Not so much a new painting, as an exercise in graphics, using paint. Acrylics and emulsion on a canvas panel, 61 x 46cm. Would look good on the wall of your local dojo. The imagery comes from the Streetmeat 25th Anniversary Edition, self-published last year, and the plan was to have something like this as an eye-catching graphic to display at comic conventions but, thanks to Covid-19, none of that is happening right now. So if anyone wants this, I’m offering it for sale. £40 & shipping. Email me if you’re interested.
I enjoyed a very brief period in the early ’00’s when I was an “in demand” artist. This was on the back of a feature on my work in Metal Hammer, which brought all kinds of characters asking me to design posters and album covers. Some were utter shysters, and some were the real deal. Sanctuary Records commissioned me to do 6 covers for albums, including a Motorhead compilation. Having come of age during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, I was a Motorhead fan going right back to No Sleep ‘Til Hammersmith, so I was all over this like a dose of clap. At the time, Lemmy was in his ‘no tash’ phase, but when I submitted the finished art they wanted classic Lemmy, so the tash had to be added digitally. I still sometimes see this wash up in the CD racks of charity shops and my inner 11 year-old, who would have sold body parts to get to make a Motorhead album cover, roars with delight.
While I’m here, here’s my more recent portrait of Lemmy:
I can’t imagine getting away with something like this today, but back around 2007-8 I was working on some designs for a t-shirt company that eventually went nowhere. Having been ripped off by rag peddlers in the past – who just took my artwork and slapped it on t-shirts that people reported seeing on sale at rock festivals – it was refreshing to at least have some kind of working relationship, even if it ultimately came to nothing. This is one I could easily see adorning the chest of some pot-bellied weird beard at a toilet venue gig but, for all kinds of reasons, that isn’t going to happen any time soon.
Imagine my surprise when I saw this. Four hundred fucking quid!!! That’s more than I’ve ever charged for even a painting. This was the original drawing for Streetmeat book 1, drawn in 1995. I must have sold this at the UK Comic Art Convention in the mid-to-late 90’s, but never expected it to wash up online. If you really want to buy it, go HERE, but know that I don’t get a penny out of this. I do have a load of other artwork you can buy, and I wouldn’t dream of charging a price like this. Email me if you want more details.
Altar is a 2006 album collaboration between the bands SunnO))) and Boris. It’s one of the great art rock albums of all time. In 2010 I embarked on a series of paintings, inspired by the titles of each of the nine songs. These came after Project Mogwai, and were more experimental in nature, using different size canvas panels and materials, and working more intuitively than I had before in my paintings. I worked fast, and did not over-analyse the results. A couple of years later I decided to collect all the paintings in a self-published book, adding some ‘automatic’ drawings made free hand with ink and brush, and some found photography and text that I felt suited the mood of the album. Here’s some of the page layouts from the book:
It’s one of my favourite things that I’ve ever done, primarily because it was done so purely and with no over-thinking. All the paintings sold as well, which tells me I was onto something here.
Download a free PDF copy of the book HERE
Order a hard copy of the book HERE. £7 & shipping.
I drew this around 2007-2008, I think. Look at that inking. I’d finally got the hang of how to do it, and then promptly abandoned it all to start from scratch in learning how to paint. The story of my creative life, I suppose. Labour for years, achieve some degree of competency, then sabotage any further potential by trying my hand at another medium. Anyway, the idea of Guitar Wolf is arguably better than the band itself. A power trio of Japanese rockers in black leather and shades, playing a ridiculously over-cranked Brundle of punk and rockabilly, presented with an aesthetic sheen of B-movie trash and kung fu films – how could it fail? And on its own terms, it doesn’t, but it’s almost too much, the collision of flavours and textures is almost too much for a Western palette. That said, they – along with Boris and others – have given Western rock bands a much needed steel-toe-capped kick up the arse. After listening to ‘Beast Vibrator’ (a strong contender for title of the century) anyone in a rock band can no longer be complacent. This is the sound of the Visigoths at the city walls.
Guitar Wolf – Kick Out The Jams (MC5 cover)
Following the success of ‘Punk: Rock‘, this next painting in the Project Mogwai series used the same technique of diluted India ink on a card surface. A recent reading of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian had given me a different appreciation of the term ‘cowboy’, and that was a major influence on this painting. I first heard Mogwai perform this song on Valentine’s Day 1998, when they took the roof off at the Duchess of York in Leeds.