Tuesday, 21 July 2009

a creative summer

With the summer holidays here, I'm feeling a need to paint once more. I have decded to produce some small canvases. Small being manageable within the holiday period, and allowing time to fit other things in. One of the themes for these small works is a sort of head-shape, as in this digital image.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

'Table Manners' by Alan Ayckbourn

Official pic as Norman. Performances on 9th and 10th July. Haircut and shave 11th July!
I'm really tired at the end of the school year, but this ought to be entertaining! I've got to find that bit of inspiration...

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

archive material

top: dead leaf, c1988 watercolour
bottom: dead leaf, c1997 ink and watercolour

What is it with the dead leaves? In 1988 I was using watercolour a lot, mostly producing architectural studies. I worked on a number of commissions for surveyors and others in Liverpool. In one instance, I worked from a posh board room in a grand building belonging to a big bank. It had a great view over the city, and I did two larger watercolour paintings for them.

I still had a love for the natural world, though, and enjoyed doing little studies like the dead leaves.

Ten years later, in 1997, I was preparing to do my Masters degree, and was working with realistic and semi-abstract forms from nature.

There is a load of work in between these two studies, and I hope to put some of it up soon!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

archive material - art student days

left: zip fastener, chalk, 1980
right: door coil spring, pencil, 1980
These are large (A1) size drawings, from my foundation year at art college.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

archive material

anamorphic drawing, pencil, with photographic source, 1979
This is a cylindrical anamorphosis. In the sixth form, I was inspired by an older student called Edward Johnson. He had great artistic ability, and I think it must have been he who first showed me anamorphic art. Anyway, I bought a book about it, and soon produced my own anamorphic images. The source for this image was the front cover of 'The Observer' Sunday colour supplement. I remember scouring the colour supplements for any image I found interesting and / or could use.

Monday, 6 April 2009

archive material

'Grand-dad', pencil study, 1978
Copied from an old sepia photo of my maternal grandfather, George Burton, in his early days in the army. The detail on the glove and the sword hilt was hard to make out, so I left those white.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009


pencil, c1978

Early self-portrait from about 1978. Aged about 15.

Monday, 23 March 2009

archive material

'Snake' ink, c1977

I had a really fine-tipped Rotring pen, and I enjoyed doing small-scale images, creating tones using the dot technique.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

archive material

Here we go then! I'll aim to update regularly, with different images from the mid 1970's onwards.

This one is from 1975. It's an image copied from a comic.

My father would bring me home a comic once a week, and, having enjoyed the contents, it was my habit to copy characters and scenes using pencil on paper. I don't remember exactly when this started, but I was 13 when I did this one.

Friday, 6 March 2009

a visit to the past

'Rescued' a whole pile of old drawings and books from my mother's loft recently. Most of the drawings were of no value to me, so I destroyed them. I had forgotten about them all, but when I saw them again after twenty years or so, particular ones just had to be kept alive! I'm aiming to develop a digital record of pieces of art I've made since way, way back!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

shrove tuesday

mmmm, pancakes! We made several, but the really small one was best, because it flipped over three or four times in the air before landing back in the pan. I'd never really considered the size:aerodynamic capability ratio of pancakes before. Perhaps pancake tossing could be developed along the lines of high-diving, with marks for pikes, twists, and other more uniquely pancake-type moves yet to be named (but suggestions welcome!)

Saturday, 21 February 2009

icon of torn hopes, 2009

This latest piece is larger than previous ones, and more complete in its shape - the tearing takes place within the shape this time. Materials; papier-mache on wire frame, sand, rubber matting, wax, various small found-objects, gold spray-paints. Shown in different lights.

Examples of previous 3-d pieces included below.

Monday, 16 February 2009


I also teach full-time in a small secondary school in North Yorkshire. We had Ofsted in just before half-term. It was a 'pilot' inspection under a new format. They agreed with our assessment, and said we are 'good'. What a relief!
Although no two days are the same in this job, I feel proud and very fortunate to go to work there. If you're a teacher, feel free to share any Ofsted experiences on the blog; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Friday, 13 February 2009


Further to my art work, I have been exploring the theme of 'communication' through the medium of photography.

art works

I'm a creative artist and teacher of art. Here's a selection of work I've made over the last ten years. I use chalk pastel / oil paint / mixed media with papier-mache. Hope you like them!