Assassination of the pretender

Art, Fine Art

Assassination of the pretender

Assassination of the pretender. 25cm x 21cm.

Sketchbook work.

Some time free from the clutches of the Digital Life. Using inks which I’ve had for over 15 years. And they still work.

Playtime with the materials… slowly evolving from the colours and shapes.

Originally published on miketoons.blogspot.com.

Real materials versus computer software

Art, Fine Art, Soapbox

Salisbury Plain (from memory)

Salisbury Plain (from memory), ink and watercolour

August Bank Holiday I spent some time playing with ink and watercolours in my sketchbook. Doodles really. Playing with the medium. Simply enjoying myself. But the first time for absolutely ages.

I had to take advantage of a clear desk space in my wife’s studio – well away from my tiny home office which is dominated by the computer.

Some of the resultant pieces I’ve scanned from the sketchbook and a couple are uploaded to Flickr.

Looking at the Flickr set of my artworks I was struck by two pieces that I created with a computer art application (ArtRage). It’s a clever piece of software, similar to Painter but cheaper.

Midnight in Badalamenti

Midnight in Badalamenti, created in ArtRage

But those ArtRage pieces have no soul. Nothing feeds back to me from them. They are empty images. If only ‘Midnight in Badalamenti’ existed as a real acrylic or oil painting! It’s just an jpeg image in a world flooded with jpegs. There isn’t a real version I can hold.

I feel the same way about a lot of the work that I’ve done since the mid 90s using Adobe Illustrator. At first I used inked line work that I scanned and converted to vector. Pressures of lower and lower fees meant short-cutting this stage by using ‘brushes’ built into the software.

Nothing comes close to real ink, paint, colour on real paper, board, canvas.

I must find more time away from the computer. Computers have provided me with employment for the past 15 years but are now stopping me doing the very thing that gives me most enjoyment and creative nourishment.

Originally published on miketoons.blogspot.com.

 

60s Liverpool | Adrian Henri

Art, Fine Art, Photography

Adrian Henri: Liverpool 1967

Last night I spent a couple of nostalgic hours scanning in old transparencies taken in the 60s in Liverpool. That’s where (and when) I spent my student days at the College of Art, studying Pre-Diploma (now called Foundation) and Diploma in Art & Design [Graphic Design].

My group tutor in my first year was the late Adrian Henri, artist and Liverpool poet*. Adjusting to life at art college with Adrian Henri was a major shock to the system after A level art in the sixth form of a Grammar School but it was fabulous to have been there at that time.

The photo of Adrian Henri (above) was taken a couple years later in April 1967 during a student collaborative film/audio/visual project. I wish I’d taken lots more. Seen from this distance it’s as precious as gold.

‘Death in the Suburbs’, Adrian Henri (audio)

* Poet Roger McGough was my ‘Liberal Studies’ tutor in that first year at the college: his classes sometimes involved improvised plays based on newspaper headlines. It was ‘Whose Line is it Anyway?’ 40 years ago.

Originally published on miketoons.blogspot.com.