Random Acts of curation (cartoon)

I made this collage cartoon this week:

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I love that in this crazy cartoon world, the Weeping Woman and the Laughing Cavalier are sharing a house.  The whole thing seems to chime with today’s creative prompt “shake”.


Creative workspace: Roz Chast – cartoonist

In the recent post by New Yorker cartoon editor, he mentioned a cartoon by Roz Chast, very much part of the magazine for decades. Here are a few more of her creations:




Viewable on her website

You can also find her cartoons in her many books.

Her creative environment I find fascinating – there is such a range of interests and a strong love of craft.  Her personality comes across: angsty but finding comfort in drawing as a way to remember, a way to process – possibly a response to the fact that her parents didn’t talk about important things in life.  The actual workspace is quite simple: 2 filing cabinets full of drawings, plenty of paper, a well-lit desk space with drawing tools ready to hand.

Getting Poetry Published (2) Zines!

Zines – are informal, booklets of loosely themed photos or text (can be brief poetry) – pretty much hand printed, hand stapled, passed around.  Instead of waiting for a publisher to notice your brilliance as a poet, you can print small zines – ideally with your own or a friend’s photos or illustrations to add visual appeal.  Minimal office equipment and skills are needed.  If you’re reading this on a computer with an attached printer, you’re halfway there already.  By nature, zines tend to be less mainstream, more daring, and if you aim to write challenging poetry – this could be a great format to express yourself.  Just 5 pages stapled together gives you 10 pages in which to express yourself.  This suits zines, which are often about a small or simple theme, something which interests you for a few weeks, say.

And of course, something small and easy to slip in an envelope means they can become handy calling cards, samples of your poetic wares to give away.  Or make in bulk and use for handy gifts for thankyou, happy birthday, holiday greetings.  If you’re a creator and have a website listed on the zine, you can distribute your zines at will and know that an interested reader can find out more online.

Interested in making some?

Here are some videos to show examples of zines and easy ways to make them.

(I found this video inspiring because it literally shows the process and a collective is involved – lots of people with different styles.  In the collective one, it’s an art zine with pictures, but you can also see zines with writing and hear a writer publicly reading at a zine event).

This next video is simply a guy flicking through zines, lets you get an idea of various look and feels, various materials and styles.

Paint and Collage: warmup exercise

Robert Burridge (Bob Blast) makes energetic, simple you-can-do-this collage exercises. Try this one, demonstrated in under 7 minutes.  It’s splashy, instinctive fun and results in a simple abstract.

Materials used: black and white photocopies, a canvas or board surface, gel medium (used as ‘acrylic’ glue), generous wide brush, a favourite colour of acrylic paint, and white gesso.

Beginning to paint art

I’ve just found a great resource for beginning to paint at  Have a look at this article by Marion Boddy-Evans.  If you’ve got a question, you’re very very likely to find the answer here.  (be aware that the host site also covers different hobbies such as dangerous sports and gambling!)


photo by SLR Jester/10627862834/Flickr

Questions answered:

What’s the difference between oils, acrylics or watercolours?

How can I buy materials at the start which aren’t hideously expensive but not cheap and cheerless so they give disappointing results?

When I go into a shop, I’m baffled by having to choose between “student” and “artist” quality paints – what’s the difference?

How do I mix paints?

Which brushes should I buy?

What can I paint on?

Where can I get ideas of what subject to paint as a beginner?

Any clues for how to layout (“compose”) a picture so that it looks well?

How do I hang my finished painting?




“I think Modern art lacks affection”

What an astounding observation by Ian Hamilton Finlay: “I think modern art lacks affection”.

It was made during lunch with an artist with whom he maintained an exchange of letters and pictures – Graham Rich.  I know this from the 34 minute video talk in which Graham talks about the shared love of boats with Ian Hamilton Finlay – and their little jokes in the correspondence.

This is one of those rare things: charming.  The younger artist obviously had respect for (more…)

Cooking and Art

Cooking with J W Turner, Rachel Khoo composes a pickled treat.

Sitting in the gallery, she sketches ingredients suggested by the picture, works on them in her kitchen – and eats the result (see video by Tate Galleries, below)


Creative Takeaways

Having watched the video – is there a favourite picture/painting you have?

How about sketching what ingredients the picture suggests to you – and then experimenting with them, to see what it produces – as Rachel Khoo does?