Saturday, 28 February 2015

Gerald Rose IV

As you know, I adore the work of Gerald Rose so I was thrilled a couple of weeks ago in a local charity shop to find a copy of Trouble in the Ark from 1976, water damaged but beautiful to me! Wishing you all a happy weekend,

Friday, 27 February 2015

Jim Flora

The action of Jim Flora's dynamic album covers alive with colour, text and busy patterned figures leaping all over has been described as a 'graphic traffic jam'. Jim Flora (1914-1998) designed album sleeves for RCA Victor and Columbia Records in the 1940's his work was full of vitality and dynamism, perfect for the energy of the music they represented. Both of his time and ahead of it Jim Flora's work you see the influences of the time Miro, Picasso mixed with Mexican folk art and a sugar sprinkling of bold bright imagination.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Some album covers

Making your face funny for money . . . Comic Relief 2015.

My students and I have been making and are continuing to make terrible albums, album covers that would make me laugh or scream in a charity shop. These are going to be in an online charity event on facebook where people can vote for their favourite cover by liking it and sponsor us for comic relief.  The event will end on March 19th.  
The covers are created using wigs, hats and nonsense with an occasional instrument and a lot of laughter and hopefully will raise funds for a good cause.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Neil Fujita

Neil Fujita (1921-2010) was considered to be the godfather of Graphic Design famous for his book and album covers his innovative style and techniques revolutionising the album cover particularly for Columbia records.
"When I got to Columbia, there was the beginning of some idea of album cover art but it was still just type and maybe a photo of the artist and some shapes arranged in an interesting way. That was the first concept of album cover art. Actually the first examples of album art that I can remember were on children's records, because they might have included a painting or something else to illustrate the idea. But I think that I was the first to use painters, photographers and illustrators to do artwork on album covers." Neil Fuita

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

David Stone Martin

Something happened last week my neurons pinged in a strange way and a new project was started. So as of today I am hoping with my students to create fake bands, fake album covers and posters and then use these to raise money for charity by having a competition with them. Whatever happens it will be fun, as even just starting it the photographs were fun bu the editing and choosing names and titles adds to the smiles. So tomorrow I am going to work armed with wigs, instruments and hats.

Because of this I am going to celebrate some graphic designers who worked on album covers.
David Stone Martin (1913-1992) is best known for his album covers of which he produced over 400 many of them for Jazz artists. Here are some examples of his bold use of colour and expressive line work.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Jean Jullien II

It is Jean Jullien's propensity to draw his comical line drawings on environments that has led to his recent residency at the Wythe Hotel, New York. Though I believe he only started out drawing on their windows, the drawings are spreading. . .

As I said yesterday I see a strong Saul Steinberg influence which I love as Saul is one of my favourite graphic, comic creatives of the last century. Below are two examples of Sauls interior drawings.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jean Jullien I


Jean Jullien is a French illustrator based in London who has a wonderful eye for comedy and reminds me greatly of Saul Steinberg. Here is a little film about him and his work.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Christopher Wood I

I am working on abstract art at the moment with my students. Strangely I have never approached abstract art in my teaching but the students and I are really enjoying it, and it is enabling them to look at their work and use of media in a very different way. 
Above are some examples from the portfolio of Christopher Wood a contemporary Scottish painter who like Barbara Rae is very inspired by the landscape, seascape and the elements. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

You win some you lose some

I entered the Floris, Kelpies competition this spring and was this time unsuccessful. The energy required to keep pushing and applying for competitions and opportunities is really intense especially when you are already in a professional job, but it is also good for me to keep my working practice current and keep that humbling experience of failure and sometimes success.
The same as it is good for me to be a student again and understand what that feels like once more.

When I recently visited an exhibition by illustrators for the publishing house Floris, I realised that my cover was not their usual style and also realised that I should have researched their house style before entering. A hard lesson, but good lesson learned, my initial paintings had been softer and possibly more acceptable.
I was happy with the cover design I produced it was strong and exactly what I had intended, my first cover design.
'The Hill Of The Red Fox' is a spy story set on Skye during the cold war. For the new edition the publishers wanted it to appeal to girls and boys and so I focused on the fox of the title. Because of the cold war element of the novel I wanted the cover to be very red to represent Russia. The rock formations on Skye, to me, resembled foxes tails and so these were included on the back cover. I look forward to seeing the short listed entries which will be exhibited later in the year it is always so interesting to see different interpretations of briefs, either my own in the classroom or in competitions/ exhibitions like this.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Barbara Rae II

Today I am sharing a Painting and Monotype by Barbara  Rae. Barbara Rae has work included in this years VAS exhibition (not pictured) it is glorious to see works by Barbara in the flesh as the colours are so vibrant and iridescent plus the scale and quality of the painting is awe inspiring. Do try to either see Barbara Rae's work at VAS, The Royal Scottish Academy, The Mound, Edinburgh before the exhibition closes at the end of February.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Joyce Gunn Cairns

 Joyce Gunn Cairns is one of my favourite contemporary Scottish artists so it was great to see her painting 'Absence' (above) included in the VAS exhibition at the RSA Edinburgh until February 28th 2015. Below is a new painting 'Hands that have lived' 2014 both are beautiful sensitive works full of humanity and love.


Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Simon Ward II

I love it when you can see the artist talking about their work, so here is a makers profile on Simon Ward

Simon Ward I

Simon Ward makes ceramics but  his ceramics are made into large displays and installations. One of Simon's main themes is taking ordinary functional objects and giving them a new role with their meaning and function elevated.

The throw away, the mundane and the common are re-positioned, and given center stage and inspiring re-evaluation. You can see Simon's display of small porcelain birds with blue and white glaze at VAS until February 28th 2015.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Hazel Vellacott

Another interactive piece in the VAS exhibition is the award winning medicine cabinet by Hazel Vellacott.
"Imagine a medicine chest that is packed with capsules that, rather than being filled with drugs, are full of the hopes, dreams and wishes of hundreds of people.
I have made an interactive sculpture based on this idea and am looking for some help."
Hazel Vellacott 
This piece has empty capsules and a mixture of paper scraps on which to write your own medicine, and add it to the cabinet. Mine was 'tickles and laughter', Freya's was 'sunlight and words'. it is fun to sift through the medicine and see if it is medicine you would benefit from or not.