April 19, 2015
I really need to get my photos in order. I’ve been photographing some nice silhouettes of winter trees but have not bothered to tag anything so can’t find half of them. There’s a lesson here: tag stuff if you want to find it later.
Here’s some from the last few days.
April 16, 2015
I’ve been working on some illustrations for Benunu’s blog articles. Images link through to the blog articles…
April 5, 2015
Happy Easter! When did buying easter presents become a thing? I’ve not got a problem with it but I never expect it and don’t buy them for other people so end up feeling incredibly guilty and apologising all over the place.
Anyway, there’s a new T-shirt up at More T Vicar. “Political Correctness – unrelated to Health and Safety, regardless of what the Daily Mail tells you“. I’ve started about six more designs but have not had any spare time to finish them (work has been incredibly busy).
I was going to start working more on some robot and animal designs but I keep getting exposed unpleasant levels of general bigotry and nastiness on Facebook (apparently Enoch Powell was right, a scary thought) which has inspired some more of the social commentary type stuff which I’ll put together if time allows. I need to draw a Police helmet and I keep getting carried away with the details (which it really doesn’t need).
In an effort to take the whole creative thing seriously I’ve set up a Facebook page (because no-one was able to do art before Facebook existed). In reality it’s nice to be able to actually get some feedback on stuff I’ve done and it makes me feel a lot more positive about it all. Please follow it if you like any of what I do, I’m unlikely to be filling your timeline with bibble because I just don’t have the time at the moment.
March 27, 2015
I took some photos of the sunrise on Maidenhead Moor/Cookham Moor (depending on which direction you are heading) while walking to work a few weeks back. They came out nicely with a lovely dark silhouette against the trees and houses.
March 25, 2015
The absolutely wonderful people at More T Vicar have very kindly agreed to stock a bunch of my designs as t-shirts. They are beautiful digitally printed, available in a technicolour yawn of colours in a various selection of sizes and styles.
There’s only a handful up there at the moment but I’ll be going through my archive and adapting some old designs as well as creating some new ones over the next few weeks.
Here’s what’s up there right now, each design is available in Ladies and Mens styles in a range of sizes from Small to XXL, each one comes in a different set of colours to match the design.
Feedback so far has been really positive, it’s given me a real self-esteem lift to know that people not only like something I’ve created but like it enough to buy one. More to come soon.
March 11, 2015
I made this nearly a year ago then did nothing with it due to reasons. I finished it off a couple of weeks back and then decided I didn’t want anyone to see it, I’ve been prompted by friends to actually show people stuff I make.
It’s a video I made using some words Mark Rathmell wrote on my facebook page (he has a book out, it’s very good). I was learning basic video editing and motion graphics because I wanted to make a series of videos (indirectly inspired by Max Rael and his Slightly Disgusting Man series).
March 5, 2015
I went back to Checkendon on a grey, drizzly day. Not what I’d hoped given how long I’d been meaning to find time to return. It’s not that far from where I live, but it’s just far enough to be a little too far to drop in just to trek across a field to see if a sculpture is still there.
Last year ended badly. Work had been going downhill at an increasing velocity and was starting to veer out of control. A combination of unfortunate circumstances and direct unpleasantness left me rinsed out and with self-worth in negative figures. January looked bleak, January always looks bleak, I needed to do something positive before complete disintegration.
One of my more insidious mental wrongs is the feeling that I need to be given permission to enjoy myself. I’ll think of something nice to do and rather than do it I put it off until work is good and bills are paid and the garden is tidy and the car is serviced and a thousand other things which have no connection or bearing on the situation. I want a grown up to tell me I’m allowed to go out and play, but I’m the grown up now and I don’t feel qualified. As an antidote to the horrors I planned to make a list of the local, and less local places I’d been wanting to take an hour or so out to go and photograph, book half a day off every couple of weeks to go and spend some time alone with a camera.
I didn’t quite have the mental momentum to actually book any time off, but as a middle ground whenever I travel to a meeting, I check my list and see if any of the locations are in the region. As it happened a few days later I had a meeting in Reading, which isn’t actually that close to Checkendon but it was in roughly the right direction so I took the opportunity to drive out there afterwards. I had no luck, driving around lost for a while I gave up and went home. Fortunately, my previous set of photos had been Geotagged so I dug one out and programmed the details into the sat-nav for the next opportunity.
The next opportunity came a couple of weeks later when visiting a friend in Oxfordshire, Checkendon was just a short detour from my route home, I set out from Wallingford in bright sunshine, which quickly gave way to clouds, then rain, then hail. I considered quitting and going home, but I give in too easily so I persevered. As I turned onto the B-Road into Checkendon I immediately recognised the high verge on the right and spotted the sculpture staring sadly across the field to my left. Being constantly afraid of being told off for parking where I shouldn’t I drove about half a mile down the road to find somewhere safe to leave the car.
The land the sculpture sits on is, I believe, private land. It’s clearly used quite heavily by the local youth for somewhere to loiter as there’s beer cans and litter scattered all around the base of the sculpture and piled up in front of the barn which seems to be deflating in slow motion, most of the roof now sitting on the ground. My anxieties vacillated between being told to “get off my land” and being mugged by drunk teenagers. My intention had been to take my time and try and get some really good shots but constant drizzle and restlessness sent me away sooner than I would have liked. Still getting to grips with the 7D, out of practice and with an unforgiving sky most of the shots are flat and lifeless, but a few of the close-ups give a good feeling for the stark solitude of it all. I will return.
I trekked back to the car feeling more positive, spotting some of the first snowdrops of winter making a cautious foray through the tangled hedges of Checkendon.
Snowdrops and solitude.
The sculpture in question is The Nuba Survival, which has thrown me slightly as I always believed it was called the Nuba Embrace. It was created by the English sculptor John Buckley. It’s in a field in Checkendon beside a collapsing barn. It’s emotive and thoughtful aided greatly by it’s odd location.
If you know of any other artworks in unexpected locations (preferable in the South East, UK) please let me know and I’ll try and visit them.
I’ve been (slowly) learning watercolour painting, so I painted a murderous cat for my friend Caitlin’s birthday. It didn’t work out entirely as planned but it’s at least recognisable. The monocle and hair let it down.
February 20, 2015
One of my favourite activities with Alexander is talking nonsense language at each other, he’s always found it hilarious when I come out with a stream of utter bibble and he’s getting pretty adept at it himself. He regularly wanders the house singing songs of his own devising.
I’ve been learning motion graphics – through Lynda.com, mostly the really good course by Crish so I put together an animation using some of Alexander’s most used gibberish in a kinetic typography style.
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.