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Journal

Redbubble and Blurb


Well, I have to say, my experience with Blurb so far has been… ordinary. Their BookSmart software is glitchy and slow, the InDesign plugin crashes the app, their forums seem largely unmonitored, questions were rarely answered, and their support was unable to assist me when I had a problem with their own software.

So it was with some trepidation that I noted that Blurb was trying to entice Bubblers with the offer of a free portfolio. I thought it would be better to stick with BookSmart so that I could tweak and mess about when I had no connection (on my laptop). So I looked up the settings for the free book and set to work.

60 pages of iPhone photography took quite some time to upload, as you would expect, with the file size being roughly 90MB. The ordering process was relatively str…

Moving Pictures

In Terry Pratchett’s Discworld they are called “Clickies”, either way, I finally got my video uploaded to YouTube where I automatically had a channel because of my Google+ Artist Profile , so I thought I would use it to show you what I can do in a more dynamic way. It wasn’t an easy process but I have learned a lot from the experience.
My first video is of my Art of the Scribe Collection from 2011-12. I made the video in iMovie and then wrote my own soundtrack to accompany it.

I hope you like it. All the pieces featured in the video are available here on Redbubble, except for the Diptych which was a limited edition item that has now been retired.
[Video]

Getting in touch with the Inner Geek

+1 is the new Like
I already had a few shirt designs in the pipeline, but dropping in on a post on Google+ by the delightful +Laurel Papworth discussing the very important issue of what to wear, in an upcoming interview, I offered up my own irreverent take on facebook . Links to to cool Ts followed.

Laurel then shared the slogan that she secretly desired and a design (complete with colours and font) instantly popped into my head. I offered to make her a custom shirt, since her request was doable in a short period of time and appealed to my quirky sense of humour… And I already had my template open!

It was certainly doable as text, but Laurel, understandably, wanted a really graphic look. After a quick canter through the relevant image guidelines, supplied by the lovely +Brett Gibson…

You say Celtic, I say Hiberno-Saxon


New Hiberno-Saxon Collection
Most people will call this “Celtic Art”, but more properly the pieces that I do on this theme are Hiberno-Saxon, or Insular Art; meaning the Art of the Island of Britain in the post Roman period.

This art form combines Celtic and Saxon elements, and it appears on manuscripts, and in metal and stone work in Christian and Pagan contexts. Having taken a study of Old English (sorry no, I don’t mean Shakespeare, that, linguistically, is modern English) as a major in my degree I developed a great fondness for these texts, having read and studied Alfredian Prose, and Poetry. I also learned Hiberno-Saxon calligraphy and have scribed texts such as The Wanderer, Ine’s Laws, and Riddles.

What’s all that mean, you ask? Means I read Beowulf and…

Flinders Petrie: Resurrection

If you’ve been watching my progress, you will know a week or so ago, in a fit of naughtiness I posted a graphic design T-shirt appropriating the classic Indiana Jones style for the real archaeologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie.

The notorious shirt

I know a lot of my viewers enjoy the little lessons and information that I usually provide on my historical works so I decided to do this journal even though I don’t normally comment on my graphic work.

Matthew Flinders is a name well known to Australians because of his amazing cartography work here. His grandson who is widely known as Flinders Petrie made a name for himself in the field of Egyptology – which brings us to here and now.

I read about Petrie’s work in my first year Egyptology topic on Predynastic Egypt …

Amenemhat III and Artistic Process

So here we are again. Welcome back to my quiet ramblings. The sketchbook is proceeding, and much to my surprise, before the end of 2011 I had enough images to offer a calendar for sale, as I lurch from 1 idea to another, fascinated first by this and then by that, sometimes inspired by my Egyptology Coursework, sometimes not. It’s the way it has always been, really.

I’ve enjoyed doing my recent portrait work, which goes beyond simply recording to reconstructing. For me, it isn’t enough to just copy a photograph. While that is a great way to learn (don’t get me wrong) I always use such exercises to take my work to the next stage.

Once I know an object inside and out, then I find I want to flesh it out, make it real, put it into a historical context or help it live ag…

The Archaeologist's Sketchbook II


Imagining Narmer

Perhaps I should change the title to the Egyptologist’s Sketchbook as this collection will only contain items related to Egyptology and its study.

I am now working on Topic 2 of my first year (Certificate in Egyptology, University of Manchester) and as you can see it deals with the earliest aspects of Ancient Egyptian History.

As part of my course I must participate in Activities uploaded to a forum. I’ve decided to illustrate these posts and put high res versions into the sketchbook, which also contains examples of pieces that simply caught my eye or other things that fascinate me. Maybe they will fascinate you too.

Some work is purely illustrative as I explore ideas and objects in literal detail to learn more about them, others are more creative and contain …

Festival of Hathor

For the Festival of Hathor (recorded at Medinet Habu – Rameses III) my Hathor image is now on special until November 10 (That’s one Ancient Egyptian week)

Hathor, Lady of Amentet

The festival is recorded as tasking place in the season of Akhet (Innundation) in Month 4 (November) Day 1.

Hathor is the daughter of Ra, and the consort of Horus. She is patron of miners and workers, goddess of celebration, music, dancing and drunkenness. Hathor is also associated with the blessed West and the celestial cow, whose horns she wears supporting the sun disc. Here she is portrayed with her cult symbols of the sistrum with the face of Bat and a menat necklace.

Bring the blessing of the Lady into your home or send her to someone you care about!

Get in contact with friends both near and far a…

Lust for Light

I’ve had these images kicking around for ages and didn’t know what to do with them. They aren’t in focus, they aren’t of breathtaking landmarks in exotic places, or artistically composed portraits; yet these are some of my favourite images.

So I will upload them into a new portfolio.

These are usually taken at dusk: compose, hold your breath, point, breathe out, shoot. No flash, no tripod. I love the almost – but not quite – abstract vivid scribbles of light and the motion blur in these shots for reasons I find hard to articulate.

View them large to get the full effect, and you will see a lot more than the thumbnail suggests is there.

I have had these printed up at photo shops and they come out beautifully on high gloss paper, and I never get tired of l…

Art of the Scribe


My portfolio on this topic features traditional style works on papyrus. I only scribe text for which I know the meaning. I use brushes, nib pens and hand carved writing implements to create works that are as authentic as possible.

Finding the right kinds of stylus for this work is an ongoing adventure. I found that a William Mitchell Pedigree Roundhand number 5 gave good results, and over time I worked out how to carve my own writing implements which gave surprisingly good results, although the shellac ink I am using can be tricky at times due to its thickness. I had experimented with more viscous inks but they ran too much into the papyrus (which is naturally prone to bleeding) and did not have the lightfastness or intensity of colour that I wanted. I even tried powdered inks, which is w…