Saturday, 3 February 2018

Burns Night 2018


I love Scotland, from the Highlands to the Cities, the Islands to the Irn Bru (okay maybe not so much) from Flora McDonald to Robert Burns. So I seem to have started a yearly tradition to complete a Robert Burns Illustration for every Burns Night! So here's this years; a linocut with a little portrait of the great man himself on a rose complete with the opening lines of 'O My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose' I wanted to do some green rose leaves & thorns as well, but I ran out of time so I will have to finish it another time. 

Here's my Robert Burns Illustrations from 2017, 2016 , 2015 and 2014

Happy Burns Night!


Monday, 30 October 2017

Chaiyya Chaiyya Linocut & Bollywood Love


I've recently got into watching some Bollywood films (due to finding a favourite 'Kal Ho Na Ho' I saw years ago on Netflix) so of course I've become a huge Shah Rukh Khan fan! Every new film throws up some amazing songs like the incredible 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' from the great film 'Dil Se'  which was all filmed on top of the Ooty train going through the jungles and tunnels its so incredible, watch it here! So I had to create a multi-colour linocut print of it.

Here's some of my favourite SRK films so far:- Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Kal Ho Na Ho, Devdas, Kabhi Kushie Kabhie Gham, Dil Se, Veer Zaara and of course Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge! 

and then some other favourite Bollywood songs on repeat:- Indiawaale, Janam Janam, Tujhe Dekha To, Ina Mina Dika, O Jaan-E-Man



Friday, 12 May 2017

Review: The Orange Grove by Larry Tremblay

 

Ever since I first saw a few of these novellas by Periene Press in a bookshop I was drawn under their spell; their beautiful design from the minimalist connecting covers to the inside flaps, paper texture, and the publishers note on why they chose to publish it, everything is so well considered and that's before we get to the fiction contained inside. After loving the first two I read (The Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman & The Looking-Glass Sisters) I decided to collect them and now I've have been sent a copy of their newest 'The Orange Grove' to review. I love reading but have never attempted to write a review before, so here goes...

The story is set in an unknown country which could be nowhere and everywhere in a time that has experienced a war; it could even be all a dream, as you often hope reality is. But Aziz & Ahmed always come back to the Orange Grove; the gathering of fruit in the harvest, the flowers, the canopy's shade, the dirt and rocks the oranges grow out of. These sights and smells of the Orange Grove ground you to a simple domestic oasis of home, nature, the earth, where you came from, your country, your father and mother.

Aziz & Ahmed are twin brothers who live by the Orange Grove next to where their grandparents were recently killed by a bomb which came from the other side of the mountain. The local militants decide that revenge & honour must be sought by their father who has to choose one of his sons to sacrifice.

The bones of the story is given up in the blurb, when you know that one of the brothers has to be sacrificed by wearing a suicide belt and the implications this has on the brother that survives. As you await the inevitable fate of one of the brothers the story unfolds through a quiet, beautiful, poetic tale of truth, lies, duty, brainwashing, honour/dishonour and a mother's undying love for her sons. 

The Orange Grove forces you to view war from this small family perspective, they could easily be you, having to live your life, raise your children through bombs, suicide vests, militants and having to keep your family's honour intact so the future is still bearable. This family living through the horrors of war teaches you about tolerance, compassion, love and circumstances. 

The Orange Grove left me at a stalement, as life and war often does, with no peace in sight, only questions. How does the future recover from the scars of war, how is one person's life worth more than another, why are innocent children always involved? War has always been a part of history and sadly I feel it always will be, but those losses and lives buried under miles of earth sometimes can grow into oranges. 

A heartbreakingly beautiful read that will be with me a long time, teaching me more about tolerance, compassion and love, I highly recommend it.

Thanks to Periene Press and go check out all their books!




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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Sundial & S-Town Podcast


I listened to the S-town podcast in the first couple of days after it was released & loved it, it's not really a crime story, it's really just an exploration of a fascinatingly unique man, John B McLemore.

In homage to him & the podcast I created a little linocut of a sundial with a sad motto, 'Omnes Vulnerant, Ultima Necat' or for all those non-latin speakers out there 'All Hours Wound; the last one kills' (That motto just kills me!)



Saturday, 4 March 2017

Judy Garland Linocut Print


I've just recently been drawn into the world of musicals & who best to introduce me to them than Judy Garland, here classic Meet Me In St Louis, with the most amazing Trolley Song (shot on the first take), The Wizard of Oz & Easter Parade, I look forward to watching others too.


  

 So to celebrate her in all her fabulousness I created a linocut print which features a beautiful quote of hers: 'Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else' It's now for sale in my etsy shop 


Here's the print framed in gold on an old illustrated copy of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' by Frank L. Baum.

& for all the Judy Lovers out there here's a little spotify playlist of all my favourite Judy at the moment:

 

Thanks Judy!