28 May 2008

One Very Important Thought

SOLD (70cm x 60cm)

I used to get accused of daydreaming a lot when I was young, sitting in class gazing out the window at nothing at all, or dawdling along the road with no concept of time. But who is to say I wasn’t thinking about or doing something of the up most importance? I could have been contemplating exactly what was being said or taking my time as to not have an accident whilst walking along a busy road! OK, this wasn’t the case, but it could have been! The point is whatever was going on at the time in the background, in my mind and for many daydreamers alike, I was in the middle of one very important thought. For example, carefully walking along the drain in the playground, one foot in front of the other, didn’t matter if the bell had gone, this is important and the end must be reached! Or those different coloured paving slabs that I had to step on were indeed stepping stones to my goal, and should the wrong slab be stepped on, then I would surely become victim to whatever lurks deep in the chasm below!

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24 May 2008

The Friendly Stranger

SOLD (70cm x 60cm)

I never had an imaginary friend when I was younger, but I know a lot of people did. My boy had one from the ages of around 3 to 5. His name was 'Cammy'. Cammy seemed to have disappeared during the last couple of years, but a few weeks ago I heard him get a mention once more. So he is still out there somewhere. Coupled with this, my work was recently commented on with suggestions of reminiscence to the animation of Raymond Briggs' story When The Wind Blows. With this I was reminded of another of Briggs’ stories that was also adapted into animation, The Snowman. Undoubtedly one of the most famous animations and certainly one of my favourites, it tells of a young boy who builds a snowman that comes to life overnight. Whether this is just his imagination is not really important, but to the boy, the friendly stranger is more than real.

This is a homage to the film that makes me smile and cry at the same time..... also to Cammy and other imaginary souls.

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17 May 2008

Magic Window

(33cm x 43cm inc black frame)

So much of our British society is 'Americanised' these days and it has been getting ever the more so over the last couple of decades. Since the early 90's music, fashion, food and even language has been shaping our kids lives and one of the most noticeable instigators of this is from Children's television. Programmes made in the US flood the countless channels available in the form of dramas, teen sitcoms and cartoons. And the problem is what little British programmes that ARE made, are completely based around their US counterparts. What happened to all those British classics we loved and grew up with, Trumpton, Camberwick Green, Chorlton and the Wheelies, Rent A Ghost and even, dare I say it, Jackanory!? Why do we not have the friendly face and voice of a Brian Cant greeting us on our screens anymore? The magic window to our British childhood culture has gone and I would welcome back the days of the 'off air' transmission screen as a replacement anyday!

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9 May 2008

Slow This Bird Down (Commission)

SOLD (90cm x 70cm)

Our children seem to be growing up quicker all the time. Just think back to what you were doing and what you had at different stages of your childhood. I imagine it differs greatly.

Kids seem to get to a point where they just want to be older. Yet it will happen all too quickly and before they know it they will be forever chasing their youth.

I don’t want my kids to turn around in 30 years and say to me “I was so concerned about growing up faster; I wish there was a way I could of slowed it down.”

I’m sure there are ways of helping that. I think we should understand the need for an orderly progression through childhood. In the past there were important cultural “markers” that determined the ages at which certain behaviours and belongings were appropriate. Those markers seem to have disappeared, or they’ve certainly been moved downward.

At best, you’re only a kid for about 12 years, with another 70 taken up by adulthood. Surely someone in the beginning didn’t think that ratio through properly!