illustration

G.Eye map mailSummer 2010Map of Jamaica

A friend in real estate needed to show prospective clients where the most important spots in Jamaica are, like good coffee, golf, and high-end resorts. Now the map is used by Golden Eye, once the home to someone famous…. now the property of someone else famous. Nice place. Visitors probably don’t leave, but if they do they have a map with all the important details…

I love using a calligraphic pen – a dip pen and a pot of ink – can’t go wrong as a drawing tool. I like the irregular lines and blots it makes. And with waterproof ink you can give the whole thing a wash of light color when you’re done…

Flying Boot D3
Summer 2012 Illustrated Children’s BookDuring the hot summer of 2012, while my two daughters ran an art camp on the veranda for a dozen kids a week, I sat at the dining room table and worked on illustrating a children’s book. It killed quite a few birds with one stone: I could keep an eye on the antics outside and be available if a near-fatal accident demanded driving to the Emergency Room with an ailing child; the noise of the kids didn’t bother me as I was lost in the world of drawing; I got a chance to revisit the world of my childhood, which was full of beautifully illustrated children’s books (Dr Seuss an all-time favorite); and I got a chance join forces with a survivor of World War 2 in a creative endeavor.Maurice was sent out of London, as so many children were, during the Blitz of 1940. He was only nine at the time, and before the war was over  both his parents had been killed when his neighbourhood and everyone in it was destroyed by German bombers. He somehow became a quantity surveyor and came to Jamaica as a young man to work on a project, but he never left, marrying and settling down and becoming a part of the Jamaican community. I met him as he’s a family member of a close friend of mine, and in a veranda conversation he told me about a book he had written for children, one that had come about when his kids were little. He would tell them stories at bedtime, using their names, and they involved a talking mouse who had many adventures…. One thing led to another, and the one drawing he asked me to do became a fully illustrated book.

It has received some positive interest, but the economy in Jamaica is very slow and the population very small. We think that it would be a big hit with the Jamaican diaspora. Now to find a publisher. Any ideas?

Ghetta Life Poster 3
Spring 2011Ghett’a Life PosterThis was really fun! My first time working with the amazing artist Bruce Donaldson – we’ve since become a team and have worked on a number of projects we both really enjoy. As an artist one tends to be working alone, and I had assumed that that’s the way it is. Not lonely, but alone. This project revealed how stimulating it is to team up – it actually accentuates the creative process and gives birth to a multitude of directions, possibilities and solutions.It came about because  a friend of ours, Chris Browne, was making this movie, Ghett’a Life, and asked us for feedback on the posters he had. I didn’t like any of them, and offered to give it a shot, ‘though I’d never done anything like this before… That’s where Bruce came in, as the film had to be watched and key scenes selected for the right shots so the characters and the essence of the movie would be portrayed in the poster. This is all in digital media, so someone with technical computer know-how was key. Then there was the subject matter of the movie; the links between the police and the criminals in downtown Kingston, which is often reported in the papers, so I went through a stack of Gleaners to select the right articles in order to collage them into the drawing of the main character.Bruce was a patient teacher, showing me how to draw with a stylus, making magic with filters of all kinds, and creating dozens of layers in Photoshop – it was such an education to see how a graphic programme works in the hands of a master, and a wonderful opportunity to witness an idea become a professional-looking piece of work. Had it been left to me it would never have amounted to more than a few line drawings and a lot of frustration, but the combination of painter and graphics artist is a winning one, in my mind at least, and certainly romantically!!The poster was not chosen to promote the film in the end, but it was printed on hundreds of t-shirts and distributed to the Kingston crowd on opening night, and put on the invitation to the event. It was quite the thrill to contribute to contemporary Jamaican film in our way, and maybe sometime we’l get a chance to do it again. I hear the movie is doing well internationally – watch it if you get a chance…

Winter 2011

Christmas Card

Step Centre is a day centre for kids with severe disabilities. Every year they print and sell Christmas cards to raise funds, and this was my offering to them.

Step centre card

Recipe for Roisin

Recipe for Roisin

My family all love to cook – perhaps its the eating part we love, but you can’t have one without the other, and the preparing of food can become so creative that I do believe I love it as much as the eating! My mum is the same; a little of this, a little of that, and if you ask us during the meal how it was done then you’ll get an answer, but by the following day it’s gone clean out of our minds. Mine anyway – Mum is probably better than me as my memory is so poor… So, recipes are really a good thing, but I have trouble reading them, let alone following them… really don’t know why.  My sister Roisin swears by recipes, and is therefore an amazing cook, making 5-course Indian one night and Mediterranean the next. She cannot understand how I don’t use them, and nor does dad. They are very much alike, as Mum and I are, so we understand that there are genetic differences and leave it at that.

However, Christmas was coming up and she was mad into the website They Draw and Cook, a site that showcases illustrated recipes (very cool stuff), and was in a flurry of activity, drawing these delightfully illustrated recipes and submitting them, and she encouraged me to do the same, so I drew the above as a gift for her and sent it from Kingston, Jamaica around the world to Galway, Ireland via her favorite website at the time. Her name is Roisin Cure. WHen I figure out how to add her information to this blog I will do so… but until then key her name in to Google and enjoy!

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