Tuesday, 18 July 2017

DRIFTWOOD ART

One of the many delights of living by the sea is finding driftwood on the beach after a storm.

But we at ArtPix Towers like to go a bit further. Not just picking up bits of wood, but coming back with whole bits of furniture!





We found this amazing and slightly bashed bench down on Chesil Beach a couple of months ago.
After hauling it up the hill and getting it home, I set about cleaning it up and working out what to do with it.




As it was missing its legs on one side, I sawed it virtually in half. Then stripped away the bits falling off and repaired the other legs.

After much sanding down, I painted it a rather dashing red and white, and hey presto, a lovely new bench for the back yard!!



So keep an eye out for washed up bits of furniture after a storm!

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

SPACE INVADERS!!

Here is another decoupage that has just come off the ArtPix production line ...
As you can see there are some cool retro Space Invaders, raining down on a kaleidoscope of people.


I actually started thinking about this collage about 5 years ago, I painted the canvas bright yellow and collected the images, but have only really had the time to complete it now.  The canvas is 60cm deep x 45cm wide, so it was a nice size to work on.

It's a bit Sgt Pepper/Peter Blake as there are a few famous people in there, but they are mostly just cut from random spare magazines that were lying around. Although I was pleased to get John Betjeman on there, probably tutting at the horrible building!!

I've really enjoyed doing these collages, and I've also completed one on the Liverpool football team as well, that's already in my unit at The Customs House in West Bay.

I've been doing digital collages in Photoshop for about 20 years, so it was a completely different experience and way of working. Nice to get covered in glue and then realise you actually wanted that person over there, but is too late as you've already stuck it down!! A good tip is not to look at it too much when you finish, as you can't change anything, unlike a Photoshop collage!

Now I'm rooting around the ArtPix studio for any spare vintage magazines for my next venture!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

DELVING INTO DECOUPAGE!

Just recently there has been a flurry of creativity at ArtPix Towers down on the Isle of Portland!
I've finally had a crack at doing a decoupage as well!!

Have been meaning to try it out for absolutely ages, but have never had the time or actually worked out how you do it, and what materials you need.

So I bought a small canvas, some PVA glue and gloss varnish and rescued a torn copy of a Beano from my unit at The Customs House, which I could no longer sell, and started to rip it up!

After working out where all the bits will go, I started sticking it all down. I'd never used PVA glue before and couldn't believe how easy and brilliant it was!! I'll no longer be surrounding myself with clouds of spray mount or getting stuck together with double-sided tape in the future!!!

Then after 3 coats of varnish it was all finished!






It was all an experiment really, to see if I could do it, and obviously using a Beano is hardly original, but it was great fun!

Although I hate to use and cut up original vintage items, I do have a few tatty 1950s Belgian magazines hanging around, that have amazing pictures and adverts in them. So as they are beyond selling I can use those.

Monday, 26 June 2017

MATCHBOX OF DELIGHTS!

Here is something a little different that's in my unit at the Customs House in West Bay, Dorset ...


This rather elegant vintage piece features a 1929 4.5 Litre Bentley, perched on a black porcelain box.


Made in the late 1960s by the company Lesney, who are famous for their brilliant Matchbox cars, this Bentley is a plated version of their Models of Yesteryear range.

During the 60s they started to branch out into the world of giftware, using the Yesteryear models in a variety of different ways. Chiefly as desk decorations, they had anything from pen stands, pipe trays to book ends. Our stylish box was marketed as a cigarette box for the US in their Matchbox 1967 Catalogue, but you could use it for anything nowadays, like chucking your loose change in there!

To add to the 60s glamour, do you remember the groovy TV programme The Avengers?! Well Mr Steed used to drive one of these Bentleys!! It would have looked so cool sat on his desk!!

Come on down to my unit and check it out!!




Tuesday, 6 June 2017

ALICE'S WICKED TEA PARTY 2017

WOW, WHAT A FESTIVAL!!!!!



I had such a great time, the best event I've been to for ages.
I was a punter on the Friday and shared a stall with Arcane Publishing on the Saturday.

We managed to see all the bands and they were all amazing.
The whole festival was one chilled out party, all set in the beautiful Dorset countryside.

So many great bands were there and we met loads of interesting and creative people. Was a brilliant environment to just be who you are.

Special thanks to Shaun for organising the whole event, and for being so cool to invite us to have a stall there. You can just see him, with his partner Karen, in The Rabbit Hole on my collage above!!

CAN'T WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR'S TEA PARTY NOW!!!!!

The combined forces of Arcane Publishing and Matt ArtPix!!



Monday, 29 May 2017

ALICE'S WICKED TEA PARTY


Very pleased to announce that I'll be at this amazing festival on Saturday 3rd June!!!

This is the best alternative music festival of the year, with a whole range of genres to suit all tastes, so be there!!!!

Tucked away in deepest Dorset, it's being held at Knolle Farm in Purbeck, not far from the gorgeous Corfe Castle.

I'll be sharing the stall with the marvellous Arcane Publishing, and together we'll have a fantastic selection of goodies!!!!
Check out Arcane's blog HERE, to see what they are bringing along!

Tickets are still available for the festival, so check out all the details HERE

Also, click HERE for the full line-up of bands!

Below is a sneaky preview of some items that'll be adorning the ArtPix table, a few are absolutely essential festival requirements!!

By the way, special thanks to our model Bertie, who is taking a break from his duties at my unit at The Customs House, to show you some of my stock. You'll be able to say hello to him at the festival, although he is a little shy!!!

This is Bertie, wearing groovy shades!

 Bertie modelling a 1990s Skanx Systems MA2 jacket.

The logo on the back glows in the dark, perfect while staggering home on those dark country lanes after the festival!!

 Fantastic Global Grooves shoulder bag.

Here is a Planet Sound record bag.


Absolutely essential Industrial Music fan footwear ... German Para Boots! These things NEVER wear out!!!!

 Optional festival equipment, depending on the state of the loos!!! This is an original Second World War gas mark.

 It actually pre-dates the War, as this date stamp shows ... 21st March 1938.

 It also comes with the original box, a pretty rare item these days.

So get your tickets NOW and we'll see you down there!!!!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

CORFE CASTLE – THEN AND NOW!

Whilst trundling around the village of Corfe Castle in Dorset, I remembered a postcard I've got, showing a view of the castle.
So I decided to take a photo in exactly the same place as the card!

This is the original... An absolutely classic John Hinde postcard!

I blogged before about Hinde's fantastic postcards, and his pioneering ways he used colour and getting rid of things he didn't want in photos.

Taken some time in the 1960s, it has all the usual qualities his cards had. The enhanced colours, any superfluous bits in the street deleted and a random person plonked in the foreground wearing bright colours!

Here is my photo taken recently...
As you can see the view has hardly changed.
But, there are horrible traffic lights and other bits getting in the way of the perfect view.

This is where the influence of John Hinde kicks in, and of course Photoshop!
So I got rid of all the bits I didn't want, the street lamp, traffic lights, shop signs, the bike, even the dead mown grass in the foreground!



Then in typical Hinde fashion, I added the blue sky and I also put back the 1960s lady, in a weird time-travelling way!




Put the caption at the bottom and you now have your very own modern-day John Hinde/Matt ArtPix postcard!!




Wednesday, 17 May 2017

PORTLAND'S STONEHENGE!

Forget that boring old Stonehenge in Wiltshire, come along to Portland and see a brand new one!!

At the top of the hill, you'll see these amazing standing stones, which acts as an entrance to the fantastic Sculpture Park at Tout Quarry.


With specially aligned stones, all from different quarries around the island, this really is like its better known forerunner.




And because this is Dorset stone, its full of fossils as well, check out this huge ammonite!!


Wednesday, 10 May 2017

RETRO FOOTIE STUFF!

Pop along now to my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset to check out these retro footie treats!

First up is the best goalscoring maestro of them all... JIMMY GREAVES!
I've got a framed original Ty-Phoo Tea Card from 1967. This highly collectable card measures 25cm high x 20cm wide and was part of the International Football Stars 1st Series.

Next up is another original vintage item, this time featuring LIVERPOOL.
This fantastic team-group picture is from the 1968/69 season, and also comes as a framed picture. The Reds' World Cup winning striker Roger Hunt lines up here, and I also have a stunning framed picture of him already in the unit!

My RETRO FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES packages have already proved very popular and I've added CHELSEA to the list, which currently includes ARSENAL, TOTTENHAM and WEST HAM.
These packages will contain original programmes from the 1980s and 90s.

The programmes chart a fascinating era in Chelsea's history. You can follow the progress the club made right up to the time Roman Abramovich bought the club. 

Going back to the mid-80s, Chelsea had an exciting team, including strike duo Kerry Dixon and David Speedie. By the early 90s, the club were dragging their heels, when all of a sudden Glenn Hoddle arrived to revolutionise the club.

Then Ruud Gullit signed!!! 
Still they couldn't win any trophies though. Then along came Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Di Matteo and Gianfranco Zola, and BANG!! There were cups everywhere!! 

The club haven't looked back since, but they were heady days. Read all about it within my programme packages!

Monday, 8 May 2017

WHAT'S-HIS-FACE ON FACEBOOK!

Yikes, looks like I'm the featured trader on The Customs House Facebook page!!


Have a peep now, right HERE

Friday, 28 April 2017

BANK HOLIDAY IDEAS!

Stuck for what to do this Bank Holiday weekend??

Well come on down to the Customs House in West Bay, Dorset and check out all the goodies in my unit!!!

I've been plonking loads of new stuff in there, so have a rummage and see what you can find!
Peruse through my own designs, a fantastic selection of vintage items and amazing books. 

What are waiting for?? See you down there!!

Fortunately our in-store helpers Bertie & Gertie will be there to assist you!!

Gertie is showing off her latest 70s top, and check out that collage in the background!!

Wow! Just look at all that stuff!

New fiction and carefully selected vintage books brought to you by Carya Gish of Arcane Publishing are all here.

Audrey Hepburn and Clint Eastwood are keeping an eye on things as well!

More amazing vintage books and a Scrabble for Juniors game from 1959!

My madly popular Retro Footie range, which includes my own designs and vintage football items. Here you can see an original print of Liverpool legend Roger Hunt and retro Tottenham programmes.

Now for something completely different...

This is another ArtPix idea, a bit of furniture restoration!
I took this tired old vintage stool, fixed it up and painted it to look like a fantastic new and bright piece of furniture. It would look amazing in a kitchen, or as a stand for a vintage lamp, the choice is yours!!
  


Monday, 24 April 2017

CHURCH OPE COVE

Here is my Photo of the Day...



Officially the only beach on the Isle of Portland, Church Ope Cove!

And what an amazing spot it is, with the beach huts that have their own walled gardens, to the incredibly calm and blue sea lapping at the white Portland stone beach.

But as with everywhere on this island, there is always something unusual lurking.
The cove is overlooked by the mysterious Norman remains of Rufus Castle, casting a sinister shadow!  

Thursday, 20 April 2017

ST ALDHEM'S HEAD

Had a great blast of fresh air recently at this stunning place on the Dorset coast...

Took a load of photos as usual and played around with this one.
This is the amazing chapel up there on this exposed and windswept spot.



Inside you can find intricately carved graffiti on the stone columns going back to the 17th century.
Isn't it weird that when you see modern graffiti in the street, you hate it, but see some from 350 years ago, and you think WOW!!!





One of them is from 1665, the year of the The Great Plague in London. I like to think it's a mate of Samuel Pepys, escaping the lurgy and carving their name for a bit of fun.




To add to the air of mystery about the place, everything disappeared almost instantly soon after in a huge mist!!!
What is known as a 'sea fret'...!

Near the chapel are white cottages that would've housed the coastguard. One of these occupants was a real Dorset hero.

If you read my last blog, you would've been alerted to the strange things you can find in books.
Tucked away in a great book I've had for ages about Dorset, written by the splendidly named Aubrey de Sélincourt, there was a newspaper clipping about a dramatic rescue.




The hero was a certain Percy F. Wallace, who was lowered down a 230ft cliff to rescue an airman, who'd lost his way and fallen down there. The article goes on in great detail of the dramatic rescue. Note that it says St Alban's Head, which the place can also be known as.

I've long wondered what year it was, as the clipping is trimmed off, and if there is any further info on it, so today I had a quick go at researching it.

And whaddayaknow, there is another article on it!!!
Having gone through the British Newspaper Archive, I found that the cutting is from The Western Gazette, based in Yeovil, and the date of the rescue is February 1949

On Friday 20th May 1949 they ran a small feature saying our Percy had been awarded a framed certificate in honour of his bravery. 
Well done Percy!



So keep on checking those books for hidden gems!!!

I'll do more blogs about the other stuff I've found when I've finally unpacked all the books in the ArtPix Library!