Black Water


This is yet another collaborative project that has been on the cards for several years, but is now unlikely to ever be published. The writer Martin Jones approached me several years ago to illustrate his idea for a short story that was yet to be written. In its raw state, it could have been anything from a comic strip or even as a short film, but we decided to make it a heavily-illustrated short story. I wanted to break from tradition by drawing in a much looser and ‘impressionist’ style, adding shades of grey via Photoshop to give the finished work what I hoped would be a unique appearance that suits the strange atmosphere of Martin’s tale. These drawings were done around 2011, working very quickly on sheets of A4 office paper, using broken felt-tips and ruined brushes. The intention was to imply some of the very deep strangeness going on in the story, which is part of a very British tradition of horror tale, one established by the likes of M.R. James, Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood and Robert Aickman, where ‘nature’ itself is the ‘monster’. Martin drags that tradition it into the 21st century, putting ‘the horror’ in the edgelands of an un-named English town, one that most of us can recognise. The kind of place where ‘nothing happens’, which also means that anything can happen there as well.


2 thoughts on “Black Water

  1. soooo, sooo great. sorry to hear the project fell apart, but these are outstanding illustrations. really dig the stuff youve been posting here lately, particularly this 50x40cm painting and all the procedural shots. shared them on my life drawing group on fb and, unsurprisingly, people responded excitedly.

    about to move again (ug.) and, even though he has no idea who albert ayler is, my boyfriend wants to hang this art of yours in a place of honor.

    thanks and keep up the inspiring work.

    • Thanks Emma. Always god to hear from anyone who’s had any kind of response to my work. Most of the time it’s just me listening to the wind. I seem to have tapped into a rich new vein of inspiration these past few weeks and now have two landscapes on the go, both promising to be key works in my ‘back catalogue’. Hoping to have some prints of my work to sell early in the new year, provided no more trees fall into the back garden. Good luck with the move.

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