Our piece of the planet looks very brown and orange right now. Dead leaves and bald trees are not my thing so I’m hiding from the autumnal gloom and writing this in a small room with a big radiator.
It’s quite cosy with a comfy chair and regular tea. Cats casually traverse my desk via the keyboard, typing out typical cat statements such as “34otiu98df7g09dipoekrpokpo*&34”. Roughly translated this means “Get my dinner now or I delete your last two hours of unsaved work”.
I did have quite a fun summer though. As I mentioned in my last update, I have been involved in the 2016 Great North Snowdogs trail. I painted two dogs for the charity project which supports St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice. Here is one of the sculptures, Dog biscuit, coming to life.
First he got a dark undercoat, then with a bit of physical effort he was iced....
And here he is on the roof of the Biscuit Factory Art Gallery, Newcastle. (A rare picture which shows his biscuit bottom – something the gallery curator seems to want to hide!)
All 61 large Snowdogs will stay on display around Tyne and Wear until 20th November. After that they will be going to auction to raise money for this most worthy charity. In case you fancied a Snowdog of your own, they will be looking for their forever homes on December the 6th. You can find a link to more information at the bottom of my ramblings.
In other news, I have continued moving forward in my plans to open a little studio/gallery of my own. A new space has been found and I’m hoping to be in by Christmas but rather than risk another embarrassing false start, I’ll tell you about that only after the ink is dry - just in case.
In the meantime, I can be found pottering around my temporary studio doing the odd painting towards my next exhibition. Every now and then I slip away for a little change of scene and, most recently, I attended the annual Whitby Goth weekend for some inspiration. I don’t need an excuse to visit Whitby as I love the place anyway, but the chance to see the weird and wonderful displays of elaborate Gothic, steampunk costumes couldn’t be missed.
Here are some fine ladies and gentlemen....
With both my Hungarian and ancestral Whitby roots, I believe I could lay claim to a little of that Gothic heritage. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is said to be inspired variously by Vlad the impaler (Hungarian), the evil Countess Elizabeth Bathory (Hungarian) and all descended from Attilla the er, Hun(garian). That chap even proclaimed himself to be King of the Goths.
Having said all that, I don’t eat meat and so I’d probably be a bit of a lightweight when it comes to that whole bloodsucking business. I’ll just stick with the Earl Grey.
While in Whitby, I also visited the Captain Cook Museum (Cook lodged here as an apprentice) which is worth a look if you find yourself with an hour or so to spare.
Here is a little print from the museum. It was made by one of 2 artists Cook travelled with (they were vital in the recording of discoveries). This image was drawn on the Captain’s second voyage (1772 -75) to the Polynesian islands.
My eyes were drawn to the fellow in the centre. I mean, just how small can a bum actually be? Look at it!
You may be forgiven for thinking that the native Polynesians are portayed hurling spears defensively, to protect their lands from inquisitive English explorers. My own feeling is they are simply in a very bad mood from having to wear such uncomfortable underpants.
It’s that time of year again and a couple of new limited edition prints are about to be released. I have chosen two images from my 2015 exhibition and if you are in our mailing list, you will automatically receive an email with information on November 17th. If you would like to be included, please feel free to join the list, via this website.
Until next time, wrap up warm and have a game of conkers.
ps please click here for the Snowdog auction details: