Friday, 1 May 2015

Star Wars - BB-8


Who's looking forward to Star Wars VII - The Force Awakens? Personally I'm like a giddy child and I can't wait. And like many others, I loved the unveiling of the working BB-8 rolling droid at the Star Wars Celebration event hosted by J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. I was impressed that so much effort has gone into creating such a fantastic practical effect. 

BB-8 & R2-D2

As much as I admire well crafted CGI, I think this is awesome. But I have my own theories that BB-8 may be more practical than they are letting on. I made a slight alteration to the image of BB-8 to show what I think is really going on.


Warwick Davis is BB-8
Joking aside, I can't wait for this movie. It has such a terrific cast. Beside the formidable original trilogy cast members, we have the hugely talented John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and many more rising stars. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Gwendoline Christie and Andy Serkis. And of course, Warwick Davis.


Sunday, 25 January 2015

Robert Burns

It's the Bard's birthday once again. Born on the 25th of January 1759, in Alloway. A mere stones throw away from my own home town. He left us on the 21st of July 1796, in Dumfries.

What better way to remember him than with one of his greatest works, and my own personal favourite. Tam O Shanter. Written in 1790 and published in 1791. With some added artwork of my own.

 The Bard

TAM O SHANTER

When chapmen billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors meet,
As market days are wearing late,
An' folk begin to tak the gate;
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
And getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps, and styles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky sullen dame.
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.
 
This truth fand honest Tam o' Shanter,
As he frae Ayr ae night did canter,
(Auld Ayr, wham ne'er a town surpasses
For honest men and bonie lasses.) 

O Tam! had'st thou but been sae wise,
As ta'en thy ain wife Kate's advice!
She tauld thee weel thou was a skellum,
A blethering, blustering, drunken blellum;
That frae November till October,
Ae market-day thou was nae sober;
That ilka melder, wi' the miller,
Thou sat as lang as thou had siller;
That every naig was ca'd a shoe on,
The smith and thee gat roaring fou on;
That at the Lord's house, even on Sunday,
Thou drank wi' Kirkton Jean till Monday.
She prophesied that late or soon,
Thou would be found deep drown'd in Doon;
Or catch'd wi' warlocks in the mirk,
By Alloway's auld haunted kirk.

Ah, gentle dames! it gars me greet,
To think how mony counsels sweet,
How mony lengthen'd, sage advices,
The husband frae the wife despises! 

But to our tale:-- Ae market-night,
Tam had got planted unco right;
Fast by an ingle, bleezing finely,
Wi' reaming swats, that drank divinely
And at his elbow, Souter Johnny,
His ancient, trusty, drouthy crony;
Tam lo'ed him like a vera brither--
They had been fou for weeks thegither!
The night drave on wi' sangs and clatter
And ay the ale was growing better:
The landlady and Tam grew gracious,
wi' favours secret,sweet and precious
The Souter tauld his queerest stories;
The landlord's laugh was ready chorus:
The storm without might rair and rustle,
Tam did na mind the storm a whistle. 

Care, mad to see a man sae happy,
E'en drown'd himsel' amang the nappy!
As bees flee hame wi' lades o' treasure,
The minutes wing'd their way wi' pleasure:
Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious.
O'er a' the ills o' life victorious! 

But pleasures are like poppies spread,
You sieze the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow falls in the river,
A moment white--then melts for ever;
Or like the borealis race,
That flit ere you can point their place;
Or like the rainbow's lovely form
Evanishing amid the storm.--
Nae man can tether time or tide;
The hour approaches Tam maun ride;
That hour, o' night's black arch the key-stane,
That dreary hour he mounts his beast in;
And sic a night he taks the road in
As ne'er poor sinner was abroad in.

The wind blew as 'twad blawn its last;
The rattling showers rose on the blast;
The speedy gleams the darkness swallow'd
Loud, deep, and lang, the thunder bellow'd:
That night, a child might understand,
The Deil had business on his hand.

Weel mounted on his gray mare, Meg--
A better never lifted leg--
Tam skelpit on thro' dub and mire;
Despisin' wind and rain and fire.
Whiles holding fast his gude blue bonnet;
Whiles crooning o'er some auld Scots sonnet;
Whiles glowring round wi' prudent cares,
Lest bogles catch him unawares:
Kirk-Alloway was drawing nigh,
Whare ghaists and houlets nightly cry.

By this time he was cross the ford,
Whare, in the snaw, the chapman smoor'd;
And past the birks and meikle stane,
Whare drunken Chairlie brak 's neck-bane;
And thro' the whins, and by the cairn,
Whare hunters fand the murder'd bairn;
And near the thorn, aboon the well,
Whare Mungo's mither hang'd hersel'.--
Before him Doon pours all his floods;
The doubling storm roars thro' the woods;
The lightnings flash from pole to pole;
Near and more near the thunders roll:
When, glimmering thro' the groaning trees,
Kirk-Alloway seem'd in a bleeze;
Thro' ilka bore the beams were glancing;
And loud resounded mirth and dancing.

Inspiring bold John Barleycorn!
What dangers thou canst make us scorn!
Wi' tippeny, we fear nae evil;
Wi' usquabae, we'll face the devil!--
The swats sae ream'd in Tammie's noddle,
Fair play, he car'd na deils a boddle.
But Maggie stood, right sair astonish'd,
Till, by the heel and hand admonish'd,
She ventured forward on the light;
And, vow! Tam saw an unco sigh.

























Warlocks and witches in a dance;
Nae cotillion brent-new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He scre'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl.--
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the dead in their last dresses;
And by some develish cantraip slight,
Each in its cauld hand held a light.--
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murders's banes in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristen'd bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gab did gape;
Five tomahawks, wi blude red-rusted;
Five scymitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter, which a babe had strangled;
A knife, a father's throat had mangled,
Whom his ain son o' life bereft,
The gray hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair o' horrible and awfu',
Which even to name was be unlawfu'.
Three lawyers' tongues, turn'd inside out,
Wi' lies seam'd like a beggar's clout;
Three priests' hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinking, vile in every neuk. 

As Tammie glowr'd, amaz'd, and curious,
The mirth and fun grew fast and furious;
The piper loud and louder blew;
The dancers quick and quicker flew;
They reel'd, they set, they cross'd, they cleekit,
Till ilka carlin swat and reekit,
And coost her duddies to the wark,
And linket at it in her sark! 

Now Tam, O Tam! had thae been queans,
A' plump and strapping in their teens,
Their sarks, instead o' creeshie flannen,
Been snaw-white seventeen hunder linnen!
Thir breeks o' mine, my only pair,
That ance were plush, o' gude blue hair,
I wad hae gi'en them off my hurdies,
For ae blink o' the bonie burdies!

But wither'd beldams, auld and droll,
Rigwoodie hags wad spean a foal,
Louping and flinging on a crummock,
I wonder did na turn thy stomach!

But Tam kend what was what fu' brawlie:
There was ae winsome wench and waulie,
That night enlisted in the core,
Lang after ken'd on Carrick shore;
(For mony a beast to dead she shot,
And perish'd mony a bonie boat,
And shook baith meikle corn and bear,
And kept the country-side in fear.)
Her cutty-sark, o' Paisley harn
That while a lassie she had worn,
In longitude tho' sorely scanty,
It was her best, and she was vauntie,-
Ah! little ken'd thy reverend grannie,
That sark she coft for he wee Nannie,
Wi' twa pund Scots, ('twas a' her riches),
Wad ever grac'd a dance of witches!

But here my Muse her wing maun cour;
Sic flights are far beyond her pow'r;
To sing how Nannie lap and flang,
(A souple jade she was, and strang),
And how Tam stood, like ane bewitch'd,
And thought his very een enrich'd;
Even Satan glowr'd, and fidg'd fu' fain,
And hotch'd and blew wi' might and main;
Till first ae caper, syne anither,
Tam tint his reason ' thegither,
And roars out, "Weel done, Cutty-sark!"
And in an instant all was dark:
And scarcely had he Maggie rallied,
When out the hellish legion sallied.

As bees bizz out wi' angry fyke,
When plundering herds assail their byke;
As open pussie's mortal foes,
When, pop! she starts before their nose;
As eager runs the market-crowd,
When "Catch the thief!" resounds aloud;
So Maggie runs, the witches follow,
Wi' mony an eldritch skriech and hollo.



















Ah, Tam! ah, Tam! thou'll get thy fairin'!
In hell they'll roast thee like a herrin'!
In vain thy Kate awaits thy commin'!
Kate soon will be a woefu' woman!
Now, do thy speedy utmost, Meg,
And win the key-stane o' the brig;
There at them thou thy tail may toss,
A running stream they dare na cross.
But ere the key-stane she could make,
The fient a tail she had to shake!
For Nannie, far before the rest,
Hard upon noble Maggie prest,
And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;
But little wist she Maggie's mettle -
Ae spring brought off her master hale,
But left behind her ain gray tail;
The carlin claught her by the rump,
And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

No, wha this tale o' truth shall read,
Ilk man and mother's son take heed;
Whene'er to drink you are inclin'd,
Or cutty-sarks run in your mind,
Think! ye may buy joys o'er dear -
Remember Tam o' Shanter's mare.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Star Wars & Ghostbusters

This was a bit of pop art I created for fun, and hopefully maybe sell some prints of. I built the stormtroopers in 3D which was great fun, and posed them the same way as the actors are in the poster for Ghostbusters. I initially put this up on Redbubble but within 20 minutes it was removed. Apparently ILM took the hump, and Redbubble removed it. Not the kind of attention I was hoping for, but still amusing. Considering the vast amount of pop art out there on the subject of Star Wars, and the amount of Star Wars related artwork still up on Redbubble, I'm baffled as to why I was picked on. Anyway, those wonderful people at Fine Art America have happily given it a home.


You can buy prints of it here.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Je Suis Paul

My blog has been long overdue for an update. I will carry on using my blog to post updates about Gameboyz, but I’ll also be blogging about other projects I’m working on and various subjects.

Like everybody, I was stunned and horrified by the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris. I wanted to create a piece of humorous art in show of support of the importance of freedom of speech, and how we can’t let barbaric acts like these silence us. But what is freedom of speech really? Is it more than simply voicing our opinions, or does it have to go as far as to say that I’m ok with someone being verbally abusive to me or what I believe in? I have seen many people hiding behind their right to freedom of speech as a reason to be appalling abusive to people, and usually from the safety of being behind a keyboard. Of course it is not ok for someone to be abusive to you, and certainly it is not acceptable to encourage abuse towards you and commit hate crime.  

But can we justify any level of this freedom with comedy? Several times have I witnessed an almost immediate change in emotion when an article which at first was believed to be serious, was in fact revealed to be satire. It’s easy to say there should be no barriers when things seem to be in your favour and not being directed at you, but I believe there is an element of the hypocrite in us all. Even with humour we all have a point when we say enough is enough when things do not seem fair to us. There is a saying that if you don’t wish to offend anyone, then you should spend your life doing and saying nothing, but even doing and saying nothing is bound to rub somebody up the wrong way.

Freedom of speech should not be a coward’s excuse to be abusive to another person, and I certainly believe we should be able to laugh at anything, but we have a long way to go to truly accept and understand our fellow human beings. And if one day we finally do, maybe we can truly be at peace.



Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Interview With Casey Ryan


On Saturday 21/07/12 I had the great honour of having an interview with that splendid fellow Casey Ryan. Casey operates an Internet radio show called The Cutting Room Floor, which I’ve witnessed rapidly growing in size and popularity since its embryonic days.

 Casey Ryan.


We chatted mostly about Gameboyz, but I was also given the opportunity to chat about some of my other projects such as my upcoming Fantasy novel, Catchers Keep. While writing the scripts for Gameboyz, I have also been writing away on Catchers Keep. I will post news about my book in a new blog that I’m currently creating artwork for.

Casey was also kind enough to chat about my paintings. Vanessa-May Dreaming, and Charlie On Horse, were the two oil paintings that we mainly chatted about.

Vanessa-May Dreaming.


Charlie On Horse.

Both of these are painted with oils on canvas, and both are paintings of real people whom I’m fortunate enough to know. 


I donate 50% of any sales made from prints of the painting Charlie On Horse to the Clanranald Trust in Scoltland.

You can read all about The Clanranald Trust For Scotland by Clicking HERE.

I had a great time on the interview with Casey, and I hope it will be the first of many.

I hope you enjoy listsning to the interview as much as I enjoyed taking part in it.