Thursday, September 29, 2011


It's been a while since I've done a straight ink drawing from the Laboured Error series. Although most of my drawings are done with little planning, these are especially.... chaotic. But they are one of my favourite types of drawings. Just letting the pen go wherever it's going and ignoring any directive thought. But with lots of repetitive detail to get lost in. It sort of works as a meditation, and it's something I always fall back on when I'm not quite happy with where work is going. Emily found her way into this one. As, I believe, did this fellow;

Saturday, September 24, 2011

For the Music

Working on the cover art for Flinder's new album. I'd worked on his first album back in 2008, so was really touched he asked me to work on this one.

Flinders See, Saw Still cover art, 2008

I like the early phases in working on album artwork, just listening to the music and getting ideas and images. Which Flinders work is great for. Lyrically his songs are nice mix of the personal and the political with enough room to find your own meaning in it. Anywho, more info on that over the next while.

Can't wait till Niamh de Barra releases her awesome album. Its sooooo good. Was super chuffed to get working on it, and I really want other people to hear it. Thats the other thing I like about being involved in the production an album you're a fan of. You're already familiar with it by the time it's released and get to see how other people take it. Its like when your friend discovers that band you love and you can start sharing all your albums with them.

There's something of an intimacy in working on album artwork. This thing that someone's put their time and effort and feeling into over the course of several weeks or months or years and then they ask you to help them present it to the world. It's always my favourite type of commission, as you generally get a lot of free reign to do what you want. The directions are usually more to do with feeling and mood. Mostly just listen to the music and see what comes out. Which is generally how I draw anyway. Music has always had a lot more of an influence on my work than visual art. Painting and illustration will always inspire new techniques and styles but music has a much more visceral, immediate effect on creativity. Its rare I don't have music playing while drawing. 

These days I'm listening to Rachel's - Music for Egon Schiele, Sufjan Steven - Illinoise and Xela - Tangled Wool. I look forward to a future where I can buy new albums. Oh, and there is the ever reliable Newnoise. Particularly good show this week.

What's that? PJ20 was awesome? Yes it was.

In unrelated news, from a letter to a friend. An ode to fungi;

P.S. I miss Green Lights...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Love these paintings by Hikari Shimoda. Her work is quite disturbingly beautiful.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Past the sketch

I've got a bunch of uncolored drawings piling up at the minute. I tend to work in one specific medium at a time. My brain doesn't really multi task artisically. Occassionally I'll start a picture and just paint it right through. But usually I'll just work on drawings and keep starting new drawings, ignoring the painting side of things as long as I can. Not that this is a concious effort to organise my studio time or anything. It's purely because drawing, the ideas part, the inception of an image, comes a lot easier to me than the finishing. Or that middle period at least; setting down the principle colours of a picture. The details, I'm fine with, and even manipulating the paint on a page I enjoy, but it's just that point where you have to make a choice. You've got this nice sketch that you're happy with and then you have to figure out where its going to go, in the hope that whatever rendering you do adds to the image instead of ruining it. Especially so with watercolours. Generally you have one go. I'd usually have a practice area before applying paint, but i find watercolours will always behave differently every time you use them. Which is also why i like them. You end up with colours and textures you hadn't even planned.

Anyway, I've about a dozen drawings in varying levels of finishment piling up on the desk (not including the 10 or 20 canvas and wood paintings stacking up that I'm completely ignoring). Here's a few watercolours in progress.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Read Everything

Here's a painting I finished recently. I let it go before I thought to take proper photos of it and measure it. But it's about 45cm x 65cm, acrylic on wood.

Since we're on the theme of books, I like the idea of this site - (via ).

I just started Malalai Joya's A Woman Among Warlords. I've long been an admirer of her activism. Her story's quite inspirational. Personally, I'm a terrible reader. Annoyingly slow and I instantly forget the details. Library fines build up without having read half of what I return. But if there's anything I'm happy to collect and that I allow waver my wood-saving principles its in the collection and appreciation of books. And there are few things that warm me towards a person than looking through their book collection. There's something incredibly hopeful about books. Ideas and thoughts without the distractions of technology or the psychology of social interaction.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lanterns, pinwheels and a Winter morning in England

Later this year will see the joyful occasion of my brother's marraige to his lovely fiance on what I predict to be a beautiful winter's morning. I was happily asked to provide some wedding invite artwork. We used Rusticus paper from Daintree to print on, and being like-mindedly environmentally concious, they opted for a small A5 format and emailed RSVP. 

The original image is an acrylic painting on wood, with added details painted in watercolour.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Prints for Mayfly

I've got some prints in Mayfly's new shop in Temple Bar, Dublin. The new location is on the ground floor of the Cafe Irie building, just off Temple Bar Square and worth checking out, lots of funky stuff in there. The prints are 14cm x 21cm (approx. A5) on lightly textured Daintree paper with images from a selection of recent watercolours. I've only a handful in at the mo, working on getting more for them.

Packaging is always a bit of a pain to come by. Regular readers hear me complain enough about disposable plastics, so I'll not go into it, but lets just say I'm not too keen on being a source of plastic waste. However, one must ensure one's work is presentable and protected from the elements. Usually I'd just use secondhand plastic pockets (they pop up every now and then in charity shops in folders and binders) I haven't come across any in a while though, so for these prints I had to make up my own.

I've used plastic covers from old photo albums, and reclaimed waste card from a framers. I cut the plastic sheet to shape, form an envelope and stick with double sided tape. I tried glues, but the tapes much neater. And I'm no fan of glue anyway. The card provides support.

When I've a larger supply (making the envelopes is a little time consuming), I'll put some up on Etsy for sale.
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