December 4, 2017
Morning, it’s Monday, I wish it wasn’t. I’ve been in the process of writing a new website for myself for what seems like about 500 years now (about six months in your human time), it’s going to (hopefully) be an interactive art site using the Organic Contrast abstract nature compositions I’ve been putting together. I’m very nearly there but then I think of an improvement and knock myself back by a few weeks.
As I’ve been paying for the hosting and domain for about six months now (I was sure I would have the site built in a week so I just bought them when I had the idea) I’ve started to put things up on there. At the moment there’s two things:
A landing page for my current postcard set This was really hard to do, not because of the design or code but I wanted to experiment with writing about myself with a SERIOUS face. I’ve been prodded by a couple of people again recently about trying to do something sensible with my images to try and get them in front of people so I wanted to try and see if I could write about them in a more formal manner. It makes me squirm reading it back but it’s the kind of thing I already write for clients so it makes sense.
The second thing is my matching pairs demo I put this together as a client asked if I could write basic games suitable for small children so I tried. Apparently I can, so that’s nice. I went with a selection of the Organic Contrast images because they work quite well at that scale. It was also an experiment to see what I could do quickly with SVG animated with CSS and HTML canvas. It works quite nicely in most browsers and has fallback for those that don’t fully support the animation.
It’s quite addictive. I also included it at the bottom of the landing page. I’m working on some similar widgets which I’ll pop up shortly.
I’m trying to not distract myself with these and get back into finishing off the site with it’s intended purpose, I’d like it up before Christmas if possible (no real reason, just an arbitrary deadline) so I can get back to other projects which are slowly gathering dust.
Enjoy your week!
November 11, 2017
I spent the morning at Windsor Contemporary Art Fair mixing with humans. It was the first time I’d been to an art event of that type at that scale. Previous experiences had been at the (equally excellent) Art On The Street in Maidenhead and similar. There was a certain amount of anxiety about going, especially as I was going on my own as part of my ongoing attempt to pretend to be an adult (I’m not, I’m absolutely terrible at it). This was my second social event in a week which was outside my normal comfort zone of hip-hop/punk gigs and stand up comedy. I have absolutely no idea how to conduct myself at these things and am generally terrified of making an enormous arse out of myself (more so than usual anyway). Against all odds I didn’t break anything or accidentally burn down the venue.
The very act of turning up nearly made me abandon the plan, there were proper parking attendants and people dressed like adults (I was wearing a Doomtree T-shirt and waterproofs). Everyone turned out to be very nice, there were a couple of friendly faces and I had to engage in my usual balancing act of trying to work out when I’ve bored the crap out of someone long enough and should leave them in peace. Trying to ascertain if I’ve outstayed my welcome in these situations is challenging, and I suspect sometimes I get it wrong and appear to just walk off halfway through a conversation.
The ART was excellent. Actually it was intimidatingly excellent, more so than any similar event I’ve been to and made me massively doubt whether I should continue to pursue any artistic output, but them I’m halfway through building a studio space at the moment so bollocks to it, I might as well continue. As well as some amazing fine art and photography there were some great examples of artists doing something entirely different Andy Finlay’s art was wonderful as was Valentina Gonzalez. Unfortunately a lack of cash and space leaves me with no opportunities to buy anything at the moment, although I would really really love one of Valentina Gonzalez’s pebble paintings (my description, not hers).
Overall the experience was a strange mix of intimidating and inspirational, I really want to get to the point where I can take part at something like this, but it’s going to be a long way in the future. Next up I’ll be going along to Art On The Street in a couple of weeks.
Here I am attempting to be a grown up:
Here’s the flyers and postcards/cards I collected.
Artists are as follows (in no specific order) and in the interests of not showing up my own lack of knowledge/offending them I’m not going to bother describing any of their art, click on them and find out:
I managed to mix with some humans without being dragged out and burnt as a witch. I’ll put that down as my achievement for the week.
Addendum: I have just remembered that this was my second outing to Windsor Racecourse, during the first one (a networking meeting at which I was selling my web development skills) the first conversation I had consisted of a woman telling me I really stood out as someone who didn’t fit in so well in that environment. She didn’t mean it as a negative but nevertheless it didn’t ease me into the situation.
October 29, 2017
Happy Sunday! Here’s some new digital artwork. Red Kites Circling. The original silhouette photograph was taken during a walk in the Chiltern Hills around Crowsley Park, mostly trying to take photographs of crows (which failed rather dismally as they are far too smart and kept avoiding me). I’d given up on the crows and decided to take a few shots of some of the fantastic gnarled trees in the area when a pair of Red Kites started swooping directly over my head. I nearly knocked myself over backwards trying to track them but got some nice photos of both the pair of them flying together and some decent close ups and silhouette shots of them as individuals. Crowsley Park is a fantastic place for wildlife, especially bird life, it’s wide and open with lots of little copses for the corvids to perch in an croak at passers by.
Here’s the piece, I reckon it will work quite nicely as a print, what do you think? There’s a slight hint of mandala about it (although not intentional) and I appear to be drifting more and more into the folk art direction.
I’m slowly building up a collection of bird related artworks from photos taken around the Chilterns so will put together a postcard or bookmark set soon and stick it up on Etsy.
Here’s the original shot of the Kite overhead.
And here’s a few others from the series.
While I’m here, I’ve got a sale on at the Etsy store for the Organic Contrast Postcard set, it’s 25% off until the 31st October…
July 27, 2017
Marvellous gig at the weekend in Cheltenham, which is easier to get to than London (London, sort yourself out).
I wasn’t planning to film it so some of the footage is a bit wonky and it’s cut in a slightly odd manner, BUT the footage is nice and the audio is pretty good given I didn’t use an external recording device.
It’s half an hour long but it’s worth the effort. As it gets darker you can see more of the beautiful live visuals.
More info here – Zoetrope – 360 degree performance
Event was arranged by the Wilson Arts Collective
temp0rary can be found here:
May 31, 2017
I have some new merchandise. I’ve put a selection of Organic Contrast images onto postcards which you can buy and send to people, pin to the wall, eat (please don’t eat them), or do whatever else seems appropriate.
For your money you get 5 postcards chosen at random (see the full set here) or you can choose which ones you want. here is some spiel which shows how terrible I am at writing about my art:
Organic Contrast came about from experiments with minimalist photographs of silhouettes (mostly trees) mixed with geometry and symmetry. They are mostly monochrome although some have a small amount of colour.
The images explore the beauty that can be found in the simplest of organic shapes contrasted against rigid geometric constraints.
The postcards are A6, matt printed card with a space on the reverse to write a lovely message, draw a picture of your own or scribble down random thoughts about the apocalypse.
December 10, 2016
Dreams of light bugs. Exploding into life, blur of electric blue. Fading quickly, haze of dissipating sparks.
Light painting with Alexander (and a bit of photoshop).
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.
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.
June 15, 2013
I’m starting to even bore myself a bit with this but I’m far too obsessive to stop now and still have a box of prints and a mountain of charity shop frames to combine in some form. It’s started to turn into both a relaxation technique and a mental clearing system when I’m too stressed in the office or need to come up with ideas I bibble around with some frames for a bit until I can face dealing with work again or ideas start to flow.
My first crack at a double mount, it’s ok but the colour choice (arctic white) is a bit stark, especially against the black frame and dark print. Print by Tara McPherson.
Couple more of Tara McPhersons in matching frames from one of the charity shops in town, I didn’t do anything to the frames outside of cleaning them up. I’m relatively happy with the light blue mount although the margin round the print could be better defined. The other clashes a little with the image but not horribly so.
This looks better in real life although it is still very BLUE. I found a battered (but decent) wooden frame in a charity shop and wanted to try and match it to the print, it is still very BLUE and the trim is a bit too WHITE, also the colours bled together a bit when I varnished the frame.
I picked up some awesome prints by Kallus Spore at Maidenhead’s Art on the Street, having learned from the last effort the challenges of doing multiple colours (and also because I wanted to get it done quickly) I just went for a striking red. Really happy with the result.
One of a set of three beautiful Jeremiah Ketner prints I bought last year. The frame didn’t need any work but I’m really happy with the mount, best effort so far with a nice even border round the image.
One of a bunch of Kozyndan postcards and prints that have been sitting in a box for too long.
I’m becoming a frame bore and will shut the hell up about it soon. I am happy with how our office is starting to look though, it gets a reaction from everyone that visits, although it’s still pretty chaotic with piles of frames and mountboard everywhere.
I’m going to try some more interesting techniques soon, although possibly on some of my own pieces as don’t want to ruin other people’s art. I’m a bit limited by the environment (office room with no running water and not much airflow) but there’s a few bits I can try.
May 9, 2013
I started this a while back (about six months) but other things kept getting in the way. I was inspired by some craft projects my friend Caitlin had done and some of the projects on Cut Out and Keep. It’s my first attempt at decoupage (which I still cannot pronounce correctly). I bought a cheap wooden frame and a cheap hardback from a charity shop. Buying the book was the biggest challenge, I have an irrational negative reaction to the idea of ripping up a book for any purpose at all so I chose one that I would absolutely never read (an action thriller of some sort, no offense to the author it’s just not my sort of thing).
Rather that buy expensive decoupage paste I used cheap white glue mixed with water, it took a while to work out the best mix. It turns out the best method when using paper from a paperback is a lot of water and to absolutely soak the paper before applying it or it just comes right off when it dries. I should probably have sanded down the frame first or applied a layer of matt paint, it was fairly glossy and it took a lot of work to get the first layer of paper to stick.
Once it had dried I gave it a bit of a paint over with some white watercolour to brighten it up a little then coated the whole thing in clear acrylic varnish. Pretty happy with the result, I want to try again but something a bit more planned and designed.
Once again I failed to take before/during photos.
January 7, 2013
I have a growing collection of art prints sitting in a box in my office (mostly Tara McPherson & Jeremiah Ketner), not even collecting dust due to being sealed in an airtight container (after a minor office flood caused damage to a couple of them – this made me sad). On discovering how much cash it costs to get things framed properly and quite how crappy cheap frames can look I opted for the clearly obvious path of learning how to frame things myself from scratch. On discovering that I have not the ability, the space, or the time to make frames from scratch I opted instead for buying second hand frames (incredibly cheap from charity shops) and attempting to clean them up and improve them. I bought a bunch of paint samplers from a DIY store and some basic tools to get me started.
Here’s my first attempt. It went ok, but I really don’t like the effect of the matt paint. I need to find a different type of paint or some way of varnishing them afterwards, all of the varnishes I’ve found state they should not be used on paint (any suggestions welcome).
(the picture came from Tara McPherson’s wonderful online shop Cotton Candy Machine which you should look at. I can no longer look at it, it makes holes appear in my bank account.)
I am Bob. This is my blog. It is an outlet and a substitute for real life. It contains my art, photography, illustration and thoughts on mental health (I deal with anxiety on a pretty much constant basis).
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