Thursday, 25 March 2010

New Books

Yesterday Polly and I went to Deptford Market. I found some awsome books.

First up, 'Brush up your Russian- Conversations of Real Use', by Anna H. Semeonoff. This remarkable book is a series of potential dialogues you may have, should you go to Russia.

Calling at the tobaconists, nights at the opera, parks of 'culture and rest', and buying fur are all on the agenda. The whole book reads like a novel about Mr and Mrs' visit to Leningrad and Moscow. I'm trying to slowly learn how to read it from the alphabet and pronounciation guide at the back.

Second Up, 'A Lion in the Meadow' by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Jenny Williams. These illustrations are so beautiful! These scans don't really do it justice- each of these pages is part of a double spread. I will try and take some good photos some time soon to fully illustrate this.

Thirdly, 'Lawson Wood's Merry Monkeys'.

Fourthly, 'Understanding Science Volume VII- A Sampson Low Publication'. This book was too big to fit on the scanner properly, so I don't have a picture of the front cover- but these beautiful colour prints more than make up for that.

Last but not least, I found a book documenting the making of the strange 'Black and White Minstrel Show' on the BBC.

I would really love to use the information in this last book to make some sort of guide to the minstrel show, a zine of sorts. More on that to come!

Julia Pott

I have had an animal-related-music-filled past two saturday nights.

First, Grizzly Bear and Beach House at Camden Round House.

Second, a bizzare suprise gig from Adam Ant at the Southwark Playhouse.

I was going to write up something about the gigs, but when I was looking for a picture of a grizzly bear I remembered the illustrator Julia Pott, who's work I know from art fairs in Norwich. I looked her up and the entire body of her work is incredible.

She draws many lovely animals and people. I absolutely love her use of line. And then on top of that, Julia Pott may be one of the most productive people around. Visuals for Bat for Lashes, The Decemberists, animations, a vast array of printed matter for sale...

Watch more cool animation and creative cartoons at Aniboom

That is a lovely animation. I love the idea of using interviews as the subject matter.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Laura Carlin

My tutor Amanda recommended Laura Carlin to look at for Final Major Project research. Her work is super duper.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Very good website

Found this website, through which I found Matthew Woodward and Peter James Field. Has everything from food to music. Excellent!

Matthew Woodward

Chicago based Matthew Woodward does these massive, awsome drawings, usually of parts of buildings. This makes me want to start using pencil again.

Peter James Field

How beautiful is this? The bird looks as though it is made of paper, and the soft pencil colours in my favourite blue...

However, upon looking into Peter James Field further, I wasn't as drawn to any of his other work. His draughtsmanship is unarguably great, but the composition of this piece is superb.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Nearly Done.

Today I have so nearly finished my desert sparrow. Now I just need to find some toy soldiers.
Woah it feels good to have a complete image..I feel the whole drawing was a learning curve too, I started to introduce watered ink instead of my usual controlling the pressure/ink quantity of my pen, I think it had quite an effect.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


I have been drawing this sparrow all day, but because i'm filling in the really light can't even see a difference between one and three! Is this productive? Yes.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Carl Van Vechten

Whilst looking up Orson Wells Jake and I stumbled across photographer Carl Van Vechten. He takes beautiful, simple portraits of outstanding figures.
This is Lois Moran (1909-1990), named "the most beautiful girl in Hollywood" by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I was drawn to her portrait and also the signature variety of background patterns Vechten uses, this time stars, then upon researching her found the connection to Fitzgerald, with whom she had a brief affair, really interesting. Rosemary Hoyt in Tender is the Night is based on Moran, I can see why.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Busy few days. Jake and I went to the Dean Chalkley exhbition at the Book Club which was fun and full of great music and some very awsome hair.
Today we went to Hampstead Heath and it was beautiful and sunshiney cold. There was an amazing shop raising money for the Green Party and they had fossilised dinosaur eggs, floral cheese dishes and a letter signed by James Earl Ray.
We just watched Luis Bunuel's Belle du Jour, even more great hair. Made me want to be on a skiing holiday. But not do date an intense ganster.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Kathy I'm Lost

I am meant to be writing my final major project proposal and it's making me feel claustrophobic and stressed. Everything I think of proposing seems a dead end- the total opposite of what it should be- something very exciting and inspiring that will keep me working hard and researching and exploring over the next ten weeks.

All I've achieved so far today is some research on Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida, and watching youtube videos from the disney studios.

Ah dear.

She Smiled Sweetly.

Jazz, Jake and I watched The Royal Tenenbaums for the millionth time last night. It has to be one of my favourite films of all time. Everytime I watch it my eyes well up at a different point. And the love story between Margot and Richie is brilliant.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Looking For The Truth With A Pin

Last night Jake and I watched a great BBC4 documentary on Ivor Cutler, "Looking for the truth with a pin". I never realised Ivor Cutler worked as a teacher at Summerhill, or was in the Magical Mystery Tour.

It had super footage of Cutler's last concert, plus really interesting interviews with him about the lack of love from his mother.

My favourite was his work "Beautiful Cosmos". Just because a love poem was the last thing I expected.

You are the centre of your little world and I am of mine.
Now and again we meet for tea, we're two of a kind.

This is our universe, cups of tea.

We have a beautiful cosmos,
We have a beautiful cosmos.

What do we talk of whenever we meet? Nothing at all!
You sit with a sandwich I look at a roll.

Sometimes I open my mouth, and shut it.

We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me.
We have a beautiful cosmos.

You are the centre of your little world and I am of mine.
Now and again we meet for tea, we're two of a kind.

This is our universe, cups of tea.

We have a beautiful cosmos, you and me.
We have a beautiful cosmos.

Very good.


My latest illustration project is a narrative of an extract from Lin Yutang's "The Importance of Living"- 'On Lying In Bed'. In my extract Yutang describes his delight in listening to different birdsongs in the mountains in China.

He quotes the poet Li-Liweng on why the sparrows wake up later: "The other birds have to sing early because they are continuously afraid of men's guns and children's stones during the day. These birds, theresfore, can sing at ease only before this unsufferable human species wake up from their sleep...The sparrows can, because they are not afraid, and therefore can sleep longer."

For my piece I am undecided on whether to make an animation classifying different birdsongs, or to make three large drawings taken from key images in the text. (sparrow not fearing men, a bird's heart, love-calls between birds). I have already started an ink drawing of a sparrow surrounded by toy soldiers, but I'd like to do the animation too. With only two weeks though I better make a decision.

Anyway, I thought this video was quite appropriate for my research:


Nigel Peake

Monday, 1 March 2010

Greenman Lineup....

is amazing this year. Beirut, Joanna Newson, First Aid Kit, Flaming Lips....

Not only is it the most beautiful festival around, it has by far the best musical content.