1. Ladybird Poetry

    The ‘New words in this book’ section at the back of old Ladybird Books should be read ensemble as a piece of avant-garde poetry. It’s often strangely beautiful.

     
  2. Jacques Auriac

    I can’t tell you how much the above floats my boat. A poster by Jacques Auriac (1922-2003), via here.

     
  3. Rimbaud

    This is Modernism in action, allying abstract expressionism with Rimbaud’s verse.

     
  4. Working on my next print

    image

    I go through endless auditions & edits, piling books up, rearranging them, trying to find the right combination of colours, patterns, patinas & textures to suit the album I’m trying to capture. The above is a snapshot from one such marathon session the other evening. I think this might become a new Kate Bush print to accompany my Hounds of Love print. We’ll see, we’ll see…

     
  5. Retro To Go like my new David Bowie ‘Berlin Trilogy’ prints. Das ist wunderbar!

     
  6. David Bowie’s ‘Berlin Trilogy’ - Low, “Heroes”, Lodger - As Books

    New prints available now in my Etsy shop via these links: Low, "Heroes" and Lodger

    Growing up in the 1970s in Britain with Radio One playing continuously on the kitchen radio ensured that I was pretty well saturated with Bowie during my formative years. Yet it wasn’t until I was doing my MA in Fine Art in my early twenties that I picked up a cassette of 'Low', played it, and fell instantly in love.

    "Heroes" (watch out for those double quotes around the title, fact-fans) became my next Bowie must-have. This was ‘Autobahn’ for the Top 40 generation. ‘The Secret Life of Arabia’ continues to be one of my guiltiest of pleasures.

    And finally we come to 'Lodger', a strangely straightforward album at first listen, but it’s more elbows than hands (if I can put it that way), and it points the way to much of the best stuff in Bowie’s ’80s and ’90s work. His vocal on ‘Fantastic Voyage’ never ceases to elicit goosebumps.

    So, all three prints are now available in my shop, and if you buy all three there’s a special 10% discount here.

     
  7. The Persuaders! Novelised!

    [In ‘Carry-On’ voice] I love a bit of Roger. In fact, I’m always left wanting Moore. 

     
  8. 14:13 6th Apr 2014

    Notes: 5

    Tags: paintingart

    18th Century Problems

    Art is so often improved by context.

     
  9. image: Download

    The Bayeux Tapestry - now in glorious black & white!

    The Bayeux Tapestry - now in glorious black & white!

     
  10. This Was 1966

    Poetry collections had big mushrooms on their front covers back then. This is of course totally fine.

     
  11. 20:09

    Notes: 2

    Tags: bjorksylvia plath

    …and in this top 10, two of the items are mine - my Sylvia Plath and Bjork prints. I’d say this was a pretty healthy success rate.

     
  12. My prints are written up rather chucklesomely (is that a word? It is now) on the Canadian music TV channel Aux’s website today too. 

     
  13. 21:31

    Notes: 1

    Alan Cross has given my Albums-as-Books prints a very nice mention on his blog today.

     
  14. Laurence Olivier Pops Out Of A Penguin

    I recently bought this slim but lovely little volume - a trade catalogue for Penguin Books, sent to booksellers in 1959. It’s catnip to those like me who might… one day… start collecting Penguins in a seriously completist way (but luckily my life isn’t ready for that particular descent into Gene-Hackman-At-The-End-Of-The-Conversation yet). And its covers are very pretty and of-their-time.

    Flicking through, you get a sense of just how many fricking books Penguin published, and delving deeper you come across nugget after nugget of pure gold. Consider for example the following page, taken from the children’s section. At the top of the page is the continued list for pop-out books. Yes, Penguin pop-out books.

    The first item sounds amazing - a Laurence Olivier ‘Hamlet’ movie tie-in with pop-out actors, presumably so you could re-enact the movie on your tabletop at home. Inspired! And somewhat mad.

    The one I’d really be most curious to see though is the fifth one down - ‘Puppets’ by Gordon Murray and Tony Hart. Two absolutely seminal figures from my childhood (and the childhoods of many of my generation, I’d imagine). Tony Hart, who showed us that Making Pictures was Fun and Important and Useful. And Gordon Murray, who created Trumpton, Chigley and Camberwick Green, three series whose visual language and identity was so refined and carefully considered that they still stand as a benchmark for any visual artist who is attempting some coherence in their work. A pop-out book made by these two inspirational figures would surely have to be a wonderful thing. Wouldn’t it?

     
  15. Tom Waits’ ‘Rain Dogs’ As A Collection of Books

    I always thought the characters and scenarios in Tom Waits’ songs would be perfectly suited to prose, particularly short stories or novellas - somewhere between Charles Bukowski and Raymond Carver. So his albums are an ideal source for my albums-as-books print series, and his masterpiece ‘Rain Dogs’, with its 19 sprawling tracks of life-affirming misery, was just crying out to be turned into a raggedy pile of worn-out spines.

    I’ve loved this album since being introduced to it c/o a screening of ‘Down By Law’ on BBC2 sometime in the late 1980s (‘Jockey Full of Bourbon’ plays out brilliantly over the sort-of title sequence). Luckily our local library had a copy (in amongst the scratched Bartok, the warped Elgar and the three - for some reason - copies of Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Agents of Fortune’), and one C-90 tape dubbing session later I was hooked for life.

    A few years later I was lucky enough to see Mark Ribot play the same angular guitar that he splangs across this album in some US-UK cultural exchange weekend thing at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Sadly I’ve never seen Tom Waits play live, but from what I hear I’d have to sell my grandmother and at least five other people’s grandmothers to get tickets. This country really feels like a remote island sometimes.

    Anyway, there you have it. This rather lovely print is available now in my Standard Designs Etsy shop.