Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Out for lunch at Ashvale Farm Shop Restaurant with three ladies from last term's Monday Night Pastel Class at the Island Centre: Barbara, Anjanette and Avril. 

Hadn't seen them for six months so we had a right natter for around two hours. You'd never believe from looking at this photograph that Avril was in a fairly serious car crash in July and maybe lucky to be alive today! Scary that! I think we all enjoyed our talkaway lunch – the Irish Stew I had was lovely so definitely a place I will go to again!

Barbara, Anjanette and Avril

Friday, 18 November 2016

Paint & Draw f-i-n-a-l-l-y arrives

About six weeks ago I subscribed to the unimaginably named new painting magazine Paint & Draw from Future Publications. I would get the first four issues for £5 and then monthly after that offer period ended for a quarterly debit of £11. I was looking forward to the first issue as it looked to be a superbly designed publication. In truth I was buying it as much for the great layout as the painty arty stuff inside. 

A few days later Paint & Draw confirmed my subscription in an email. Snag was it stated I'd be getting only 3 issues for £5 starting with the second issue at the end of November so I sent them a politely worded letter together with a screengrab of my original October purchase which clearly showed 4 issues for £5 starting with Issue 1. 

They seemed to forget about me for a while so I sent them a little reminder that I hadn't gone away you know, that I expected them to honour their contract. This time someone else contacted me by email and I was back to square one having to resend my vital screen grabbed evidence. Now I was getting quite narked at this. Eventually I received an email from yet another person that Issue 1 was being posted that day (2nd November) and would arrive within five working days. Blimey where was it coming from?

Seven working days passed last Saturday 12th November and totally peeved off I went in to my bank and cancelled my direct debit with Future Publications for MacFormat (another magazine I get from the same group - I had been a loyal customer with them for over fifteen years). The bank clerk informed me that I would have to tell Future Publications as well. Gladly!

Stuff the emails. When I arrived home I rang Future Publications and got through to Zenia and despite her beautiful strange name I finally got someone who seemed to have a grasp of the English language and my situation. She couldn't understand why I'd been messed about. Neither did I. She tried to get me to hang on in with MacFormat (as I expected she would) but I told her I had already cancelled it that morning with my bank and I wasn't heading back out into the rain to cancel my cancellation!

On Monday morning 14th November Mr Postie popped the first edition of Paint & Draw through my letterbox. Crikey Zenia. You're good! But then Mr Postie did the same thing on Thursday. So I now have two copies of the magazine. I don't think it's a goodwill gesture - more a sign of their total ineptitude - Zenia excepted!


Was it worth all the frustration and emailing? I hope so. I have flicked through it and it looks great. Work has been busy so when it dies down a bit I'll probably find time to read most of the articles before Issue 2 lands on my doormat – if I had a doormat and also assuming I will get Issue 2!

So moral of the story? Always screengrab your online purchases as evidence of your deal!

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

SERC Painting Class

This might be a little bit crazy but I have just signed up for a SERC painting class starting at the end of January. There's no guarantee I'll get on the pastel course at the Island Arts Centre and I desperately want to do something just to get me out of the house and away from my computers! Painting for Pleasure (a misnomer) is a mixed media course playing with watercolour, acrylic, oils, pencil and charcoal for sixteen weeks with fifteen other people. 

I would call myself proficient in pencil, all right with charcoal but running slightly scared of the other three as I have never done them before! I'll be totally out of my comfort zone but that's good and I am looking forward to new things! I'm going along with my old work buddy Anne Murphy who sold the course to me in a text message. Hopefully she'll keep me right!

It's supposedly all about form, tone, pattern, colour and texture. I'm looking forward to it though not sure where I am going to fit this, Lisnagarvey and Hillsborough Art Society all into a working week!

I had been looking at courses at the Crescent Arts Centre but the thought of travelling into Belfast and then looking for a parking space in those bunged up sidestreets around the Botanic area discouraged me.


Friday, 28 October 2016

I am pastel painting again!

After a five month break when design work, digital painting, getting a patio laid and writing took over my life, I finally started pastel painting again last week. I have four in the pipeline and though November looks to be another busy month on the work front I'm hoping to have at least two of them done by Christmas!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Pastel Society of Ireland Exhibition thoughts

I dropped into the The Pastel Society of Ireland exhibition being held in the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn today. I really was expecting a few pieces to blow me away considering some of the names exhibiting but I walked away very disappointed by the works on display. 

Catherine McKeever
OK, I wasn't expecting to see a 'Mona Lisa' or a 'Starry Night' but I was hoping for several pastels to stop me in my tracks and made me want to study their work and to ponder how they achieved it. The three pieces pictured here I found aesthetically pleasing and they took my unofficial kudos from the exhibition. 

Lillian Weatherup – Poppies
The thing with art is you don't have to like everything and you are allowed to roll your eyes, and people do at work by notable names like Damian Hirst and Tracey Emin, so artists shouldn't feel put out that their work sometimes draws a negative response. My pastels are not everyone's cup of Earl Grey and I'm fine with that. 

Sean McGibbon – Tintern Abbey (Winner of landscape prize)
I'm in that boxed-in place at the minute, where people can tell my work just by looking at it. Which is good in some ways but bad in others. I want to break out and surprise myself and others by progressing down a different more mature path that involves a little bit of risk and explores the pastel medium more fully.  


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn

I have a friend in England who is attracted to freak shows and who wants us all to live in a Stalinist-like, Big Brother state. I haven't had the courage to ask him if he's a member of Jeremy's Momentum nutting squad yet but I'll get around to that someday. Right now my knees are vital to me getting from A to B.

Jeremy Corbyn (click to view larger)
My friend (Pete) knows I am totally opposed to comrade Corbyn but that didn't stop him from asking me to paint his beloved Messiah. He'd seen my Keira Knightley pastel and was impressed but rather red flagged by the size of my price tag. Good, as she's not for sale! I was getting the impression this Corbyn request was a gift for someone and that he had a miserly budget which in pastel terms would have had me painting below the minimum wage. He found me a picture of the current Labour leader that he liked and I could put up/work with.

After a few emails and a telephone conversation we agreed a budget of £350. But it wouldn't be pastel as it doesn't travel well in the post. I would deliver him a Cintiq painting 42cms wide that he could frame himself in England. I finished it in three days (16 hours roughly). I'm loathe to give any space and recognition to this nutcase politician but I have to say I like the finished job (using Painter 2017 on a Cintiq) and the cheque made up for all the anguish I suffered painting him.

I now know how Ashers felt when they were asked to go against their principles and bake (or rather not bake) that well publicised  'gay' cake last year. I had thought of turning down Pete's request on purely political grounds but an unexpected window appeared in early September and having nothing better to do I thought what the hell. Now I'm just waiting for someone to ask me to do a Gerry frigging Adams painting for the long overdue day he retires! Go take a jump! Just get him a watch. Or better still a timer might be more appropriate.

Kindly warning: avoid painting men with greying beards at all cost!

The good news is some of the stylised brushes in the new Painter 2017 are just awesome. The bad news is my ten year old Cintiq is nearly on its last legs, I need to replace pen (brush) nibs as they are wearing out and my eyesight is becoming more blurred the longer I stare at a screen. Maybe time to go back down the traditional route for a few months. Or buy this updated HD 24in Cintiq


From an artistic point of view I am definitely more expressive and looser digitally than with pastels as there is a Command Z key for immediate unlimited undos. I can try things out and with so many brushes I'm encouraged to experiment for different effects. Same with colour. I went slightly overboard with Corbyn's facial features making him more red (and wearisome) than he actually was – call that a pinch of 'commie' political correctness. I used oils and acrylics and a touch of watercolour to produce the more blurred areas in his shirt and hair. Things you could never do in real life but you can get off with here thanks to layers, cut and paste and blending.

This has given me the idea that I might use these more looser painting as the basis for my pastel work where I do need to become more painterly and less illustrative if only for my own sanity. I enjoy creating both digital and traditional so maybe it's time I marry them for better or worse, till death us do part.

In closing Pete was delighted with the Corbyn painting and I as a 'bloody Red Tory' (his words) was happy his cheque didn't bounce.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Digital artwork of the Argory

The EU referendum has thankfully come and gone and the UK is brexiting Europe! It seemed a bit odd to me that Sinn Fein were campaigning for BRITS IN and the DUP for BRITS OUT!  But hey that's politics here in Northern Ireland! I'm OK about leaving as the continental Europeans never really shared their summer-long sunshine with us pasty faced west Brits. Huh!  

Anyway there I was on yet another wet July day, bored enough to be playing with Photoshop and Painter digital paintbrushes on my 21in Cintiq for the first time in several years. I had just finished off a commissioned pastel piece for Rachel (the girl with the pink umbrella below) and decided to play with the photograph I had taken of it. I worked up a snowstorm with dedicated brushes, I created a Van Gogh swirly sky and just cleaned up all the bits I wasn't that happy with in the pastel painting. Four or five hours later I had something very unique on screen – a souped-up and vastly improved version of my original. Rachel saw both and rightly went with the pastel version. Because I have the digital version in around five layers I can change specific areas of the painting. More blizzardy snow falling – sure no problem - just duplicate the layer and clone or create more snowflakes! Hack off a few branches - who needs a tree surgeon when I can cut, clone and use 'Content Aware' in Photoshop.

I waved Rach and her pastel painting goodbye as she headed off to catch her plane to Manchester. I hate giving work I have done away but I am reassured that it has a great home and I have a copy of it. Some day I may do it again in pastel but for now I need to get back to my bread and butter day job!     

Click on the image to view larger.

My digital blizzard

No Monday Night Pastel class for me at the Island this term

I've been going to Monday night pastel classes at the Island Centre in Lisburn for two years now and it's been enjoyable meeting up with other pastellists. 

Because I'm not an Island member I don't have access to early priority booking for their workshops – I just wait for the public booking to open. Yesterday was that day! 

I did try to get through three times on the phone but all I got were automated responses – line was busy please call back. The same this morning. I went online to see if I could possibly register there and discovered that the pastel class was fully booked. Ah well. Means I'll get watching Cold Feet at 8pm and not whenever on the BBC iPlayer. I have no idea what's behind the sudden rise in pastel popularity among Lisburn peeps. Do people hate James Nesbitt that much? 

I'll not be joining the Island's Priority Booking List anytime soon as I dislike privilege and the idea that you can pay to jump a queue grates with me. In times past I've been fortunate to get a place a week before Dawn's pastel class started at the end of September and then in January. 

I'm a great believer in "what's meant for you won't pass you by" and "if one door closes, it's shut!" so I'll just move on and say that Monday night part of my life is over for now. I'm first on the stand-by list if any of the 16 who did get a place on the Pastel class drop out, but I'm kinda resigned to see how Adam fares on Cold Feet minus the lovely Rachel!  


Thursday, 8 September 2016

Hillsborough Art Society Programme 2016-2017

I'm really looking forward to several of these demonstrations in the coming society year.

Wednesday 5th October
Emma Spence - Oils/Mixed Media demonstration

Wednesday 2nd November
Trevor Woods - Creative Pottery demonstration

Wednesday 7th December
Dawn Mitchell - Pastels demonstration

Wednesday 4th January
Shirley Travena - Watercolour video

Wednesday 1st February
Paul Walls - Acrylics demonstration

Wednesday 1st March
An Evening with Neil Shawcross

Wednesday 5th April
Grahame Booth - Watercolours demonstration

Wednesday 3rd May
Annual General Meeting and video

Thursday 25th May – Monday 29th May
29th Annual Exhibition in Hillsborough Village School

Wednesday 7th June
Leo Casement - Acrylics demonstration

Wednesday 6th September
Jeff Monaghan - watercolours demonstration

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Lisnagarvey Art Society Programme September - December 2016

Lisnagarvey Art Society is back for another year at the Island Arts Centre on a Tuesday Night (7.45pm - 10pm). Below is a weekly rundown of the menu for the autumn/winter term. 

So whether you’re into oils, acrylics, watercolours, pastels or just drawing there’ll be someone doing what you’re interested in. First night is free but if you want to join it’s around £35 for the year - that works out at less than £1.50 a night!

20 September   Opening night and Jo’s critique
27 September   Jeff Monaghan - Demonstration
4 October  Studio Night
11 October  Grahame Booth - Demonstration
18 October  Rosemary Gifford - Demonstration
25 October  Portraiture
1 November  Studio Night
8 November  Moya Dougan - Member’s Talk
15 November  Ray Elwood - Demonstration
22 November  Studio Night
29 November   Jo Reilly
6 December  Studio Night
13 December  Christmas Party and Quiz

January to May programme will follow at the end of 2016 with news of exhibitions.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Hillsborough Exhibition 2016

This was my first time exhibiting at Hillsborough Art Society's Annual Exhibition so not too sure what to expect. There were around 116 paintings on show and I had five on display in the village Scout Hall. One was not for sale and the others were priced not to sell. It was my first chance to see what everyone else in the club was capable of and to also put names to faces and faces to paintings. 

Life is like... (Brian Owens)
Click to view bigger
Around 24 sold which I thought very good. I enjoyed sitting and watching how people interacted with the different paintings. I also got to meet up with my old Cardiff Art College friend Brian Owens on the final day. His watercolours were beautiful. 

Marmalade (Brian Owens)
Click to view bigger

POSTSCRIPT (mid May 2017)
I didn't realise it at the time but just after I left on Monday afternoon in walked Hazel Busby (nee Campbell) whom I had met a few months earlier at a funeral. I remember her brilliant Van Gogh A Level pieces from her days at Dungannon High School and wondered was she still doing art. She was! And turning out pastels too. Not surprisingly she had been influenced by another Dungannon girl Emma Colbert. I found out a few weeks (around Easter 2017) that she had left me a message in the Visitor's Book saying she loved my work. Coming from Hazel that was a huge compliment! 

Hazel's dog in pastels

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Hello Robin

My Saunders 300b watercolour cold pressed paper came through this morning so I had to trial it with my first watercolour. I used watercolour markers for this painting to see how they'd fare on 'unrecommended' paper. Definitely more textured than I was expecting so that took a bit of getting used to after my 'pen and wash' excursions.                                                                              

This took about 75 minutes which probably broke every known record for me. I'd like to say I was happy with it... 

I have to remember what it was like to roller skate back in the early 1980s. It took me a while just to stand up, another few hours to skate ten yards without someone holding me, another session or two before I was skating around with the best of them. Then I wanted to learn to go backwards, skate in and out between traffic cones, jump chairs, flee from police as we speed skated in and around Portrush and finally play roller hockey well enough to be part of the side that were Northern Ireland champions. Go Warriors! 

So I know what it is to be patient and to know that proficiency takes time. 

I fell down lots of times painting this watercolour. 
I put too many pencil marks in – ouch! 
The background colours either side of Rob were not pale enough - aarghh! 
The black on the wing was far too dark – grrrrh! 
What's the green all about – damn! 
And those twiglet legs Robbie should have, are far too carelessly fat – whoops, diet time! 
And I have to learn to do the grunge – boo! 

That aside it's a reasonable bruising beginning – just need to keep picking myself up now and manage ten yards without breaking anything. So if at first you don't succeed...          

Friday, 29 April 2016

Effort No. 2: Gold Hill, Shaftesbury

This was my second very different attempt at pen and wash. Much more structured, probably more me and I've got to say a lot less fun than my indoor market scene done yesterday. Boo!

I was tempted to reproduce my Gold Hill pastel painting from the top of the hill but thought better of it. Small baby steps first David! So I found this pen and wash by Chris Lee on Pinterest. Same hill, only drawn from the bottom looking up! I decided to copy his version almost line for line. Flattery eh! 

It was a good exercise and it showed me I can do it. I have no problems I guess with the line drawing part of pen and wash – my homework will come with the parts I decide not to paint in as I am used to filling a page in its entirety! And then there's the colours to choose. A small palette is best so I'm fortunate for now that I have for now only twelve markers.

I got to thinking – I'm known for that sometimes – that maybe I should try the same scene out with watercolour paints (and pencils) to see how the three mediums compare. Trials for another day!  

Thursday, 28 April 2016

My first pen and wash

I finally took the bull by the horns, took a few hours out from my Apple Mac and went to my art studio with the aim of finally starting pen and wash after a load of research into how I should actually go about it.

I wanted to use my new set of twelve Winsor & Newton watercolour markers to see how they'd cope with the image I wanted to draw. I had high hopes for them after watching a few YouTube videos and their characteristics. I was excited too because I was purposely setting out to be a loose man intent in finishing this in about two hours.

I drew myself some register points in pencil so I knew I was working within a framework and pinpointed where different people and objects should be. No tracing paper, no frisk, no grid system just me and two or three Pitt Pens initially. And I went bananas! I relied on my eye and wasn't too worried about wayward marks.

Soon I had my outline and I was quite happy with the sketch for a first attempt. I used these markers in two ways - first method: directly on to the painting and then adding the water to blend maybe several different colours at once or second method: colouring them on to a palette/paper like you would paint, mixing them and adding water there. I would then apply the colour to the painting. I preferred the first method as the colours were more intense but I used the second for the lighter, more subtle washes.

Once I had all the colour splashed on I took my Pitt pens outs again and went over parts just for emphasis. I had no idea how it would look. Somewhere in all this I have to find my own style, my own way of working so it's very much trial and error at the minute.

I made mistakes, loads of them – too much water mostly and colours that were not as I expected. At the minute I cannot get a decent light brown so I will probably have to order a few more markers. I need a Payne's Grey as I don't want to use black if I can possibly help it.

Anyway bring out the trumpets and let's have a big Bloggerland welcome for my First Pen and Wash. The sound of music please...


OK Julie Andrews get off my stage and take those kids with you – now! 

Overall I enjoyed working with these watercolour markers. The style is right for busy markets and street scenes with people hurriedly moving about. The figures aren't great, but they're not meant to be. One day I will get to St George's Market in Belfast and shoot off a few photographs so I can do my own version of this copy!

I might have to approach landscapes and buildings differently. That'll be for another day – tomorrow!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

At the Firebird II Exhibition tonight


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Hillsborough Art Society Exhibition coming up next month

I am hoping to exhibit at Hillsborough Art Society's Annual Exhibition at the end of May. 

And if no-one buys the five I want to display I'll be yabbadabbadoo delighted.

I joined Hillsborough Art Society in September 2015. It has a very different dynamic from Lisnagarvey where I have been a member for two years. Both have demonstration nights, but where Lisnagarvey scores over their village neighbours is on the count that they meet weekly. Their studio nights means I get to see what everyone else is doing and I enjoy the craic. And if I miss a meeting I only have to wait a week to wait to catch up with everyone again.

Every Monday night except during school holidays
(see their website - www.lisnagarveyartsociety.co.uk)

Meets first Wednesday in the month

Saturday, 9 April 2016



CURIOSITY 2.0   2015

Watercolour Musings

Next year at Lisnagarvey Art Society I hope to concentrate on watercolour/pen and wash rather than pastel and 'yakking' so I'll be interested to see how I get on. Watercolour has always scared me. I don't know why as I like the medium when it is done well. Maybe it's because I don't have the delicate and precise hand I think it needs.

I like Geoff Kersey's work yet I wouldn't want to be as detailed as he but I know if it was at all possible I'd become more detailed than him. I'm actually starting to wonder if I have OCD tendencies!

I like the thought of splattering and being rather grungy (without going overboard). I like the thought of these being quick hour/two hour pieces of work. I like the thought of giving signed copies away to people as thank you presents. I like the thought of having fun and experimenting with wet paint!

Friday, 8 April 2016

Pen and Wash

I have been interested in pen and wash (some call it line and wash) for some time. It was a serious idea for me before I got heavily into pastels two years ago. When I was in Manchester a few years ago I watched a young punky girl with purply/magenta hair urban sketching on the street and I was kicking myself that I had allowed my battery to run down on my Nikon otherwise I would have taken photographs of her and her work.

She probably had no idea that I sat in a café nearby and watched (some might say stalked!) her from a distance as she drew the church in front of her and scribbled in faceless people, like myself, going about their Saturday business. She spent little over an hour on her sketch and she was pleased that I had come back to see her finished work. We talked about what she had done for about ten minutes and I gave her a fiver for the pleasure of just seeing her talent at close hand.

That conversation danced through my head at the start of March when I attended a Grahame Booth pen and wash demo at Hillsborough Art Society. It headbanged me down an avenue I've been too scared to walk down due to my fear of watercolour. 

I have now invested in 12 Winsor & Newton watercolour markers plus accompanying A3 specialist pad as they seemed more user friendly than tubes. A week later I splashed out on a set of Pitt Artist pencils and 60 Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils with spritzers and water brushes. I watched YouTube demos and I knew with a bit of work I could conquer this medium! I am happier with markers and pencils in my hand so all I need to learn now is how to apply water to them. Simples!   

Anyway here are a few ideas of what I would like to be doing in the weeks/months ahead. I can't honestly see myself working en plain air but I can imagine myself taking photographs of scenes and piecing them together to make panoramics and working off those. I desperately want to work looser than I do with pastels (haha that'll be easy!) so I am looking forward to the summer months and getting out there and doing it!


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Firebird II - Crescent Arts Centre Exhibition featuring Ray

Took a break from work today to see Ray over on the other side of Lisburn and he gave me an Opening Night invite for the latest exhibition he's involved with. Belfast Crescent Arts Centre here I come –  it's always interesting to see what other people are doing. Apart from Ray these people are all unknown to me so looking forward to seeing their work – and Ray's as well!


Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Paul Walls demo at Lisnagarvey Art Society in Lisburn

I think Paul Walls takes pride in the moniker the Ulster Museum levelled at him of being ’the thickest painter in Ireland’. For the purpose of the demonstration Paul painted in acrylics, not oils, and having never seen every painter in Ireland I’ll take the Museum's word for it. 

I had my iPad with me so I checked Paul's website and work out online as I had never heard of him before. Not his fault of course. I’m the newbie to all this painting malarkey! As a detailed pastellist, Paul's work would not be my cup of Earl Grey at all but I did enjoy his good humour and intelligent banter. Sort of guy I would get on famously with though got to say his taste in shirts... 

He’s not a fan of Tracey Emin, her unmade bed and past Turner prize winners like Damien Hirst and Anthony Gormley! His demo musings ventured into postmodern art and the Turner Prize. Is it really art? For a prize named after esteemed British painter JMW Turner who worked with traditional paints, canvas and brushes why are we pouring praise and showering accolades on bizarre exhibition pieces and works that have their home in lalaland somewhere? These are my thoughts by the way and though Paul might echo them I would never want to put words in his mouth. 

If Judy (who has been one of the four judges of the Turner Prize for the last three years) ever reads this she’ll remove me from her Facebook friends!!!

Getting out of the hole time: I'm not against modern/postmodern art. I have walked through the Tate Modern several times over the years and it all washed over me, left me completely unaffected – and I am someone who spent three years talking concepts and codswallop with lots of Fine Art friends at college. Maybe I am just not getting it. I'm fossilising! As stuck in the 1970s as Status Quo!  

Back to 2016 and Lisnagarvey! Paul and I did disagree over Van Gogh. Not a good drawer? Seriously? Paul backtracked a bit and notioned that Van Gogh was a better painter, but I doubt he was a better technical painter than the Dutch Masters. Van the Painter Man did have his own unique,  impressive style with his impasto swirls which would touch millions years after he died but he was fine with the oul drawing too. He did over a thousand of them and from what I recall of my final year thesis, a long time ago, he believed that drawing was “the root of everything.”

Paul’s website can be found here for those interested in checking out his work. 

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Grahame Booth watercolour demonstration in Hillsborough

This was the second Grahame Booth watercolour demonstration I had been at in the past three weeks. He had previously shown off his prowess with the riggers and the like at Lisnagarvey Art Society. 

To tie in with the year theme of ‘industry’ he painted a straightforward watercolour of a scene from the Harland & Wolff docks which was OK but far too loose to get me excited.

Hillsborough was very different. 

I have always been fascinated by pen and wash so I was all eyes and ears when Grahame demonstrated a quite ordinary street scene of Portrush on the big screen.

I was hooked! Big time! 

Now I needed to find some interesting images to draw. I want to go A3 but Grahame recommends A4 but I wonder is that because he’s a two-three hour man whereas I am more ‘whatever time it takes’ ...

I like the idea of being loose, of painting wet on wet and creating a riot of pigments soaking into each other to form other mad colours but then I have to remember who I am and my need to be in control in a Geoff Kersey kind of way. I think I need to saturate myself in some good pen and wash YouTube videos, then put them down and get on with creating something that is totally me – a wee potion of Geoff and Grahame and a large shot of yer tatch man.