Saturday, 18 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

My Christmas cards for this year... (2010, what a crescendo!), a continuation from last years editions...(to be continued for next year too...)

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Domestic Bliss (and hard-bound gift editions over the Christmas period), now available at The Courtauld Gallery shop.

Here I am below, binding my books under the watchful gaze of my cat Snuggrand!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fall (and professional Illustrators now)

Trees are now stripped bare of their leaves, all has fallen away. My drawing board calls me...a welcoming recreation for hibernation this year, but...procrastinations..."Procrastination across de' Nation"!!!
There isn't even an exciting swell in winter, hence the need for festivities, you have to summon it up from various withering resources...those hopeless trees do not inspire, I shall look away...toward...a blank page! I have to stoke up that fire inside, yes Camus... "that invincible summer within".
Some lovely encouraging sales going on though, I love it that commerce ignores the seasons at times like these....I am now back at my studio at home and no longer hiring the space I had been working in and sharing the warmth and good company of professional illustrator comrades through the winter hours, with many a cup of hot tea. ((Some of these Illustrators have been working freelance in Clerkenwell at the hired studios (The Drawing Room and The Courtyard) for over 25 years; when, I add, the humble post was still the major method of correspondence. The Mount Pleasant central postal sorting offices reside just round the corner. I was introduced to the place by a colleague (Clayton Junior) who I had met during the first year of my M.A. studies and whom also hires a space there. My time there was a period to complete a challenging stage of work where momentum could easily just drop; and a very steep learning curve, (insert: 31st Dec 2012)). May the forces be with me in getting through a possible back-draft in the next few months as I try to find my own balance at my home studios.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


I have just returned from a two week trip to Italy with my partner Andrew. We were very fortunate to be able to stay at a friend's flat in Arona, a town situated by Lake Maggiore in the north. On the first morning we awoke to tolling bells (...very loud as the church was literally next door!)...and were soothed at the heavenly beauty of the Lake, and surrounding mountain vistas of the Alps and could feel the timeless sense that drew (and still does) artists to paint the landscapes, the light was sharp and low being late October. Stresa; one of the lake's elegant resorts, was where Hemingway stayed at The Grand Hotel and eventually escaped in a rowing boat with his lady across the lake to Switzerland, running from the Italian authorities and from the war.
Urban experience was brief and we took a trip into Milan for one of the days. A change really is as good as a holiday, and visa versa...nothing is familiar, everything is new, although there exists in me an affectionate acquaintance for a country that I have visited as a child and also used to live for a year or so, when I was a baby. 

Italy, the place where the capital game all started. Here are a couple of shots...

Photo by Gwen Turner

Photo by Andrew Bridgmont

Once back in England I created this illustration as a gift for our friends out there...

Caption: "Move over Carlos!"

Saint Carlo was a respected saint in Milan (1538-1610), there is a vast statue of him by Lake Maggiore up the mountain side, and below are some of my reference photos to give an idea of the scale of this thing...

We climbed up inside him ascending to the top and looked out from the guy's nostrils, we came out feeling as though we had travelled through his whole digestive system......(we were like a little team of purging irrigators)...quite a spiritual experience!

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Last M.A. ponderings before galloping off into the sunset...

One of our information sheets (hand-outs) stated the meaning of: "to illustrate"...several meanings followed, two of which: to shed light upon and to illuminate...this inspired me.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

winding down...

I am ruffling my feathers for work on the next episode. I find I have to go in wide and I have other projects in toe. I feel stifled at a tiresome need in me that could become addictive, to tap into the world (perhaps more regularly than things naturally evolve or bubble to the surface) via the web and state progress (as I do now). I am probably still shedding the last remains of (my perceived) institutional expectation since the M.A. which I appreciate very much as there is a degree of urgency when establishing something like this.

Now, I find the idea of pioneering days-on-end in the wilderness of existence and focusing on my work an attractive homecoming, but to life's university. I have broken this blog in and chartered progress on Bliss as she cut her first teeth. I now take the reigns off, and lay the saddle aside...

With respect to a long established and published illustrator (a children's book illustrator), I have been intermittently reading one of Jackie Morris' enchanting web-journals...her blog called: Drawing a Line in Time.
I like her cat blog too. She lives in nature, which very much shapes her work. I feel revived after a dose of Jackie...(me being in the London smoke's borough of Hackney). She lives in Pembrokeshire where my mother also lives and works as a painter.

Monday, 20 September 2010

rough sketch rummaging...

Mr and Mrs Hobnob on their only day off from location shoots...

Mrs Hobnob suffering from either a chronic bad hair day or an alien identity crisis...

Bliss just looking a little moody...

Friday, 10 September 2010


Already, come the pleasant utterances from various customers who have bought my book..."so when is the next episode"? I am going to make some headway on pages quite slowly to start with, and this will rev up.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sweet labours rewards, at the Hypercomics fair

A gorgeous venue in a lovely park, and a very interesting exhibition. A total of fifteen copies sold on her first launch day...I would say I'm feeling pretty chuffed to say the least!
I am grateful to those who could make it, and who bought a copy... what a great launch.

Photos taken by Andrew Bridgmont

A satisfactory moment is being relished as I type this, sitting with a nice cold beer after a good day at the market....a harvest...sheer Bliss.

...Great to get the chance to look around at the world now I have surfaced from underneath my artists mossy rock, I just saved myself from metamorphosing into a complete mole! I by chance, found a wonderful comic which I bought immediately (SOLD point blank to the lady called Gwen!): Toilet paper Life...

The cover, with a hopeless little mouse sitting on a toilet in the middle of a field of roses, somehow sums up life's tragedy. It is debatable as to whether I feel the same way as the artist who explains in the opening page: that "life is like a roll of toilet the beginning, it is all pure and white...time passes and stains it memory"...arguably, a somehow effective analogy of sorts. Throughout, the artist philosophises on how tricky justice is, and touches on some insightful (although too brief) ponderings about desire, also how it is in fact... (as I interpret it) extraordinarily difficult not to be a hypocrite...and the only real problem is in the condemnation of it. At one point, are also some possibly over affectionate co-operations between various species (perhaps over egging the point), suggesting, that if we are unable to extend compassion to one another, that we extend it to all sentient beings.
True blue anthropomorphic reversal style makes the pill, as ever easier to swallow, and about half way through there is a televised news flash by a dark eyed rabbit about the growing phenomenon of abused onions.
There is a devotion to the drawings which I admire, they are charming and sometimes hilarious/ if a little sick, and quite clear on the dark side of cute. The cover swung it for me!
Artist (from Taiwan) goes by the name of 'tpcat'...

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer.

Thanks tpcat, I am sure you are happy for me to share your wonderful front cover illustration.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Launch Pads: Domestic Bliss

Here are links to exclusive preview pages and a web-shop where it is available for purchase from August.

Dan Berry, who runs a graphic novel programme at The North Wales School of Art and
Design, has recently posted about Bliss on their blog: The Comics Bureau.

There's also mention of her on Bugpowder.

I posted a bit about the launch on the University of the arts Alumni Bulletin.

Friday, 6 August 2010


"Let's not make it such a God awful small affair...for the girl with the mousy hair..."

Quote, Bowie, with a Turner twist.

(I thought of this when I was engulfed by the tunes of David Bowie in my headphones as I work. It is harder to get into the zone if I don't have my music).

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Camera catching

Photo by Gwen Turner

I captured this on the way home from the Lake District, ((at the train station, there was a bridge over the rail lines. A neglect of maintenance? (inserted 31st Oct 2012)

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Lake District

Me and Wordsworth

July, a much needed break in The Lake District.
I have a new book to read, The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Hypercomics: The shapes of Comics to Come...

Domestic Bliss will make her debut appearance at the Comica Comiket, independent comics fair, Sunday 22nd August. The Pump House Gallery, Battersea. The fair is curated by Paul Gravett and is one of the events taking place as part of Hypercomics: The Shapes of Comics to Come, link here.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Synopsis and other thoughts:

It is about the journey of three main characters (amongst others): Bliss, a domestic cat and her elderly owners Mr and Mrs Hobnob. Bliss gets lost and has to learn to fend for herself in the wild, whilst the Hobnobs need to move out of the past. It is about two kinds of survival; Bliss and her struggle in the wilderness and her dangerous encounters with the agricultural industry, the Hobnobs quest to stay alive whilst playing their roles in an increasingly modern and alienating world…

It's a story of love, and a parody on modern living. 
This is a new take on previous comic trends, with an environmental slant.

I have had some distance from it now. I am glad I kept up the momentum after the M.A. at least to get the first episode done, otherwise I would have strayed toward other attractions...kind of like a self imposed post M.A. probation period, I have had to behave myself. Having the studio has been fantastic, a real motivating aspect to the process. Now things can cool down a bit. Good.

Ideas theories and retrospectives:

1) Hybrid picture book/comic
2) Art book
3) Filmic novel
4) Graphic film....(probably best)
5) The idea earlier on: an autonomous film
6) Movie....moving image...image that moves...moves me and others...movage!
7) Flick book with nuance
8) A Fovel
9) A Film-vle
10) Errrrrm...a Gr-ovel...(ha ha!)
(Insert Dec 2010, I thought of another: A Graphic Navel... creating one requires a considerable degree of navel gazing).

Things are evolving beyond the zine/style comic book, and I have thoughts beyond them. What with bad press about super heroes, and the need to save the day etc...this has no bearing on how the form can fly as does the literary novel. The situation is excitingly open yet naturally tentative. To think of any recent and regarded works...(books and DVD's that I have found in the childrens section of Foyles, Waterstones and (the once) Borders books shops), I would choose Shaun Tan's 'The Arrival' and also Sylvian Chomet's animation work as an inspiration...especially Beleville rendezvous...they use no words. French comic artist Jean Giraud Moebius, is genius, I like the work of (Finish) Tove Jansson: The Moomins and am further intrigued by her wider evolution into literary works much later on in her life.

When drawing up the outline to the story of Domestic Bliss, I added words at the very end of my process. Actually, I started with a substantial story outline that I had written out, that felt like a blockage, but gave structure. Then it all disseminated into visual interpretation rather like interpreting a play text and creating a design. Then words left completely for a very long period as I felt my way through visually, until the tip of the very end like a cherry. Preserving the interpretive aspect of the visual, it's volatile nature contained by the essential mast of words. Words acting like pegged guide ropes to a tent...if they come loose, it does fly yes... but in a blind flat spin. 

All within the parameters of me and my drawing board which is very enjoyable, and keeps me out of mischief as it were. My knitting...

It has been great to tackle fiction from a graphic novel angle, now I feel I am shifting something from my own system, I will make some comments about these images below by Shaun Tan:

Image details: I am struck by the atmosphere in this illustration, and indeed it's impact. It is from a children's book by Shaun Tan: "The Red Tree".

This one: Though I feel this is a simply stunning illustration...
When seen in isolation from the whole sequence, the interpretations can be witnessing snap-shots in real life that can so easily be misunderstood. But the book takes one on a 'reassuring' journey, the poor powerless girl does get out of the bottle, and what an incredibly effective way of summarising feeling...A children's book about depression!

(Insert Dec 2010) But the story is also about keeping faith in those small good things, represented by a little red tree sapling that you can't see very obviously, but is always there on each page throughout until the end when the problem has shifted....A kind of horror children's book for adults too...all those adults out there who had to grow up really fast. There are about twenty words in total throughout the whole book...I reckon psychotherapists must have this on their reading list too!

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer. The two Shaun Tan Illustrations were found on Google image search, and before that, I do not know of their origin. With thanks.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Cooling off

Bliss is cooling off or a while.
The fledgling stages are now over, this chick is officially hatched, its nest doesn't want it anymore (nine months since completing my Masters, funnily enough). So no more posts or a while, the first hurdle is clear, I now have another 99 to jump!

Monday, 3 May 2010

Final touches

Last tweaking, printing and production for May/June, and developing a show-the-world-strategy. Launching the series first after setting up my own publishing company then just carrying on with it really, but on a less high octane, now or never, first baby kind of level. It will gain in value in terms of the whole story, as the episodes are gradually completed over time, and I am confident about it's own self fulfilment for now.
I printed the first draft the other day which was monumentally satisfying. I showed it to a photographer I have worked with (it was still hot) and he was the bearer of good tidings. His objective eye was much needed, it is like I have just crawled out from beneath a rock and the sun is hurting my eyes. I really can't look at it for a while, it is like it has become part of my leg or something...far too close, (veering away from the healthy side of work and more towards Van Gogh cutting his ear off type territory...) I think it is important to let it sit for a while, as it is just out of the oven, oohh aahh, hot, ouch!

Friday, 23 April 2010

More pages...

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

A sky free of planes

A problem in setting myself regimes when I am creating this graphic novel equals in me balking like a reprimanded child. I have never responded well to being pressurised (unless it is the kind of pressure when doing a job), I find I have to manage my own pressure on myself, and not be too much of an idiot to me.
All I wanted to do today is go running in this sunny spring my local recreational park where I had to stop and have a chat with the Daff's too, who said what a difference it made to the atmosphere when the planes weren't in the sky (even with the volcano cloud...just the earth having a bit of wind) they were breathing normally once more, they said..!

Saturday, 17 April 2010


Also, an end of first episode three page trailer that goes at the end of the book for what is to come in the next exciting episodes...(pretty much done...), and a synopsis too (a short punchy one and a long one)...onward...

Caption:...(can't resist...usually for my eyes only in the studio)..."Darling girl, she will lick no ones arse but her own".

At this stage I feel it apt to pay homage to my cat Snuggrand.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Last few miles

Just when I think I am nearly finished...disaster strikes! Touching up with photoshop is a perfectionists trap, you get caught up in detail. I have to accept again that this will take me a little longer than I originally thought. I need April, one last mile to make me totally happy with it. Then I can hold a finished book in my hand. 38 sides all together for the first episode...40 with first and end page...around 20 pages. On I go...

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Stories Aperitif...Little'ns please!

I started reading Raymond Carver short stories last night, and I am humbled by how real his writing is, there is absolutely no pretence or obligation to please an audience what so ever, he is a writer who captures the essence of how people really communicate. A brave truth.
A few days go by and now, I am actually thinking, do I like Raymond Carver? I get this when I am blown away by something...I kind of get angry. Anger mainly for the countless missed opportunities before this new thing comes into town, and how isolated it is amongst the rest of it's "competitors". That's how it works I guess.
I can't spare the energy for large novels right now because of the focus I am channelling into my graphic novel....Audrey Niffenegger's Time Traveler's Wife is still waiting on my shelf...time will tell when I get the chance to read her fabled prose...I want to read it with someone.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Hello Daff's! Mi' old mates!

What would we do without the winters dark gestation's?...
The daffodils are out once again.
Though I still feel they are towering above me as I wonder through the undergrowth...I know that soon, I can stand somewhere open, where I can behold a sea of them.

The End...(well of drawing...the 1st Episode)

I have just been sent a photo taken of me, by one of my studio colleagues, at the moment it struck me I had finished (drawing) the first episode of Domestic Bliss...Woop Woop!

Finitto Binitto! On the start of the month for fools...(well, I have to do page numbers at the bottom...around an hour of work) and it is good Friday today...a very good Friday.

Celebration drinks were had last night with some of my studio colleagues, seven of us in total. This 1st episode was made easier to get off the ground with their calm presence, gentle encouragement, their experience, the cups of tea, the chocolate bar runs and general good company...a sacred seven...perfect conditions for this sapling...a tear! (I reckon I am on This is your Life, I know, but that's the stuff of stories...little grand moments I call them). Cutting through that raw edge of is absolutely terrifying, like being blindfolded and pushed off (the person pushing is another me) an alternative grand canyon situated on the far side of the moon...or just a feeling of being like that little yellow Canary in the might pass out at any moment from a harsh and noxious gas. But it is the only thing that feels real, right now.
Next...Scanning...icing on the cake! But...I am going to chill for the Easter break with my fiance Andrew.

Sunday, 28 March 2010


A few more washes to do, and the drawing touches to one last page of my graphic novel and then it is scanning and computer clean-up. Estimate how long it will take you to do something then times it by three, and there is your answer, (not mentioning juggling other work).
It seems a long time ago when I was at the phase of initiating the story, and I am having to remind myself of these simple reasons as I work through this more technical stage. 

The next step is satisfying and a change from the kind of focus that I have been applying for the last year or so. I have to bleed substantially into April. Concentration when composing something takes up a considerably different and larger amount of energy and focus than does the latter half of the process. I find that the early compositional phase highly private and vulnerable, and have to be careful not to snap at various friends and loved ones. It will also be satisfying to have some pages to blog once I have scanned them. I am going to compose a synopsis for Bliss at some stage.

It will be nice to have thoughts about other ideas, and to get back into other stuff too. I stumbled into writing poems over the last few years (but these fell upon an angry and lost phase...). I have an expanse of photo journalism stretching from the mid nineties through until now, and other general creative photography. I have journals dating back to the late 90's. The journals that I wrote on my M.A. and the ones now are probably of particular freshness. Getting some of my wandering thoughts and prose into some form. I am looking forward to this.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Horse Drawn Cart or Cart Drawn Horse?

Gone and balked at my own deadlines! It is that spring air...I can smell it. I am like that horse that just won't drink that dam water! 
Right...lay off any DEAD line talk....keep it at just LIFE line...I prefer that. I am enjoying running about outside at the moment, like a spring released freak! a rebel even to myself!
Easy does it...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Illustration inspiration (Zeidler: "Fabelwessen")

I am looking through a wonderfully illustrated book that my brother and his girlfriend Anna kindly sent me from Berlin: Zeidler, Fabelwessen (I don't speak German) but these illustrations certainly speak to me today, they are great. Above, I share one illustration that I particularly like...

To quote Anna: "Zeidler has published a lot and is well known in Germany. "Fabelwesen" is a term I cannot easily translate. It describes creatures who sprang from imagination or whose existence is (so far at least) debatable. Mythological creatures, "half-creatures" like unicorns, monsters, goblins and so on. It is a rather old-fashioned term, reminiscent of fairy tales. Traditionally, you would find illustrations of these in a so-called "Bestiarum". We have some beautiful examples of illuminated manuscripts (in the Berlin collection of prints and drawings (Kupferstichkabinett)".
Anna Schultz currently works at Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, and when in England; The Paragon Press with Charles Booth Clibborn, and The British Museum. My brother Simon Turner is a specialist in both the etcher and print maker Hollar, and previously van Dyck, a leading English court painter, both of whom lived during the 17th century. He is Compiler and editor at Holstein, and also has a history at The British Museum.

To see all pictures at their larger original size, click on the image once for the light-box viewer.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Muses for me

Fourth post of the day...Sunday. I remember a quote from a Biography that I read about Beatrix Potter:
"A silent power is slowly working it's way towards good, mind your own business, behave yourself and never mind the rest". (Beatrix Potter was the main subject of my written assignment during my studies).

I was reading this wonderful book (by Linda Lear) when I went on a pilgrimage to The Lake District two years ago come end of April. I virtually fled there for oxygen, it was a very beautiful week. There were lambs everywhere, and I did wonder lonely as a cloud to where Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy also lived. Quiet walks on my own contemplating... sitting on rocks and just looking. There were some amazing thunder storms too, those "silent hills" (Beatrix Potter) looked so ancient and wild.
Image: from Google image search.

I filmed on my camera, this mum with her lamb...hopefully not invasive on purely grounds that I was unable to ask her permission...we witness sweet moments like this without the need to capture it, and let it fall to the uncharted reservoirs of being...but this is a while after the lamb was born and is just stumbling to it's feet.

To behold

I thirst for a solution. I grab at anything I see outside...out there in the world. I thirst for a solution that can only come from within me.


The Daffodils are coming, I can feel it...must not panic and throw an adult version of a tantrum, it feels horrible, (but not really too bad). The night is darkest just before the dawn...spring is nearly here!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Resort to the page...

Well, here is one that I did earlier...yesterday in fact. It quite aptly illustrates how I felt this morning as I woke up. It is for another project that I am doing for someone else, but still I was quite pleased with it.
I am at the stage with this project where you realise that there are..."one million"... tiny little bits to do still but your enthusiasm is draining from you. I have that bloated feel that I imagine a pregnant woman feels after nine months, I just want this out, this has brewed for long enough, I am not enjoying this now!

There is a positive reason for that I know, (so not to sign off on a downer!) I have to just sit firm within the process, and not rush to the goal prematurely. The desired effect: the desire itself, to effect, can kill the effect. A trick I find is, not to think about a goal (just a faint one), and through it all ("she offers me protection, a lot of", oops, wrong one), I have learnt to like being at my drawing board. It took a while, but I am there, and that is enough reward for me today. 

Insert Feb 2011: On good days, during the composing of the sequences, there is a palpable sense of your own discovery, unhindered by any expectation or outside pressure and this is probably one of the most satisfying feelings. Just the act of having a dialogue with yourself is enough to make the whole thing, simply enjoyable rather than worrying about receivership...first and foremost in any case, it takes the edge off of "product".