Holiday Pics – Buckler’s Hard

January 10, 2016

It has a funny name, the promise of naval shenanigans, it’s in the New Forest and we were on holiday. What could go wrong? My child. My child could go wrong. Deciding he HATED it from the moment we got to the car park purely because he wanted to go to Lymington to watch the trains and he had to wait until later in the day.

He hated turning up 10 minutes before it was open, he hated it opening, he hated the museum, he freaked out at the harbour (which I’ll let him off because that was more a bit of fear of water than being an arse), he hated that I refused to buy him a toy boat because he had been an arse all day and he hated having to sit in a field with me to calm down for half an hour.

So my opinion of Buckler’s Hard? Don’t take my child there, he will be a shithead and you’ll leave after 20 minutes having paid for three of you to spend the best part of the day there. It all looked very nice and interesting but lacked any facility in which to deposit a five year old who would do nothing other than shout “I want to goooooooooo”. So we eventually went. We might try again next year. I took a handful of photos in between being whinged at.

Flowers in the garden at Bucklers Hard

By the door of the church at Bucklers Hard

Outing to Bucklers hard

Boats on the river at Bucklers Hard

Masts against the sky

Trees at the riverside

Full set here.

They have a website and a facebook page should you wish for more info as there’s very little else I can tell you.

Buckler’s Hard Facebook page
Buckler’s Hard Website

Awkward Penguin

December 29, 2015

Back to fighting mental issues through the medium of drawing cute animals. I actually wrote about two thousand words on this but then couldn’t face proof reading it so drew a penguin instead. Annoyingly I have since become aware of the Socially Awkward Penguin meme, this is an unfortunate coincidence.

Good-Listener

You say ‘Good listener’ I say ‘Too awkward to interrupt’

Holiday Pics – Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile Centre

We went on holiday in October because I need to be away from computers for a while and because we’re weird and prefer to go away in Autumn. We spent a week in the New Forest which is beautiful and nicely lacking in other people at that time of year, or at least the bits we visited were. I didn’t get too much time to take photos as I had a very excitable five year old with me, and I’d rather spend time with him anyway, I failed to draw anything.

Every time we stay in the New Forest we visit Liberty’s Owl Raptor & Reptile Centre, usually on the first day we are there. It’s a lovely place to spend a couple of hours, although I don’t think we’ve ever managed to make the most of it as while Alexander does love the owls he doesn’t have the attention span to spent more than an hour or so there. You could rush round it in 40 minutes or so but conversely you could take your time and really get the most out of it. There’s a fantastic selection of wildlife with a good amount of information should you wish to learn something rather than having a confusing one sided conversation with a couple of owls. The reptile house is excellent.

It’s not a big budget theme park, it’s an independent animal centre run by people who clearly put a lot of love and care into it. I state this as I have witnessed some crass stupidity in online reviews by people who were clearly expecting to find Legoland with Owls. It is not Legoland with Owls, it’s better than that.

Full set on flickr.

Paint peeling off an old phone box

Look upon my mighty wing

Going to stare you out

I am watching you very carefully.

Look at my lovely spiky head

BONUS TINY OWL ACTION….

These little fellows were very excited to see us.

Facebook Doesn’t Care

December 28, 2015

Facebook are not trying to remove this picture, They don't care

Facebook are not trying to remove this picture.

They don’t care.

96.942% don’t care.

Are you brave enough not to care?

What is caring?

Please do not share this if you care.

Because really, they don’t give a crap about your picture of a flag, or a church or a soldier or a gun, you are just propagating lies in order to boost the engagement of some Facebook page which will be sold off once it’s stats hit a certain level. All you are doing is giving facebook more information about your likes and dislikes to sell to advertisers (oh, and annoying your friends).

Hey you, wanna buy a big gun and some anti-foreigner spray? Facebook tells me that’s what you’re into!

Jolly Good Social Media Logo

November 1, 2015

A logo created for a social media company. I don’t usually do branding/logos but they explicitly asked for one of my narky animals. I went with a hipster squirrel.

Jolly Good Social Media

Here are some additional variations:
Jolly-Good-Social-Media-Versions

Visit Jolly Good Social Media on Facebook.

Burnham Beeches in Autumn

October 17, 2015

Due to a whole bunch of unnecessary nonsense I’m no longer working in Maidenhead but have relocated to Bourne End, which is not so bad. One of the great positives is it’s much closer to assorted agreeable outdoors places including Burnham Beeches. I escaped work a little early the other day to have a wander round and take some photos. I really struggle with photographing forests and am utterly in awe of Scott’s photos of the forest around Stonor so it was good to get in some practice. I was happy with a couple of the landscape shots but overall more satisfied with the forest floor/fungi shots.

I wanted to try some self portraits in the forest, but struggled a little to get the settings right. I’ve not uploaded the results yet, will see how I feel once I’ve gone through them again. The attempts did make me realise I need a decent tripod or some way to easily carry around my ancient and horribly bulky existing tripod.

Complete set is on Flickr here (although mixed in with a bunch of photos from a couple of years ago, new ones are nearer the bottom).

Tree in a patch of sunlight

Silhouette of the canopy in Burnham Beeches

White fungus growing from a tree

Side view of fungus growing from a beech tree

Tiny fungus growing in a hollow of a tree

New growth on an oak tree

B&W shot of Burnham Beeches

Underside of fungus on the forest floor

Troop of mushrooms

Pattern on a decaying beech tree

Winter Skies – Work In Progress

August 28, 2015

I am slowly crawling along making progress on a video piece. The audio is about a third of the way there (not included in the video below). I’ve started working on some processing scripts to do some generative art as part of the video, if it works out ok I might attempt to turn it into an interactive installation (and try and convince someone to let me install it somewhere). The video was edited in After Effects with footage shot on a GoPro.

Here’s a short work in progress of some of it. It’s way too fast because I lose all sense of time when editing.

How did I get here?

August 27, 2015

A chimp attempting to give a business presentation. This is a self portrait (or possibly an autobiographical illustration). Life is weird, confusing and pretty much chaos all the time.

How did I get here?

Jo Hall – Artist Website

August 24, 2015

Just a quick update! I recently put together a website for the Maidenhead artist Jo Hall. She has a wonderful selection of art and covers many different styles and mediums with an apparent ease of which I’m greatly jealous. Jo runs workshops in the Maidenhead area (often at Norden Farm) and regularly has pieces both in local exhibitions (Maidenhead, Cookham, etc) and around the country. I’m particularly fond of the Natural Forms gallery.

Jo Hall, Artist’s website – www.jo-hall.co.uk

It was really lovely working with Jo and great to work on a project I could really invest myself in. I’ve generally avoided working on websites for artists (aside from musicians) in the past as expected them to be quite high maintenance but am rethinking this point of view now. Do drop me a line if you fancy a custom website for your art.

Category: Design
Tags: Art, websites
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The Mystery of the Sleeping Giant

I remember being about eight or nine years old and staring intently into this picture for what felt like hours. Of course being eight it was probably more like three or four minutes but either way I remember it pulling my attention for a decent length of time. I think it was the first piece of art that ever connected with me, I was fascinated by it, I wanted to know where it was and what was outside the edges; what was over the hillside, what was going on outside the frame, was there some sort of magical kingdom just out of sight (I was eight, give me a break), was it windy, how cold was it in those hills. Most of all I loved the little group of rocks in the centre of the lower third, to my tiny imagination I could see a big stone giant’s head lying there asleep, the rest of him just out of shot. I’m sure it doesn’t look like that to anyone else but it became so ingrained in my mind that even as an adult I still see it. I desperately wanted to visit this place with it’s hills and moors and sleeping giants although was maybe a little cautious of the giant. Not much has changed, although I’m a little more realistic about giant aspect.

Over the years I forgot about the painting, we moved house a few times, and presumably it got packed up and then never unpacked again. Then a couple of years back I remembered it existed and asked my parents about it, neither had any memory of it and so that was it.

A few months later my father had to clear out his house and showed up on our doorstep with a carload of precious things (random tat) to look after, amongst the family photos, old lamps and schoolbooks from another age was the watercolour painting of the sleeping stone giant. In my memory it had been a beautiful near photo-realistic image of a rolling hillside, the reality is different but I still love it.

I asked my father where it had come from and if he knew where the subject was. Apparently, during the Second World War my grandfather (Cyril Barker) had run/worked in a shop called Widgers on Barnstaple high street in Devon. They had sold hardware (glass, paint, wallpaper, etc) and as side business using the materials they sold had framed pictures for local artists. The artist had bought the painting in to be framed and never returned to collect it. The likelihood is that the subject is somewhere on Dartmoor. The picture was handed down to my father and now to me.

It’s not the best painting in the world but it means a lot to me. I’d love to know who painted it and where it is set. It reminds me of the rural solitude of my childhood (in a good way), something I still strive for. I like to think of the artist sitting alone for hours on some deserted moorland in Devon, blustery clouds playing havoc with the light while he tries to capture the sleeping stone giant before he awakes.

Abandoned Watercolour

Abandoned Watercolour

Abandoned Watercolour

Abandoned Watercolour

The back of the pictureThe scribbles on the back were notes my father made.

Should you happen to recognise the landscape please do let me know where it is, as it’s probably on Dartmoor there’s a chance it hasn’t changed much over the years.

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I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. I have anxiety issues and I like silence.

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