Friday, September 29, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Fellow Earth inhabitants.
It was with great pleasure that I took myself to the London Zoo for several hours today (bookended with flat hunting).
One thing in particular I miss about Australia is that with the exception of pigeons, there doesn't appear to be much life in London.
I have seen some squirrels - I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
At the zoo I was lucky enough to see two of my favourite creatures that I had never seen before: giant anteaters and porcupines.
Both were sleeping but it was nice to see them up close.
The best moment of the day was spending some time very near a giraffe.
The giraffe is a marvel - vast animals that stroll about with such grace.
The giraffe enclosure is designed in such a way that you can see it wandering around it's paddock, and then, should it feel like heading inside, you can walk around the back and see it very close up in it's sleeping quarters.
I had never had the experience of watching a giraffe stroll through a doorway but I am now pleased to say I have.
All animation people will know of Bill Peet (there's a link to his work - even if your not an animation person you will no doubt recognise his illustrations).
He drew a giraffe in the book Huberts Hair Raising Adventure, and while it's a terrific character, it has none of the grace and calm and beauty of a proper giraffe.
I spend many minutes watching them.
Humans have looked to the stars wondering if there's any life out there.
I think it's very comforting to know just how much life is here with us, on the very same planet.
The fish and chips were indeed hibernating.
This is an American sidewinder.
It entertained me greatly that to create a more American environment for this reptile it was important to include a downed bottle of Bud and a discarded packet of Maryleboroughs.
Who do you think first tried this?
Does it still go on behind the scenes?
This is entirely non zoo related.
It's a small disaster area on the road I am living.
It's been there for months.
I have no idea what it is or why it's there.
It's begging to have a toddler fall in.
at 10:07 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
In Australia, we have no tradition of school dinners of the kind that people in the United Kingdom are used to.
So while Jamie Olivers current campaign of giving kids school dinners is admirable, there are parts of it that are puzzling to me (and my cousin, who is also Australian).
There seem to be 2 main points that he is pushing:
1) Kids should stop eating junk and eat healthy food. No argument there.
2) They should be having a hot meal at lunchtime.
What the fuck?
Generations of Australian schoolchildren have managed perfectly well on sandwiches.
Why does it have to be hot?
This may sound like a minor complaint about an important issue, but surely if he just got over the "hot" part of his campaign then half the trouble would be solved.
at 10:42 PM
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
At the moment we've been playing a couple of X-Box games around here - a zombie thing with lots of lovely blood, and a Star Wars thing.
I am of the right age that I was obsessed with Star Wars as a child.
In The Empire Strikes Back, there is a particular creature called an Ugnaught and I drew them over and over and sent them to George Lucas care of the Skywalker Ranch.
I also recall sending a letter to Paddington Bear when I was quite young...
at 4:39 PM
I was rewatching the terrific show Father Ted on the telly late the other night.
It was a terrific show for those who've never seen it.
Surreal, peculiar VERY silly and very funny.
The show ended because the actor who played Ted passed away during the filming of an episode.
They managed to wrap it up neatly, and surprisingly for such a strange show, it was also a little moving.
Father Jack, pictured above, was an old animal of a man whose vocabulary consisted of three sole words, "Feck", "Arse" and "Drink!!!".
He was repulsive and violent.
Ocassional Father Jack was taken completely out of his element, and Frank Kelly, who played him, had a pacticular talent for giving Jack a kind of "animal waking at the vet" confused look that was exceptionally funny.
I may have posted this line from the show before, by the gormless Father Dougal, but if not it's worth repeating.
It concerns the Beast of Craggy Island (where they all live).
"Because of the Beast. They say it's as big as four cats, and it's got a retractable leg so it can leap up at you better. And do you know what, Ted, it lights up at night, and it's got four ears; two of them are for listening, and the other two are kind of back-up ears. And, its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps. Mrs. Doyle was telling me that it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you. And instead of a mouth, it's got four arses."
at 10:35 AM
Friday, September 22, 2006
Before you do anything else today, especially if you are a friend of mine, you must follow this link, to this post at the blog of Andrei - the blogospheres favourite Russian.
I did quick caricature as a very basic and minor tribute in return.
at 5:34 PM
For those who can't read this, it says:
"If you see a train being vandalised called the British Transport Police on blah blah blah".
Then there's a picture of a helicopter.
What the fuck?
Are they suggesting that if you see someone slashing the seats then they'll jump on a helicopter, Mission Impossible style, and fly into the underground to stop the hoodlum?!!!
Are there police helipcopters constantly on patrol to dissuade vandals?
Perhaps this is why it is so expensive to ue the tube...
at 5:06 PM
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Well here is some colour stuff for you all.
Everyone always seems pleased when I colour things in.
Since I've returned from SF I've been making a concerted effort to find somewhere else to live.
It's proving difficult but I plough on nonetheless.
I had actually intended to write a nice long thoughtful piece about living in another country, but I had so much to drink last night that I'm rather tired and weary and not even remotely capable of stringing clever things together right now.
Back to rooms for rent...
at 10:25 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006
Sunday, September 17, 2006
It's very easy how one messy moment can make rather a mess of a lovely thing.
That brief moment in time when a bit of ugliness tarnishes something that was all rather jolly and nice.
Like losing a favourite t-shirt and having to buy a new one - can it ever be quite the same again?
Perhaps in time, perhaps.
at 10:55 PM
Friday, September 15, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Today as I was packaging up my usual collection of stuff to send to faceless decision makers, a remarkable thing happened upstairs.
A large bear broke into the flat upstairs and started eating one of the girls who lives there.
At least that's what it sounded like.
Wailing and whooping and screaming.
Also - if you go here, you will find a picture of intellectuals drawing cartoons in both analogue and digital formats.
at 5:15 PM
Monday, September 11, 2006
A few things.
1) My laptop is not yet fixed, although I do have access to a computer to do some things.
2) The talented American John T. Quinn drew a picture of me while he was visiting this nation. Once again it is completely unflattering and completely accurate.
Interestingly it looks just like my grandmother.
at 12:33 AM
Friday, September 08, 2006
The wavy lines are my sloppy hamfisted version of Jim Woodrings delicate brush strokes.
And this is a cat called Phoebe.
This is a page of doodles.
While in America I bought a cheap brush pen to see what results I could drag out of it.
I have the opportunity to draw some pictures as presents so it was a good time to play with it.
These were photographed, not scanned, which explains the crappy quality.
at 6:42 PM
No city, I would think, does fog with more elegance and style than San Francisco.
Residents may be used to it, but the sight of fog cascading down the side of the valley like a river was amazing to my eyes.
It would have been marvellous to have seen tall ships sailing along it.
From the ferry, the entire hillside was covered in fog, which from a distance looked very much like snow covered Antarctic mountains.
The is something very prehestoric and mystical about it that was hugely appealing to me - these snapshots do it no justice.
I would have liked to have pulled some of the blue out of these pictures but I do not have Photoshop at my disposal at the moment.
at 6:33 PM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Currently I do not have the opportunity to draw on a computer or in fact import images from elsewhere, so, just to keep up my blog I'm revisiting something I've posted before.
This was one of my original folio pieces, and will be well remembered by my pals Lee and Lisa.
I picked it to post for a reason.
This image was done 11 years ago (sorry L and L but it's true).
It's a vector based image and was done in Illustrator, and at the time was considered to be rather innovative and fresh and a little bit exciting.
These days it's kind of quaint, because not only have vector based techniques improved vastly (mostly to clone the same 50's/60's/70's advertising images over and over again), but because we see so much vector based artwork that almost none if it is even remotely fresh or exciting.
Once upon a time when someone wanted to get an image seen on masse by others, it had to be printed on something - a pamphlet, the newspaper, milk cartons.
These days any shlub with a little computer knowledge can knock out something that can be put one the internet and be seen by millions of others who are equally shlublike.
Shlubs patting shlubs on the back and everyone feeling good about themselves.
Is this what good images are about?
Does popular opinion make an image "good" or "cool" or whatever other middle of the road adjective you care to throw about?
Is it good because it looks like something you like?
If I repainted the Mona Lisa in Photoshop would it garner the same number of fanboys if I were recreating Harvey Kutzman?
"Standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold" is a lyric from a pop song I enjoyed as a teenager (it's an REM tune and the line may be from elsewhere if anyone else knows).
This is not to say we shouldn't be influenced or hide the influences of those we admire, but why is it always being played so safely - especially in young image makers?
Till next time...
at 10:45 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Again technology shoves it's mighty fallus into my vulnerable, foreign anus.
After a zapping noise and a minor puff of smoke, my laptop will not turn on.
I'm assuming it's easy enough to fix, and will make enquiries with the manufacturers tomorrow.
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to comment while I've been away, even though there were no fancy pictures (apart from the fishing ponds).
at 9:29 PM
Monday, September 04, 2006
Steve Irwin, popular Australian wildlife enthusiast and crazy person was killed today.
Death by stingray.
I feel it's worth mentioning that despite him acting like a right dickhead on an international level, he did actually seem like a terrific fellow with no agenda other than the preservation of wildlife on this blue and green planet.
Read about it here.
at 5:52 AM