Graphite and collage on plywood board
24” x 30”

As with all the artwork in this Spirits series I didn’t want the theme to be too obvious. The collage work is as much a spirit as the portrait (although I do have an idea for a second sea themed piece that I might make a little more distinctive).

The collage material I’ve used is undoubtedly sea related (full details in the gallery) and I’ve tried to use the paper to create a sense of the ocean. I thought it would be finish it off nicely if I used a frame made from reclaimed driftwood. I’ll see if I can mock up a sample of that and if anyone fancies giving me some feedback it would be most appreciated.

Original Artwork : £290.00

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…


It’s probably become apparent that I like things that are a bit weird and spooky. It’s not my only interest but I do have a fascination with the dark side (the halloween variety as oppose to the Luke Skywalker variety.. although I like that too) which is why my first Whitby piece used Bram Stoker and the Whitby Goth Weekend as its inspiration.
However, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Whitby’s heritage is far older than vampire novels and goth music and this is something that I also wanted to use as a theme.

The town’s coastal location means the sea is an ever present and influencing factor on the town’s history and daily life, and although it was the building of the abbey in 657AD that resulted in the growth of the town and established its religious importance, it’s the enduring presence of the ocean lapping at the town’s shoreline that is most relevant. From fishing through to the holiday makers that come for the sea air and the unique jet stone it will always provide a means to create an income.

It is, essentially, the life blood of the town.
Unlike the ghosts, who are obviously not alive. Although they still act as a source of money, if only for those with a similar curiosity for the unearthly such as Dr Crank, who runs a guided ghost walk. There are books available too which will come in very handy when I start researching my second Whitby | Gothic piece.
But first I’ll finish the Sea…

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…


Graphite and collage on plywood board
20” x 30”

As I was finishing this piece my small tribe of Whitby regulars and I were also planning the spring version of our twice yearly jaunt to the Whitby Goth Weekend. We’ve been going for over fifteen years now and the various events that take part in and around the official festival have always been part of the weekend’s attraction and, for the most part, have enhanced the festival rather than detracted from it.

However, the planning for this one proved to be a little more problematic than our usual flurry of B & B deposit sending and ticket buying as there was a clear discrepancy in the decision of which events to actually attend. There was a real danger, unheard of in all the years of our glorious adventuring, that the group would split up into different factions and attend (I shall pause for some dramatic effect) different venues! What, I declared, was the world coming to? Never mind the very dangerous precedent that this would establish, with gang members running off in all directions doing their own thing without so much as by your leave, but it just wouldn’t be as much fun if we weren’t doing stuff together.

Now I know what some of you are thinking; don’t be such a needy child and learn to be a bit more independent. If some of you want to do one thing and others want to do another what’s the problem? And I know what you mean but that’s not what we’ve done in the past and I just don’t think it would work. So that’s it, we’re not doing it.
The upshot of this (apart from realising that I’m still a child) is that we’ve gone for a voting system that resulted in the needs of the many outweighing what ever anybody else wanted. Hard luck and get over it was the bottom line although we all decided (after much weeping and counselling, especially for Helen who desperately wanted to see Auger) that this was the best thing to do.
Obviously we shall see how it goes and, assuming I survive, I shall file a report with my next piece of art.

Original Artwork : £290.00

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…

Spirits: Whitby | Gothic … the home of Dracula

For those unfamiliar with Whitby, it’s a small seaside town in the north east of England with the notable claim of being the home of Dracula. Well not so much his home, more his first port of call when arriving in England on the ship Demeter, alighting as a large black hound.
Bram Stoker was staying in Whitby whilst writing the book and he obviously found the spooky charm of it’s narrow streets and ruined abbey something of an inspiration. It doesn’t quite have the gothic majesty of York but it’s only an hour’s drive (two and quarter if you’re on the Coastliner bus) and is a fabulous place to spend the night (or two) and take in some quality sea air.

It’s also home to the twice yearly Whitby Goth Weekend, where much merriment, dancing and watching of live music can be had by those brave enough to venture into its streets after dark. Actually the goths are a friendly bunch so you don’t really have to be brave at all, and most of them are happy to have their photos taken so there’s much entertainment to be had for photographers and those who just like to experience something a bit different.

Having said all that, the spirit of Whitby is not just its relatively recent goth persona, and although my current piece uses that as a theme I’ve also started work on a piece that uses the sea, a heritage that is far older and more deeply ingrained than the imaginings of a Victorian writer.

And if you’d like to share that would be fab…