Saturday, April 30, 2011


It must seem that, over the years (& especially the last two), enough has been seen of & written about the numerous examples of discarded aluminium can ‘roadkill’ regularly found along & upon various stretches of the local ‘double black lines’ road markings during the course of perambulations around the environment in which such a quite possibly unique phenomenon exists.

This latest pictorial recording of such a circumstance, however, has a certain & particular poignancy attached to it in that it might represent the final instalment of its kind due to the forthcoming (& indeed imminent) geographical relocation of the physical hub of TOoT’s operations, thus distancing from a source that has provided not inconsiderable ongoing grist to the creative (or at least visual-evidence-to-be-blogged) mill: the thought, though, is that such distance lent may afford the opportunity to consider the photographs of the substantial body of findings with the aim of subsequently enabling the processing of such visual matter into the forms of drawing & painting, as has long been intended.

Anyway, before pastures new we return to the matter in hand: to wit, another ‘roadkill’ object flattened upon a section of the double black lines as they exist, like the previous example, in relation to the striking compositional element of other road markings in the form of broken white lines that diagonally intersect the composition & compromise the integrity of the subtly-modulated tones & hues of the overall, all-over grey monochrome pictorial field that forms the modernist-minimalist basis of all such images. Indeed, this occurrence happens at the very same location.
Again, the double black lines display a slight curve from the horizontal, & the surfaces of both their strata are eroded in places to display patches of the original underlying yellow paint that not only provides ‘archaeological’ evidence of the narrative of the temporal history of their physical substance but also echoes, rather pleasingly, the gold of the ‘O’ of the can’s iconic branded livery (which also illustrates a synecdochal fragment of the brand name).

One particular niotable feature of the composition as framed is the presence upon the surface of the road/picture plane of a couple of instances of three-dimensional debris & such objects’ accompanying cast shadows that serve to emphasize the flatness of the ‘roadkill’ can, which appears especially so in the first image, relative to.

Farewell, then, to the double black lines & from TOoT in Wales: tune in for the inaugural broadcast, hopefully sometime soonish, from an English address…

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to the Present

Today the opposite of tomato is going loco down in Acapulco

graphite & watercolour/30x21cm

Given recent separate developments in subject/object matter, & factoring-in the tendencies & weight of personal artistic history, there was indeed an inevitability in a pear & a bowl coming together in a composition to be actively contemplated through the drawing process.

Again, the fascinating challenge is to represent the manner in which light describes shape & form, the complementaries of such in this instance, through processes of falling directly upon & reflecting against surfaces, as occurs here: the robust form of the pear contrasts somewhat with the fleeting subtleties of light upon its skin, for example, & the process of drawing & watercolour becomes an attempt to record this as it also endeavours to preserve itself (better in this case than other more overworked examples, perhaps).

The drawn marks upon the horizontal surface before the pear introduce an element of narrative to the drawing as it forms part of the general body & sequence of such, engaging in dialogue with a recently preceding example through being the locational guides to the position of the sprig of japonica blossom that featured in relation to the bowl in place of the pear in that particular drawing.
Additionally, similar marks have been drawn around both bowl & pear for such purposes in this instance also: as such positional marks, represented as a compositional feature of the image, they might be claimed to have a certain 'Uglowian' quality, even if being rather loosely applied & thus less precise than such source in the habitually 'exacting' nature of that artist's measurements.


The Pastels 'Up For a Bit With...'

A most welcome re-acquaintance with a classic from the ‘shambling’ era of the mid-1980s, once owned on vinyl (although cassette might perhaps have been its ideal format, iconic of the 'C-86' scene as it was &, I suppose, remains), subsequently proving a rare beast on CD but affordable in downloadable form & recently capitalized upon thus. Words are so woefully inadequate to describe the wonders of this seminal album & the contents thereof, but an unalloyed joy it is indeed to immerse in the enduring sonic pleasures that overflow its 30-minute duration, the irresistible tunes, idiosyncratic lyrics, the twanging guitars, strings, bells & whatever else is loaded into the mix of the sheer glorious noise that constitutes such a magnificent, perfect whole, more delightfully arch even than the collected works of Belle & Sebastian, for whom the trail was blazed so gloriously by such a precursor (& what a devastating pair this & ‘Tigermilk’ make). ‘Up for a bit with The Pastels’, sir? Not half…

Monday, April 18, 2011

Light Interlude

graphite & watercolour/30x20cm

Sometimes something just catches one's eye, urging to be recorded, represented: in this case in point, the 'something' was the burst of vivid, glowing yellow reflected between & upon, illuminating, the pale, creamy skins of each of the pears (& particularly the object to the left of the pair) as they came to be composed in such proximity to one another, viewed contre jour in the habitual manner.
Given such, a simplified approach, eschewing the surrounding environmental 'envelope', was applied in the interests of concentrating upon such a fleeting feature.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bowling Along...

graphite & watercolour/30x21cm

Following on from the previous recent example, at least continuing the drawing process in the light of an absence of any significant projects or pressing visual concerns with which to be wrestled & also re-engaging with past subject/object matter, (re)presenting a slight modification on the Japanese bowl & japonica blossom theme, on this occasion employing a fresh sprig of the latter & including another twig & flower within the bowl itself, simplified a little, engaged in formal dialogue with the inner design.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Coca-Cola & Curves

The bountiful source that provides TOoT with a considerable amount of its image content continues to do so today as another familiarly-branded example of aluminium can ‘roadkill’ was to be found upon a section of the local ‘double black lines’.
In keeping with recent developments, the lines themselves deviate from the true horizontal by describing something of a curve (appropriately perhaps, in relation to the loops described by the brand name upon the surface of the can), as they approach a junction in the road where they encounter further road markings in the form of broken white lines which cut diagonally across the upper left hand corner of the photographic picture plane, disrupting the otherwise subtly-modulated tones & hues of the overall grey monochrome of the surface.
As is usually the case, some form of visual evidence may be traced of the history of the physical constitution of the painted lines, two layers of corrective black over the original yellow, to add a little narrative element to proceedings.

Thursday, April 07, 2011


Presenting another example of discarded aluminium can ‘roadkill’ found upon a stretch of the local ‘double black lines’, continuing the series of such images & adding to the not insignificant collection of. As habitually, the object is pictorially framed within the plane of modernist-minimalist grey monochrome that is the tarmac road surface & the painted linear markings thrice-layered upon, subtly modulated in tone, hue & texture.

Subtle details add incidents of interest & idiosyncrasy: the lines display a slight curve from the horizontal; a related white road marking peeps out from under the lower of the pair of parallel lines; on the upper of the lines, ‘zips’ of the original yellow line are visible beneath each of the overlaying corrective ‘black’ ones, relating in primary-coloured fashion to the red of the can’s branded livery, whilst a blob of the topmost layer of paint subverts the otherwise linearity & various cracks add another element of ‘drawing’; finally, at bottom left, a slight change in surface level has occurred at some point of the road’s history, a further narrative 'clue'...

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Digression...

graphite & watercolour/20x30cm

A slight departure in subject/object matter, in the name of charity, this watercolour drawing being processed with the intention of being donated for auction during an event at the place of paid employment this coming Friday, 8th, the purpose of which is to raise funds for the RNLI.

With a minimalist simplicity in mind, the choice of the Japanese bowl, decorated inside with a graphic design of branches & blossom, then led naturally into the garden in order to acquire the wherewithal with which to complete a composition appropriate to the season, celebrating one of the glorious aspects of, with a sprig selected & clipped from the japonica flowering quince, with its vivid scarlet flowers, proving to be just the very complementary thing.