Wednesday, 15 November 2017

VINTAGE ENGLAND v BRAZIL!

A glimmer of optimism for English footie fans could be on the horizon, as the kids shone in our recent friendlies with Germany and Brazil.

Have a look below at this fantastic original match ticket from another encounter with Brazil in 1956.
This is from the ArtPix Archives and will be on sale soon!!



Brilliantly, England won 4-2!

Wembley was packed to the rafters as 97,000 turned up to see some of England's most famous players take on the Brazilians. The team sheet included the magnificent Stanley Matthews, Billy Wright and Johnny Haynes.

Manchester United's Tommy Taylor and Colin Grainger of Sheffield United both grabbed two goals as the home side triumphed.

Taking a closer look at the ticket, it appears that although the match was on a Wednesday, it kicked off at 3pm. I imagine quite a lot of the crowd had sneakily phoned in sick that day to get to the game!!
The price of 3/6 is roughly, according to one website, £6-16p in today's money, peanuts for a top game like that.

Below is the full line-up that day:
ENGLAND v BRAZIL 
Wednesday, May 9th 1956
Reg MATTHEWS (Coventry City)
Jeff HALL (Birmingham City)
Roger BYRNE (Manchester United)
Ronnie CLAYTON (Blackburn Rovers)
Billy WRIGHT (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
Duncan EDWARDS (Manchester United)
Stanley MATTHEWS (Blackpool)
John ATYEO (Bristol City)
Tommy TAYLOR (Manchester United)
Johnny HAYNES (Fulham)
Colin GRAINGER (Sheffield United)



However the match is tinged with sadness, as three of the team that day would be killed by the Munich Air Crash less than 2 years later on 6th February 1958. The Manchester United players Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne and the goalscorer Tommy Taylor all lost their lives.





Saturday, 11 November 2017

ARMISTICE DAY

On November 11th I usually go to the Cenotaph in London to pay my respects, but this year was very different. 

As I now live on the Isle of Portland, I today went along to my local War Memorial at the top of the hill on Portland. It is a stunning location, with sweeping views across Chesil Beach and the Jurassic Coast.

The dark and threatening skies and howling wind added to the dramatic feel of the moment. And just like in London, when the whole of Whitehall falls silent at 11am, the small troop of people huddled around the huge obelix of Portland stone perfectly observed the two minute silence.

Portland's War Memorial

The amazing view from the memorial.

Just some of the names inscribed on the side of the obelix.

Two poppies to remember.


I always like to finish with a Siegfried Sassoon poem on November 11th, and as we are still acknowledging the centenary of all the major events of the First World War, here is one of his poems entitled Two Hundred Years After.

Trudging by Corbie Ridge one winter's night,
(Unless old hearsay memories tricked his sight)
Along the pallid edge of the quiet sky
He watched a nosing lorry grinding on,
And straggling files of men; when these were gone,
A double limber and six mules went by,
Hauling the rations up through ruts and mud
To trench-lines digged two hundred years ago.
Then darkness hid them with a rainy scud,
And soon he saw the village lights below.

But when he'd told his tale, an old man said
That he'd seen soldiers pass along that hill;
'Poor silent things, they were the English dead
Who came to fight in France and got their fill.'


©Siegfried Sassoon

Friday, 10 November 2017

FRANCE IN THE FIRST WORLD WAR

This is my tribute to the French in the First World War.



Having visited France many times and picked up various bits and pieces, I've always wanted to create an artwork to commemorate the country's experience of the war.

All the images used are drawn entirely from my own collections and photographs. 

The war rocked France, and as their territory was being invaded in 1914 they learnt bitter lessons in modern warfare. Their armies were still wearing traditional red and blue uniforms as if fighting 19th Century campaigns. But they learnt fast, as the new Poilu grey/blue uniform encapsulated the spirit of stubborn resistance.

One word can define France's First World War: Verdun.

The Germans attempted to capture the strategic forts on the hills in front of the town of Verdun in 1916, pinpointing the town as a symbolic part of French culture. 

The French resisted, but the price was incalculable. 

It almost destroyed the country and its army, and if anything sums up the folly and utterly senseless slaughter of the war then this is it. 
I've read all about the battle, but I could never find the right words to describe what happened to the people involved. Whenever I go to France I think of Verdun and I'm gripped with sadness. It was worse than the Somme and Passchendaele and had catastrophic implications when France was invaded again in 1940. 

For this collage I've gathered together various pieces that I've either bought in France or over here. I have quite a few medals and postcards and a few unusual bits.
I've also trawled through my photos to find the many French war memorials I've seen in towns and villages. 
I've noticed their memorials can be striking and bold. Often featuring defiant soldiers, with heads held high, they are artistically much more inventive than our own. Inside churches, they also have colourful and elaborate plaques and memorials.
I'm very pleased to finally have put this together, especially in time for Armistice Day.
Have a look below for a few of the items that I've used.

Items related to the Battle of Verdun. The Michelin guide book to the battlefield sites from 1921. Inside I found this map showing where the forts and the front lines were. Amazingly the person who owned the book would have picked up this map while touring the area, a lovely authentic touch.
The medal is The Verdun Medal, an unofficial medal initially awarded to the soldiers who served there. There are seven different versions, but this is the 1st issue by Vernier.

An original postcard of the basilica in the French town of Albert, which was behind the lines of the Somme battlefields. In 1915 the golden statue of Mary on top of the building was hit by a German shell and got stuck in this position. Legend soon sprung up that if it fell off the war would end. It finally went in April 1918, but the war would go on another seven months.                

 A rare French army postcard. Sent to a Monsieur Adrien Bayle, presumably by a relative who was in a hospital.

 Henri Barbusse. The French author who wrote the famous book Le Feu (Under Fire) in 1916. Having joined up aged 41, he served for 17 months and endured all war could bring, thus writing his enraged and detailed account.

Although this shell fuse is British, it was dug up from the Western Front in France. The 'iron harvest' is still a common sight on the battlefields. 

 The French Victory Medal. All the Allies awarded their soldiers one of these and each country had their own version. This is the reverse of France's medal.

 An example of a striking French war memorial, time hasn't weathered this defiant Poilu.


The image of the soldier I've used in this artwork, was from a tiny photograph I picked up in a brocante fair in Auvergne last year. I've done a little bit of research on it, which I'll share with you another day, watch this space!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

NEW STOCK!

Got some exciting new bits to put in my unit at The Customs House at West Bay in Dorset!

Below is a selection of the goodies on offer, which of course all make fantastic Xmas pressies!!!


The classic game Master Mind is always a favourite! This one is from 1972 and comes with the original instructions.





These rare Photographers Maps are made by Kodak and date from the 1950s. They are gorgeous maps and I've never, ever seen any of these before!




Great book about the legendary band produced by WH Smith in 1984. It has plenty of pix of the Fab Four.




One of the brilliant books from the I-Spy range. This copy of the History edition dates from 1968.




I've always got loads of retro football stuff in the unit, now including this brilliant book on Arsenal, covering the club's first 100 years.




This lovely annual from 1974 features all the timeless Walt Disney characters you can think of!

So come on down now and check it all out before everything gets snapped up!!

Saturday, 4 November 2017

PROJECTS ON THE GO!

Just a quick update on the many things going on in the ArtPix Studio at the moment!

Work is progressing nicely on my latest decoupage idea. I recently bought a lovely 1930s bedside cabinet and decided to give it a unique Art Deco twist. I've sanded it down and painted it black and I'll soon be adding a decoupage of amazing 30s theatre magazines to the top of it.
The cabinet before the work started!

Got through a few sheets of sandpaper!

I've also started a couple of brand new digital collages, each with completely different subjects.
One is a crazy one based in Portland and the other is a tribute to France during the First World War, which I'm hoping to finish in time for November 11th.


The reverse of the French Croix de Guerre medal, awarded to soldiers who served in the First World War.

Another very exciting project I've got is coming up with ideas for posters and visuals for an event in London. The combined forces of Arcane Publishing and Oil54 are to hold another feast of music and literature next February and plans are already well under way!

So stay tuned right here for updates on all these things!!!

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Despite the horrific commercialism of this event, the roots are deeply embedded in Britain's mysterious Pagan past.

And luckily for me, I live in the deliciously dark Dorset, so I can see evidence of that not-so-forgotten era all around me.

This is my suitably unsettling Halloween picture for today, put together entirely with my own photos of unusual things and places around Dorset.





Sunday, 29 October 2017

BLADE RUNNER 2049

It is with some relief that I can say the new Blade Runner film is absolutely outstanding!

Like many, my heart sank when I first heard of the sequel being made, as the original was such a stand-alone classic.
The revered 1982 movie has been such an influence to so many people, and is rightly regarded as one the best sci-fi films ever made.

The new film though can proudly sit alongside it and is easily a worthy continuation.

The epic cinematography, sprawling and crawling cityscapes, paranoia, technology, human condition, bleakness are all achieved with a quiet and understated air.


I then managed to dig out my old VHS video of the original film!



On the cover they've put Harrison Ford holding a gun (still standard Hollywood practice, to feature guns), drawn in a strangely dated 70s action comic style illustration. Sean Young though is looking like those weird airbrush paintings that you'd always see in the 80s! She's also having a crafty fag, which you would definitely NOT see in Hollywood now!!



This alien piece of technology is of course the not-very-missed video cassette!!
Which once you've watched the film, hoping it wouldn't mess up half-way through, you would have to rewind the tape. The video player would then become this crazed machine as it made a terrible racket, sounding like it would fly out of the window at any moment! After that you would have to troop back to Blockbuster Video to give it back, happy days!!

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

THEATRE WORLD MAGAZINE

At the recent flea market at Shepton Mallet I picked up a stash of these lovely magazines.
All dated between 1937 and 1939, they ooze 30s charm and glamour.

A classic example of the exquisite covers the Theatre World always managed to have.


It must have been wonderful to have seen a theatre play at that time. There were many famous film stars who trod the boards around this era, so you had a fair chance of seeing a top star as well.

Oddly, there isn't that much info on the history of the magazine online, but you see them occasionally knocking around antique fairs, and I've bought a few in the past. I know it started in 1925 and made it to the 50s, before I think it amalgamated with another theatre magazine.

Brilliant comic scene by three veteran actors.

Stunning portrait of Bernard Shaw. Or George Bernard Shaw as he's also known!

On the eve of war and Theatre World has upped its game. They've redesigned their covers, by ditching the orange colour scheme and having a full-bleed photo. Brilliant!

A couple of the issues I bought were a bit tatty, so I've decided to do a decoupage of a few of the amazing portraits and stage shots within the magazines.
I also recently bought a 1930s bedside cabinet, so I'm going to use that to create a glamorous Art Deco piece of furniture. 
I'm hoping to start it this week, so watch this space!!

Friday, 20 October 2017

THE BENCHMARK FOR DECOUPAGE!

Have been at the PVA glue again!!!

I rescued this lovely bench from a house in Portland that was having its contents unceremoniously dumped in the front garden, (I asked permission to take it first of course!!!), and decided it deserved a second chance.

So out came some old copies of the Beano and Dandy, plus tins of red paint and varnish, and I got to work transforming the bench.

I love doing decoupage, it makes a nice change from doing digital collages as well, and although using old comics is completely unoriginal(!), it was good fun to do.

The drawings in the comics are exquisite when you look at them closely, and are still absolutely timeless. 
And because the paper used on them was so thin and not brilliant quality, by doing endless coats of varnish, the colours suddenly spring out at you, and brings them to life even more.

This is the Beano side of the bench!

And here is Desperate Dan keeping an eye on the Dandy side!

A detail from the bench of Korky the Cat, who first appeared in the Dandy in the very first issue on 4th December 1937.

And here is the Beano's Minnie the Minx! This brilliantly drawn character first arrived on the scene in 1953.


So if you see a poor, abandoned bit of furniture in the street, rescue it and give it a new home!

Or, as the bench is now in my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset, you can buy this one and give that a lovely new home!! 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

WONG NOIR

Another ArtPix artwork for you ...


The leading image here is from a 1934 cigarette card of the absolutely iconic Anna May Wong, famed actress from the 1920s to the 50s.

As she appeared in loads of black and white movies and had such a striking presence, I thought a Film Noir feel to the artwork would be a good idea. Added to that an almost Bladerunner edge, to give it an extra dimension.

As always I've used many of my own photographs, these taken in London and Brussels. 
The Barkers building in Kensington, an Art Deco masterpiece, already has a futurist feel so lent itself to the Bladerunner vibe, especially all lit up. 
And I was pleased to at last use a few blurry night time photos I took in Brussels several years ago.

The 40s/50s adverts have that sinister edge despite supposedly depicting positive things.
The advert with the fighter planes has the brilliant caption 'Freedom Has a New Sound!', as the planes blast over a quiet American suburban scene. You couldn't ask for a more bizarre and twisted picture!!

I still have tonnes more ideas for new artworks, so stayed tuned right here!

Friday, 13 October 2017

RETRO CLOBBER

Got something different to bung in my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset.
A few bits of retro clothes from the ArtPix Archives...

Here is a fantastic PRODIGY t-shirt!



Dating from 1997, around the time of their game-changing single Firestarter, this was when they propelled themselves into everybody's living rooms. Before that they'd still been a bit of an underground phenomenon, but now everyone had heard of Keith!!
Their live shows at that point were absolute dynamite, with old-skool ravers mixing with metal heads and now mainstream people. I think I bought this t-shirt at one of their Brixton Academy gigs in December that year, my memory is a little hazy of those nights, as you could imagine!!!!

I've got boxes and boxes of band t-shirts, including loads more Prodigy, as I've been to hundreds of gigs and was certainly no stranger to the merchandise stall! One day I'll sift through them and see if their are any more spare ones. Watch this space!!



Check out this iconic INTER MILAN shirt!



On the back it has 'RONALDO 9', no not that one, the Brazilian one!!



That would date this shirt at between 1997 – 2002, as they were the years he was at Inter.
Although injuries stifled his time there, he was still at the top of his game during this period, as his record of 59 goals in 99 games testifies.
He bagged the UEFA Cup in 1998 for the Italian giants and moved onto Real Madrid in 2002.



Here is a classic denim jacket!




In perfect condition, it dates from around the late 80s/early 90s, just when I was getting into Industrial and EBM music! So anything black was needed and this jacket was the perfect accompaniment to my much-loved KILLING JOKE leather jacket, which I also still have, but is definitely not for sale!!!!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

SIGHTSEERS

Welcome to my new ArtPix artwork!


This one is called SIGHTSEERS, and this crazy bunch are enjoying the ride!

All these images come from American adverts from the 1940s and 50s.
A time when the U.S. of A was at its peak, cruising on the post-war confidence of a global super-power. 

And although these ads show that super-confident vibe, they still manage to look slightly sinister at the same time. 
Then, taking them out of their context and putting them all together they look even more so!! 
Maybe it's those fixed white-toothed smiles glaring at you?!

Have a nice day y'all!!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

GRETA GARBAGE

I've gone a bit collage crazy this week, so welcome to the latest artwork off the ArtPix production line ...


The film icon Greta Garbo, as you've never seen her before, is the main image on here. 

Hence the title GRETA GARBAGE! 

As with all the collages I do, I don't have to explain any message or theme, as its just a combination of pictures I find along the way. I always like to use my own photos somewhere and manipulate any images I cut out, and see where that takes me.
So no artistic waffle here!!!

Incidentally, my photos used here are the Shard in London, with some clunky concrete 70s blocks in the foreground. And the radio pic at the bottom is a treasured ArtPix Family heirloom, bought in Teddington around 1962, this Ferranti radio actually still works!

I've got another collage that I've done this week to show you, so keep an eye out for that.

Meanwhile, I'll carry on plundering the archives for more amazing pictures to use.  

Monday, 2 October 2017

IN THE SOUP!

Here is my latest creation ...
Another of my slightly surreal collages ...



As with my last space-invader-inspired collage, there are loads of famous faces to be seen.
Spot them before they get eaten up, as they are literally 'in the soup'!!

This one actually started out as a real-life decoupage artwork, but the original cut-out bits and pieces were all just slightly the wrong size.
So I ended up scanning everything in and doing the whole thing in Photoshop.
A bit of a shame as I've really enjoyed doing the decoupages recently and getting away from digital.

Never mind, I still have all those carefully cut-out pix, so I can use them for something else!

If anyone is interested, the main picture and flying soup tin come from an advert in a Belgian magazine from 1965, flogging a scary looking green soup from the Dutch company Unox. 
They started life in 1937 selling meat products and branched out into soups in 1957. The company is still going strong today.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

BEAM ME UP SCOTTY!

Calling all STAR TREK fans ...

I've got some fantastic retro STAR TREK ANNUALS from the 1970s, especially for you!!!

Boldly go to my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset and live long and prosper whilst reading these Sci-fi classics.

They all have spectacularly cheesy front covers, in true 70s style, and are packed with cartoon strips featuring all the heroes from the series.

Check them all out here first, then zoom down to West Bay and snap them up. 

It would highly illogical not to!!








Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A DAY IN LONDON

This week I trooped up to London for the day. Having left my job in the big smoke 6 months ago, it's nice to go back as a casual visitor now.

I jumped in the jalopy and motored up the M3 to Kempton Park racecourse for the Sunbury Antiques Market.
It was the first time I'd ever been to this magnificent event, but I'll definitely be going back!!
There were stalls sprawling everywhere, with all sorts of amazing vintage goodies! It reminded me of the fantastic flea market at Shepton Mallet.

This was a bit of a reccie for me, as I want to expand the ArtPix Empire to trade at these sorts of shows. The only drawback is I'll need a nice big van!!

After that I left the car and hopped on the train to Waterloo. Was funny tootling along the line through places like Teddington and Kingston as some of the ArtPix Clan lived in these parts and I was born not far away as well!

Whilst in town I went to one of my all-time favourite places ... the National Portrait Gallery. I've been there hundreds of times, but never get bored of it. It's often their small, tucked away exhibitions that are the best, and this time there was another gem ...

A Century of Photography 1840-1940
Some intelligently selected examples of portrait photography. Each with their usual immaculately descriptive captions explaining the experimental techniques used, a brief biography of the photographer and of the subject. I read every word and stared at each picture for ages!



One of the photos on show, a brilliant portrait showing one of Queen Victoria's gardeners and his wife. I just can't believe it is 163 years old. 
'The old gardener Simpson ... and his wife' by George Washington Wilson 1854.
© National Portrait Gallery

Stunning portrait of Tilly Losch, an Austrian dancer, choreographer, actress and painter. 
By Emil Otto (E.O.) Hoppé 1928.
© E.O. HoppĂ© Collection/Curatorial Collection Inc.


I then had a peak at another fave of mine, the little side-street around the corner called Cecil Court.
I've always loved peering into the windows of the shops, selling antiques, books, posters and prints.
One or two of them have disappeared or changed slightly over the years, and I wonder how long they can hang on. It seems to be an oasis of calm down there, in amongst the tourists and chaos of central London.

After a bite to eat and meandering down Whitehall towards Westminster, it was onto the District Line to Fulham Broadway. Another reason for my trip was having a ticket for the Chelsea v Qarabag match. 

My visits to Stamford Bridge have sadly dwindled in the last few years, the price and availability of tickets being a major issue. But I still get that massive thrill getting out the tube and seeing a wall of blue and white. Despite the money and the fact football just isn't the same anymore, I still feel a strange sense of history and of ghosts as I walk down Fulham Road. 
Picking up the essential CFCUK fanzine along the way, you can pick out all the old buildings and the remnants of the original Shed End terrace, built in 1905. I wonder if anyone else can feel the ghosts of the past when they walk to the ground?


One of the ghosts?
This is Jack Harrow on a Pinnace Card from the early 1920s. Jack played 333 games for Chelsea between 1911 and 1926.


After a 6-0 win, (different from when I first used to go and see them!), I picked my way through the crowds to the tube and got back to the car in driving wind and rain. After a dramatic drive home through the rain, spray and murk, I arrived back in Portland in the early hours and stood and stared at the sea as it crashed on to Chesil Beach in the howling wind. An incredible and slightly unsettling experience in the pitch black, and a brilliantly unusual way to finish the day.