26 November 2006

Christmas Card Sneaky Preview - Mr Lumiukko Hates Christmas: the snowman suicides

It's been a long time since I made some art of my own, let alone posted any on this blog, so I thought I'd swiftly erase the unpleasant memory of my arse (sorry dopp!) with what I spent sunday doing...

Mr Lumiukoo Hates Christmas: the snowman suicides - logo

Mr Lumiukoo Hates Christmas: the snowman suicides - one way ticket to egypt

I could waffle on pretentiously about how they're a comment on xmas being the loneliest time of the year when depression and suicides soar with the prices of overpackaged food and confectionary but really I just had the idea and decided to run with it. There should be maybe 5 or 6 of them when I'm done, give or take, drip-pen painted with gouache in my usual stylee. No arses or anything.

Oh aye - Lumiukko is wot finnish people (and presumably other finnish snowmen) call snowmen...

23 November 2006

Mad Dogs & English Men...

Mad dogs and Englishmen?

...and Finns too, apparently.

It's been an awful long time since I found out first hand but apparently this is what you do on your holidays. After drinking a variety of local intoxicants, end the night sitting naked in a lovely little wooden house alongside your partner's dad who is hitting you about the torso with a vihta, a 'bath whisk' made from birch branches and leaves. Nearby, birchwood burns in an oven heating a load of rocks over which water is poured. As a consequence, the little wooden house becomes very very hot. This is the height of civilisation. You sit like that until you feel the time has come to leave then stumble outside, taking care not to slip and cook yourself on the oven and stones as you pass them. Outside the snow should be fresh and virginal. Preferably a beer or two will have nested in the snow in preparation for this moment. You dive into the snow. It's the silliest thing you've ever done but it feels great. Better than the alternative - cutting a hole in the ice and swimming in the lake. You'd have to be MAD to do something like that. Lie back in the snow - which would be horrible and rough if it were old snow - and let the locals take photographs. Sadly the snow melted away soon after so this was the only chance I got to do this. Until next time...

Feeding the flames
vihta soaking
abominable snow, man

The red lines on my torso are marks left by the vihta. There was a very good reason for beating people in this way but that reason was explained to me when I was drunk and in a foreign language so the logic behind it escapes me now. The photographs were taken on a borrowed digital camera that neither myself nor Ms Suomi-Suolmate (who took the pictures of me) really knew how to use so apologies for the variable quality and the datestamp. If you want to see more, I've made a set of the better ones over at flickr.

Okay, so my bum looked big in that ski-suit - what about out of it?
Cooling down

22 November 2006

Suksi suomi!*

I'm just a few hours off the plane from Tampere. It'll be a while before I get some of my art on here but in the meantime there'll be some very bad holiday snaps starting with this short vid of me skiing at Ms Suomi-Suolmate's family's summer cottage at Saarijärvi, near Loppi, Finland. Oh, and I fell over because the person with the camera only went and stood in my bleeding path. I mean, it was maim him or fall over. I'll bleeding maim him next time. If you look in the background at the end you'll see a contraption where Herra Lohi** is smoking so he can become my dinner later. Does my bum look big in that ski-suit?

* suksi suomi = ski finland!
** Herra Lohi = Mr Salmon

1 November 2006

More colouring in

To keep the eyeballs candied up, here's the second of the Pat Robertson Colouring Book things wot I did, and the one they used. You can see all promotional colourings in at the powell's website here. Have a browse through all of them - this is my favourite. I think it'll all disappear in about a fortnight so if you're clicking these links and they don't work it's because you're from a future I can only contemplate with trepidation...

pet wedding for blog

Pinch punch first of the month...

Well the play is now dimly distantly past and I struggle to pull myself out of the momentumless gloom brought on by the abrupt withdrawal of adrenalin and luvvie adulation. It's a sad reflection of my character, nature and big head (or maybe just the fact that I'm such a great actor), but I think it's the absence of people saying, and me nightly giving them reason to say, that I'm so great and very Irish that has caused this gloom more than all the other reasons. Whatever, gloom descends. Unless I'm getting drunk with my fellow luvvies and finding reason and cause to crow-bar in segments of the script. "B'jaysus, he must be comin via the friggin alps then!". "I mean, what is she, a friggin cowboy or something?" Like that - no reason to say them but crow-barred them in nevertheless.

Anyway, I had a wonderful part in a wonderful play and together we produced a very good show that everybody enjoyed, even if they felt a little depressed and teary by the time we took our bows. Too soon it was all over and there's nothing to show except posters, liver damage, memories. Oh, and this - a cartoon of Joe and Georgie by the very talented illustrator, best and calmest ever backstage person and good friend Kate. I'll do some new drawing here as soon as I remember how to use my dip-pens and imagination.