Monday, 7 October 2013

Miscellaneous musings.

Like most updates of this blog recently, this one is long overdue. Summer has flown past in the blink of an eye and we are now firmly into Autumn.

July and August were hectic and saw 60 hour weeks between regular job and the Generator summer programme.  September brought the inevitable exhaustion and illness I associate from sudden stops such as that one.  October sees me fighting fit and on the move to a new lovely flat with two fantastic and very talented people (this one and this one).

August also brought some good news in the form of a teaching job in Glasgow.  Its only one day a week but the weekly commute is more than worth it.  The limited time I get to spend with the class means I am still finding my feet but I am getting there, having a break away from it over the September weekend gave me some breathing space and I was excited to get back into class today for the start of drawing week.

As well as teaching; the little collective I am part of Pitch and Strike were invited to take part in this years Crawl Inclusive, something which is a definite highlight on the Dundee art calendar.   This blog update of this years event is in the works and I will post a link once its online.  We settled on the theme of 'take away art' and set about inviting artists, illustrators and zine makers to create small works that would fill a 7 x 15cm foil take away carton.  The results were surprisingly excellent! I struggled making work on such a small scale but there were some great submissions.

A Pitch and Strike production line!

We made 50 in the end and they went down a treat with those on the Crawl who were lucky enough to get their paws on one.

Two thirds of Pitch and Strike.
The absolute highlight of the evening for me was this performance by Pester and Rossi.  I wish I could articulate just exactly what it was better than headless prehistoric looking chickens laying balloon eggs to a backdrop of loud rave music but thats what it was.  ENJOY!

Last Sunday was the launch of the Yuck n Yum autumn issue, and Hazel has summed it up here better than I can.   Her blog is always well worth a read for updates on Dundee creative going ons so please give it a wee read. 

So thats the extremely condensed version of what I have been up to the past few months.  Now that there is a (little bit) of a break at Generator over the next wee while I am feeling inspired and full of ideas.  I might even get round to updating this place to tell you about it...

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Whats in a bag (part 2)

Not done one of these for a while.  All the things in my bag (as of 15 minutes ago).

Bag contents. Tue 16th July 2013.

Glasses case (with glasses inside).
A4 "Generator" notebook.
8 x Ibuprofen
A5 Moleskin sketchbook/journal
A6 2013 page-a-day diary
£1.77 in change
Weekly bus pass.
2 tampons (1 x regular. 1 x super)
Sun block, factor 15 (not high enough)
Black rollerball pen
Black Sharpie
Black felt pen
Costa Coffee card
Hardback copy of House of the Dead/Prison Life In Siberia by Fydor Dostoieffsky (there are several different spellings of his surname from various sources but I am going by the one on my copy which was printed in 1929)

Considering doing one of these a day for a month!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Paper Goods

The past few weeks have been good for zines!

I picked up a copy of 'Strange Days/Great Alone' by Jonny Lyons at his degree show in DJCAD.  Jonny describes it as "A collection of photographs documenting five strange days.  Each day consisted of a journey with five hand crafted functional sculptures".   If you missed the degree show I highly recommend you take a wander over to his website check out his beautiful work for yourself (particularly the videos).

Jonny Lyons - Strange Days/Great Alone

The end of May saw the last ever issue of Satellitezine,  and rather appropriately a funeral was held in its (dis)honour.  I contributed a 2 small pieces of work to this issue, just like I had to the very first and it was nice to have the back catalogue there to browse through (including my own very early and shockingly bad attempts at some word pieces).  

The funeral itself consisted of a spoken word performance from 2013 DJCAD graduate Liam Dunn, a sound workshop and a very fitting and genuinely quite emotional eulogy from Satellite founder Ruth.  And in true funeral style a nice platter of cucumber sandwiches and peanuts was put on for the mourners.    

Satellite Funeral Issue (front)

Satellite Funeral Issue (back)

Lastly, but certainly not least, there is IS THIS OK? IS THIS NOT OK?   This one came into my life outwith the usual zine buying scenarios.   I was serving two friendly folks in work and noticed that one was carrying a stack of them, and it turned out they were on their way to an event to sell them.  After a bit of chit chat and a flick through its pages I bought one for £1.  Its a lovely thing indeed, filled with  illustration, poems and various other nice bits.   All of this is made even better by the fact its pages are bound with a piece of regular string, and that kind of thinking is worth it alone.  

They both seemed rather surprised that I wanted one, I guess its not a regular thing to be approached by the person serving you in a shop wanting to buy your work.  I was also a bit surprised that there are two girls out there in a town like St Andrews doing this kind of thing; long may it continue. 


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Pirate Poems

Life is busy!

Theres been a lot going on the past 6 weeks or so since I last posted, mainly GENERATOR related but lots of other things too.

I have been invited by Tin Roof to take part in their upcoming members show.  I am fairly certain I know what I am putting in, though I still have a few ideas rattling around in my head that may or may not come to fruition.

In the absence of new work, here is some old work of sorts.  I got a load of boxes back from storage this week and this was inside, a small sketch book from my fourth year at DJCAD.  It was never intended to be an "altered book" or "book art" or whatever you want to call it, but I guess it turned out that way.

Its been almost a year since I saw it and having a peek inside of something I was so fond of at the time was a strange feeling.  Seeing all these little notes and words that I collected and wrote after such a long period of time only resulted in a feeling of distance and unfamiliarity with them which was the opposite of what I expected.  Some I remember vividly and yet others I have no recollection of ever having had a connection.  Even some of the very personal ones that I had such a strong emotional tie to seem distant and leave me feeling a little blank.

There are about 25 pages in total, though I have only shown a few here.

It all feels a little like it means nothing, and I wonder if it ever really did.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Infantry Heart

My most recent work is now on my website.  You can have a wee look here. 

In other news, this is how I entertain myself when no-one else is around. 

Monday, 8 April 2013

Today is an end.

Last weekend was the Yuck n Yum zine fair, and I had some work on the Pitch and Strike table.  It was a bit of a struggle to make work that sat well in zine format, so I instead opted to make a series of altered postcards.  Of course this would require a visit to my favourite second hand book shop and spending probably too much money on beautiful old postcard and paper things that I couldn't bear to work on top of or part with!

I will be adding the rest of these to my website soon, but in the mean time here is a little taster.

Untitled (1911 Homecoming). 2013. SOLD.

I was very happy to sell about half of what I made and earn some money to put into the art making fund.    I only had a modest budget to spend on things for myself, but I managed to pick up a few great things including all five issues of TYCI

In other VERY exciting news I now have a position on the committee of GENERATORprojects.  I was at my first committee meeting last night and I am very excited about the upcoming programme of events.  I helped install the current show Land Odyssey  and its a cracker, it runs until the 21st April so come down and check it out.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Ghost town

One of six images I have been working on this evening.  I'm quite excited about this one and where it is going.  No photoshop other than an image crop (and a slightly sloppy background removal) was used in the creation of this.  Still to neaten it up a little. 

Click for big. 

Untitled (Ghost town). 2013.

Functional Skin

I have once more been playing around with text and images.

These are some rough mock ups I did in Photoshop for something I want to expand upon further on a much larger scale.  These are far from perfect, but I am enjoying just playing around with the scale and text positioning for the time being.   I really like how the bold colours are working with the grainy greys and blacks, and considering my aversion to image editing on computers I am rather pleased with how these look so far.

As always, click for big.

I have had this postcard in my collection for a while, there is something about it that draws me in.   

There is something I particularly like about this next one, although I'm not quite sure about the blue at the moment.   I love the combination of the forlorn figures and text.

Zine Fair!

As part of my Pitch and Strike adventures I will have some new paper based work in the Yuck N Yum  zine fair this coming Sunday (31st March).  The Pitch and Strike trio will all have work on our stall, as well as some work from some of our favourite artists.

I just realised that the "weird bug" on the poster is
in fact a zombie easter bunny.  Clever that.

You can read more about it on the Pitch and Strike blog here.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Collected notes.

I have a job in a shop that sells a variety of lovely things, amongst those things are pens.  Lots of pens!  And when people test these pens what gets left behind are these lovely little scribbles, notes and passing thoughts.    

The scribbles are nice enough in themselves but what really excites me are the words that are written; everything from maths equations to declarations of love!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Accidental image

Another accident as I get to grips with an SLR for the first time in around 6 months. I have a nice little collection of accidental images so far.  I don't want to do anything with them, I like that they exist just as they are. 

Untitled (accidental image 3) 2013


There is a gorgeous place that I go to with this one.  

For me the real beauty is in the details, and the traces left behind by what no longer exists. 

Big banana

And here is another new piece that I am particularly fond of!  Its nice to do something light hearted for a change. I am definitely going to be expanding on this idea.

Untitled (Fly life) 2013.

Guns oot.

I have begun work on some new collage pieces.  Its been a long time since I did some purely two-dimensional collage. So far it's been fun getting back into it and looking at it with a different perspective while trying to build on it with what I have learned through my work with 3-d assemblage and objects.  Here is a sneak preview of one idea I have been playing around with:

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Introducing Pitch and Strike.

Theres an exciting thing that has been taking up all my time over the past few months.  Its called Pitch and Strike and our first ever event is on Sunday 24th Feb in Drouthys basement in Dundee.

There will be lots of lovely people to meet and lovely things to come browse and purchase and some pretty neat badges that you can pin to anywhere you fancy. 

You want more info?  Pop over here and read all about it. 


Some recent out goings and in comings.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Oh goodness, its been a mad month or so here, there is lots going on and not enough hours in my day.  Regardless, I have been soldiering on and getting things done and the first few weeks of the year have been especially productive. So what have I been up to?

I have been working on something new and exciting with this one and this one and this one, and you can expect more info in the next few days once all of the final little creases are ironed out.

I have been back down to Cardonald College for more printmaking workshops, and last week I was also helping teach a class.  It was hard work but worth every second, even the half a day spent helping someone screen print onto CLING FILM was worth it.

I will have some new work featured in a show themed around artists postcards;  you can read more about that here, and you should also contribute.  My submission will be a combination of new text pieces and manipulated images, something simple but bold.  I will upload some images nearer the time.

This week, I also have a small piece in a wee show at The Social in Dundee.  Normally I avoid this kind of show, but its a nice space and there will be some good work to show alongside. Its the first collage I have completed in a while, as well as being one of the smallest I have ever made at 4x8cm!!

Untitled (Some Nights). 2013

Mummifed Mouse

On my travels to Tayside Recyclers last week I came across this little mummified mouse at the bottom of a cardboard box.  Part of me wishes I had a little jar or box in my bag, I would have taken him home to give him a decent send off (displayed on my mantlepiece?)

(Click for big)

And yes, I did wash my hands afterwards. Twice.


Sea urchins
Shell casing
Beach glass
Moose tooth
Cod jaw
Interesting pebbles
Cod vertebrae.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Fun a day.

What better way to start a new year with the second ever instalment of Fun-a-day Dundee?  There is no better way!!  Its not too late to take part, so if you haven't gotten involved yet click on that there link above and get yourself signed up.

Click for big!

I haven't had the time to photograph my contribution yet, but a sneak preview will be on these here pages SOON!