Friday, March 30, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Pandas Don't Like Fish Fingers plus Alf Garnett and Orson Welles

A Line Less Ordinary: Pandas Don't Like Fish Fingers plus Alf Garnett and Orson Welles

Pandas Don't Like Fish Fingers plus Alf Garnett and Orson Welles


This is the last of the Panda drawings for the time being, as I have to focus my energies on painting a guitar for the Dublin Soul Music Festival.  It has to be ready by the18th of April.  Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.... Shame it doesn't automatically guarantee mind blowing results for the finished product.  I'll post pictures when I've done some work on this.

As you can see from my sketch Panda doesn't like his tea much.  

Neither does Alf Garnett, but he's won't let that stop him.  Una Stubbs is Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock nowadays.  Can't imagine her serving up fishfingers and making kissy faces at Benedict Cumberbatch, but you never can tell.  

Finally, there's Orson Welles.  Recording a voice-over for a frozen peas commercial.  Words cannot do this justice.  Listen and enjoy.








Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Panda in a Balloon, plus Peter Cook and Funny Face

A Line Less Ordinary: Panda in a Balloon, plus Peter Cook and Funny Face

Panda in a Balloon, plus Peter Cook and Funny Face

In this unfinished sketch, Panda is traveling by hot air balloon.  Lucky Panda.
Inspired by the balloon theme I have added not one but two (!) Peter Cook clips.
One with Dudley Moore where Peter Cook plays Toulouse Lautrec.  In French.  You don't need to be au fait with francais to enjoy it though...
The second clip is from the Secret Policeman's Ball in 1979 with Eleanor Bron.
The final excerpt is from "Think Pink" from Funny Face.
There are balloons in this sequence.
I may be reaching just slightly to include a clip by one of my favourite directors - Stanley Donen.  He directed Pete and Dud in Bedazzled.  (Bears only the slightest relation to the later Liz Hurley vehicle - more of a rickety old cart than a balloon, if you want my opinion.....)









Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: The Bear Can't Help It

A Line Less Ordinary: The Bear Can't Help It

The Bear Can't Help It


This is Panda Au Chocolat.  You might remember him from yesterday's post.  He's having some kind of problem in this picture.  I don't know what that  problem might be and I don't wish to speculate.....

Frank Tashlin was an an illustrator, author, animator and filmmaker.  His picture book The Bear That Wasn't is very funny and beautifully drawn.  He also made films.  I'm showing you an excerpt from The Girl Can't Help It, starring Jayne Mansfield (and a cameo from Bilko!).  John Waters says that Jayne Mansfield was the ultimate movie star and Divine was his Jayne Mansfield - only put together with Godzilla.  Gotta love that John Waters, and Jayne and Divine and Frank Tashlin...
....and Panda (well, I love Panda - and not in a Brick from Anchorman "I love lamp" sort of way!).





Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Introducing Panda Au Chocolat. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

A Line Less Ordinary: Introducing Panda Au Chocolat. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

Introducing Panda Au Chocolat. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak.

Introducing Panda Au Chocolat.  I'm working on this new character; a panda who loves to bake.
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak, features three bakers who bear more than a slight resemblance to....
Oliver Hardy.
James Gandolfini reads.
Enjoy!
(P.S. If anybody reading this has specific questions about the Bologna Book Fair don't hesitate to ask me - I'm just done posting about it for the time being.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Some Sketches from Bologna and The Twilight Zone Intro

A Line Less Ordinary: Some Sketches from Bologna and The Twilight Zone Intro

Some Sketches from Bologna and The Twilight Zone Intro




I made some very quick scribbly sketches while I was in Bologna.  Here they are.  I felt like I'd walked through the looking glass at certain times.   You show the same work to different people and get such different responses from them all you begin to wonder if they are all looking at the same thing and, if not, then what are they seeing when they look inside the portfolio?  You leave a hall, walk through a corridor, open a door and find yourself back in the hall you just left....Very Twilight Zone.  As below.  In Italian?  Well, that's how it was in Bologna..... 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Bologna and "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU"

A Line Less Ordinary: Bologna and "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU"

Bologna and "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU"



Here are some pictures from the book fair in Bologna.  It was a great experience and while I would recommend to anyone interested in books for children or illustration - after you've walked around (and around and around and around) Halls 25, 26, 29 and 30 it does start to feel a little Groundhog Day-ish.  It can begin to seem as though your brain is on a loop after a while.  Although the excerpt from this Busby Berkeley musical is more along the "Malkovitch, Malkovitch, Malkovitch" side of things it sums up the general gist of it all provided you substitute Ruby Keeler's face with picture books.....


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

There's No Place Like Home


Tomorrow's the last day of the book fair and I'll be home on Friday.  It's been good, but Judy has it in a nutshell.....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wake Up Call -Charlie Chaplin - A Beautiful Sunday Morning

Bologna Day 1

I wasn't able to post last night as the hotel we're staying in for the duration of the Bologna book fair changed brands recently (without informing us) and therefore no longer offer free internet - so I used my internet credit to skype home..
It was a long haul to get here and it was an exhausting first day.
I'll post some sketches of the fair later in the week.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nova Flying, Bologna and How I'd Like to Travel (in an ideal world)

This is how Nova (from my picture book) would like to travel.  I'm off to the Illustration Festival in Bologna tomorrow.  The clip below demonstrates my ideal mode of getting from here to there.... 

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Courtship of Mr Lyon and excerpt La Belle et La Bête

This picture is one of my older drawings.  One of my favourite stories from The Bloody Chamber  by Angela Carter  is The Courtship of Mr Lyon, which is a re-imagining of Beauty and
the Beast.   At the time I loved Art Nouveau and the Arts and Crafts Movement, William Morris, etc.  It's a subject I may re-visit one day as I'm not entirely satisfied with this.  I would probably change the lion now.
Below is an excerpt from Jean Cocteau's 1946 film of La Belle et la Bete.  This scene is exquisite.  Belle has just been delivered to the Beast's castle.  The furniture moves of its own accord, the curtains blow in slow motion, even the doors and mirrors speak to her....Magic.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Nights at the Circus and What's the Pointe: Bach Gigue Trio: Configuratio...

Fevvers, heroine of Angela Carter's novel, Nights at the Circus, recounts her life history to a skeptical journalist.  In one chapter she tells the story of the brief time during which she lived in Madame Shreck's house of ill repute.  The house catered for specialist tastes; all of the girls possessed some anatomical anomaly (Fevvers has wings and can fly).  One of the girls had fully functioning eyes on her chest.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Itchy Monkey and The Clapping Song

This is a piece from a dummy picture book I'm working on.   Midge is discovering frilly dresses itch!  Unlike the monkey in the song, however, she's not seeking out the company of drunken geese or chewing tobacco...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: Lydia the Tattooed Lady (Groucho's and mine)

A Line Less Ordinary: Lydia the Tattooed Lady (Groucho's and mine)

A Line Less Ordinary: Gabi as Madeline and Excerpt from Yolanda and the Thief

A Line Less Ordinary: Gabi as Madeline and Excerpt from Yolanda and the Thief

The Muppet show Lydia the Tattooed Lady

J
And just for a treat......!  This is great.

Lydia the Tattooed Lady (Groucho's and mine)

I posted a letter written by Robert Pirosh at the start of his career as a screenwriter.  He later worked on the Marx Brothers comedies A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera.  He became lifelong friends with Groucho.  Here's Groucho singing Lydia the Tattooed Lady and here's my tattooed lady.  

I like words

I like words
Click on the above link - best trying to get your foot in the door letter of all time.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Gabi as Madeline and Excerpt from Yolanda and the Thief

I love Ludwig Bemelmans, illustrator, painter, writer, raconteur extraordinaire.  I did an assignment in which we had to create something in the style of a famous illustrator, so I painted Gabi as Madeline from the {"old house in Paris all covered in vines there lived 12 little girls in two straight lines"}...etc.    The film clip is a dance sequence from a screenplay he wrote based on one of his short stories, called Yolanda and the Thief, about a girl searching for her guardian angel.  It's a very surreal film, stylistically ahead of its time.  The choreography is similarly avant garde - music plays to 4/4 beat but is danced 5/4.   Fred Astaire influenced Bob Fosse, who influenced Michael Jackson.  This film was directed by Vincent Minelli and starred Frank Morgan, who played the Wizard of Oz in the Judy Garland film.  Judy and Vincent were the parents of Liza Minelli.  All of these people have featured on this blog.  Everything is connected.....

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Line Less Ordinary: jean painleve and my sea-horse

A Line Less Ordinary: jean painleve

jean painleve

Before Cousteau there was Painleve.   Here is an excerpt of one of his  beautiful films.  Look out for the sea horse.  Here's one I made earlier (several years ago - the things you find when you go through your old sketch pads..).

MOEBIUS DRAWING BLUEBERRY



Jean Giraud, better known as Moebius, died today.  He was an illustrator and comic book artist.  He also worked on the film Alien (concept costume art - although his work in sci-fi magazine, Heavy Metal, also influenced the look of the film).  In this short video he draws his famous cowboy character, Mike Blueberry.  It takes him less than two minutes.  Watch how he draws sure, quick lines, his confidence as he puts pen to paper.  Et voila, indeed.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Putti


In which the four year of the self portrait is mildly affronted to discover herself transformed in to a putti. Well, she is always saying she wishes she could grow wings and fly...

Bunty Self Portrait


This is a drawing my four year old made. Loving her work! She likes to draw spiders, her cat, her friends and herself. And why not?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Company of Wolves - Rosaleen in Forrest

Unfinished Piece

This is another unfinished piece. Inspired by my surroundings.. There's a park nearby my house which has a real secret garden- fairy tale feel; a door in a wall leads you to in and there is an island in the middle of a lake where a heron lives, along with swans and even mandarin ducks (although they only moved in recently!), and the park keeper's lodge looks as though it's made from gingerbread...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Martha Graham - Lamentation

charlie chaplin dancing

Charlie Chaplin

This is an unfinished piece/work in progress. When I was little there were lots of silent films on tv. I loved Charlie Chaplin. I was very disappointed to learn Charlie off screen looked very different to his Little Tramp persona; the moustache was painted on and the eyes were not perma lined with black kohl. Louise Brooks, siren of the silent screen, dancer and writer, said she learned everything she knew about dance by watching Charlie Chaplin act (and everything she knew about acting from watching Martha Graham dance).

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alice in Wonderland (1903) - highlights

Cats! (No connection to any musicals intended!)

I wanted to write a story about a cat. I have the story but couldn't "find" the cat so I've been covering pages in my sketch book in the hopes of capturing the idea in my head of how the character should look. At times like this I feel like David O' Selznick casting for Scarlett O' Hara.......