Today marks a conscious change of direction.
I have put away the very few painted canvases I had left in the studio along with the paints.
I moved in to the 3rd space Studio in July 2011 ironically just as I preparing to tour the Salt pamphlet of poems. I moved to Sherwood in July 2010 with my wife Emma.
I have produced very few paintings whilst there in the past 7 years and it time to make unavoidable decisions as rationally as I can despite the impact of recent traumas.
From 2011 until January 2014 my focus was on drawing for the NTU MA.
This developed the Moogee cartoon persona into some quite serious cartooning and research.
However from mid 2014 when my course closed and I decided to go on a NTU creative writing M.A., which now seems utterly ridiculous but at the time seemed to make sense, I have struggled to use the studio properly. Partly this my own fault and partly outside events impacting on me.
So today I cleared away the paint and canvases and dedicated the space to ‘graphic art’ and changed the title of this blog to ‘Graphic Art’ deliberately because ‘Comic Arts’ suggests a focus on purely comic forms. I am not a comic artist but I do use drawing and graphic means to visualise ideas.
This goes alongside a return to writing represented by the recent ‘Lost Nottingham’ poems.
How long I will be able to continue using the studio is now in question.
This kind of horsebrass I remember from my grandparents in the country front room mantlepiece but I think this particular one was bought as a birthday present in Suffolk at Southwold for my wife.
Daily Drawing: Train Numbers 1973-4
My fascination with trains is documented in exact detail. It starts on 8th May 1973 (I was 14) and ends on January 7th 1974 about two weeks before my 15th birthday when I obviously left childish things behind. I showed a budding sense of graphic design in designing the cover…and meticulously listed places and trains seen. In that year I with friends travelled by train to London, Birmingham, Northampton and finally Swindon to visit the Rail Museum there with my mother on June 30th 1973. The only time I ever did anything like that with my mother alone as my sister was on a school trip away.
I have a feeling that the freedom hid an almost tragedy as my fatherI have a feeling that the freedom hid an almost tragedy as my father around this time had a burst duodenal ulcer and almost died….he was lucky and was operated on and after recuperation at Didcot hospital fully recovered but it a close run thing. This notebook is a diary of all that I think….my sister Janice Newton or Aunt Chris Leeburn might remember….it was the Pointer family I visited in Northampton on the 5th to the 10th August 1973…
I remember being taken to a stock-car race at Brafield and used to have the programmes..long gone now..
Oh and I came back with my first ‘proper’ vinyl album..Billion Dollar Babies..by Alice Cooper:-) I liked the packaging.
In 1995 I and my Spanish partner Ana Fortun Garrido travelled down from Edinburgh to Dumfreis and Galloway and because she loved canoeing we both went to a lake/campsite and that believe it or not is me in the canoe..my only time I add….afterwards it a beautiful evening and I picked up the pheasant feather and kept it….somewhere near a famous Scottish Mathematician -scientists tomb..monument..I forget..so there you go….magical days…met William Neill the poet and his wife the next day…unforgettable….so this drawing for him…
I had written an essay on him and another neglected Scots writer.Alasdair Maclean…..yes I did more in poetry in Scotland than I ever have in England..I seemed to fit in there..I do not fit in down here and frankly Oxford and then Nottingham have always treated me like shit….well again frankly there no poets here to compare with any I met up north…..sorry that the truth…..MacCaig, Maclean, Dunn, Tessa Ransford, Duncan Glen,Neill, …..nobody round here comes close..sorry that a fact. I never really got over leaving….I left my poetry up there..maybe that a sign that I should return that feather..after all the latin for feather is penna…pen…..
A present from New Zealand used to be a penknife but that bit broke away years ago so taped it up and kept it as a memento of Mary Butler. A token of ancestors to be brought out in a time of mourning for guidance..that would be appropriate..
This one a mystery to me. I found at my Nan Butler’s house I think years ago. Use it to carry my guitar plectrums to gigs in. My guess is a military rifle association hence 5th prize but have no idea who or when..maybe my family would know……Roberts???
Maybe it was carried through First World War….pretty dented ..
Drawn with Manga G-Pen
This my mother and her grandmother together at a dance contest c. 1956 the year before she met my father. I wrote about the dancing in a poem :
The 78s my father bought
seemed to break of their own accord.
Splinters of black shellac
bulging the faded paper sleeves.
Perhaps each crack took a moment with it.
My father in tassled cowboy shirt
setting needle on Capitol and Brunswick.
Or with my mother, before their wedding,
practicing steps in the front room
like they did before every dancing contest
on the sprung dance-floor of the Co-Op.
Somewhere there are medals to prove
that all that lace and Brylcreem
really did spill and twirl between
the banks of collapsible wooden chairs.
By ’73 the ballroom sparkle had died
replaced by a shop-floor of Hoovers
that I’d slouch through as mum
cashed in her book of dividend stamps.
Some Sunday evenings they’d play records
as bomb and bullet crackled on TV
trying to teach me and my sister
the foxtrot, tango and waltz.
My father received this as a school prize when he thirteen for drawing I believe and then he was forced to leave school at 14 and work in the COOP then as a farm labourer on 27 September 1948 when 16 my grandmother kept a memo (see below)
He never drew again just detailed building plans…In drawing this I realised how detailed and fabulous the images are. I love the horse and plough below the title..
Cartoon or Comic Art at its finest circa 1066:-)