Thursday 31 December 2015


Wow, another year gone, where did 2015 go??

Come midnight, lets sip on some champers and see the new year in.

Got lots of plans for 2016, so I'll be lifting a glass to hopefully a successful year!

And of course toddling at the midnight ball, whatever that is!!!

Wednesday 30 December 2015


Have finally seen new the STAR WARS film, (yes, I know, what took me so long!!).

And, phew, it's absolutely brilliant!!

Very much like the original 1977 classic, with less unnecessary CGI and more focus on the actual people. Great new characters mixing with the old faves.

For us old 'uns who remember it all first time around in a galaxy far far away, it was a real treat, with many a reference to the original films.
I saw the first movie at the Dominion Theatre in Tottenham Court Road, and like many of my generation were blown away with it all.

This afternoon I stumbled around the loft to dig out some of my 1977 Star Wars figures, a must-have for any kid at the time!! 

Have a peep at these hastily taken photos of some of the collection! And try and guess which ones needed blu-tac stuck to their feet to keep them upright!!!

Of course, the one and only C3-P0!

Han Solo, ready to blast another Stormtrooper!

A very young Luke Skywalker, in pre-Jedi days!

A pesky Sandperson, always causing trouble!

Evil Stormtrooper, although not so tough now, as he needed the blu-tac to stay on his feet!

I have loads more Star Wars stuff, and according to ebay is worth a few quid, but I'll get that out another day!!

Saturday 26 December 2015


Have started tinkering with my website, have been meaning to give it an MOT for a while and update a few bits.

Today, I've added a few piccies to the Photo gallery.
As well as my vintage based artworks and designs, one of my fave things is photography. Although not a professional by any means, (I just point my tiny digital camera at things!!), I love to tinker with photos afterwards.

Here is a few that have been added...

Battered boat at Crow Point in north Devon. It still has its amazing vivid colours.

A Brutalist beauty at the Barbican in London.

Classic seaside amusement arcades at Southend.

Ancient trees near Cow Castle on Exmoor.

And have a peep at the website if you like or if you can...

Apologies to all who have those new fangled iPads/Phones etc, as I think my website doesn't work on them because of Flash. Technology eh??!
Wished they'd told me that before I'd spent hours and hours setting it up and paying for the domain!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday 24 December 2015


Hope you all have a marvellously merry Xmas!!!

Turkey, mince pies, Xmas pud and pressies and all that sort of thing!

For me this is the first day of a mammoth holiday, as I'm taking a sabbatical from the daily trundle to London. I'm got the WHOLE of January off, WOW!!!!! I'll be recharging the batteries and doing all sorts of ArtPix related projects, so watch this space!

Saturday 19 December 2015


Just a tiny update on my plans for an online magazine ...

Having worked as a magazine designer in London for the last 100 years, I thought why not create my very own magazine?!

So first up of course is a name ... And here I almost stumbled at the first hurdle, but eventually came up with the highly imaginative title of ARTPIX MAG !!!
This could change at any moment though!

And now to decide what on earth goes in it. 

Well, so far it will be a mixture of my latest news/designs/adventures, a few reviews of various things, a photo spread, Antique of the Month section, a retro footie page and a bit about how I create all my work (and how to buy it!!).

The next step is to create a look and then design all the bits and pieces. After that I'll have the small matter of writing it! I'll be everything on this project ... Designer ... Writer ... Editor ... Photographer ... Picture Editor.

So if you catch me talking to myself, that'll just be me having an Editorial Meeting!!

Hopefully I'll have a few updates on this soon ...

Sunday 13 December 2015


Something rather amazing is happening down in Dorset at the moment... 

Bournemouth's footie team are causing serious shockwaves and are starting to enjoy their first season in the Premier League!

After an incredible 1-0 win at Champions Chelsea last week, they've managed to follow that up with an amazing 2-1 win over Manchester United!!

People like to knock football for all its faults, but sometimes it can still come up with a hugely romantic story.
Just 6 years ago Bournemouth only just avoided relegation out of the Football League altogether. Since then a level-headed approach has seen them rise through the divisions, culminating in the well-run club winning the Football League Championship last May and promotion to the Premier League.

As always I like to delve into the ArtPix Archives to find some retro gems, and I wasn't disappointed!

Here we have a superbly mad programme from 1972!!
The club had just changed their name to AFC Bournemouth, so this was part of a rebranding of the club's image which also included a new badge, still in use today.

They also had a fabulously cool kit in those days! Take a look at this team group from 1974 and marvel at their cool design, with the new badge and bold black and white vertical striped top! Can you spot a very young looking Harry Redknapp??? Even he looks great in that kit!

And here is a fantastic portrait of Bournemouth's Clive Payne, clearly showing their fantastic new badge. 

Even the magazine designer got carried away with the spirit of the occasion. Boldly experimenting with a crazy colour combination of magenta and cyan to somehow match with the red and white of the shirt!! Great days!!

Good luck to the Cherries for the rest of the season. And can you bring back this kit as well please?!

Tuesday 8 December 2015


Today is the announcement of a very special date for your diaries ...

Saturday 27th February 2016

Oil 54 and Arcane Publishing present an intimate evening of words and music.

Based in The Harrison bar near King's Cross in London, LONDON: WINTER TALES will delight you with the dark, mysterious feel of a winter's evening.

An amazing array of talent will be on show throughout the evening, with readings, poetry, music and a bulging merchandise table!

Please check the event's Facebook page HERE

I have my own interest in this exciting event as not only are my long-time collaborators, Arcane Publishing, co-hosting the event, but I've designed the poster (!)

Thursday 19 November 2015


Hi folks!
Here is a round up of all things happening in the ArtPix World...

I'm currently working on a brand new collage. 
I absolutely love creating surreal designs using vintage items I've found along the way and my own photographs. I've dug out some photos of the fantastic city of Prague I took a few years ago. I'd forgotten how amazing the architecture is there, a mash up of styles that reflects the history of the place.

Solid Eastern European architecture next to cheesy modern advert!

Petrin Observation Tower in Prague, that also features in my new collage.

Great 1950s Swiss skiing resort leaflet.

Lee Miller: A Woman's War exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in London.
A must see show of the iconic photographer, who led an extraordinary life. Focusing on her work during the Second World War, she went from producing fashion photoshoots for the British version of Vogue, to gripping frontline photos from France as the Allies pushed back the Germans after D-Day. From harrowing experiences of seeing the concentration camps to nicking stuff from Eva Braun's flat, she literally ended up in Hitler's bath!

Lee Miller in Hitler's bath in Munich 1945. ©David E. Scherman

Exhibition poster, featuring Miller's photograph of Anna Leska, 
a Polish pilot in 1942.

To Killing Joke's staggering new album Pylon. 
Another titanic set of songs from the post-punk/industrial/metal legends, whose twisting and turning jagged anthems show a unabated and unique creativity. I also have the memories and ringing ears from their recent gig at the Camden Roundhouse, which was the best I'd seen of them in years, an unbelievable night!

The latest album from the mighty Killing Joke.

The much respected 1970s TV series Secret Army.
Which featured a resistance network rescuing Allied airmen in Second World War Brussels. I had vague recollections of the series as a child, particularly the amazing opening titles and chilling music. I remember it feeling very serious and had a certain darkness to it. Watching it back, I can now see how wonderful it was. Pulling no punches, it is often a moral maze of dilemmas, difficult decisions and downright bravery to all who were concerned. There is a refreshing evenhandedness towards the German characters and being based in Belgium, it tells the overlooked story of their resistance. The first series on BBC TV was a unheard of 16 episodes, which helped the whole story and characters develop. Would never happen now.

The complete set, all 43 episodes of it!

I'll be back in Dorset for a whole week, staying in the wonderful Burton Bradstock. 
I'll be checking up on my unit at The Customs House in West Bay and getting in plenty of walks, weather permitting of course!

My very own vintage tribute to Dorset!

I'll be back at ArtPix Towers soon, to start working on some exciting new projects, which include an online shop and an online magazine!! 

Sunday 15 November 2015


Has been a really wild and windy day around ArtPix Towers today...

It reminded me of a trip to the fantastic Woolacombe Beach on a crazily windy day a couple of years ago! 

The huge beach in North Devon is one of my favourite places, especially in the winter.

There is often just a handful of people around, usually intrepid surfers or dog walkers, and if you walk towards the Putsborough end of the beach, you sometimes have the place to yourself.

So take a peep at this pic and imagine the blast of Atlantic sea air in your face!!

Tuesday 10 November 2015


Armistice Day – the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Whilst the politicians will jostle for position with their pristine poppies and the press will show endless pictures of royalty 'doing their bit' at the ceremonies, we, the people, will reflect on how the everyday person fought a war.

I would love one day to see a Remembrance ceremony without any politicians, royalty or religious leaders present. The very people who start wars!

This is why Siegfried Sassoon will always be one of my heroes. A person who endured the very worst of trench warfare and combined his biting intelligence and satire to the greatest effect.

The Great Men

The great ones of the earth
Approve, with smiles and bland salutes, the rage
And monstrous tyranny they have brought to birth.
The great ones of the earth
Are much concerned about the wars they wage,
And quite aware of what those wars are worth.

You Marshals, gilt and red
You Ministers and Princes, and Great Men,
Why can't you keep your mouthings for the dead?
Go round the simple cemeteries; and then
Talk of our noble sacrifice and losses
To the wooden crosses.

© Siegfried Sassoon
Published in the Cambridge Magazine, 17 August 1918.

Sunday 8 November 2015


Remembrance Sunday is the perfect time to listen to this astonishing album from the 
much respected band Attrition.

Martin Bowes has been joined by Anni Hogan and guest performer Wolfgang Flür from Kraftwerk, to create a personal memorial to the First World War. Dedicated and inspired by his grandfather William Bowes, who was severely wounded at Ypres in 1917, this immaculately presented album will stay with you forever. 

Gathering together treasured family mementoes of the time to illustrate and tell the story, there are beautifully recreated postcards written by William and letters from hospital staff and chaplain reassuring his family their son is recovering from his injuries.

The Great War is a still a searing dark scar on our consciousness.

It plays out to us in silent monochrome images, the sounds of that time are lost to us, the noise of gunfire we can only imagine.
We now have a soundscape to associate with those images of a generation walking into the inferno that would destroy them.
It is therefore an intense, emotional and gut-wrenching experience to listen to this stunning album.
Taking its name from a Charles Sorley war poem, it starts with another Great War poet, Wilfrid Owen, and his searing Anthem for Doom Youth, dramatically read out.

The sounds, moods and feelings mixed with echoes of marching troops, shouting voices, shellfire and the stark, sharp piano from Anni Hogan fill you with a sense of foreboding. The whole time, images are conjuring up in your mind, such is the intensity. As the album is meant to be an inclusive memorial to ALL who served, there are also evocative snippets of French and German poems and voices.  

The importance of this work cannot be underestimated. Finally we have a soundtrack and aural sensation for those calamitous events.

To buy the album go to the ATTRITION website HERE

For an amazing preview, watch this on YouTube HERE

I was reminded by this album of something that happened to me in France. I have a relatively ambivalent attitude to ghosts and spirits, but one experience stayed with me.
Whilst standing in Thiepval Cemetery, which stands right on the front lines of 1916, I noticed in the silence, the wind blowing through the huge trees of the neighbouring Thiepval Wood.
I then had an overwhelming feeling of hundreds of people nearby, I could sense them. The sensation was that the soldiers are still in the woods, watching over and wanting you to acknowledge their presence. As with the rest of the Somme, it isn't a haunting or disturbing feeling, but one of absolute calm.

Wednesday 4 November 2015


Nice to see in the news recently that Chelsea fans had clubbed together to get a headstone made for a Chelsea legend.

George Hilsdon was Chelsea's first super star striker, signing for the club in 1906, bagging a fantastic 5 goals on his debut. He went on to become the first player in the club's history to score 100 goals and also scored an incredible 14 goals in 8 England appearances. He also represented West Ham with flying colours.

His post Chelsea career wasn't so good, having copped a lung full of mustard gas at Arras in 1917, his playing career was all but over and although he spent time on the London stage in a theatre production, he died a lonely death and tragically only 4 people attended his funeral in 1941.

However, his name did live on at Chelsea's ground Stamford Bridge in the form of a weather vane, made in his image. Legend was that if the vane wasn't in place the club's fortunes would wane. In the early 1980s the club found themselves in deep trouble, chairmen Ken Bates found the rusting weather vane languishing in a corner, and so had it restored and placed back on top of the East Stand. Chelsea were promptly promoted the next season as Champions.

It still stands there....

And now George finally has a decent memorial. 

Never forgotten.

Saturday 31 October 2015


Yes folks, it's that time of year again, let's do the MONSTER MASH!!!

If you fancy visiting a particularly scary place this Halloween, then go to Knowlton Church, reputedly one of Dorset's most haunted sites.

It is a ruined 14th century church placed within an ancient Neolithic earthwork. Built there to outdo the old beliefs, it looks like the church has given up to the superior powers of the ancient ways! Halloween, despite the Americanisation of the event, is essentially Britain rediscovering its pagan roots.

When we visited the place, on the ground next to the church there were the remnants of a pagan ritual, probably held there the night before.

The place certainly has a strange atmosphere, go if you dare!!!

Wednesday 28 October 2015


In my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset, I've got these lovely old maps for sale!

The French Michelin maps are world famous and these early examples are fantastic. All dating from the 1920s, you can imagine some bright young things jumping into their jalopy for a quick tour of the wonderfully French names of Chalon-sur-Saône, Saint-Etienne and Troyes!

They all feature the cheery Michelin Tyre Man or 'Bibendum' logo, who in those days was allowed to smoke a crafty cigar, can't imagine he'd be able to now!!

Inside they have wonderful colour details and you can imagine yourself driving around looking for the nearest estaminet!

Bon voyage !

Saturday 24 October 2015


This week I've been watching old Buster Keaton movies and they've been an absolute joy to watch!

I well remember as a kid seeing his contemporaries Laurel & Hardy and Harold Lloyd regularly on TV, especially during the summer holidays, but somehow Buster never seemed to get shown, so I've never really seen his films.

To watch his short, silent epics of the early 1920s though, you can see a genius at work. As with Charlie Chaplin, he always played the down-on-his-luck everyday man, which appealed to audiences in those tough times.

With his unique looks and laconic expression he took his background in vaudeville and his music hall stage craft to these films.
They're a fantastic roller coaster of ideas and stunts, sometimes involving manic car chases on virtually empty Hollywood roads or gloriously clever set pieces filmed inside purpose-built houses.
The sheer invention and daring in these films, where Buster would do all his own stunts, takes your breath away. But there can also be time for a quiet, poignant moment as well.

He enjoyed a long career after these silent classics and was still working right up until he died in 1966.
His legacy and influence lives on today and we can still marvel at his kaleidoscope of ideas in those pioneering early films.

As a bonus, just recently I found an amazing set of 1920s film star cigarette cards at the brilliant Mrs Minivers unit at Battlesbridge Antique Centre in Essex.
The first card I noticed was the enigmatic portrait of Buster seen above. With his trademark dead-pan stare, I was immediately captivated by them. What a lucky find!

This lovely set of cards, includes another silent movie star Harold Lloyd.

Sunday 18 October 2015


Recently the combined forces of ArtPix and Arcane Publishing had a staff outing to Kent, to seek out the famous Deal Braderie!

As we are only a stone's throw away across the Thames Estuary it doesn't take long to get over to the Garden of England. However the street market in Deal is so popular we couldn't find any B&B in Deal itself, so it gave us the opportunity to explore a bit more of Kent, eventually finding a place down in Dover.

Within a couple of hours of leaving ArtPix Towers we had already reached Folkstone and decided to pop in to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. Just as we entered the brand new visitor centre a Spitfire flew over, what a perfect moment!
I first went there about 20 years ago and it still has the power to move you, especially as this is the 75th Anniversary of the battle. A simple memorial of a seated pilot looking out to sea, which is sited on an original World War II anti-aircraft battery.

We moved along the coast a bit after that, to St Margaret's at Cliffe. A steep path takes you down to the sea into St Margaret's Bay and you are dwarfed by the huge white cliffs. There are amazing houses, especially the Art Deco ones right on the sea, museums, gardens and tea rooms there. A very pleasant place to pass the time. We climbed the steep roads and paths again to reach the top of the cliffs and walk along the fabulous coastline. First reaching the South Noreland Lighthouse, then recently renovated World War II tunnels, and finally the port of Dover. A constant flow of ferries going in and out. Fortunately the day was perfectly sunny, so you could see the coast of France clearly in the distant as the ferries trundled across the Channel.

After our night in Dover, under the shadow of the famous castle, we rose super early to get to the small town of Deal for the Braderie. By our standards being there by 8-30am was a minor miracle, and it was certainly worth the effort. It was already packed and people were wandering home with all sorts of weird and wonderful things they'd found!
Again we were so lucky with the weather, as this is a full-on street market, any rain would've been a disaster! There were brilliant stalls all along the High Street, and we had great fun rummaging. Also, looking up at the gorgeous buildings everywhere was a treat as well. After a long time vintiquing we headed to the seafront, which is just how a seafront should be. Old buildings, lovely pier, fishing boats hauled up onto the beach help create a lovely relaxed and dignified air to the place.
We walked along the flat, shingled beaches as far as Walmer Castle, where you can see the cliffs start to rise again to start their world famous display at Dover.

After leaving Deal, we drove along to the north Kent coast to see the stunning Reculver Towers. An abandoned church built on the site of a Roman fort, for generations a handy navigation marker to boats sailing in to the Thames Estuary.
As the sun set over the huge towers we finally made our way home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our mini sojourn to Kent and will be back soon!

The simple but stunning Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne.

Close-up of the lone pilot sculpture.

He has a perfect view of the Channel. In the background you can see original features of the anti-aircraft battery that was housed there.

Classic white cliffs scene down at St Margaret's Bay.

And the stunning Art Deco houses right on the beach.

Perfectly pristine South Noreland Lighthouse.

You can sit and watch the ferries all day, with the backdrop of the French coastline in the distance.

The port of Dover where all the action takes place. A fascinating spot to watch the world go by.

Walking along the top of the famous White Cliffs, you sometimes get a little glimpse of them!

Someone had been waiting a long time for this year's Deal Braderie!!

Already packed and it's only 8-30am on a Sunday morning!!

So many amazing vintage treats were there.

And not forgetting to check out the gorgeous Georgian buildings along the route as well.

Wow, the perfect retro ceramic set!

The unusual Time Ball Tower Museum on Deal seafront.

A sadly empty old Art Deco cinema.

The simple but effective 1950s pier at Deal.

Classic English seaside architecture add to its charm.

And interesting independent shops.

Fabulous 50s Space Age seafront shelter!

Colourful fishing boats remind you this is also a working seaside town.

Henry VIII's Deal Castle, with its very low and menacing appearance.

Perfect Autumn sunshine along the beach, with the ferries cruising along to Dover in the distance.

Looking back towards Deal, with Walmer Castle just behind us.

Stunning Reculver Towers along the coast, almost falling into the sea.

Perfect end to a glorious weekend...