A Canadian In New Basford - Returns
01 April 2018
A Canadian In New Basford was my bimonthly slot, where I was teamed up with talented Canadian writer Rob Cutforth
. His prose had the distinct knack of bringing out the best in my visual interpretations; I would read his piece, while drinking a cup of tea or coffee and invariably end up choking several paragraphs in thus showering my screen and keypad. We haven't had the opportunity to work together for quite some time, not since Rob moved from Nottingham to Manchester, but the column has been resurrected with the 100th edition of Leftlion Magazine being published in late March 2018.
Here you can download and read the A Canadian In New Basford
article, as published in the 100th edition of LeftLion.
Finally a big thanks to everyone at Leftlion Magazine in Nottingham, for bringing the beast back to life for the 100th edition!
A Canadian In New Basford - Returns
Illustration for A Canadian In New Basford - Returns
A collection of small paintings available for purchase
13 June 2017
26 March 2017
The year 2016 was a period of transition for our family; a time spent dreaming of possibilities and seeking new horizons. After much discussion and with completing the renovation of our home in Nottingham, we decided to put our house on the market. There wasn’t a defined plan, apart from we wanted to live somewhere surrounded by natural beauty, a place where you could walk in a forest or climb to the top of a hill within a few minutes of leaving the front door. Most importantly for the children, we wanted to give them an outdoor and active upbringing combined with green space and fresh air. The initial plan was to put the house on the market, hopefully sell it, pack our worldly possessions into a storage container and then once we had handed over the keys just get in the car and drive off.
View from back bedroom window of St Michael and All Angels Church and Dolforgan Wood, Kerry
We envisaged doing some travelling, an exciting road trip and visit some friends in Europe or North America, but our plan was ever changing and had to be fluid due to lots of factors. A road trip with three small screaming children, combined with the fact we were going to be homeless and to cap it all off the house move is and has been an exhausting process. After careful consideration and much discussion and with having an offer accepted on a property we liked, we decided the best course of action was to just move straight into our new home. The proposed road trip with the kids would be postponed until a later date, preferably when they and us are more likely to enjoy the experience.
Prior to leaving Nottingham we didn’t have a definite location in mind, we considered Scotland, Northumberland, Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Herefordshire and most of Wales. It was a case of finding a house in the right price bracket, in the right place and preferably with more space than our previous home. Outbuildings and space to build a studio and office in the garden or adjacent land was also a requirement and it was also important we had access to amenities for us and our children, such as schools, leisure centres along with access to medical care.
View down Gilfach Lane, Kerry
Eventually we found a Victorian house in the village of Kerry in Powys, historically the house used to be the village shop and was built c.1876. It is a good third bigger than our house in Nottingham, it has a courtyard and most importantly comes with a ready made barn or grain store built into the rear of the building. The barn structure was in excellent condition with corrugated iron roof, solidly constructed with iron girders and red pine. Immediately we could see the potential for renovating this outbuilding, it would make a very large and ample shared studio space to expand into. In the garden there is the footprint of a structure long since gone, but one which we could resurrect and turn into a cedar clad outdoor office building. The vision was there, a house which needs lots of love and attention and a barn building which requires much the same and space for an office in the garden. This is exactly what we need in order to not only grow as a family, but for Billie and I to expand and grow our art and creative businesses into the future.
Vale of Kerry from Dolforgan Wood, Kerry
The surrounding landscape is mile upon mile of green rolling hills, densely slotted with pine, beech, silver birch and oak. It’s a stunning part of the country and one which I feel is largely overlooked. We have access to the coast and Cardigan Bay to the West, Shropshire Hills close by to the south-east, Snowdonia National Park to the north and Brecon Beacons due south. We’re also only two and a half hours drive from friends and family in Nottingham, which is also an important consideration. There is also excellent direct connection to Birmingham International Airport from Newtown train station, which rather conveniently is only three miles down the road.
We moved in between Christmas and New Year and had a very warm reception from people living in the village. We also have lovely neighbours who have been most warm and helpful.
For us, it is a time of renewal.
Building walls never works
27 February 2017
President-elect Donald Trump's recent executive orders have reverberated around the world; his most controversial action in order to keep the country safe has been to put in place a ban on anyone arriving from seven predominantly Muslim states. Mexico is also to pay for a wall along the 1,900 mile southern border, which could cost anywhere between $15 billion and $25 billion dollars. Trump was quoted as saying it would be, "big, beautiful and powerful."
These surreal and rather frightening events cause me to wonder what is going to become manifest during his four year term of office.
Let's us hope that freedom, democracy and above all common sense prevail.
The Trump Administration
Made for my daughter Jasmine
26 July 2016
Puupuubanga like the Racso
, started out as a piece of well seasoned Herefordshire apple wood. My three and a half year old daughter Jasmine liked the Racso so much, I decided to make her a creature of her very own.
I asked her what colours she wanted me to embellish it with and she listed all the colours present in the images below. However when it was completed, she decided that she wanted it to be pink! I couldn't think of a name for this creature, so instead relied on asking Jasmine what his or her name was to be and she came up with Puupuubanga. I couldn't argue with this choice of name, as it suited the beast very well.
Carving and chopping the initial form
The addition of a finely carved nose
Horns and nose added, now the character begins to take shape
Hand carved and painted character
16 June 2016
It all started with a piece of Herefordshire apple wood, an axe and a carving knife, the rest was left to imagination. The Racso came into being with each carful swing of the axe, it's form slowly began to emerge from the dry and well seasoned apple wood log. Below is a picture of Rob putting the finishing touches to the creature, along with four images of the finished item.
Rob painting and putting the finishing touches to the character
Razor sharp Swedish knife and axe, the perfect equipment for carving the wooden form
Hand painted letters
05 February 2016
These hand painted letters were produced as a first Christmas present for baby Misha, who was born in September 2015. Each letter comes with fittings on the rear, so that they can be wall mounted. See below for example of wall mounting, along with close up images of the five letters. Welcome to this wonderful world baby Misha!!!
Misha - Hand painted letters
One drawing a day, throughout April
07 May 2015
A summary of the April Drawings 2015. Displayed below are eight of my personal favourites, which have been selected from the original set of thirty works. The complete set are available to view on my Facebook
No.4 of 30 - Landscape of imagination 2
No.5 of 30 - Landscape of imagination 3
No.7 of 30 - Valley
No.8 of 30 - Tree
No.11 of 30 - Billie
No.25 of 30 - Windy day
No.27 of 30 - Up in smoke
No.29 of 30 - Made in China