Tuesday 31 December 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Hope you all have a HAPPY NEW YEAR and 2014 will be another fantastic vintage year!!

I've had a great 2013, the ArtPix empire has been expanding to new and exciting fairs.
My biggest and best was the amazing day at Alexandra Palace in September.
I've also done many new designs and artworks and I'm forever doing new things....
So as always, keep in touch right here for a look at my latest creations!!

But for now, enjoy New Year's Eve and sup some champers at midnight!!


Tuesday 24 December 2013

HAPPY VINTAGE CHRISTMAS!

Hope you all have a splendid vintage Christmas!!!

Here is a little Christmas story for you on this Christmas Eve....

For as long as I can remember there was always this little lead soldier that was put on to my parents' Christmas tree every year. He became part of tradition in the ArtPix household. Putting in an appearance to join in the festivities....



And this year while I was down in Devon a couple of weeks ago, I fetched the tree and decorations down from the loft for my Mum and Dad and there he was, in one of the boxes!

I then realised I'd never known where he came from.....

My Dad told me he found him in a puddle, by a kerb in Piccadilly Circus some time in the 1960s. He rescued him from his watery grave and has had pride of place on the Christmas tree every year since!

So the moral of the story is, keep a look out for stray toys the next time you are in Piccadilly!!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Sunday 1 December 2013

SOUTHEND POSTCARDS

Here is a sneak preview of a new series of Southend postcards I'm working on!!!

Using original vintage postcards, I'm planning on putting together collages for each decade of the last century. I've bought a good selection of postcards of Southend at antique fairs and markets, which form the backdrop for these collages. It'll be fun sifting through the ArtPix archives for suitable images for all the decades!

This one is for the 1960s, so you can see an iconic Lambretta and Mini plus an assortment of groovy young things all sporting the latest 60s styles! The postcard shows you the fantastic old pier train and the sadly demised Bowling Alley on Southend pier.



I'm pleased to say I've already sold a framed version of this pic at a recent fair, so hopefully this will be a popular range to rival my Dazzling Decades!!

I've also finished the 1910s Southend postcard, so the series is already taking shape. Stay tuned here for more postcard updates!

Wednesday 27 November 2013

SECRET VINTAGE FAIR

This Saturday I'll be at the SECRET VINTAGE FAIR at the stunning Colchester Town Hall!!

It's going to be a fantastic day, with absolutely loads of amazing vintage traders, live music, café and a whole lot more, all held in the stunning Victorian Town Hall. 

What a perfect way to do your Christmas shopping! And once you've spent all your money, you can enjoy the switching on of Colchester's Christmas lights at the Town Hall later in the day!

I'll be up on the 2nd Floor in the Moot Hall, so come along and find me and say hello!!
And of course, check out all the goodies I'll have on offer as well!

Kick off is at 10-30am until 4-30pm.

Check out the Secret Vintage website for more info and find them on Facebook and Twitter.

See you there for a vintage Christmas!


Sunday 24 November 2013

R.S. SHERRIFFS

Yesterday I went to the splendid CARTOON MUSEUM in London to have a peep at THE AGE OF GLAMOUR: R.S. SHERRIFFS' STARS OF STAGE AND SCREEN.

WOW, what a show!!
I must admit I'd never heard of him before, but was intrigued when I saw the poster featuring Greta Garbo ages ago.
Any exhibition they put on is worth going to see, but this one was such a surprise.

R.S. specialised in portraits of the stars, not dry and boring ones, but action-packed and fantastical portraits! They are full of life and the subject would often be in situations they would be playing in the film or stage play they were starring in.

The exhibition features his most iconic work from the 1920s and 30s, and every drawing has a distinctively modernist Art Deco feel to them. The sheer imagination and confidence of the artist jumps out at you.


All your fave stars of the era are featured, stunning cartoons of Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Laurence Olivier and an amazing portrait of Charles Laughton as Henry VIII are just some of the highlights.


So do go and pop along and have a look. You still have plenty of time as it finishes on Christmas Eve.
The Cartoon Museum is one of London's hidden gems!

Conception of the Remote Austerity of Garbo (detail)

Ivor Novello meets Shakespeare, 1933

Clara Bow in Call her Savage, 1933

The stunning portrait of Charles Laughton as Henry VIII, 1933

Gracie Fields at the Palladium, 1933

Monday 18 November 2013

THE SECRET IS OUT!

The venue for the next SECRET VINTAGE FAIR on November 30th has been revealed.....

COLCHESTER TOWN HALL!!!

It will be held in the stunning Victorian splendour of the Town Hall, right on the High Street!
Perfectly placed to do your vintage Xmas shopping and then see the town's Xmas lights switched on later in the day!!

It will be a brilliant day, see you there!


Wednesday 13 November 2013

MYSTERY GIRL!

On yet another trip to the wonderful Antique Market at Covent Garden I found this amazing print....


As I trawled through a huge pile of old prints and photos, I found this mysterious lady. Although it's a bit bashed, with a strip of paper stuck to it, I was drawn to this picture.

It's actually quite a big size for a print, measuring 28cm deep x 23cm wide, and is in a gorgeous sepia tone.

So who is she?!

Unfortunately I don't know!!!

Looking at her hair, clothes, make-up and even the lighting, it must have been taken in the 1930s.

The only tantalising clues are a photographer's name, and on the back, an address and phone number for an agency. First up is the photographer, all it says is: Bloom, Chicago.
A quick mooch around the internet only found one reference to a Bloom, on a website with a gallery of the Ziegfeld Follies. With several portraits of the dancing girls on there by him/her.
So she could have been a Ziegfeld Girl??

The agency mentioned on the back is the Robert Luff Agency of Carlton House, Regent Street, SW1. Phone Number Whitehall 6520.
Again after not a very exhaustive search, the only reference I found was an estate agents in Worthing!!

So did this London based agency have a possible American dancer on their books?

I guess we'll never know, not unless someone out there can help me...

Sunday 10 November 2013

WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

 

November 11th is a time to take notice of that war memorial you always walk past without stopping.
Perhaps check out all those poppy wreaths laid at its base and maybe even have a look at all those names inscribed on it. Then remember them.

 
As the clamouring starts next year with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, I do sincerely hope that history won't be rewritten to suit modern eyes. A lot of preconceptions about the Great War are rightly being questioned and studied, but I wonder how many battles and generals will suddenly start to be heralded as major triumphs and heroes.

Some historians have already claimed the Battle of the Somme was a triumph. It wasn't. It was slaughter.

There is a fantastic poem by Siegfried Sassoon called Editorial Impressions, which is a biting response to how the Press wrote about the war.

Editorial Impressions
He seemed so certain 'all was going well',
As he discussed the glorious time he'd had
While visiting the trenches.
                        'One can tell
You've gathered big impressions!' grinned the lad
Who'd been severely wounded in the back
In some wiped-out impossible Attack.
'Impressions? Yes, most vivid! I am writing
A little book called Europe on the Rack,
Based on notes made while witnessing the fighting.
I hope I've caught the feeling of 'the Line',
And the amazing spirit of the troops.
By Jove, those flying chaps of ours are fine!
I watched one daring beggar looping loops,
Soaring and diving like some bird of prey.
And through it all I felt that splendour shine
Which makes us win.'
                       The soldier sipped his wine.
'Ah yes, but it's the Press that leads the way!'

Siegfried Sassoon 1917


Earlier this year there was a brilliant BBC programme, Wipers Times, based on the true story of the men who produced a satirical magazine in Ypres. The writers and editors completely understood the dark humour and feelings of the ordinary soldier.
Sassoon knew as well. Another poem captures the often simple dreams and wishes of the Tommy serving in the trenches. The last line is particularly poignant.

Dreamers
Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time's tomorrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and pictures shows and spats,
And going to the office in the train.

Siegfried Sassoon 1917

Saturday 9 November 2013

AWESOME ORSETT TOMORROW!

I'll be at the VINTAGE AND RETRO FAIR at ORSETT HALL HOTEL tomorrow!!

Come along to this amazing event, which will include the best vintage traders around, a vintage café and great music throughout the day....

I've got some fantastic things for you as always!!
Alongside my vintage inspired art, I've got an awesome array of vintage and retro items....

Including classic 70s Hornsea ceramics, a huge supply of corking comics, some brilliant retro footie games... AND, my stunning range of vintage style bags and brooches will be back as well!!!


Kick off is at 10-30am until 4pm, admission £3 (£2 concessions) and kids go in FREE!

Here is the address to find your way....

The Orsett Hall Hotel,
Prince Charles Avenue,
Orsett,
Essex,
RM16 3HS

See you there!!!


Groovy 70s Hornsea on sale at Orsett!

I've got a super Subbuteo footie game ready for action!

And the popular vintage style bags make a welcome return to the stall!

Thursday 31 October 2013

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Hope you are all enjoying a ghoulish evening......!

I have a very grave picture for you all tonight.....
Taken in the cemetery next door to the Brontë sisters house in Haworth, Yorkshire.



Don't forget to do the MONSTER MASH tonight!!!!!

Sunday 27 October 2013

RETRO FOOTBALL!

Have been out shopping again!!
Found some amazing, full on retro footie cards!

Produced by the legendary A & BC, these chewing gum cards take you right back to the late 60s and early 70s. Some immense names from footie's past are here.... Roger Hunt, Pat Jennings, Charlie George, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan, Peter Bonetti, Bob Wilson to name a few!


I'm hoping to do some amazing things with these cards, in fact, I've already started with the collage down below!


Talking of retro football, you can't get more retro than 1863......
I sauntered along to the British Library in London one lunchtime this week to have a look at the exhibition called Football Rules.
Although it's tiny, all contained in one glass cabinet, the centre piece of the exhibition is the stunning FA Minute Book taken from meetings which decided upon the rules of football. All meticulously written down by the brilliantly named Ebeneezer Cobb Morley in 1863, it's basically the most treasured footballing item anywhere in the world.

There is still time to have peep at it:
http://www.bl.uk/whatson/permgall/treasures/fa_minute_book/football.html


Wonderfully, sitting next to this was a copy of the CHELSEA INDEPENDENT....
The fantastic Chelsea fanzine of old. Still going today in a different guise as the CFCUK.
Along with Fulham and Preston fanzines, it was there to show the fans' own contribution to the football world. They had a copy from 1991, which seems a far off time now! The cover brilliantly illustrates Chelsea missing out on going to Wembley yet again!
The fanzine was a vital part of the club, always asking questions, funny and poignant stories of supporting the club and generally being the only real outlet for fans' frustrations before the internet.

Getting a fanzine outside Stamford Bridge has long been a ritual of mine, and the sounds of "Chelsea fanzine only a paarrnnd!" still ring out today. 

Incidently, the fanzine cost 50p in 1991 and still only costs £1 today, shame the same can't be said of match tickets.....
I went scrabbling around the loft to find my own copy of the one used in the British Library!!

Saturday 19 October 2013

ARCANE PUBLISHING

Have been working on some promo material for the wonderful ARCANE PUBLISHING, including a brand new book cover...

Arcane's chief protagonist CARYA GISH will be appearing at the SHORELINES LITERATURE FESTIVAL OF THE SEA in Leigh Community Centre next month, so as a handy bit of advertising she will have some postcards giving you all the info on her books.

She will be at the METAL LIT LAB READING on November 10th in Room 7 on the 1st Floor between 1pm - 3pm. Free Entry!

Her amazing first book I AM A MUSE is already out, and the first draft of the manuscript for her second THE BOOK OF THOTH is nearing completion.



It was with great pleasure that I've been able to design both these covers. Carya specifically wanted a very minimalist and clean cover for THE BOOK OF THOTH. So we have a stark white cover with striking typography. Incidently using a font I designed myself!


Check out the ARCANE PUBLISHING website here:
http://www.arcanepublishing.net/

Carya's own blog will give you even more info!:
http://www.missgish.com/

And then have a look at the line-up for the SHORELINES festival here:
Keep on scrolling down to get to the METAL LIT LAB READING featuring Carya!
http://www.metalculture.com/southend-on-sea/shorelines-2013.html


Saturday 12 October 2013

JOHN HINDE - PHOTOSHOP PIONEER!

As we know, all of today's photos used in magazines and online are in some way changed or enhanced, I myself do it all the time at work and at play.

But the pioneering postcard producer JOHN HINDE had beaten us all to it!
Already experimenting with colour photography in the 1930s, he set up his own company to produce thousands of colour postcards from the 1960s onwards.

I bet you have one in your own collection. They stand out from the black and white cards being produced at the time by their magnificently garish colours! He often chose quite mundane scenes, but they were transported into these beautiful, colourful sunny British holiday pictures!

The process involved is fascinating. Although an accomplished photographer himself, he would send out his photographers to take all the pictures, mostly of seaside resorts, and then pour over the negatives to choose his favourites. After getting black and white prints done he would then get to work in true Photoshop style!
He would mark them up with all the colours he wanted. 'Make that car red', 'That jumper can be green', 'Those shorts yellow'! 
I think it's great that he would also just get rid of things that got in the way as well. 'Delete that rubbish bin', 'Remove those clouds', 'That man is getting in the way'!

All the prints would then be sent to Italy, who were the leaders in this field, to make the 4-colour separations for printing. The results were stunning, never before seen full colour postcards.
They have become a part of our memories of holidays and are at last getting the recognition they deserve.

So next time we are deleting that annoying lamp post on a photo or boosting the colour of the sky to make it look like a sunny day, remember, Mr Hinde was doing this 50 years ago!!


If you are quick (it finishes tomorrow!!), you can still catch a little exhibition of his work at the Photographers' Gallery in London. They are down in the basement, next to the shop!


And check out this brilliant gallery to see a wider range of his postcards.
http://www.johnhindecollection.com/britain.html

Great example of the colours chosen by John Hinde. ©www.johnhindecollection.com

Red and yellow were often chosen as they stood out the most on the postcard stand! ©www.johnhindecollection.com

A typically mundane scene, but with the colour added becomes a stunning picture. ©www.johnhindecollection.com

The photographers would often get people to stand around to add interest to a picture! ©www.johnhindecollection.com
Gloriously cheesy postcard!! ©www.johnhindecollection.com

Another fairly boring photo, somehow transformed into a stunning masterpiece! ©www.johnhindecollection.com

I love this card, the monorail adds to a classic Hinde combination of people, colours and an impossibly blue sky! ©www.johnhindecollection.com

This is a great example I found on my recent trip to Dorset, giving you multiple scenes and colours.
This is a stunning picture of Piccadilly Circus, giving you a hint of the other side of Hinde's work.

If you fancy delving a bit deeper into John Hinde's work, it's would be worth your time. Although chiefly remembered for these gorgeous postcards he took some amazing photographs himself. Especially the series of fascinating shots taken on a tour with a circus in 1948, called British Circus Life. And a forerunner to his postcards were a set of atmospheric colour photographs taken of an Exmoor Village in 1947.

Wednesday 9 October 2013

SECRET VINTAGE FAIR!

I'm very pleased to announce that I'll be at the next SECRET VINTAGE FAIR on November 30th!!!

These fairs have become huge events and with every new event comes a stunning new venue.....

But SSSHHH, it's a secret!!!!

All I can reveal for now is that it will be in Colchester.....
Keep tuned for more news!!!


These fairs have been a roaring success for me personally, so I'm very excited to able to bring along lots of new designs and amazing vintage items to sell. Dare I say it now, all will make perfect Christmas presents!!!

See you there!

Sunday 6 October 2013

DOTTY DORSET PIX!

Hi everyone, I'm back from Dorset!!!

Had an AMAZING time there, saw some fantastic places and even more antique and vintage emporiums! We were even lucky with the weather....!

From scrambling up Hambledon Hill, taking tea in Corfe Castle, steam trains to Swanage, meeting artists in Lyme Regis and vintiquing in Bridport, it was an eventful 2 weeks....


Here are a few piccies to show you our travels.....

An impossibly atmospheric scene looking towards Worbarrow Bay, near the abandoned village of Tyneham.

The majestic ruin of Corfe Castle, looking down from West Hill.

My favourite tree in Dorset! Just outside Abbotsbury at the foot of Chapel Hill.

A close up view of the mysterious St Catherine's Chapel.

A lonely pillbox still stands guard on Chesil Beach.

Vintiquers paradise is to be found at Brewers Quay in Weymouth!

A fantastically British scene here. The grim determination to enjoy your seaside holiday and eat your chips, despite the rain and gale force winds!!

There was FUN to be had at the amazing Bridport Antiques Centre. Unbelievably soon to be demolished to make way for a housing estate. Words fail me.

This is the lovely chapel at Eype, where PJ Harvey recorded her Let England Shake album.

Here lies a bit of Thomas Hardy, (his heart actually), the rest is at Westminster Abbey...

A rusting Victorian grave in the atmospheric churchyard at Osmington.

Whatever you do, don't mess with the bridges in Dorset! This beauty is at Lower Bockhampton.

Giant Ladybirds were spotted on the golf course at Weymouth!!

Amazingly this clock tower used to be at London Bridge, until moved to Swanage. A pillbox keeps it company in its new home.

Evocative steam train at Swanage, what an absolute joy to travel by steam.

The setting sun sweeps across the fields at Swyre Head.