Saturday, June 30, 2012

More Tea (?)

coloured pencil/30x20cm

Persevering with the coloured pencils, but today's drawing moves into the realm of the still life & a return to the exploration of representing the world of actual objects in space, an enduring artistic itch that is never far from requiring scratching, a thread running through the history of the blog & much further back in time & practice. The subject/object matter represented is a favourite Japanese tea set, previously studied in both graphite & watercolour, as featured here at TOoT in the October (September) 2007 archives, this particular drawing being commissioned for an 'occasional' presentation but also serving as something of a prototype for an intended series of tea-themed work with commercial possibilities in mind via Etsy, in a joint venture with A: more news as & when.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Old School #1

Following on from the example of the previous drawing processed with the novelty of coloured pencils, presenting another portrait of a former footballer of a 1970s vintage, with, on this occasion, the source image dating from the middle of the decade rather than the beginning as was the case with the recent series of portraits. Courtesy of the visual resources available via the delightfully nostalgic ‘Old School Panini’ website, we now foray into Europe & particularly, the French League, where a rigorous selection of handsomely-moustachioed players circa 1976 has provided the ‘squad members’ for what is intended to be a project-within-the-project.

coloured pencil/30x20cm

Beginning, naturally, in goal, the first subject, our Number 1, is one Louis Landi, of Nimes, as the text that forms an aspect of the picture plane informs, the composition following the design of the sticker upon which the photograph would have appeared back in the day & is represented on ‘Old School Panini’, the drawing thus being a scaled-up hand-made re-mediation in the familiar manner. The appearance of the drawing is based upon that of the immediate reference from which it was processed, a less-than-perfectly faithful A4 colour print of the image as found on the ‘OSP’ website & enlarged beyond the limits of pictorial fidelity & crispness, itself a digital reproduction of a printed original, thus charting a passage through numerous levels of representation.

As ever, certain aspects of period style inspire a suitable sense of nostalgia, for the times & particular aspects of, such as Panini sticker albums & the collecting of stickers to populate that constituted a hobby of youth.
So inspired have I been of late, indeed, or so nostalgically-inclined, that I’ve had to invest in a fine pair of complete sticker albums, Panini’s ‘Euro Football’ of 1976-77 (which album I owned back in the day, courtesy of its free presentation with an issue of ‘Shoot’ magazine, & collected a substantial number of the stickers for, without, alas, ever coming close to completion) & FKS’s 'Wonderful World of Soccer Stars World Cup 1974’ stamp collection, which contains a great number of some of the most wonderful old photo portraits of footballers ever produced (in these times of air-brushed celebrity glamour, even amongst the football fraternity, the sheer almost unrelenting gnarliness of these men’s faces is a delight to behold). I’ve also succumbed to the irresistible lure of the boxed two-volume set of Panini’s ‘World Cup’ collection, a rather lovely reproduction of their sticker albums issued to cover the World Cups over the period from 1970 – 2010, again to be pored-over at leisure & for both pictorial & historical statistical research purposes (the anorakical nerdiness is a given), to feed if not necessarily satisfy the nostalgic impulse: this is the point where & at which, it seems, hauntology is transcended & ghosts become palpable things, objects, once more.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Time for a 'knapp...

In a rare acknowledgement of topicality here at TOoT, last Thursday’s big domestic football news of Harry Redknapp’s departure from his position of manager of Tottenham Hotspur inspired a spot of archive research into photographic evidence of the man’s playing career – spanning the 1960s – 1970s & thus coincidental with the period that is currently providing the great majority of the source material for drawing practice – which, bearing an appropriately successful result from circa 1971 (just admire that rather fabulous period hairstyle, for instance), led to development into the drawing presented below.

coloured pencil/30x20cm

The colour reproduction source material suggested that the re-mediation should move from the habitual grey graphite into this area too, & thus an exploration of the potential of coloured pencils ensued, resulting in an evident struggle with these tools – a hotch-potch assortment of found objects acquired via the workplace - to resolve some form of image that related to the appearance of the original: as a serendipitous by-product of the process, for all that aspects of it inspired a certain dissatisfaction during, the washed-out, degraded nature of the drawing seems to service the ‘hauntolgogical’ nature of referencing the past & recalling its traces & ghosts.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Top Twenty

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Presenting the most recent production in the current project now comprising a total of 20 drawings sourced from a gallery of photographic reproductions of what might have been considered, even when topical, less-than stellar & limelight-drenched footballers - at least outside of the orbit of the clubs for whom they appeared with distinction & by whose supporters they are oft remembered with affection - of a circa 1970 vintage, the portrait subject resulting from the process on this occasion being one Ronnie Bird, then obviously of Cardiff City (Wrexham fans say boo), whom he represented either side of spells with such iconic alt-glamour lower division names as Bradford Park Avenue, Bury & Crewe Alexandra, quite an impressive roll call to the more obscurely-inclined.

As with other examples in the series, the ‘hauntological’ aspect of the drawing, re-mediated from the photographic source capturing a moment in time past, seems to become intensified with the knowledge that the portrait subject not only aged but has subsequently passed away, traces – of which the drawing, itself comprising an accumulation of traces that record its making, becomes another - all that remain.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Exhibition Update

Rather more exciting news as the Ellesmere College exhibition of which I've been part comes to a close today - with the sale of one of the three canvases exhibited, no less: a pleasant surprise indeed & a welcome boost to the materials fund.

Friday, June 08, 2012

The Ron Man

graphite & putty eraser/30x20cm

Back from the refreshing few days spent enjoying Ludlow & resuming the project of drawings processed from the source material of photographic reproductions from an intriguing gallery of then current footballers operating somewhat below the higher echelons as found within the pages of a 1970-vintage annual.

As regards the ensuing portrait subject, Ron Fenton, the habitual research into the career of whom reveals the curiosity that he never actually made an appearance for Notts County, his last port of call as a (non-)player, which somehow seems appropriate for someone more synonymous with management team support duties during the years of Brian Clough’s reign at city rivals Nottingham Forest.


Go-Betweens '16 Lovers Lane'
Galaxie 500 'This Is Our Music'
Miracle Legion 'Surprise Surprise Surprise'

An afternoon of vinyl heaven, with three much-loved classics from the archive accompanying the drawing process, sounding as good as they ever did, which is pretty damn fine.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Time for Tea

graphite & tea/25x20cm

A second dispatch from Ludlow, the location for what’s become a creatively working break, presenting a departure from the series of 1970s footballer drawings, not of course into new subject matter, with teapots having featured as models here previously, but, rather, in terms of a medium used in the resolution of the drawing.
Given the subject/object matter, in the interests of aesthetic integrity it seemed appropriate to attempt the use of liquid tea as a staining agent, rather than watercolour, in conjunction with pencil for a ‘monochrome’ tonal study of the teapot’s form: a ‘brown study’ indeed, apposite to the contemplative nature of the looking-&-drawing process & the hoped-for general air of proceedings here, not least inspired & facilitated by the enjoyment of tea.

As might be appreciated from rare photographic evidence of the drawing environment, three types of tea were utilized in the process of representation, each with their own distinct hue & tone contributing to the finished study. In terms of development potential, the provision of drink for thought, one might say…

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Brand New, You're Retro (not for the first time)

A refreshing Bank Holiday break in the splendid & creative company of A in lovely, slow Ludlow, &, pottering the streets on this rainy afternoon, the finding in a shop window of topical iconography displaying something of a handmade, distressed &, frankly, punky aesthetic that hauntologically recalls 1977 & the Silver Jubilee more than suggesting the celebrating of contemporary proceedings & anniversaries (this without even pausing to consider the other banner requesting the salvation of a monarch of the opposite gender, whatever that’s all about), at the same time rather serendipitously relating (loosely-)temporally to the current series of drawings based upon images of 1970s footballers, even if they happen to be of the pre-punk period.

In a further occurrence of serendipity, just across the street from the particular shop front in which the flag is displayed, one could find a sign advertising the name of Graham Lewis, synonymous of course with the mighty Wire, their Pink Flag’ & also echoing those cultural times of the punk explosion & its post- fall-out.