Friday, 10 July 2020

READ ALL ABOUT IT!

My brand new digital magazine – ARTPIX – is now online and ready to read ...

So if you are a fan of the ace jazz musician LOUIS ARMSTRONG, go and have a look now!!
You'll find some pics of original items, and a rundown of his amazing career.



Plus a whole load more vintage-inspired articles!!!

Go HERE

Thursday, 9 July 2020

ARTPIX MAGAZINE ONLINE NOW!!!

The first issue of my brand new digital magazine is ready!!!

Go to the link HERE


I've uploaded it to Issuu, so you can browse through the magazine at your leisure!

I'm pleased to have this now up and running, as it was an idea I'd first had a few years ago.
When the lockdown really kicked in, I revived the idea.
The initial planning, setting out my ideas, sourcing pictures, photographing stock, designing and writing it, was all done in barely 2 months.

I wanted a fairly fluid style and design to it, not a rigid template with the same layout and fonts on every page. I also wanted a 'vintage-but-modern' feel.

It shows my passion for all things vintage and retro, also showing some of the stock I have for sale, and items in collections I've got.
I've also been able to showcase some of my own designs and artworks, with photos and digital collages.

Below is the Contents page, showing what's on all the different pages.


Most of the features will be regulars, including the Retro Football, Classic Movies, Fave Vintage Mags and the For Sale pages.

I hope it will be of interest to someone out there!!

I'm already working on the next issue, as I'm planning to do 4 magazines a year, with a publishing date of Autumn.

Keep in touch here for updates and news of the next issue, including a sneaky look at the cover of Issue 2 ...

Monday, 6 July 2020

GETTING THERE ...!

As usual at ArtPix Towers, we've had some interesting events to stop us in our tracks. Last time it was a swarm of bees getting into the loft, then a leaking water pipe that damaged floor and stock. Lovely.

Despite all this I've just finished the second round of proof corrections for my new digital magazine ARTPIX. Very kindly proofread by Carya Gish from Arcane Publishing!

Once I've done a few boring technical bits, it will be ready to rock 'n' roll!!

There are 44 pages altogether, with many features including vintage items, music, retro football, plus some of my own photos and artworks.

I'll let you know very soon when the publishing date is!!!



Sunday, 5 July 2020

PHOTO OF THE DAY

A photo from the ArtPix Archives of a picture I took in Prague ...


In one of the many cobbled streets, with dark alleys, and old buildings.

Prague is an amazing city, packed to the brim with history, of good and bad times, some very bad.

That history has spawned a whole diverse range of fascinating architecture, from medieval castles to space-age Communist-era TV towers.
Some of these have appeared in my digital artworks!

When I went there, I had a really old-school camera, film rolls and all, so I wasn't able to take that many pictures. 
It would be great to go back and once more soak up the unique atmosphere of the place, and go mad with a digital camera and take hundreds of photos.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

THE HARDY TREE

After I was trawling through the ArtPix Photo Library today, I've chosen a random photo for the day ...



The Hardy Tree, in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, near King's Cross in London.

So called because these gravestones were placed there by, non-other than, the author Thomas Hardy.

The story goes, that in the 1860s St Pancras station needed to be enlarged, as London was expanding at an alarming rate. 
This meant removing and exhuming nearby grave sites to put down the wider tracks. 
The firm of architects where Hardy was working were given this lovely job!

When all was done, they were left with the spare gravestones. Hardy then had the idea of laying them all around an ash tree in the churchyard.

Over time they have blended in with the tree, creating an atmospheric bark and stone, 'life and death' sculpture.

Hardy later toddled off to Dorset to become a world-famous author.

I myself led a similar path (apart from the world-famous bit!), as I used to work near this churchyard, and then I also toddled off to Dorset!!!

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

ARTPIX UPDATE!

We are now passed the Summer Solstice and halfway through 2020!

Not been a great year has it??!!

But things are starting to happen and reopen.

First of all The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset, has been open for over a week now.
I'm pleased to say my unit there has picked up from where it left off, and sales have been great.
At last some money coming into the ArtPix coffers!!

So pop down there if you can, and pick up some vintage treasures, and also my own designs.

 
There are rumblings of various markets and boot fairs kicking off again, so stay tuned for more news of those. 
It will all be a bit of a minefield as to how they will be able to operate, but it will be a massive boost to me if they can start again.

And finally ....  
News of my long-awaited new venture, the ARTPIX digital magazine!!!

I've finished all the design and text, and I've just handed over the pdfs to my in-house proofreader Carya Gish of Arcane Publishing!!
She's very kindly assisting me on this project, and will take time out from writing her third novel, The Right Place, to read through it all and correct the many mistakes I've probably made!

The magazine started out as a possible 16-pager, but has ended up being a whopping 44 pages!

Below is a sneak preview of ARTPIX magazine's first cover. It shows a Picture Post, as there is an 8-page feature on the classic vintage magazine ...




Sunday, 14 June 2020

CUSTOMS HOUSE REOPENING!!!!

Just letting you know that my unit at The Customs House is back up and running from Monday 15th June!!!

As shops are now starting to tentatively open their doors, The Customs House will be back open as well, with the obvious guidelines in place.

Please do pop in, if you find yourself down in West Bay in Dorset.
The lockdown months have been tough on me and many other vintage traders, so spend, spend, spend!!!!

 

Thursday, 11 June 2020

PICTURE POST

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a stash of Picture Post magazines from the Sanctuary Bookshop, in Lyme Regis.

It included the very first issue, from October 1st 1938 ...


These are my favourite vintage magazines.
The covers were always fantastic, and the features and photo reports were way ahead of their time.

As they are a such fave of mine, I'm doing an article about them in my very own magazine, ARTPIX.
The first issue of which will be out very soon!!

Monday, 8 June 2020

OUT AND ABOUT

Not far from ArtPix Towers are some amazing walks, so we don't have to go far to escape the madding crowd.

These pix were taken in and around the village of Langton Herring ... 

I love this scene, with the classic red telephone box still stoutly standing.




 Fields full of daisies ...




Two types of crops grown in the same field give a colourful contrast ...





And bushes were full of these butterflies ...

 



Wednesday, 3 June 2020

ARTPIX MAGAZINE

I'm still working away on my new venture, the online digital mag 'ARTPIX'.


I started the project two weeks ago, and work is progressing well.
Despite the distractions of cancellations of important events in the ArtPix household, oh, and bees getting into the loft of ArtPix Towers!!!!

Have designed all the feature heads now, and several of the spreads, although I keep changing and changing them all the time!!

You'll notice the logo style has changed as well!

I've now managed to plan out 20 pages, but it could expand even further. 
I'm now ready to get writing, and then I'll be able to design all the layouts.

Updates on further progress soon!







Monday, 1 June 2020

PIC OF THE DAY

A photo I took recently, of an open window at the church in the tiny village of Bincombe, in Dorset ...


Just the simple pleasure of seeing a shadow on ancient stone, in a classic English churchyard.

Bincombe lies a couple of miles north of Weymouth, and is at the foot of the gloriously named Bincombe Bumps, a series of Bronze Age burial mounds on the top of a long ridge. 

The whole place is dripping in history, and the views from the top are incredible.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

IS THAT ALL YOU TAKE AWAY?!

Premier League football will be back in June!!!!
... although personally I think it's far too early.

But to 'celebrate', I'm showing you a picture I took that more represents grass roots footie than the top-level variety.

Anyone who is a fan of the game will be familiar with the old classic chant, "Is that all you take away"
A traditional taunt to the visiting team's distinct lack of fans in the Away end.

And when I was at Weymouth last season, for their pre-season friendly with Southend United, I instantly thought of this chant, as a lone supporter walked along a deserted terrace, with the added bonus of him holding a take away!! Meaning I managed to get two jokes in one!!



Wednesday, 27 May 2020

ARTPIX – THE MAGAZINE!!

A few years ago I came up with the idea of creating my own digital magazine, but as I was still working full-time in London, it was a bit of an impossible dream ...

However, a lot has changed since!!

Especially now we are in lockdown (well, supposed to be ...)!

And, inspired by the magnificent Grayson Perry, and his Art Club programme on Channel 4, I decided to revisit my original idea.

So the ARTPIX magazine is back on!!!

It will have the theme of vintage throughout, with bits of my own work, and many vintage items and topics featured.

Have spent the last week on it now, and have come up with loads of designs and layout ideas.
I've also sorted out my page plan, and it works out as an 18-pager so far, but that could change!








I've finished designing most of the feature heads already, and I think I've finally decided on the magazine's logo style, although there are a few ideas to choose from ...


Things are happening fast, but I still need to write it!
I'm already Designer, Picture Researcher, Artist and Editor, but I'll also have to be the Marketing and IT Departments as well.
Fortunately I spent years and years in publishing designing magazines, so I should be ok!!

Hopefully I can keep you all up-to-date with how everything is going, and then finally announce my 'publishing date' ...

Have to stop now, as I have an Editorial Meeting with myself ...








Sunday, 24 May 2020

I CAN'T BELIEVE THE NEWS TODAY ...

... to quote a famous song ...


Today politics in this country has sunk to the lowest I can remember.

The saddest thing is, it comes as absolutely no surprise that these people do these things.
Money, privilege, power always talks, and they will always think they are above the law.

We have to govern ourselves anyway, they long ago proved they aren't fit for purpose.





But of course Johnson and his set will ride the storm, everything forgotten about, and carry on as before.
And people STILL vote these people in???????!!!!!!!

Friday, 22 May 2020

OLYMPIASTADION BERLIN

With the first tentative steps of the return of football taking place in Germany, I thought I'd show you this unusual photo ... 


It shows the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, with the Bundesliga team, Hertha BSC, training on the pitches next to it.

The stadium is of course forever linked with the Olympic Games of 1936, for which it was built.
Remarkably it had stayed virtually unchanged for nearly 70 years.
When I took this photo, around 2004, it was being updated and modernised in time for the 2006 World Cup finals, and was only just then getting a roof added to the original stadium.

The pic was taken from the nearby, and eye-wateringly high, Bell Tower.

At the time the whole complex felt like little had changed since 1936.
I have to say, I felt a strange atmosphere around the place.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

OH! WHAT A LOVELY WAR

I've long ago stopped watching the daily government briefings ...

And there was one specific reason why ...
They remind me of the biting WW1 satire Oh! What a Lovely War.

We are still very much Lions Led by Donkeys, especially when Hancock & others blithely read out the daily 'casualty figures', (putting on a sad face), spurting out what seems to them just random numbers.

It reminds me of the scenes in the stage play and film when they project the numbers of the dead in the background, while the generals in the foreground blunder on.




Remember, we are all just cannon fodder to this government.

 

Sunday, 17 May 2020

VICTORIAN FIREPLACE

Another one of my ArtPix rescue missions is this amazing fireplace ...


Found in a sorry state, I'm slowly but surely cleaning it up, and hoping to bring it back to life.

Its bizarrely covered in a horrible oily, sticky substance, and to add to the fun, newspaper!
I was wondering if it was an attempt to preserve in some way, after it had been taken out of the wall, as the newspapers are fairly recent.




But I knew there was a gem underneath the muck, and after removing some of the gunk, fabulous decorative details started to emerge.





And after taking out one of the loose tiles down the side, I found that they are made by probably one of the most famous ceramic factories of all time: Mintons




A nice surprise that adds to the already interestingly mysterious history of this fireplace.


I've dated it to the Victorian era, but I admit that is a bit vague!
The style of the surround and the tiles suggest it, but now you can see some of the details, it could actually be something a bit more unusual.
Possibly Arts & Crafts, as it has the flowers decorations, or even from the Aesthetic Movement period??
Both of which would roughly place them in the 1880s onwards era.
Or it could also be early 1900s Edwardian??!

All a bit of a mystery!

I'll carry on cleaning off the muck, and one day it will be on sale ready for a new home ...

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

INSOMNIA

One of the curious side-effects of the lockdown, is that loadsa people seem to be having trouble sleeping.

I've always been a night-person anyway, but now I've started as well ...

Which reminds me of the absolute classic 90s choon, INSOMNIA by FAITHLESS
Still brilliant.
Something to listen to at 4am ...




Saturday, 9 May 2020

VINTAGE 1945 FOOTBALL PROGRAMME

Following on from yesterday's VE Day 75th Anniversary, I thought I'd show you this programme from a match that took place the day after VE Day.




There must have been a few sore heads the following morning, but 25,000 people trooped along to Wembley Stadium to see the Combined Services XI play the National Police & Civil Defence, in what had become an annual charity match.

They were essentially teams packed full of well-known professional footballers, who were all serving in these various services throughout the War. 

And looking through the two teams, there are some very interesting names ...




The National Police & Civil Defence side boasted a star front line, including three England Internationals. 
Arsenal's famous striker Cliff Bastin, who held their goalscoring record for decades, Len Goulden of West Ham, who bagged 14 caps, and Chelsea winger Dick Spence, who carried on serving the club for many years as a youth team coach.




The Combined Services team had some players who all went on to achieve significant success.
The right back Harry Ferrier won two League Championships with Portsmouth in 1949 and 1950, while Ron Burgess also won the Title with Tottenham. 
There were also two famous future managers, Ted Fenton, who was in charge of West Ham for 11 years, winning a Second Division Championship, and Vic Buckingham who had an extraordinary managerial career. He won the FA Cup with West Brom in 1954, and went on to manage a host of clubs throughout Europe, including the giants Ajax and Barcelona.

The stand-out name on their teamsheet though, is Stan Mortensen, who at this time, was just embarking on his immortal career with Blackpool. The game would oddly also serve as a precursor to his finest hour.


Although nearly all the players who appeared in this match had decent careers in the game, the tragedy for all of their generation is that they lost 6 years to the War.
Some of the finest players of this time only had a few years in the professional game.
As shown here, most joined the services or the police, as they were effectively out of a job when the War started. Although as football continued in a regionalised format, they were able to at least keep playing the game when time allowed. 
It also produced the quirk of any player turning up to play for any team, as players were stationed all over the country.


So what was the score of this match?!

The Combined Services XI won 3-1.

Stan Mortensen hit all three of their goals!

Hat-tricks at Wembley are a rare thing, so this remains a significant moment in history, but Stan repeated this feat in the most famous game of his career. 
The 1953 FA Cup Final victory over Bolton, which forever became known as the 'Matthews Final', in honour of Stanley Matthews finally winning the Cup. 
Stan remains the only player to score a hat-trick in a Wembley Final.
For the record, Len Goulden scored the consolation for the other side.

Looking at the back of the programme, coming up was a Victory International against France on 26th May, in which 65,000 turned up, and saw an honourable 2-2 draw. And a Middlesex Senior Red Cross Competition Cup Final, where Golders Green beat Tufnell Park 4-1! 


This programme serves as a unique snapshot in time, as the War in Europe was finally over and people could think about the simple pleasures of just seeing a football match again.
Its also the oldest programme in my collection!







Thursday, 7 May 2020

VE DAY – 75th ANNIVERSARY

Today is a momentous landmark ...


Victory in Europe was celebrated on this day 75 years ago.

©Matt ArtPix

We can only imagine the sheer relief and joy that day.

My own parents lived through it all, including the Blitz on London.
My Dad, serving in the Navy, ended up in Japan, as the war still rolled on in the Far East for many more months.

Forget any ridiculous and unpalatable comparisons with the virus – or even worse Brexit – for this was a savage and brutal conflict.

Let us just remember all who died, and those that lived through and endured those years.

MID-CENTURY NEST OF TABLES

Another one of my lockdown projects has been the restoration of these fabulous tables!




I bought them a while ago, and they were in a bit of a state.
Someone had smothered them in a dark coloured wood stain, with what looked like a mop, as they had drip marks all over the place!!


But I knew underneath all that there were hidden gems ...





A cool set of Scandinavian Mid-Century tables, that have a simple, but elegant design.
Now showing the original wood they were made from, instead of the dark disaster of before.




These are another item that are stacked away in the ArtPix Storeroom, waiting for a new owner!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

TAUNTON VINTAGE & SALVAGE FAIR 2020

Had news that this year's fair has sadly been cancelled ...

It was worth hanging on to see what the situation was, but sensible all round.







Not looking good for the vintage trade ... 
Looks like it will all go online, which I'm not a fan of. 
I much prefer doing the fairs, but I know I'll have to do it soon, as I have zero money coming in ...

Saturday, 2 May 2020

MASTER FOOTBALL GAME

Have dug out this fantastic football game that I bought at a vintage fair last year.
Its an arcade game, that dates to around 1957.




You would bung in an old penny in the slot to release the footballs, then ping each one up the side of the panel, and try and catch them with the handle on the left. If you did finally manage to get one, then you'd have to delicately try and get them into the numbered rack in the goal.









Your prize was a fantastic footballer portrait card!


















The game brilliantly still has 50 of its original cards. They were produced by the The Master Vending Company Ltd in 1959, specifically for these types of arcade games.

The set was called 'Did You Know', as on the back there were little facts and figures, but the fronts are extra special as they feature all the well-known football stars of the day.

They really capture that 50s period, with players like Nat Lofthouse, Tom Finney, Stanley Matthews, Johnny Haynes, and even a very young Brian Clough!




Unfortunately some of the mechanics at the back of the game are missing, so the game only partially works, but you can still ping the balls around and have fun with it!

I'll reluctantly be selling it when things are up and running again, and it'll make a really cool feature in a shop, café or just in a someone's home!