......So, this didn't make it into  my end of year show for my art class!

It's no secret that I also love The Muppets.  Who knew two of my favourite things could be combined so brilliantly?  And yet, here they are!
And here's how the same scene played in the actual film:

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Same Cat Time - Same Cat Channel

This is Treacle.  Most of the time she spends her days mooching about the place, making a fair bit of noise...

Every now and then she takes a turn for the worse....
It's because the stress of her secret job gets to her....
Fighting evil is a tough job....
But somebody's got to do it...
That somebody is none other than Treacle B. Puddin'....

And here's something very cool: the Batman theme toon and Lego!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boy with Attitude

After Mike TV finally got to realize his dream of actually being on (in) tv, the Oompa Loompas performed summed up the situation in this way:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Little Old Lady and Sofia Petrillo

Here's something I've been working on lately: a drawing of a little old lady.  I've a sneaking suspicion she might be a little dotty.....

Here's another little old lady.  Occasionally dotty.  Always fierce; in the conventional sense and the Tyra Banks sense.  Sofia Petrillo from The Golden Girls - singing!