Hills and valleys

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

So, with my small animal friends in mind, I began to think of a story which featured them, and a few others...I'm still working on it, and most of it is in my head. it just needs a little(!) organising. I want the story to be based on illustrations, and these are some of my first sketches and ideas for the characters, based on the real ones.


...and this is Poppy, my Kakariki. ..and for all of you who don't know what a Kakariki is, then she is a New Zealand Parakeet, and actually part of the parrot family. Kakariki (plural is the same) have the longest legs of all the parrot family so I've been told...and they are amazing birds. They do talk, but mainly the male birds. Poppy however, does communicate in many and various ways. She is highly intelligent and understands a great number of words. She has to have a variety of foods, and it's impossible to enjoy a cup of tea without her expecting a few sips too.She uses her left foot as a hand and eats using her left foot generally. I have very occasionally seen her use her right foot, but on the whole she is left 'handed'! She loves to investigate everything, and I have to provide her with lots of activities and also lots of paper to tear up, which she does with great enthusiasm...clearly another artisitc trait! She is fascinated by my computer, loves my friend's kids, enjoys listening to Terry Wogan every morning(she's not a fan of classical music at all), loves being sung to, and doesn't like heights!!! I know, weird, but she doesn't, honest...she'd rather scrabble about on the floor, or hop from table to chair than fly at a great height(I have a high ceiling in one room, and she hates it, so I had to move her aviary(yes aviary - 5ft wide!)into a lower ceiling room, where it takes over the room, but she is so much happier in here - yup, it's my room full of books/computer/art/craft etc...which is why she probably loves it in here...lots to explore and tear up!

...now, what was that number again?

...just to introduce you to a few of my little friends. This is 'Tiny' Tiny has sadly passed away into Hamster heaven, but lived to a good old age, and has to be one of the few hamsters who lived in two different countries in his little lifetime - England and then Wales. He was of course, a great sculptor, as you can see, and this is one of his works in progress! All his own work! A portrait of himself of course, with him just sculpting the head! Now, I've seen some supposed works of art that people have painted, drawn, sculptured that have not been as good as this and have fetched thousands of pounds...so maybe I should get it valued! Must be worth at least a million! Tiny was presented to me as a leaving gift from my year 11 group from my last school. They were a very special form group. I often wonder where they all are now and how they're doing. So, 11HF, if any of you come across this...get in touch, tell me how you're doing.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

...and here's one with the proper sized speech bubbles...and two other central characters of my cartoon 'Little Moo'.

I've always loved cartoons, and grew up reading the Beano comic, which to all who read this blog and live outside the UK is a national favourite. Other comics I used to read are the Beezer, Dandy, Topper...and several others, all mostly produced by D.C Thomson. For all who read this and live outside the UK, the Beano is the comic that hosts the British version of Dennis the Menace! (It was years before I discovered there was another Dennis the Menace!)...and for a picture of British Dennis the Menace, see Liz Plummer's Portfolio on her website!(www.lizplummer.com) Then I discovered Peanuts and Charlie Brown and Snoopy(my fave cartoon dog). I think what I love about cartoons is that so much can be said through them, using just a picture and a speech bubble. In this example, there are so many ways of looking at the conversation. The sheep sitting and knitting, in other words engaging in a daily chore, either totally cynical about the duck's statement, or simply not interested, or just on a completely different level of understanding, ...and all three versions are true to how people are. The philosopher and the pragmatist...every cartoon strip has characters that make us smile because they are so like us!

So, hope you're not totally bored by my getting a bit carried away there with my cartoon theory...if so, ignore!

...here's one of my earlier cartoons, as you can see the speech bubbles are too small to be seen really clearly. Actually, this is one of the advantages of displaying work on the web/blog, because the mistakes are much more obvious!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

...and here are two of the central characters in my developing cartoon strip 'Little Moo'...if anyone would like to view more of these for publication please email me at northwales55-granary@yahoo.co.uk
I began to develop these cartoon characters during a cartoon course with the London School of Journalism, for which I now proudly have a certificate in cartooning...
I have always found sheep and cows to be the most unassuming of creatures, but with their own mind and generally with a good deal of curiosity about us, the human race. So, here is life, as seen through the eyes of Little Moo and friends...

...anyone getting ready for Christmas?

Sunday, February 12, 2006

This is my latest drawing, of Baddesley Clinton. One of my fave national Trust places in the Midlands, just south of Birmingham. I drew this from a photo I took a few years ago. This was one of my havens of peace when I lived in the Midlands. As well as having a moat around it, it also has a most unusual painting in one of its rooms, that of a young woman standing on a large tortoise(or is it a turtle?). There is an interpretation of this painting, which is that the tortoise represents the 'ideal' that the woman should be very slow to leave the home, where she should be content with her duties!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

All drawings and words on this blog are copyright, H Forbes, 'Granary Art' as from the 10 Feb. 2006.
Email: northwales55-granary@yahoo.co.uk

Hurray, I've finally got there...so here is one of my favourite drawings, this is Ben. I drew him a long time ago for a friend. Look out for website links for my growing portfolio of drawings and cartoons, with prices and ordering information.
back soon,

Friday, February 10, 2006

Well, here goes, after a little encouragement from a friend (www.lizplummer.com) who lives down in South Wales I decided to set up a blog!
I have set this up essentially to display some of my ink drawings and cartoon work, a website will follow with more details of my work.
I live in North Wales among the hills and valleys, hence the title. If it takes me a little while to put my drawings, cartoons and cards on here, keep coming back to check, they'll be there eventually.