Saturday, December 29, 2007

into tomorrow

I really wish I had some new work to post but right now it just ain't happening. I didn't intend posting a page of doodles but it's all I have to offer. I'll be away for some time, and I don't think I'll have access to a scanner. It's really disappointing to leave on this note, with these doodles.

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year. Thanks to everyone for the visits and comments. I appreciate each and everyone. I'll be back, in the new year, with a vengeance. Catch you later.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry christmas everybody

I did intend to do some kind of Christmassy drawing last night. Instead I got drunk. So here's last years.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas. Hope you have a lovely time wherever you are.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

nobody but you

I'd like to say that the idea for this drawing was my own, but it wasn't. While looking for some retro patterns, I found THIS gorgeous material, on Flickr. I knew I had to make a drawing like this. The model for my drawing was a fold out Ikea chair. I drew it while watching Brief Encounter. It was the first time I'd ever seen the whole film.

This is one of my absolute favourite things about art. That unique interpretation of a subject. I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that I am the only person in the history of man, who has ever made a drawing of an Ikea chair, inspired by some material from a 1950's dress, in sepia pen, whilst watching Brief Encounter. It's just a hunch.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

forever in blue jeans

This drawing is more than a little cheesy. But, you know, I like cheese. A lot. Bread and cheese, cheese on toast, cheese and biscuits, cheese and pickle, cheese and wine. In my opinion, there is no social occasion that couldn't be improved by cheese and pineapple on sticks. My signature dish is cheese pie. I'll have cheese with pasta and chilli, in omelettes and quiches. I like cheesy mash and cheesy Wotsits. Not forgetting the legendary Ploughman's lunch. I love cheddar, mature cheddar, extra mature cheddar and vintage cheddar. Cheshire, Caerphilly, Stilton, Emmental, Camembert, Feta, Chevres, Gruyere, Danish blue and Brie. Oh, and cream cheese. Cows, sheep and goats cheese too. So, yes, I like a bit of cheese. In cheese terms, though, this drawing is a steaming pile of Stinking Bishop. It pongs.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

guest starring...

Claire by France Belleville

Ooooh, I do believe this is the first time I've had a guest star on my blog. And, not just one guest star - but two! This is my sister by France Belleville. Thank you for this amazing drawing France and Happy Birthday sis.

Friday, December 14, 2007

ey up chuck

I've been drawing against the clock. Trying to get this finished before midnight. I had a request for a green Converse. This is the third attempt, and it still isn't right. There are definitely some perspective issues. Still, I'm calling it done. I did try. I gave it my best shot. What more do you want? A unicorn?

Happy Birthday beautiful girl.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

it goes on and on

Phew. Perhaps my longest drawing ever. I got lost in this baby for days. And so, when I look at it, how do I feel? A sense of pride, accomplishment, achievement? Well, no actually. All I see is that little bit of map that I well and truly messed up on - just above the Chopper drawing, behind the Passing Time card. Can't keep my eyes off it. Damn.

Anyway there is a theme going on amongst all the stuff and nonsense. I won't say anymore I think all the clues are on the board. I think. Do you know what it maybe?
(Click on image to view)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

our house

This is an old drawing. It may look a little familiar, I reworked it for the earlier pinboard drawing. It's one from the archives. 1993, in fact. The only drawing I have from that period. The only drawing I made in that decade, I believe. I always seem to revisit the same old themes in my drawings. I wonder what that's about? Anyway, this one is for Tim and for the good old days.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

i could drink a case of you

Yes, another case. This is the deluxe edition. There are many scale issues with this one, but overall, I am really very happy with it. I spent the entire day drawing this, yesterday. Literally. There are clues to somebody's identity in this drawing, but I think only the Brits would recognize this person. Any ideas?

**Thanks everyone for the visits and guesses. The answer is James May. I've added all the notes HERE. **

Saturday, November 24, 2007

no kidding

I can't believe that I've gone and done another cassette drawing as, quite frankly, the first one was a pain in the arse. I was going to make this one more simple, but about 6 hours into it I realised that wasn't going to be the case. No kidding.

It seems my last post (guess the album) was far too easy. So here's another, which I think may be a little more difficult. In this one I'm looking for the musician/s who inspired this drawing.

**The answer to this one is Rufus Wainwright, and you can see notes on the clues HERE. Thanks for the comments and guesses folks.**

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ever been here before?

Here's another little quiz. I've been listening to a particular album all week and this drawing, unintentionally (at first), became a tribute to that piece of work. I have absolutely no idea whether it is possible for you to figure out which album it is, but I'd love to know. Obviously, you'd need to be familiar with this record too. Every piece on the pinboard is related, or inspired, by it - but that may only be obvious to me. Perhaps you can work it out, perhaps not. It may be too cryptic, but I'd love to know either way. It makes me wonder.

**The album that inspired this drawing was, indeed, Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I have now added notes to this drawing on Flickr to explain some of the clues. Check it out HERE. I have a feeling this was pretty easy as Jason got it about 2 minutes after I posted the drawing! The next one I'll make more difficult.**

Saturday, November 17, 2007

these boots aren't made for walking (or driving)

One of the most annoying things about wearing heels, in my opinion, is that you just cannot drive in them. Well, I can't (I do know people who do). This means keeping driving shoes in the car and having to change them every time you get in and out of the vehicle. That whole scenario is made even more annoying when you are wearing boots like these. All that zipping and unzipping. Especially when you are, say, at a retail park driving from outlet to outlet. Getting out at TopShop, Next and NewLook - zip and unzip. Then driving over to Marks and Spencers, Borders and Starbucks - on and off with the boots. Over to Tescos - zip unzip. The Range - zip unzip. Then back to the original park you started in - off and back on. Then, finally, Morrisons - zip and unzip. Annoying enough for you the driver but spare a thought for the poor passenger. Sorry Cla!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

today's news is...

Yep this is an oldie. I'm posting it because I haven't drawn anything for a couple of days - well nothing worth posting. Also, my work is now available over at You can get some of my drawings on mini, gift and post cards. This is one of those drawings. You can see the rest here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Friday, November 09, 2007

case closed

I never give up on a drawing. I'll push it to it's limit. It becomes a challenge after a while, and I will not let it get the better of me. There were many points during this one where I considered packing it in; when I felt the handle on the case was too small; when I put the stickers on the case; when I put the colour in; when I spilt some tea over the opposite page; when I put a pair of socks in to try and cover up the tea stain; when I added the rest of the clothes, that were in my case, that STILL need washing.

This drawing follows the one from the last post in my Moleskine. The case closes as you turn the page. I hope to show you that one day, soon. But right now I don't have time to sit around. I've got laundry to do.

Monday, November 05, 2007

let there be love

My first drawing in a week. Haven't even picked up a pen. Sometimes it's good to have a break. Recharge these batteries. And, I'm such a creature of habit. I find it very difficult to draw unless I'm sat in this very armchair. So after the most gorgeous week away - full of laughs, singing, driving, laughs, Top Gear, laughs and love - I got back, crashed into this chair and came up with this.

This one's for you Cla. Love ya!

Monday, October 29, 2007

"think i'll pack it in...

....and buy a pick-up, take it down to LA".

OK, so I know it's not a pick-up but there's a few of reasons why I had to use this title. I've been listening to Harvest by Neil Young all week. A classic album to go with this classic camper van. This is one of my all time favourite openings to a song. Actually, not only is it the opening to the song but to the whole album. I hear those words and get tingles. In my life I've always felt this way. Like packing it all in, buying a pick-up and heading for the refuge of the roads. I've never been able to shake that feeling off.

I'm going away for a few days too, so actually I am taking to the road (I'm not going to LA though). Don't know if' I'll get a chance to post much this week but hopefully I'll get some drawing done.

Finally, a few weeks ago an old friend found me through the powers of the internet. We'd lost touch and not seen each other for about 10 years. I told her that I wasn't the old hippy she known back then, I'd really changed. Hmmm. She didn't believe a word of it and after this post I think she may be right.

Ooops, I haven't quite finished yet! It's a bit of a rubbishy drawing but it's my first vehicle. Inspired by France Belleville (I wasn't brave enough to do a side view - it's the wheels that scare me off drawing cars) who coincidentally made this post yesterday; Neil.
Cheers everyone, see you when I get back to town.

Friday, October 26, 2007

pinboard wizard

(Click on image to view) I was absolutely convinced that I had already drawn a pinboard. I'm still surprised that I haven't - I mean, it's so me! This, once again, was going to be a little 'light relief' in between drawing buttons. It's taken me about a week! ALL week. I really don't want to draw those buttons it seems.

It doesn't look like I'd pictured it in my head and the sizes of the objects are all out of proportion. But none of that matters because I really really loved drawing this subject. I'm going to give it another go too (I know) maybe with a little colour.

Lots of notes about this drawing on Flickr. Check it out HERE.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

past midnight's hold

A quickie here. I've got a screw loose; I'm starting another buttons drawing. So I may be getting lost in that over the next few days...well nights...late nights....late late nights. See you on the other side.

Monday, October 15, 2007

everything comes and goes

I was cleaning out the car the other day - well, I say 'cleaning out' actually all I did was gather these tapes together - which got me reminiscing. I think I probably spent the entire of my teenage years compiling play lists on cassettes. I loved making compilations, always trying to get all of my very favourite tracks onto one tape. But favourites come and go just like lovers and styles of clothes (sorry, I had to do it. I had been working up to that line) and, of course, the way we listen to our music. I am sad to let go of some of these old friends but we've come to the end of the road. It's over.

(Actually I may just keep them for a little longer, could probably get at least one more drawing from them!)

I'm using this one for Everyday Matters challenge #61, draw a grouping of similar objects.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

something for the weekend

Have another banana. A few people commented on how my last drawing bore a resemblance to Warhol's iconic artwork for the cover of the Velvet Underground's brilliant album. I had to agree. It was not intentional, I didn't even notice the resemblance until I'd uploaded it. This, however, was intentional. It is also the same banana as in the last post, just a couple of days older.
For those who are not familiar with that album check it out HERE.

Monday, October 08, 2007

i want to go home, don't want to stay

Back in the Moleskine sketchbook, I haven't used it for a long time. I'd forgotten how good the paper is. This drawing is my response to Everyday Matters Challenge #130 'draw some school supplies'. Oh, and don't tell the teacher but I carved my initials in the desk with the compass.

For those who don't know (and who have asked me recently) Everyday Matters is an online drawing group. They set weekly challenges and you can see that list HERE.

You can see the Everyday Matters challenges that I have completed HERE.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

i've got the blues inside and outside my head

This was one of the drawings that I got really frustrated with last weekend. It was originally meant to be three pencils, and was going to be for Illustration Friday's 'the Blues' theme. Anyway one of the pencils went wrong which explains the pretty bad crop.

I haven't really got the blues inside my head (today), it's just a great line. And, I'm trying to see how many times I can quote Joni on this blog. I'm averaging about once every other post.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

well i wonder

Tubes of stuff (click on image to enlarge).

It's when you find yourself drawing hemorrhoid cream that you know that you need to ask yourself some questions. What am I doing with my life? Is this normal behaviour? How did it come to this?

Monday, October 01, 2007

sad eyes

This is the mother of the Russian doll family that my late grandpa bought for me, from a trip to Moscow, many years ago. Unfortunately the rest of her family is a little fractured. Some are half the people they used to be while others have completely lost their heads. Families, eh?

I really didn't want to post this as it's a bit rubbish. I'm in a right old drawing funk at the moment. I've had a very frustrating weekend. Even though I've been drawing and drawing I'm just not happy with any of it. She's the best of a bad bunch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

you've got the moon on your pyjamas...

...and the stars in your eyes.
(Everyday matters challenge #138, draw something soft.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

already one

1 year, 186 posts, 40,000(ish) visits, 7 sketchbooks, 2 Moleskines, 7 Pilot G-tec pens, 40 Everyday Matters challenges, 15 shoes, 12 purses, a squillion buttons and lots and lots of lovely friends. Thanks everyone for making this first year of blogging so amazing. I appreciate each and every visit and comment.

I know this sounds really dramatic but starting this blog, and drawing daily, has changed my life. It's made me focus on what I really want to do with my life and has been the best journey. Sometime ago I won a drawing competition and part of the prize was a signed Quentin Blake book. The final sentence of that book is "But then, when you start drawing you can never be quite sure what is going to happen next, can you?" I love that.

Cheers everyone!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

the green green grass of home

Well, finally something to post! Phew, it's been a while. I've had a week of driving, hotels and trains. Yesterday, I had to go to Wales to pick up a picture. Thought I'd get some time to draw on the train. However, I found that I'd picked up my Moleskine diary instead of sketchbook, so I had to use the little paper that was strong enough to take all the hatching I would throw at it. So above is a drawing from the pocket at the back of the book.

Then just a quickie inspired by the views out of the window. The journey seemed to take forever and wasn't helped by me getting on the wrong train - which messed all my connections up. Still, I love this train journey, it cuts right through mid Wales and all the mountains. The colours are just so gorgeous at the moment. A drawing opportunity out of every window.

Monday, September 17, 2007

labelled with love

Oh well, I haven't gone any drawing done over the last few days. I had lots of good intentions but you know how it goes sometimes. Also I'm away for the next few days. So I thought I'd bore you with a couple more of my Moo cards until I get back.

This cat toy card is probably my favourite of all the Moos I've had printed, although my model for the photo was very temperamental! You can see the rest of the set HERE.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

nothing's right when you're not here

Bear with me guys while I get these buttons out of my system. I wanted to rework them for an idea I have - tell you more about that some other time.

As well as being a piece of sewing equipment, in the north of England the word 'bobbins' is also used for something that's a bit rubbish. So you could say "that's bobbins, that is" about something you don't like. I hope you don't say it about my drawing though!! Ha!

Monday, September 10, 2007

you own it now

I NEVER expected to post this. I was starting a drawing the other day and my hand was quite shaky. So I did a little 'warming up' exercise which turned into this drawing. I often feel the pressure to make my next drawing 'better' than the last. I know this is pressure that I put on myself. I also know that I love this drawing and that if I saw it on somebody else's blog I would be gushing about it. So I am going to post it. Now. Before I change my mind.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

a foggy lullaby

I can't believe that in all this time of blogging I've never drawn, or mentioned, pyjamas. Pyjamas are without doubt my favourite item of clothing. Nothing comes close on my 'favourite item of clothing' list. And, I didn't even know I had a 'favourite item of clothing list' until now. But seriously (?), I'm never happier than when I'm in pyjamas. I've got loads of pairs and so this could very well be the start of a new series.

I'm not happy with the creases, on the sides, in this one. I never noticed them until I uploaded it. Why do things always look so different when you see them on screen? Lots of reasons, of course. Why am I asking stupid questions?

Monday, September 03, 2007

everything must go

A bit of a lazy one. I've got some new colour pencils. Just trying them out. An old (ish) drawing, printed and coloured in.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

dans les arbres

How cool is this? Yes, that is the Eiffel tower! My Moos are going global. This fabulous shot was taken by my friend Tim on his recent trip to Gay Paree.

See the rest of my Moo set HERE.

Friday, August 31, 2007

you're missing

Click on drawing to view.

There's a little village, not too far away, that I love to visit. It's a brilliant place to go and draw. Every house is different. Some are hundreds of years old, actually, most are. Some are so tiny you can't imagine how people actually stand up in them. I collected all the items for this drawing from the churchyard in this village. It also has one of the best tea rooms in the whole of the Peak district. Yes, I believe I visited them all.

There is also a little charity shop there which I've never seen open, until last week. It's just a tiny room in a very old stone building. FULL to the brim of stuff. Like some other shops in this area it has the oddest of opening times - every second Tuesday after a full moon from about 9:45 to 11:15am. So I was really excited to finally find it open.

Inside there was enough room for two customers and the lovely old lady that runs it. She told me how she'd raised £95,000 for the charity since she'd started it. How the row of shops had belonged to her family for generations. How her grandparents and great grandparents used to be a butchers and bakers in the village. How that had all changed since supermarkets had taken over the world. How all the old shops were now all being turned into luxury apartments. After about an hour I had to be on my way. I couldn't leave without buying something but there was nothing really calling out to me. I was looking for something to draw but even though I was surrounded by so much stuff I was feeling uninspired. Of course, that was nothing a rummage through an old rusty tin of buttons couldn't fix...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

old spice

Click on image to view.

Yes, this probably does look familiar. One of my favourite drawings that I did in my Moleskine, way back whenever, was this spice rack drawing. I've wanted to rework it onto paper and frame it for some time and so Tim's birthday (see last post) gave me a good excuse to do just that. Something to spice up his life - his forty year old life! I like it, although it just lacks some of the spontaneity of the original and, of course, that gorgeous cream colour Moleskine paper.

View my sepia set on Flickr HERE.

Friday, August 24, 2007

his nibs

It's my friend Tim's birthday today - his 40th birthday! So I thought I'd get a little post in even though he's celebrating in Paris. Tim is not just my friend, he's my best friend. I have known him all my life, literally. We grew up in the same street. He lived in number 10 and I lived in number 20. I was hoping to post a drawing that I've been working on, for his birthday present, but didn't get it finished in time. So these are some real oldies from a time when we shared a house in Wordsworth Street (great name for a street). Even back then I was drawing everything in sight.
Here's an old pic of us too. Happy Birthday my friend.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

the shadow bag

Why would you let your bag get to the point where it's bursting at the seams? Full of old sweet wrappers, chewy, bits of paper, receipts, letters, vouchers, used train tickets etc? Why would you do that? Why do I do that? Why do I carry all this rubbish around with me? On so many levels.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

get miles away

This rear view mirror has been the 'bain marie of my life' over the past few months. It got knocked off the windscreen by somebody trying to shove an Ikea bed in the car (naming no names, Andy) and now refuses to go back on. I've tried to stick it on with all sorts of stuff but it's just not having it. So far I've tried the sticky pads, windscreen mirror glue, masking tape, super glue, parcel tape and now it's got a kind of industrial strength double sided sticky tape. And, it's still on the floor every time I get into the car. If I use a combination of these things I can usually make it stay on for a short journey, but that's it. It can be quite a scary experience when it drops off mid drive. Today it stayed in place, it even posed for this drawing.

By the way, that's Sparrowpit in the distance. Isn't that a great name for a village?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

want two

Purse #8. This one is drawn from memory. It's the one that got away. The one I didn't buy. I have a list of purchases that I wish I'd made. Missed opportunities that'll probably annoy me for the rest of my days; that mirror with a beautiful carved frame from a charity shop in Didsbury, a gorgeous green tweed jacket I saw in Manchester, an automaton from an antique shop in Canada, and those Converse (that were the exact same colour as my sepia drawing) from a shop in Norwich. AND they were half price in the sale. Damn. Funny, the things that make it through to the long term memory, don't you think?

More purses and stuff HERE.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


A couple of sketches from around the house. I've not been feeling too well this week and have hardly stepped outside the door. Luckily I have no problem entertaining myself at home. Everywhere I look I see a new drawing. So I went back to the Everyday Matters list. Above is challenge 58 draw a hat. I really hate this drawing. It just doesn't look right, to me, and lacks any...erm...soul?

I prefer this one. Also, I want to give a little shout out to Atticus Boo, in Buxton, which is one of my favourite shops. I'm guessing it's named after characters from the classic book - and a great film to boot. It's rare that a film lives up to a favourite book, I think, but Too Kill A Mockingbird manages it.

Anyway, Atticus Boo is a tiny gift shop. You can probably get about 5 people in there, at the most, at one time. It is filled choc-a-bloc full of gorgeousness including cards by my fave children's illustrator Lauren Child, fabulous purses and handbags by Orla Kiely (that I drool over and long for the day I can afford) and it even stocks Moleskines. Not only that but it smells wonderful AND it's opposite a handmade chocolate shop. If all that's not enough, you can bet your bottom dollar, that without fail, they'll be playing Rufus Wainwright.