Michael usually blogs at Michaelnobbs dot com
30 January 2006
27 January 2006
25 January 2006
23 January 2006
21 January 2006
In October 2004 my blog, the original Guild of Ghostwriters, was one year old and I was too busy rehearsing and performing A Few Good Men to do much to celebrate it. I asked various doodly types from my blogroll (and a few others offered) if they'd like to take over in a Guild of Guestbloggers doodle extravaganza and happily everybody said yes. There was no brief and there were no rules except that the contributions had to include some handmade art. Everybody made a real effort and my inbox was stuffed with virtual stacks of fantastic art. I felt great.
Soon after, I moved to Liverpool, lost contact with my webhosts and GoG disappeared. Since then, all that fantastic art has been sitting on my desktop with only me around to see it. As this resurrected GoG nears its first birthday, it's time to share again the stuff that made me feel great.
During the original Guild of Guesbloggers fortnight back in October 2004 I posted one image at a time. That's going to prove impossible this time because I don't have everyday home access to the internet and I'm too busy to run down to the library every day so I'm going to post each contributor's offerings in one post.
(Note to contributors: I haven't heard back from everybody I've contacted so I'm assuming that no news is good news and that your original permission to post your work still applies. If you discover your work here, didn't get my email and object to its inclusion, please email me (guildofghostwriters AT gmail DOT com) and I'll happily remove it. I'll apologise now that I won't be able to email you that your work is reposted and the permalinks - sorry!)
Enough waffle - bring on the doodles!
16 January 2006
I had hoped to have another daily doodle to post today but I'm afraid I've just been too busy/ill/hung over to get one done. Apart from teaching football songs to a mob of visiting Finns ("He's big, he's red, his feet stick out the bed/Peter Crouch/Peter Crouch"), learning lines and drinking real ale by the pint, I've finally got round to making a start on my daughter's birthday book for this year.
I've had the basic ideas and storyboard knocking around for a few months. And during those few months I've been doing loads of development sketches to get work out the look of the various character. At the weekend I did a load of test images with gouache and pencil to try and work out what media it will work best with. I hoped it would look best done with pencil because that's less time consuming and it's a huge (and probably impossible) ask to get it done in time her birthday at the end of February.
Unfortunately for my busy schedule and sense of myself as a person who gets things done on time (hahaha), gouache was a clear winner and gouache it will be. When it's finished I'll do a series of illustrated posts about the whole process and publish it using lulu. Until then, I hope these samples from the various test drawings and paintings are tantalising and intriguing to my regulars without giving too much away...
My (currently very busy) blogging buddy Madge celebrated her first year of blogging (her 1st blogday as it came to be known) last April by handing the place over to guest bloggers like me and this is what I did...
I'll be starting the reposting any day now (well, as soon as I remember to stick the guest posts and 'guild of guestbloggers' logo on the disc I use for library blogging) but this is just to give you a taste of how it's done (and maybe whet your appetite to do it yerself..?)
This is the final painting completed (to date) for the leaving present and the one I'm happiest with. The top image is a photograph of the recipient's school in Finland. The bottom image is a rough copy of one of the photographs that was returned when I did an image search for 'kansakoulu' on google.fi. 'Kansakoulu' roughly translates as 'people's school' or 'nation's school' and was the education system in Finland up until the late 70s. The recipient of this leaving gift was educated under kansakoulu but most of her Liverpool-Finn (or Suomi-Scouse) friends are a good decade younger (she's a tad older than me) and so to them kansakoulu is the 'old school' system their parents edndured. Thus referring to her as kansakoulu was the injokey way of saying she's old school (or just old). I know the joke element of the injoke doesn't travel out very far but I'm still chuffed with the painting and hope she'll be chuffed with the gift even if I don't do any more paintings.
11 January 2006
When every night was dopey drab and dreamless, I forgot just how mundane, silly and seemingly pointless most dreams really are. Still, it's nice to fly occasionally. Not so nice waking up fearing a ciggie/spliffy relapse.
For those who were around the old blog back in October 2004, and especially for those who participated in the Guild of Guestbloggers celebration of my first year of blogging/holiday from having to do owt to make my blog look (even more) beautiful (than usual), I'll be reposting all the guest contributions. I'll start in about a week. I've tried to email all the original contributors to make sure that there's no objection to me reposting but a few of them have bounced and it's possible that some email addresses have lapsed or whatever SO if you took part and haven't heard from me, please let me know (guildofghostwriters AT gmail DOT com) if you DON'T want me to repost your contribution or if you would like to make a new contribution either instead of or in addition to your original contribution. Any other inky fingered bloggers or blogreaders passing through and fancying a crack at the guest doodle blogging lark, please email reasonably proportioned (ie no more than 250k per doodle, max about 700 pixels wide) scans of doodles to me and I'll almost certainly be happy to include them (and thanks to those who've replied already...)
9 January 2006
I've never really done New Year resolutions. I generally think if something is worth resolving then it's worth resolving now. However, in early January 2005 I stopped smoking canabis and nicotine because I wanted to and so they became "sort of" resolutions. In January 2006 I've reinstated the dropped practise of daily pages and am feeling a lot more positive about creativity and life generally as a consequence and so I felt moved to make the following list while the good vibrations persist. But if I don't manage em, I'm not going to get depressed about it because these are only "sort of" resolutions.
6 January 2006
Although it wasn't the first time I'd encountered something along these lines, reading loads of wonderful doodle journals from blatherings on flickr just before Christmas inspired me to have a go myself.
Can you guess what part in what play I've been learning and rehearsing from the tiny fragment there? It's something twice translated - well, adapted from classical Greek into French and then translated into English. The first person to email me with the name of the play and playwright wins a piece of original artwork.
This is a leaving present for a Finnish friend who returned to Finland last summer. The original idea was to produce 6-8 A4ish gouache cartoons which she could frame and then print scanned copies of them in booklet form to show off. However, it stalled after I completed the first 4 paintings so I'm not sure whether to leave it at that or do the other 2 or 4 paintings. I have inked 2 and a bit of the incomplete paintings but lost momentum and subsequently faith in them and the whole project has remained stuck for the last 6 months. I have a more pressing project to distract me, and these don't need to be finished until she visits Liverpool in about 4 months time, so I'll decide what to do when this next project is finished. In the meantime, and crossing my fingers she doesn't stumble upon them, I'm posting the 4 pics I've finished so far.
My favourite part of this is the Liverpool waterfront which all scouses have told me is instantly recognisable. My least favourite bit is the red t-shirt which is supposed to be Andreas Baader - the wearer and I are always saying we want to print some Baader t-shirts because Guevara t-shirts are too commonplace and divorced from the life of the man.
4 January 2006
I don't normally do these but I'm still nowhere near my scanner and eager to update so here goes:
Four jobs you've had in your life:
Inheritance Tax Advisor
VAT Enforcement Clerk
Witch/Murderer/Messenger/thrice murderee(?)/et al in cut-down 'Scottish Play' for year 9 SATs
Christmas Mail Sorter
Four movies you could watch over and over:
The Man Without A Past
The Grave Of The Fireflies
Way Out West
Four places you've lived:
Nottingham - where I was born
Mexborough - Ted Hughes was there a bit before I was
Oxford - I lived a few doors down from where Clinton didn't inhale
Liverpool - just in time for Istanbul 2005 and Capital of Culture 2008
Four TV shows you love to watch:
Match of the Day
Four places you've been on holiday:
The Yorkshire Dales, England
Four websites you visit daily:
I don't get online daily but the days I do I always visit
and various of the sites in my sidebar depending on time
Four of your favorite foods:
Full English Breakfast including Black Pudding - the kingsize breakfast at The Pilgrim on Pilgrim Street, Liverpool is the best example not prepared in my own kitchen
Croissants with Butter and Apricot Jam
Battered Cod and Chips from an English chipshop, preferably near the coast
Just about anything Indian, Mexican or Finnish
(this is probably a bit of a cheat but I LOVE my food!)
Four places you'd rather be:
Not sure I'd rather be anywhere other than where I am right now but I'd like to see Finland for the first time, or be on stage, or see Dove Dale and Lathkildale in the Peak District as they were in 1977, or just be gasping up at the magnificent canopy of stars I experienced in rural Victoria, Australia.
Four albums you can't live without:
A huge struggle narrowing this to four but I would find it very difficult to cope without at least one Gorky's Zygotic Mynci album close to hand but struggle to narrow it down to one from Sleep/Holiday, How I Long To Feel That Summer In My Heart, Barafundle and The Blue Trees
Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
and some homemade compilation with Thelonious Monk, some Beatles, Stones, Stone Roses, Super Furry Animals, Erik Satie, Frank Zappa, Flaming Lips, Watersons, Billy Bragg, and countless others I'm bound to think of as soon as I click 'PUBLISH' and walk away.
Why are there no books in this Me-Me?
Four books you can't live without:
Palestine books 1 & 2 by Joe Sacco
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd
any of the Love & Rockets volumes by Los Bros Hernandez
Krazy Kat: the Comic Art of George Harriman
I plan to get near to my scanner in the next few days whereafter there'll be more illustrated goodness gracing these pages (or more of the same from me anyway)...