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The Fulbridge Academy Sports Hall Project

September ’17

Soon after the start of the 2017/18 football season and I’m working at Fulbridge Academy again. I’m both honoured and excited to be given another opportunity to paint on a monumental scale and this time I’m in the Main Hall (now renamed as Looney Tune Land). This project will embrace the world of sport, its aim to encourage the children to become more involved with a variety of physical pursuits.

The brief presented to me by Principal Ben Erskine was to paint a mural on the walls of the Main Hall itself and the adjoining area at the back with a design divided into three sections. One would be seen as a ‘red carpet awards ceremony’, a celebration of international sporting achievement featuring sportsmen and women who have excelled and become an inspiration to others. The second, and largest area, needed to highlight particular sporting activities while the third should celebrate sport in Peterborough, identifying clubs and successful athletes who were born locally or have close links with the area.

Once again, it’s a big job, and like the affectionately titled ‘Sistine Chapel’ project painted in the Charles Swift Wing of the school in 2014/15, scaffolding is going to be needed again too. It’s going to be another demanding one, mentally and physically.

Following a couple of meetings with Ben, and receiving a list of sporting heroes from the PE department, I developed designs for the front and back areas of the hall and presented them at our next meeting. Given the thumbs up I made preparations to begin painting on 11th September.

Design for Back Walls (Version 1)

Figures requested for inclusion:

Athletics: Usain Bolt, Jesse Owens, Jessica Ennis-Hill / Basketball: Michael Jordan, LeBron James / Boxing: Muhammad Ali, Nicola Adams / Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Basil D’Oliveira / Football: Pele, Bobby Moore, Cristiano Ronaldo / Gymnastics: Simone Biles, Nadia Comaneci / Rugby: Gareth Edwards, Richie McCaw / Sailing: Ellen MacArthur / Swimming: Michael Phelps, Ellie Simmonds / Tennis: Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rod Laver / Wheelchair athletics: Tanni Grey-Thompson

 

Design for Main Hall (Version 1)

Figures: Gymnastics: Louis Smith / Football: David Bentley, Luke Steele / Field Hockey: Paul Barber / Cricket: Ajaz Akhtar / Rowing: James Fox

Considering the scale and length of this project, I have decided that rather than present a detailed blog on its conclusion, instead I will post an occasionally updated photo diary. So watch this space…………

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…………..in Crete

18 – 25 October 2014

After what has been a fairly busy year involved with large projects, a chance to scribble in a notebook again and work on a smaller scale with a 7 day break and a return visit to Crete, thanks to an invitation from our good chums Peter & Monica. This time it was the subject that was big, not the image making. The challenge however was exactly the same, trying to make images work while being bombarded with such different sensations and being confronted with a landscape with such a magnificence of scale.

The way I’ve found to deal with this problem is to treat the subject the same as one would when entering a grand building such as a cathedral. One doesn’t simply barge in, the place must be treated with the respect it deserves. It’s important to enter quietly, take time to drink in the atmosphere and allow the senses to become familiar with the new surroundings.

The secret I think is not to be impatient and for me, drawing has always been the best method I’ve found to feel one’s way in. Taking time to look and listen through the weaving, continuous, overlapping lines created by the point of a pencil enables my eyes and ears to take a walk across the page and develop a sense of place. It’s not everyone’s way maybe, but it’s my way.

The pages of my notebook return me to where the drawing was made and reawakens a memory bank of sensations, even if the page contains only an urgent and quickly rendered scribble. My calligraphic wanderings are more personal than a photograph and transport me back in time and space. They are instant reminders of the sights, sounds and scents of the original location.

Crete is filled with a cocktail of sensations. This time around an instant word map would include – visiting a museum of monumental wooden sculptures in Axos Milopotamou; sitting in the sun at a cafe in Anogia village; watching waves crash over the harbour wall at Rethymno and eating at Othonas Taverna; gorge walking at Spili and coming across another olive grove of ancient trees; harvesting walnuts with my ‘Karydia Brothers’ and having the black fingers to prove it; the spectacular scenery and dramatic landscape revealed during the journey from Vamos to Chora Sfakion ending with a meal beside the harbour; the stunning skyline filled with sea-storms approaching the shore viewed from the beach at Triopetra and the sight of waves breaking against the ‘3 Stones’; the outlook during the journey to Agios Pavlos and drinking a chilled glass of Mythos in the taverna overlooking the idyllic bay; watching waves crashing into the cliffs, with thunder, lightning, gusty winds and rain falling in sheets while drying out at the same location; the outstanding and impressive rock formations at Agios Pavlos too; eating out in Spili, at the Maria-Kostas Taverna and at the Mylos Cafe; watching high soaring birds casually gliding on warm thermal winds; wrecked, battered, bruised as well as re-invented and re-engineered motor vehicles; the regular clang of sheep and goat bells; staring philosophically into a clear and unpolluted Indian Ink sky carefully strewn with scattered, sparkling constellations; sublime sunsets to die for; visiting the birthplace of Domenikos Theotokopoulos outside the sleepy village of Fodele where old women dressed in black sat in the street making macramé items using the back of a wooden chair as a frame, then sitting under the most ancient of ancient trees in sun dappled shade to eat lunch at the El Greco Café; it’s been a stimulating week!

The landscape of Crete is overwhelming and the people warm and welcoming. I may not speak the language or be able to read the roadsigns comfortably, but a smile, a glance and a gesture easily becomes a conversation of a thousand unspoken words. However, as for Crete as a subject for painting is concerned, I have only dipped my toe in the water – and the pool is the size of an ocean.

As for image making, I’m still coming to terms with the place and have much to learn, but perhaps I’ve made a start in feeling my way around – and it’s feelin’ good. It’s caused a problem with my Blog Title Soundtracks page though. Should I have chosen Nina Simone? Or Muse. Tough call. I’m still undecided, so I included both.

Big Art Week at Discovery Primary School

18 – 22.6.12

A seriously late post! Primed and prepared, but for some puzzling and unfathomable reason not published, so a belated reference to an Artist in Residence week at the Discovery Primary School in Peterborough following an invitation from Mandy Murphy.

It was a very enjoyable experience too and shared with my chum Rebecca Holmes, leading charcoal and pastel drawing workshops, as well as introducing digital painting with the iPad. The theme for the week was ‘Endangered Animals’ and one of the projects involved the production of a charcoal portrait of a panda by a group of children from year 4. How could I possibly have forgotten to publish this wonderful collection of drawings!

3 Parts Dirt! 10cc Abba AC/DC Achille-Etna Michallon Ajaz Akhtar Alberto Giacometti Albrecht Durer Alice in Wonderland Amsterdam Andrew Wyeth Andy Warhol Arctic Monkeys Athletics Atomic Rooster Banksy Beatles Benjamin Marshall Bernard Cribbins Black Black Sunday Blondie Bob & Marcia Bob Marley Boxing Brian Brinkley Brushes app. Bucks Fizz Caesar Cambridge Camille Corot Cancer Canned Heat Castle Caverstede Early Years Centre 'Bigger Picture' Chalk Pastel Charcoal Charles R. Knight Charlie Small Children's Books Christo Claude Monet Coldplay Corinne Bailey Rae Coventry Creative Partnerships Crete Cricket Daniel Lambert Darren Fraser David Bomberg Deacon's School Dennis Creffield Diego Velάzquez Discovery Primary School Django Reinhardt Dogsthorpe Academy Drawing Edgar Degas Edvard Munch Egypt Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun Elton John Elvis Costello en plein air Epping Forest Europe Eurythmics Evolve magazine Exhibition Fitzwilliam Museum Floella Benjamin Foo Fighters Football Forest Schools Francesco Guardi Frank Auerbach Fred Astaire Frida Kahlo Fulbridge School Garage Door Gary Moore Gene Wilder Gentle Giant George Bellows Georges Braque Georgio de Chirico Gerry Rafferty Gian Lorenzo Bernini Gingerbread Man Giovanni Bellini Gladiator Glasgow Boys Glenn Frey Gnarls Barkley Greece Gruffalo Haiku Hands Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec Hercules Brabazon Brabazon Iain Erskine Ian Anderson Ice Hockey Impressionism iPad Iron Curtain Jacob van Ruisdael Jacques Brel James Abbott McNeill Whistler James Ferrara Jamiroquai Jazz Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres Jean-Francois Millet Jethro Tull JMW Turner Joe Cocker Johannes Vermeer John Constable John Lennon Johnny Kidd & the Pirates Juan Sánchez Cotán Jurassic Way Killer Shrimp King's Cliffe Endowed Primary School King's Cliffe Primary Kit Downes Quintet KT Tunstall Lanchester Polytechnic Landscape Landscape painting Lascaux Laurel Barbieri Leningrad Lenny Kravitz Len Tabner Leonardo da Vinci Lewis Carroll Little Red Riding Hood Loch Craignish Lonnie Donegan Luke Steele Lynyrd Skynyrd Mad Hatter Madness Manfred Mann's Earth Band March Hare Marvin Gaye Media Media Archive for Central England Michael Jackson MichelAngelo Modest Mussorgsky Mosaic Moscow Mural Muse Music National Gallery Newark Hill Primary Nickel Creek Nick Ward Nina Simone Oasis Obsidian Art Gallery Owl Painting Panda Panorama Paul Cezanne Paul Gauguin Peterborough Peter Paul Rubens Picasso Pirates Pleurisy Pneumonia Portrait Procul Harem Queen Radio 3 Essential Classics Rafael Alberti Rainforest Ray Charles Red Hot Chili Peppers Rembrandt van Rijn Rene Magritte Right Angle Gallery River Nene Roald Dahl Rock Music Rod Campbell Rodrigo y Gabriela Rod Stewart Rogier van der Weyden Rolling Stones Romans Rome Rowlatts Hill Primary School Royal Academy Roy Clark Russia Salvator Rosa Sarah Walker Scotland Seascape Self Portrait Sistine Chapel Small Faces Sport Steppenwolf Stereophonics Swimming Talking Heads Terry Jacks The Automatic The BFG The Crooked House Himley The Editors The Jam The Killers The Moody Blues The Red Deltas The Sensational Alex Harvey Band Thin Lizzy Thomas Faed Tina Turner Titchmarsh School Titian Tom Jones Totem Pole Trompe l'oeil Tuscany USSR Venice Vienna Vincent Van Gogh Volcanic Voyager Academy Warmington School We Are Scientists William Hogarth William Law Primary School Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club YouTube

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