24 March 2011


there's no way I can't give some background to these paintings whilst showing them. I'm afraid I have to share a bit of personal banter but it's worth it, honest

PAINTINGS AT BOTTOM OF BLOG POST (there's been some confusion that the work of mr jack chick is actually mine haha)

I was brought up in a very christian household. when I was 5 we moved to aberdeen because my parents were going to be managers of a christian bookshop. pretty much from age 5 to about 13 I spent at least a few hours at the bookshop a day. in all honesty, I enjoyed being there. I've always enjoyed time on my own, whether that was a result of being left alone a lot, or lucky that I was quite happy in my own imagination's company, I don't know. either or, it was fine, I wasn't bothered. I got to go get a snack from a nearby shop and read comics by myself (and later play on the computer that everyone else who worked there was technophobic towards. I discovered a LOT about the inner workings of windows 3.1 from about 1995 onwards, due to boredom mixed with an acute ability to fend off boredom) 

anyway, when I was younger and the bookshop was tiny, on huntly street, when mum and dad were cashing up or stock taking or whatever it was that took their work late into the night, my favourite things to do included:
1. playing with my kinder egg car on top of the rows of books like it was some sort of rally car landscape
2. look for christian books about 'love' ie sex-as much as christians are allowed to read about that
3. 'weight lifting' with a crow bar. I was quite wee mind
4. hiding in boxes for a long while to then spring out at people
5. making dens in cupboards (until the time I got boxed in with many boxes of russian bibles)
6. making structures out of the scripture printed erasers in the shop
7. sitting in the dark shop making up 'music videos' using again, a kinder egg toy, a guy with a baseball bat with movable arms. that way he was able to act out actions to my singing made up songs
8. reading all the scary 'tracts' from the shop

if you don't already know 'tracts' are like little comic style booklet things that have some sort of message that is meant to make you reconsider your ways and put you in touch with the information that jesus is the answer to all your problems/sinful lifestyle choices. these pretty much always end in an image of hell followed by heaven, then of course, you choose heaven

this series of paintings refers specifically to a range of tracts by an author called JACK CHICK. I read as much of this as I could get my hands on because it was pretty much the only exciting thing about a christian bookshop at night to be fair. they were like horror stories and imagery you were, for once, ALLOWED, in fact, encouraged to view. I have gone back to look at some of these for the first time in about 20 years and was flabbergasted by how inappropriate it is for a kid, or anyone, to base any type of life decision on these. I guess they were more popular in a less politically correct time. they are written from a completely in-church perspective and use scare tactics to convert you. reading them as an adult, their absurdity hit me like a ton of bricks, more so because alongside there is a comfortable feeling of warm nostalgia, for some odd reason

here's an example of one tract I would have read at about age 9 or something. it's pretty hysterical in so many ways. people actually went on about life in this kind of way. for a faith that is meant to bring hope and peace, I have never seen so much scary ass stuff in my entire life

converted? yeah, I thought so. if you want a good laugh I urge you to please go and read more of these. the drawings are often horrendous and the story lines just amazingly outdated and ignorant

here are the paintings I've done so far. it's been a very personal journey to look into some of the past concerning my time alone as a child, the literature surrounding me, the relationship with my mother and the environment in which I was influenced by. not too sound too cliche but I know it's really important for me that I make some sense, or rather, a nonsense of these things. the main subject of these paintings are text taken verbatim from some selected tracts. in isolation, the information from just a cell of one of these comics, I think, holds a creepy poeticism that is really pretty funny

chick tract painting 1, oil on canvas, 5ft x 5ft, 2011

chick tract painting 2, oil on canvas, 1.5ft x 2ft, 2011
chick tract painting 3, oil on canvas, 2ft x 3ft, 2011
chick tract painting 4, oil on canvas, 2ft x 3ft, 2011

thanks for listening. more work to come

8 March 2011

DTY (do tattoos yourself)

I wanted a shot at tattooing but for real. it's surprisingly easy to get hold of some gear and youtube is a great font of information. sometimes you've got to wear your learning curve on your sleave, er, literally.

this is my first ever homemade tattoo. well actually one of the sort of 'zing' lines is my FIRST ever tattoo, which was just a line I tried out to see if it was the right depth. was gonna cover it up but made it a feature instead. my favourite bit is how I actually gave the thing two handles as such, I wiped off the drawing and nervously freestyled it, not remembering I'd just drawn the handle. ah well
deeside is like my favourite place in the world. just all of it, as long as it's right next to the river, I'm there

inspired, of course, by my amazing first tattoos, here's amanda looking good in her new addition. and don't worry everyone I tattoo that is NOT me, I make sign a contract because let's face it, I'm not trained. I don't charge either, of course, in case you got worried about that

charlot webster you legend. 'jack of all trades' has to be one of my best yet
this one is a bit sketchy because my armiture bar was out of line so I had inking issues. I'm gonna redo it after it's healed up and maybe colour in the pencil red and yellow, when I can afford new ink that is
my cat's cradle one is also a bit dodgey because by this point I really need to upgrade parts of my machine, so I'll also be re-outlining it when those parts arrive. trying out some shading. I want to shade with a liner rather than a shader. using a tattoo gun is more like using pens and pencils than I'd expected. just as I'd hoped
this little guy is gonna get a multi-coloured belly (again, around my birthday time because then I can ask someone to get me inks. I'm broke) this one was kind of for my son and good friend qeren because we share an over intense love for nature and birds and flowers etc. he wants us both to get a ladybird tattoo...maybe once he's NOT 7

fiona mclean DOES IT BETTER because of this special stoat tat on the back of her leg. nice one. it even has shoes/sock/who knows


anchor and chain - it's a bit fadey on the wrist bit but mainly because I started to woose out a bit. will redo soon

LUCKY - one of my favourites. in fact I'd have this one about 4 times more I like it so much. the 'Y' is my best work yet in terms of technical proficiency in tattooing

a key - not sure why but there you go. I just felt I needed something darker here and this worked. why not. it needs reshaded I think

? - don't know what this is but here it is

rock paper scissors - I never knew it was kind of like rock, paper and scissors whe I designed it. it is my first sort of designed thing and I thought it looked somehow clever. the soreness of tattooing your own almost-elbow, wasn't so clever mind you. I'll work on it more later


break stuff - inspired by a painting I once titled 'break stuff break something' which has been a phrase that's kindof haunted me for a long time. not sure why, but I trust things I'm not sure of in that certain way I guess. maybe I'll do a 'break something' somewhere else sometime

birdy redo - he got a makeover and re-outline. he's due some colour to his belly soon

KEEP ON PAINTING - another dodgey slogan. also never tattoo your own inner wrist it is a mix of burning pain and sheer worry you will punture your insides which, by the way, are pretty much covered up by nothing on this part of your body. shakey hand time + ouch

apples for tessa

some more additions to myself

I'm not going to lie, I'm proud of this one. pencil style shading like you're not 'meant' to do working well 

or something like that. I will probably do some redoing and working on this guy

ZING MARKS on key (also a sneak at the lock above it)

PADLOCK / HUSTler on bird


DO IT YOURSELF YEAH! / DIAMOND (above deeside) / NAIL (through anchor chain)

this is my most complex work to date (2011 that is) and the legend that is fiona keenan was more than hardass to allow me to scrape at her back bones for almost an hour. lookin goooood