Peppermill Label

CD label created for boutique Canadian label Peppermill Records.

As well as creating the label for Set One of this compilation, I also ‘licensed’ the use of my “Blue Album” collage for the front cover.

I was supposed to get sent a physical copy of this album for my collection, but it never happened. That’s the drawback of working with small labels, they’re not always reliable when it comes to providing you with copies of the albums bearing your work.

Fatherhood

A collage about being a Dad.

Contrary to the instructions on an airplane safety card, being a good father means putting your son’s mask on first. You need to accept and embrace the possibility of sacrifice, putting your child’s needs before your own and going without oxygen if necessary in order to sustain them. Of equal importance is showing them how to keep themselves safe and take care of their own basic needs.

The tunnel / airlock symbolizes the journey from childhood to adulthood, as a father guides his son along the path, eventually setting him free to explore on his own, well-prepared and confident.

One of the best things about being a Dad is making great memories – having silly fun together and taking photos of weird and wonderful things, photos you can look back at later and share another laugh about.

At the top we have the helicopter Dad. He’s guiding his son’s rocket, being everywhere at once and engineering little successes that will help to build the boy’s confidence.
And last but not least, there’s a floating Dad in the middle firing his retro-rockets, so to speak, because being a Dad is also about fart jokes, right?

This piece feels really cohesive because it’s about something very specific and of course also because all the people come from the same source material.

The Return Of Mr Thoth

A tribute to one of my favourite gods.

Thoth is the Egyptian god of knowledge, the moon, wisdom, magic, and secrets. In other words, a good guy to have on your side!

This is one of the earlier “drippy paint” works, I can see how I improved that technique with later pieces but this one certainly doesn’t suffer because of it.

Dream Machine

The first white (or partly!) canvas I’ve worked on in years!

Since I’m such a creature of habit, it felt odd to not work on a black canvas, they are pretty much all I’ve worked on over the last few years.

The psychedelic background on this is actually made from the leftover paint I used on black canvases! I’d flick some onto the black canvas and then pour the rest onto this one. I love that the colours ran together, they remind me of 1960s light shows with oil on projectors.

Copenhagen Under Siege

Tiny tots terrorize town, full story at 11.

This is a rare example of mixed images, illustrations and photos in the same collage. For about the last 15 years I’ve used only illustrations – I like the way they look, they last better than photos do, and more importantly they can create a much more seamless effect than photos can.

Maybe it’s because there are no faces visible in the photo of Copenhagen but the illustrations seem to blend really well and create the effect I was looking for: giant kids using a city as their own personal playground. I was so pleased with how that technique worked here that I applied it to many of the pieces that followed.

I sold this about ten years ago to an insurance company CEO from New York. Not my usual audience maybe but it’s good to have your work appreciated by a wide range of people.

Sea Of Tranquility

Ganesha, space, and symmetry – these are a few of my favourite things.

I had a lot of fun making this one – I restricted myself to a smaller number of characters than usual so I had to choose carefully. I enjoyed the challenge of focusing on only ‘populating’ a small part of the canvas with characters and eschewing my usual “everything and the kitchen sink” approach.

See These Little Horses

This is a personal favourite of my “strange speech bubbles” pieces.

It’s just as well I’m pleased with it, I recall thinking long and hard about whether I wanted to ‘invest’ that great image of the moon into this particular collage.

I’ve shown it a few times but so far no one has bought it. It’s almost as if people don’t trust art that doesn’t make sense. How can you have someone refer to little horses when THERE. ARE. NO. HORSES???! *boggle*

 

The Ocean Has Her Own History

A sprawling tale of aeons beneath the waves.

One of the largest pieces I have ever created. I usually try to work with smaller canvases for ease of scanning – this one was too large to scan so had to be photographed from the top of a stepladder instead!

There’s not a strong narrative here, more a collection of historical figures remixed and re-positioned in my usual warped way.

I’m particularly fond of the little religious figures on the edges, tugging nervously at the sleeve of the Lincoln-octopus on the left and quivering under the gaze of a giant nautilus on the right.