Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Three Still Life Paintings

It has been a while since I have posted any still-life paintings.
Here are three recent ones.

Monday, May 24, 2010

PJ as Photographer

I took plenty of photo's when I was down at Bantry for The West Cork Literary Festival last year. This unposed shot I took of a woman reading whilst pearched on the harbour wall, struck me as capturing some of the spirit of the festival, so I asked the organisers if they could use it somewhere.
And here it is on their website.
So I guess that makes me a published photographer.
I must add that to my CV.
This year's line-up for the festival is as impressive as ever, and there is a great vibe in Bantry during the festival, so I can certainly recommend it to anyone who might be interested.

Meeting Mickey Mouse

This is the moment when I finally got to meet Mickey Mouse. We had the kids over at EuroDisney last week and we all had a fabulous time.
I have been a huge admirer of the art of Disney animation for many years, but, like many people, I was wary of Disney as a great big multi-national company. The term Disneyfication has become an entirely pejorative term, and there is a kind of "right-on" notion that Disney represents much that is wrong with America.
Perhaps overly influenced by the anti-Disney lobby, I have to say I was expecting EuroDisney to be kind of tacky and horribly commercial. In fact I found the holiday to be a wonderful, magical experience for me and my family. The staging of the park itself and of some of the rides was beautifully done, and very inspiring for me. And it reminded me of the great artistry that lies at the heart of the best Disney movies.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Life study of Fiona

Here is a study I did last week of Fiona, who is a new model to me.
A small technical point which might be of interest to other illustrators: I painted Fiona on an absolutely flat prepared panel, unlike the textured panels I usually use. This does make a considerable difference to the process of applying the paint, but I don't think the end result is hugely altered.
Now that I'm painting a lot of my originals in oils, scanning the pictures and sending digital files is the only practical way to get the images to my publishers in the UK and the US. My problem was that my scanner somehow picked up too much of the detail of the texture in the canvas or board I was using. Hopefully the flat surface will solve that problem.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Europa Stamps

Here are the sheetlets that I designed for the two Europa stamps.
I had very carefully included the face of the figure on the top right of the Gulliver sheet, but alas the printer has plonked a white box around the stamps obscuring the face.
On the whole though, they did a great job.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Two New Stamps: The Happy Prince and Gulliver’s Travels

An Post, the Irish Postal Service recently asked me to design a pair of stamps based on some of my best known work for the Europa series, whose theme this year is classic Children’s Books.
I revisited and reworked illustrations I had done for "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde and "Gulliver’s Travels" by Jonathan Swift.
The stamps and first day cover have just been published and I'm really pleased with them.
I look forward to travelling to Cavan someday to stick the 2 inch Gulliver stamp on the wall beside the 8 foot tall original painting.