Friday, 17 September 2010

the owl service

I found out about it after seeing the late 60's TV series. Im quite interested in the recurrence of the owl motif in British folk art and also the William Morris overtones of this image, relying on pattern as opposed to actual representation. This graphic/ retro approach is something Id like to introduce into my own work.


This is my friend Alexander Tuckers painting for the cover of his record Imbogodom that came out this year.The picture is of his band mate which he produced in oils on canvas. It was interesting visiting while the work was in progress and seeing the subtle changes that it had gone through. I like how it has the look of a classic portrait sitting or passport photo yet with all of the actual information missing. The idea of a hidden world or land within the human mind is very simply represented here.

swamp thing

My friend bought me this issue of Swamp Thing for a birthday present last year as he knew I was a fan of the comic. This cover is incredible in that it uses the very limited palette of colours in the generic cheap printing used in all DC comics of this era but manages to convey several layers of depth from the figures emerging from the background to the hatching transparent spore in the foreground. The framing of the image with the weeds at the bottom edges and the main action appearing centrally also elevate this beyond the usual comic book fare to the feeling of a book cover or film poster.

quatermass and the pit

I think the 60's penguin book covers are one of the greatest British designs, with the classic orange borders and use of a fine art or commissioned black and white image. I picked up on this as it is also one of my favourite films, but the image on the cover sums up all the strangeness and dread of the movie in a single picture. The style is very reminiscent of school editions of classics that i read as a child, faded and worn with almost naive, budget graphics to draw in the reader.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

journey round my skull 2

This is another image I found on the "Journey round my skull" blog. I really love this image, as a book cover and as a piece in itself. The pale colouring is beautiful and the economy of line used is amazing ( the reflection of the beast in the water is very simple but effective).I also like the mix of mythological beasts, the loch ness monster and a cyclops.

journey round my skull

I found this image on the "Journey round my skull" blog. I love finding isolated panels from comic strips or stories as the imagery and the text become dislocated and somehow surreal( or more surreal!

jim woodring

This is a drawing by Jim Woodring. He was one of the first comic book artists to get me back into comics as an adult. His work deals with dream like images and stories and subverts the traditional comic book narrative by seeming relatively simple (or even cute!) on the surface. Woodring seems to have a very personal language in his imagery and makes totally believable worlds and characters that you can actually identify with. His work has a classic comic book look in that it looks as though he works freehand and has such fluidity.

louise bourgeois

I first saw Louise Bourgeois' work many years ago at a big retrospective at the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Although she mainly works in sculpture and installations I remember being very taken by her drawings. She has such a personal language and a real sense of economy in her style. She is also hugely prolific and strikes me as the kind of artist who draws continually (judging by the quantity and quality of her drawings).

Friday, 10 September 2010

electric eden

This is the cover for Electric Eden, a book Ive just read on the history of british folk music. Although i have a huge interest in the subject I was mainly drawn to the book by the stunning photo which was taken in 1935. I have always had an obsession with electricity pylons/ water towers/ power stations etc and their strange existance in the english countryside as weird examples of industrialization and modernism alongside trees and fields. Pylons have always cropped up in my own work and i really love the farmers ploughing around the base of the structure as if it does not exist. I really liked the typeface used on the cover too, mixing the pastoral with the elecricity wires conveyed the whole story of folk musics journey from the fields through to modern times.

madge gill

I saw Madge Gills work at an exhibition at the Museum of Everything when it was based in Chalk Farm, London. Madge
Gill was an outsider artist who didnt exhibit and from what Ive read had a very hard and traumatic life. Thousands of drawings were discovered in her home after her death, mainly black and white and usually featuring the same female figure thought to be
herself or her stillborn daughter. I bought this image as a postcard after seeing a whole corridor at the exhibition covered in her very small works. I think this was drawn with biro which i like to work in too, the images have a real freshness to them as if she worked really quickly and intently but as a body of work there is a real cohesion.