Tuesday 31 July 2012


What an amazing weekend I had at Hyde Hall!

The 2-day extravaganza at the glorious gardens went brilliantly. Nestled in amongst some very talented people in the E-Barn, I was really chuffed to be there. And the punters started rolling in right on 10am, proving how highly regarded these events have become.

Being in such a lovely setting as these gardens, it was so good to be able to have a wander around and take in the fabulous flora and fauna! And to have a natter with the other stallholders!

Sunday's weather forecast wasn't looking very promising, but despite the threatening skies and heavy showers, it turned out to be even busier!

Strange how sales can go, Saturday's crowd were mostly buying cards from me. But Sunday's were buying all sorts of things from my stall! I sold loads of framed pictures, including a lot of my SEASIDE SPECIALS. One of which, I was told, is going to end up in a downstairs loo!!
And the RETRO FOOTBALL cards were absolutely flying off the shelves!

As always I met some great people. Each with their own different stories, reactions and feedback. Someone who had a couple of Tretchikoff paintings hanging on their wall, wanted my 1950s collage to go with them, wow!

Was a shame to pack up the stall in the end, as I was enjoying myself so much, hopefully I'll be back there next year!

Here we are at the E-Barn!

Come this way!

Stall is set up......

Before the mad rush for the SEASIDE SPECIALS!

The beautiful pond at Hyde Hall.

The much visited tea room!

The lovely surrounding countryside.

The amazing Kinetic Seed Sculpture by David Watkinson.

The bees certainly enjoyed their weekend!

Stunning flowers on show!

Another photogenic flower...

More fabulous colours...

Ominous skies and the brolly is already out!

Perfect end to the day, rainbow over Southend seafront on our drive home!

Friday 27 July 2012


Remember everyone, I'm at THE ESSEX CRAFT & DESIGN SHOW this weekend!

Come along to this fantastic 2 day event at the RHS GARDEN HYDE HALL. I'll be amongst over 50 stunning artists and craftspeople, all set in the most beautiful of locations.

Here is the address:
RHS Garden Hyde Hall,
Creephedge Lane,

Doors open at 10am until 6pm on both days.

Check out the website here for more information:

For a run down of who is appearing go here:

I seem to be listed as "Vintage inspired art art deco artwork", which is kind of right!

RHS Hyde Hall website is here:

See you there!

Wednesday 25 July 2012


Have had a spectacular cultural feast recently!

First up I went to the Cartoon Museum to see the exhibition on the cartoonist H.M. BATEMAN.
He was famous throughout the 1920s and 30s for his innovative wordless cartoon strips and hilarious social faux pas illustrations.
Fascinating to see his original drawings and sketchbooks. And to marvel at his often simple line drawings that have such an assured line and fabulous observation.

Incidently, you must visit the Cartoon Museum! Tucked away around the corner from its illustrious neighbour the British Museum, it’s one of London’s hidden gems. It may be tiny, but is packed full of original and famous cartoons from Punch to up-to-the-minute modern cartoons.

H.M Bateman official website

The Cartoon Museum

Exhibition banner taken from the Cartoon Museum website.

Behind the Scenes at Wellington Barracks ©www.hmbateman.com
The Late Arrivals ©www.hmbateman.com
An example of Bateman's clever wordless cartoon sequences. ©Punch

Always a funny ending to these early cartoon strips! ©Punch

Spent last Wednesday evening at the SALON in Chalkwell Hall. The splendid series of literary events organised by Metal. This event’s theme was the Thames Estuary. That brooding and mysterious stretch of water familiar to us all!
We were treated to four different speakers, all of whom had a connection with or a piece of work about the Estuary. Germander Speedwell, a gifted wordsmith, wove together names, places and emotions from the Essex and Kent sides of the water. Frances Lord told us about an art project on the strange and wild Isle of Sheppey. Photographer Simon Fowler showed his beautiful and haunting photos of the Estuary, some of which were taken from his balcony on Southend seafront!
My particular favourite speaker was the artist Stephen Turner. He spoke mostly about his fascinating stint on the Maunsell Sea Forts way out on the mouth of the Estuary. He spent 6 weeks, utterly alone, on one of the World War 2 towers, scrupulously picking away at the debris left behind. His time there produced some incredible finds, photographs and thoughts. Check out the amazing blog he did whilst there.

Poster for the Salon night.

The spectacular Maunsell Sea Forts ©Bob Le-Roi Commercial Broadcaster

Stephen Turner

Germander Speedwell

Frances Lord

Simon Fowler


Next evening I was up at the Barbican in London for the BAUHAUS: ART AS LIFE exhibition.
A comprehensive look at the stunning work produced at the influential German school. I’ve always loved the graphics, typography, metalwork, furniture and architecture from the Bauhaus, but I was surprised to see there was so much more going on there! Absolutely loved the stage costumes, experimental photography, woodwork, sculptures and clothes. Their philosophy and innovation were way ahead of their time and still resonate today.

Barbican website for the exhibition

Poster exhibition, theres still time to go!

Classic Bauhaus graphics and typography from 1923.

Exquisite coffee pot, in a modern Modernist style!

The famous Bauhaus building in Dessau, Germany.

Last but not least was a trip to the Forum in Kentish Town to see U.S. Industrial Metal legends MINISTRY. I haven’t looked forward to a gig so much for ages! And they didn’t disappoint... From start to finish it was a battering ram assault on the senses. Musically and visually they have always been something special. Singer Al Jourgensen really looked like he was enjoying himself, even popping down into the crowd to greet everyone pressed up against the crush barriers, including me!
A final encore of old favourites, Thieves, Just One Fix, N.W.O. and So What sent us staggering out into the London night with ears buzzing. 

But what a night!

Ministry official site
Ministry UK tour poster.

Tuesday 10 July 2012


Very pleased to announce two new special dates for you!

First up is THE ESSEX CRAFT & DESIGN SHOW on July 28th/29th.
I'm very proud to be part of this fantastic event, all set in the beautiful Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Hyde Hall in Rettendon, Essex. This is a two day event featuring the very best in art, photography, ceramics and crafts.

Next new date is the very special VINTAGE VOGUE – FASHION & LIFESTYLE FAIR on September 9th in Brentwood, Essex.
This amazing fair is always a great day with its own unique atmosphere. Very pleased to be back there once again.

So here is a little reminder of all my tour dates coming up, make a note in your diaries!!

July 28th/29th
RHS Garden Hyde Hall,

August 25th
St Laurence Church Hall
Upminster, Essex

September 9th
Brentwood School,
Brentwood, Essex

September 16th
St Augustine's Hall,
Thorpe Bay, Essex

December 1st
St Laurence Church Hall
Upminster, Essex

Sunday 8 July 2012


The sun just about stayed out all day for the BETTY BLUE EYES VINTAGE & HANDMADE FAYRE at Leigh-on-Sea yesterday!!!

We had a steady stream of customers and I was very pleased at the response of my new pictures and cards. My new BEACH BABES range did very well again.
Once again it was great to see so many familiar faces and have such a great time there. I also made a few more contacts and new customers!

Looking forward to my next fairs now!

Here is the stall, my little range of books did very well.

Seaside specials!

Mad selection of cards, including the new BEACH BABES!

Monday 2 July 2012


What a fantastic day at the Green!!!

This event is fast becoming THE cultural bonanza of the year. Southend is really putting itself on the map for all the right reasons with this amazing event, and it's all FREE!!

Set in the beautiful Chalkwell Park, with the majestic Hall in the middle and views over the Estuary, it's a lovely location. I've had stalls in the Market Place at previous Village Greens, and while I always have a great day, it's frustrating to miss out on all the fun going on! So this year was a year off for Matt ArtPix Inc.!!
I was determined to see and enjoy as much as I could!

With a bamboozling mix of things to see, where do you start?! Included was music, film, poetry, comedy, cabaret, film, theatre, games, stalls, dance.......... phew............!

Over on the impressively big main stage, we enjoyed a fabulous set from THE CORRESPONDENTS. A beguiling mixture of 20s jazz, electro, dubstep and even a hint of 90s jungle (a nice touch sir, something us older chaps appreciated!!). Singer Mr Bruce, part Victorian dandy part Harold Lloyd gave a hugely entertaining performance of impressive dancing with witty and sharp songs. He managed to get a rather chilled out crowd off the floor and dancing like crazy. Top man!

Carrying on with the music we were treated to a stonking set from local legend WILKO JOHNSON.
I particularly wanted to see him as I've never seen him perform live before. I wasn't disappointed, as his personality exudes with every song. His trademark wild stare, machine-gun guitar attack and shuffle along the stage were all there! Special mention must go to band member NORMAN WATT-ROY, the coolest bass player EVER! Absolute legend and what a player. Check out his CV on Wiki!

After that JAKE SHILLINGFORD looked a little pedestrian, but still a big deal to get him down here to play.

One particular delight of VILLAGE GREEN is that all tribes are mixed in together, young and old, very young and very old! Everyone just really enjoying themselves, and mixing together.
Another delight is the sheer range of activities, so we couldn't resist popping over to the Cycle in Cinema to settle back on the deckchairs and watch some classic Tom & Jerry cartoons!!!

Had a wander around the Market Place, seeing a few familiar faces, to marvel at the goodies on show! Watched the dancers in the Tea Dance tent, had a sausage roll in the Birdwood Café, a classic bitter at the beer tent and ending up watching the splendid GILDED LILI VARIETY SHOW.
And what a show!!! All hosted by local lovely LILI LA SCALA, it was a fantastic hour of songs, tricks and surreal moments. Note to self: Don't sit at the front again.... I was hauled up on stage by Lili as she performed Abba classic Money, Money, Money. I had to rip up some money and throw it over her, all in front of LOADS of people!!!!

Our final port of call was at the Global Village stage to catch a bit of THE FAMOUS POTATOES, whose set was unfortunately cut short, what a shame.
But as the sun set and we picked our way through the debris we didn't really want to go home.

But what a brilliant day we had, can't wait until next year.........

Canvey Island Allstars strut their stuff on the impressive Village Green Stage.

More strutting of stuff in the Tea Dance tent!

At the Set Stage, a few of the Southend Shakespeare Company are in the picture.

Fortunately the beer tents didn't have this problem!

The crowd starts to move, check out those shapes!

Pooch Party! These rascals decided to have their own party, complete with cider and convenient tree!

Some artwork on show, literally off the back of a lorry!

We popped into the cinema for some much needed Tom & Jerry cartoons!
The enigmatic wild-eyed WILKO JOHNSON!

Coolest bass player ever: NORMAN WATT-ROY!

The Railway Hotel crew, complete with young fan and collapsed dad!

Jake Shillingford, in full rock star pose.

The lovely LILI LA SCALA!

The loopy Lisa Lottie, hula-hoop tomfoolery!

Mike Raffone (geddit?), doing his hilarious Conductor routine.

The superb Sam Wills doing his balloon on head trick!

The Famous Potatoes, before being cut off mid-set.

Sunset and debris at the park, a fine way to finish!