Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Merry Christmas 2017 : Grey Christmas

(2B pencil on a 139mm x 87mm postcard)

As I've done on previous years, I did this artwork for some Christmas cards that I then printed out and gave to various people, with a slightly otherworldly seasonal tale to go along with it, which can be read in the pages below (just click on one and scroll through them).

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Rubbish Bin Of The Mind

(Black biro on a 139mm x 89mm postcard)

In recent weeks, I've been experimenting with a form of random drawing based on the way dreams start to form as you fall asleep. Some melt into full view, some can be like small screens that appear which grow larger, whilst others can take form from the cellular shapes you see when you close your eyes.
It's some of these aspects that I've been trying to transfer into my artwork. I found the most effective way to do that was to lightly shade the area and then overshade, time and again to allow shapes to randomly form, then try and make sense of them in a kind of self-imposed Rorschach Test. Sometimes turning the card this way and that until some kind of basis for the artwork establishes itself. The first of these that you see above was done with a biro, and the nature of the shading for it seemed to dominate the boxy shapes which formed.
Some would call the style Surrealist Automatism, and it's a perfect example of it which isn't as doubtful as others in the genre. But I prefer to call it "Dreamscaping" to separate it from that doubt, and also because I think it's a better name for it. I've drawn transmorphic images before, but they've been based on specific themes which I've started with, whereas these have none with no idea how they're going to turn out. This certainly makes them ideal as skav artworks, even if they do take much longer to complete.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Guardian Spirit - XENDRA

(Red Biro on a 125mm x 75mm notecard)
With this second guardian spirit piece, I decided on using a red biro, which seemed to influence the type of character that I drew, just as the Xorina piece had done. The character is a powerful sorceress, which is shown by her only using her little finger to casually conjure fiery lightning. A good piece, even though her left arm does look a bit bent.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

More Skav Art Prints In The Urban Gallery

The five prints done so far, placed under a bus shelter in Dewsbury town centre
I placed these prints up in the last couple of weeks. Apart from the first two Wizbang! prints that I had left, I also added a third, which was The Triplejack Gun. After that I printed out two other artworks, which were The Balloon Seller and The Neighbourhood Watcher (these two do have printed info on the back but are still signed and numbered by me). As you can see from the picture, I even included a small sign "Free Skav Art Prints" to encourage people to take them. In the end, I didn't really need to add that as it does appear that more people are taking them. In some cases, faster than I can put them up.
This is fine. As I said in a previous post, they are yours to take if you see any of them around. I know that some are being removed and thrown away due to the perception that it's just untidy fly-posting, which is a bit much when you look at the photo above where you can still see the old tape marks of those that do fly-post without concern. At least I try to make the effort not to cause such damage. So it might be best to grab them when you see them.
I'll try to do more print runs of other artworks in the future. The main reason I don't do them so often and keep each one down to 20 copies is mostly due to cost and my very limited resources. But they are fun to do and I hope you like them.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Wizbang! Prints In The Urban Gallery

Printing out the Wizbang artworks wasn't something I'd planned when I did them, but I thought it might be fun to do. So I chose the Mind Probe and Pet Demon ones, added simple posterization to the images of them and printed out 20 of each. I laminated each one, then took half of them into Dewsbury town centre and stuck them up in various places, such as the following:
Not the best gallery space around, but it's free and it'll do!
As you can see on the left with the photos above, others tend to stick posters up all the time on phoneboxes. The fact that they use ordinary tape shows what little thought they have when doing it. Even when such posters are torn down, they always leave those ugly tape marks. I had to be careful not to do that, as it can be seen as criminal damage (which it is really). For that reason, I chose to use Magic Tape. And, as anyone who uses such tape knows, one of its features is that it doesn't leave that annoying tape mark behind.
As well as phoneboxes, I also chose bus shelters. I avoided empty shops fronts, as they're still private property even though they are unused. I know that people rarely use phoneboxes these days (and judging by the condition of them, BT seems to maintain them to that level) but they do make a good starting place for such urban galleries. These prints might help brighten up someone's day, and if that happens then they've done their job well.
And yes, if you see any of them, you are free to take them!
That's what they're there for, after all. What other art gallery allows you to walk around it taking whatever you like? Not any that I know of, and you'll find that each print has been signed and numbered by me on the back.

One last thing. If any of you use a laminator, avoid Texet laminating pouches, they really are shit! (And their laminators are pretty crappy too).

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Guardian Spirit - XORINA

(Green biro on 127mm x 76mm notecard)
An unusual artwork, and the first of a few that I'll be doing. It's inspired by those that believe in guardian angels and spirit guides. I suppose it's really no different to those that believe they've been abducted by aliens. An idea that some higher being has, for some obscure reason, singled them out as something special. A constructed personal sense of worth in a world where they feel they have none. It's quite sad really, in that aspect, so who am I to begrudge them their little fantasy?
What I find amusing about them, though (especially with regard to spirit guides) is why they tend to be mostly American Indians aiding those with no heritage of such. I have this strange scenario in my mind of all these Indian spirit guides lining up to clock in and out of duty, with one suddenly turning to another and saying: "What the fuck are we helping these bastards for?"
In reality, these "entities" could be anything you want them to be. After all, it's your delusion, so why not treat yourself to something different? Like a sexy little elf-woman with a sword, for example.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Fighting Fantasy Spoof - Not Quite Skav Art

(Pencil on 116mm x 154mm cartridge paper)
(Pencil on 123mm x 192mm cartridge paper)
Normally, I wouldn't put such pieces up on this blog as these. They're older works, done in the latter part of 2000 and early 2001. I thought I'd lost them, but found them last year when doing a bit of clear out. They were meant to be a spoof of the old Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that were popular during the 1980s, and I had the idea of doing more of them, but must have gotten side-tracked by something else and completely forgot about them.
But it wasn't the theme of them that struck me as interesting, but more the battle of ideas that took place within them, which I was unaware of at the time. The idea of skav art was struggling to rise against the dominance of traditional art processes. If you look at them, you'll see it for yourself. They're both under A5 in size, I used no reference when working on them, and I wasn't too concerned for the odd mistake I made (The area under the map should have been in a darker shade, and yes, those fingernails do need cutting, don't they?) But that didn't matter for what they were.
However, the old art processes repeatedly stamped on it at every turn. The work had to be done with decent cartridge paper - 135gms at least. I used more than one grade of pencil for background and foreground. I even remember doing some quick pre-concept thumbnail sketches (especially for the pose of the corpse in the second one). But the final killer blow against the idea of skav art was, of course, the ruled line around them both. Such a shame. It put up a good fight. I've probably done other pieces like them which had the same struggle going on, but these two are a good, surviving, example of it. I've added the final pages below, with their text, to show what I was going to do with them. I could finish the project off with skav artworks, and I still might at some point, but I thought it was a good idea to show them now. The one thing I did do when I found them was laminate them with the words: "Not quite skav!" written on the back of each.