Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Lyrics Degree - 44x11
i wanted to draw another version of a classic Vespa, from the front this time; is just a t'ing, something swirling around inside my head.
then i had an idea of how to populate the scene with a long legged girl, leaning against the bike and a doood ... in a moment.
in this neck of the woods, the world from which I come, when you can chat or chat up is said that you have a 'lyrics degree', you can give the girl them lyrics or give the bwoy them message ... so doood is chatting to a girl, and she, leaning on a Vespa, is chatting to him, her body position is open, he's relaxed and the dog, the dog looks on ...
i wanted length in the image and I wanted simplicity ... a ray of sunlight through the trees of my mind filters through and illuminates 3 flowers; I like those flowers and they kinda represent the nature that is not in the image because all that grayness represents the city (and makes the colours of the important things pop!)
Monday, August 18, 2014
Wine Glass and Plate of Green - Limited Edition Print 60x40
i like food, like to cook ...
is kinda a t'ing with west indian men that they know how to cook; that yu granny did teach yu how fi bwoil up a stiff stiff dumplin' - actually I think it was miss mirriam taught me how to roll and kneed and press a dumplin till it was tight and how to cook a brown stew chicken ...
and i like the way wine goes with food.
but ya know, I also do art.
and a few years ago, well, a food and wine festival asked me to do a dready art logo for their inaugural event at a new venue and this was the art for it ...
and am still selling prints of it today ... an' it's big, 5 foot by 3.5 feet big - it fills up a wall with green and cool ...
with envy ...
Saturday, August 9, 2014
so, when i was a small small bwoy there were Honda 50's all over the place in Jamaica, they and ford escort were like the peoples transport … well that and bicycle which you would ride with 'skeng foot' …
Neathersole the gardner had a honda 50 and he used to let me ride on the back round the garden …
… an affinity; emotional, visual etc … you know. Anyhow, they are very very retro cool ...
the idea behind the original dready art 'Vespafari' when I drew it was going to be to draw the honda 50, but I ended up drawing a Vespa instead … because why, 'cause they're also very very cool and the name, Vespafari - you just can't do that with Honda 50!
so, anyhow, the point is I been dying to draw this image for ages ...
coolness all 'round …
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
i had a window on to the grand canal, at canal level, near san samuele as i drew this bit of dready art … life was literally passing me by … the boats, the gondalas, the taxis, the ferries …
but it was the taxis that thrilled me with their highly glazed wood, the drivers only half piloting the boats as they text and talk on their cell phones … even the gondolas didn't compare for me.
I been fascinated by 'slipper boats' and rivas and thames launches and t'ings like that for years; their styling the glazed mahogany, the classic lines … and these have that same panache.
… in spades.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
ganja often makes an appearance in dready art ...
is not because i approve or disapprove of weed but because dready is, at its grass roots, whimsically linked to my heritage.
West Indian's smoke weed - i've heard it said that 67% of Jamaicans smoke weed and knowing a few other islands pretty well, i'mma kinda figure that that number's pretty good for most of the Caribbean.
... someone asked me to draw a shrimp, a prawn actually, as a gift for a friend who is a chef and asked me to do it in the traditional dready style, which would include: simplicity, bold colour, red yellow and green, whimsy and weed.
so, Caribbean Blazed Prawn ...
Monday, June 30, 2014
Dready Skater Girl - Limited Edition Print 24x24
the simplest of things can inspire you when you're doing a piece of art, in this case it was the girl's body position - something very cool about it.
used to love skateboarding down the road as a yute and every now and again I do it still (imagine that), but this island where i live is flat like a pancake, the highest point is the garbage dump ... there's a great skate park but it's way beyond my skill set.
I want room to roam, ya know; is like riding a horse in a ring, cool enough but it's so much nicer on a trail - the last time i skateboarded was in the high-rise car park ... not scenic, not very nice.
anyhow, she looked real cool and free and having fun and so i drew her and because it reminded me of all that ...
Friday, June 27, 2014
The Portrait of 5 Minutes before the Portrait - Original on Canvas 28 x 18
once upon a time there was this family portrait i had to do; is an old, well known jamaican family, with a regal matriarch, and an entrenchment in society going back back back in time and i know them from time, my father, my grandfather ...
so, i had this idea for a 'royal' portrait - but with a twist; it was to be 'those moments just before a royal portrait'.
what would people be doing? how would they look?
so people are having a drink, there's a cigarette burning on the mantelpiece, mother hasn't decided where she's going to stand or sit, the cat's under the sofa, dad is lounging in his seat, everybody's chatting, somebody is pointing out at the camera-man, they're waiting for instruction ... but soon, soon they'll be posed and poised ...
we've caught them in a moment.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
i'm a lucky man 'cause if dreadys are cool in abstract on the computer screen, they are even more so in person; in person they glow.
there's a bit of 'way', in which we like to frame dreadys, that is a little outside the norm:
on canvas - traditionally canvas art is stretched with colour all the way around the bars of wood … but, dreadys, already framed inside an outline of black, seem to like an inch of clean white canvas all the way around the image, drawing your eye into the art. Glenn, who does most of the dready framing locally came up with the idea and we've been running with it since.
the framing can be anything simple and preferably wide. shadow box framing works well with canvases.
on paper - watercolour paper works well for dreadys but the framing is not so untraditional - we still like to leave an inch of white but it's no longer necessary, because you can use wide matting, at least 3 inches, to draw the eye to the art in the middle. Two shades of matting, one thick, one thin work well - there's a lot of colour in the art. framing is best with the use simple, modern designs, thick frames … black, bronze, deep browns work well.
I like wide simple frames, because the art is modern; I like shadow box framing with the canvases. I like wide framing and wide matting. experiments with coloured frames have worked really well if the space they're going in is modern itself.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
you struggle with the idea for a dready sometimes - how are you going to portray something that somebody wants in a way that works for dready art ... and this, this is just half the image, but this was the key for me, this scene took an image that was feeling ordinary and changed it.
i spent quite a bit of time in new york in the late 80's and again in the early 2000's - spent 10 weeks in just one year: queens, upper west side, lower east against the river, travelled with yardies who had grown up in new york, saw the city, did new jersey, long island and connecticut ... i'll be straight up, I prefer London, hands down, on every level.
new york does have better bagels!
but this wasn t about me, it was about what the client liked and she likes new york, she prefers new york to london ...
anyhow, i drew an awesome new york ...
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Cotswolds Portrait - Original on Canvas 40x14
this is a new new thing ... this is the first commission by someone out of the normal course of things out of the normal loop, someone removed from the sphere of influence; this is 3rd party art, word of mouth art.
this is cool art.
the cotswolds is one of those fantasy holiday areas; it is in the west of england, close to wales, it is full of quaint cottages and lakes and streams and rivers and rolling hills, often bucolic and certainly beautiful ...
like the dready art itself though, this is a modern cottage.
i went to boarding school, for a time just beyond the cotswolds in the malvern hills ... beautiful now, then in was the anathema of a little west indian yute ... hate is probably too strong a word actually; I hated going, but once settled in, life at school was actually pretty cool, the malvern hills were full of adventure for boys and school was never arduous - good food, nice boys, sports, games, first in the bracken, walks in the hills ...
i like the mallard entering the scene from the right, the boat at the shore ... hidden in the picture is a dready chicken because I couldn't find a suitable place for a touch of the west indies/caribbean; I'd thought of naming the boat in red yellow and green, but it didn't fit nicely.
funny the things that go into a piece of art, we actually had a discussion about how the sunglasses were to sit on the father's head ... I liked them sitting on top, not over his eyes and someone suggested that this was more open, engaged; the process of getting to the end of a commission is very cool indeed.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
the remit for this dready was a busy london, a quiet cayman beach and wimbledon ... and tie them together somehow.
and they had to fit a 14 foot wall without the cost of 14 foot of art!
oooh and they had to have a blue vespa and they had to have a dready chicken!
so the idea was a triptych of 3 separate pieces making up the one piece so you could spread them out a 'liccle' bit across the 14 foot wall and still consider it a single image.
I been to wimbledon, not the tennis, the place, the 'common' - cyant remember why ... probably something to do with charlie who lives near-ish by.
so cool for me was that this piece of dready art lead directly to the development of an even larger London background and to another piece of art completely ... the bowler hatted man, with his bare feet and a goat that's below in the blog. And the two tennis players ... love them, they're cool... and the girl casually leaning on the vespa ...
Sunday, May 25, 2014
A Man his dog and his boat - Original on Canvas 40x13
so, see me here continuing the commission of the tin tin inspired dready art, of the adventures of a man and his dog ...
as a yute I loved comic books, loved tin tin ... there was this series of 'commando' comics; small book like comics with world war two stories, very cool - I can remember in belize sitting in the works yard with clarkie and the men all of us reading and swapping commando comics over a lunch time, the smell of diesel and burnt oil ...
they write, or they used to write, tin tin in all sort of european languages, tin tin and astrix and obelisk, in dead and dying ones too, languages like basque and catalan and provencal and latin - they never came in patois! - so that kids in school could use them to learn. somewhere stashed away I have a bunch of them, including some in french.
Over and Under - Original on Canvas 26x26
so, a couple, young and making their lives together, who live in chicago, wanted to commission a piece of dready art about cayman and the times they've spent here.
it is their 2nd piece of dready art.
and here it is ... simple and cool ... over and under.
i like living in cayman.
even if we don't consider the time I spent here as a yute - i have now been here twice as long as anywhere else i have lived (and there been a few) - Belize don't count 'cause I visited my father there every year for 22 years but is not the same as living in a place, zeeeen; jamaica don't count 'cause I was gone by 13 (gone to boarding school at 9), even though my mummy was still there.
and people that come here tend to like it too: is a comfortable, progressive, easy place, all the beauty in the world looking out to sea; modern, friendly, inclusive - hell of a lifestyle - all that and still a little piece of the caribbean; which is good for an island bwoy.
is my home.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I was working on 2 dready images this week, both to do with london and for one of them i drew the above character as kinda background noise ...
and i liked him. and then i started to envisage him in a dready all of his own and how that might look ...
an estimated 4% of londoners are of Jamaican heritage; children of a diaspora that started in the late 50's and eventually saw the country bled of its middle classes; black, white, chinese, indian ...
but there are also trinis and bajans and antiguans and grenadians ... people of mixed caribbean heritage make up the fastest growing portion of the population of uk.
so, here yu have him, all suited up, bowler hatted, but without he shoes ... looking, for all intents and purposes, like an englishman but his bare feet and his goat tell you he's not.
Sunday, May 11, 2014
1963 Kombi VDub - Limited Edition Print 24x24
I have worked on a bunch of dready cars the last 3 weeks ...
I think this might be the last one for a bit ...
the (1963) volkswagen kombi bus is iconic, it symbolizes peace and love and freedom.
not much else a dooood can say to top that.
if there were a headline it would read: dready takes to the streets of London with yogo yoga ...
every now and again somebody asks me to dready - fy their business ...
i did one for a business consulting company a while ago and last week i did this for yogo yoga in london for her biz cards and a more detailed dready for her website and we'll work on her collateral as needed.
there's a few very cool things about this; firstly it is a thing indicative of the world today and of dready -
I'm sitting here at home in cayman and doing a piece of art for someone in london.
I send the files of my design over to a friend, remotely, also living in cayman but from dublin - he is a talented graphic designer, and he takes my mock-up and finishes it off and emails it back to me better than before, and i send it off to london to be printed.
dready is global. that is now a fact and that is cool - I have pieces of art doing right now for London, New Zealand, Saudi, Thailand, ohio, jamaica, puerto rico, Ireland and cayman ...
is a modern world!
peace, strength, happiness, health!
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
So ... I have to admit I'm having a moment with goats ... is a Jamaican thing, or t'ing if you prefer ... is a t'ing.
just in case you're coming to this for the first time, i'm a born jamaican, dready is a born jamaican, although we both spend our lives in other places these days; he in my imagination and me, in the cayman islands.
everywhere you go in Jamaica there are goats, the crazy t'ing is that these goats ain't feral, they not wild, they is peoples' goats and when the peoples' are ready, they come they get a goat and they eat its rass!
presumably in between the goats go home and eat some goat feed, but in the meantime they wander about, like as if they was wild, just doing their own t'ing.
I like curried goat. I like roasted goat. I like live goat I like dead goat ... goats are cool. A goat sitting in the back of a 1963 356B is supah cool!
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
BMW Isetta - Limited Edition Print 24x24
some of the keys to dready art are its whimsy and its simplicity ...
if you looking for whimsy and you want to draw a bmw, then an isetta is the bmw you want to draw.
i followed my grandparents to victoria, bc, canada, when they moved from jamaica looking for a place to live ... and down the road from their house, in cadboro bay, stacey and i came across a man who fixed up old cars.
he always had some cool things working on ... first place i saw a 1960's honda 2000 ...
it was right there in that driveway that a little underlying fascination started to grip this yute 'bout old cyar.
anyhow, man said 'would you draw a bmw?' ...
peace and love.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Tuk Tuk Too - Limited Edition Print 24x24
I just love the simple fun coolness of this dready art tuk tuk ...
the warm very 'indian' colours, the kinds that match the baskets of spices in a bombay/mumbai market ...
the goat sticking its head out the left side ...
Sunday, April 27, 2014
a woman, a friend of a friend, that i know, in that modern way of online friendship across worlds and places, having never actually met face to face, is a photographer: an adventure sports photographer. and to rass, she's very good at what she does ...
she shot a photograph of a friend hiking in for a ski; alotta sky, a little snow and a single backcountry skier portaging in.
i was inspired by it, but had the idea of a dready with 3 skiers, dressed in red, yellow and green - cause, ya know, mus' have the rasta colours in the art - and a slightly steeper traverse.
i been working in squares and in relative simplicities these last few weeks and melody's photo spoke to that ... and i ... ah never mind!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Tuk Tuk, Plaid - Limited Edition Print 24x24
okay so, tuk tuk's are not part of the caribbean t'ing, the vernacular, you don't see them around but you should, 'cause they're cool.
You see them in Europe, italy really, as ice cream vans and service vehicles and stuff and they're all over asia.
the idea of drawing one actually started with an ice cream van in italy that i was going to do ... a gelateria on wheels under the shade of a big big chestnut tree at the side of lake como ...
and then i'd gotten a commission to do a piece of art for a gentleman of sri lankan heritage and the tuk tuk became part of that ... a tuk tuk and an elephant!
in asia tuk tuks are taxis and so they vie for attention with colour and verve and style and t'ing and so I thought that I might have some fun by using available colour swatches and creating a series of tuk tuks around that.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
... a commission to do 3 dready art images that relate to a guy's life and it had to include his dog(s)
I started out with a very pop art poster idea and a terracotta background ... it was strong and you could feel the heat coming off of it like a desert ...
but as I continued to draw the TinTin-ishness of the whole thing came to mind; the dog in the goggles, the vespa's style and so it began to evolve and the terracotta colour became instead a spanish vase ... an old one that is in the garden, not his garden, our garden.
i'd like to say that it was a gift from my father, but it wasn't really - he always had these antique spanish jars when i was a bwoy and he took a bunch from Jamaica to Belize when he moved and they were at the base of the stilts that held the house up ...
and he took one to florida where he had a small townhouse.
we, PG and I, were packing up the townhouse years later; the old bwoy was moving from belize to guatemala and PG called him and said 'I'm giving Shane whatever he wants out of the house' ...
I got the Spanish jar and a Dutch painting ...
anyhow the spanish jars are evocative for me ...
at a bend in the river a natural pool, the water cool and fresh ... the word Jamaica's supposed to mean land of wood and water.
so here i find myself, swimming and it's near a house, a lovely house, a cool house belonging to one of the world's great cool dooods ...
and I know am gonna draw a dready of the house and the swimming hole ... dunno what is gonna look like yet, but I gonna draw it ...
hear what I seh!
Monday, April 7, 2014
The last few weeks been all about memories ...
the Round Hill art show week was all about memories of Jamaica; places I grown up, spots I'd been to and t'ings I'd seen and done ... and the Jamaican art i produced on the back of it.
Then my uncle died and we all gathered for the funeral in Moneague and then Montego Bay for the party to see his duppy off in style - he was young, only 7 years older, so he was as close to me as he was to my mother - and we all had stories to tell:
many of them included car crashes, all of them included red stripe and rum ...
and all this, these times and places - the incidents of life ... they're all there in the art
Saturday, March 15, 2014
this week i've been doing a dready art exhibition at round hill resort, just outside montego bay jamaica and as said in the post below i have a lovely historical relationship with round hill
but, anyhow, the lobby building at round hill is actually based on the 'coach house' at a farm called good hope, near falmouth, on the other side of montego bay - it is a lovely 1760's ish cut stone georgian building addended to the good hope great house - i have the good fortune of being in both places, round hill for my days while doing the dready exhibition and good hope, where am staying, for my nights and mornings
my cousin lives at good hope and his brother in law, who works on the farm, lives in the coach house ... he also often lives in salmon coloured jeans.
live love life
Thursday, March 13, 2014
photo courtesy of Suki Macdonld
last night was the launch of a dready art show at Round Hill hotel.
very cool for me because i've exhibited in many places but never jamaican themed art, back at home in jamaica.
it was a double whammy of an evening, actually, because at the exact same time as i was exhibiting in jamaica i was, back in cayman, being inducted into the national collection of the national gallery of the cayman islands.
round hill is lovely; in olden days, when i was more yute-ish, mummy was close with the manager - a lovely man named john terry - and we'd go there on weekends to see JT and hang out and t'ing.
round hill was started by john pringle - pringle was 1st cousin to my godfather and they'd grown up in the same house - and especially late in his life i spent some really nice time with pringle in cayman - oddly, his was also a funeral that i'll well remember and perhaps the only funeral i've ever been invited to.
so anyhow, nice nice to be there hanging out and being hung with - i felt really loved by a lot of people; by friends and family and guests of the hotel.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Kite Surfer - Limited Edition Print 36x14
it was cool the other day 'cause someone said, outta the blue, "do you have a kiteboarding dready"
and ya know what ... i did.
i've got a lot of dreadyness I've done over 300 original images in the last 5.5 years ...
and it ain't all Cayman art
Monday, March 3, 2014
having just finished the art above, polo girl 3 (a very evolved dready) i was having a chat, last friday night, out at dinner, with a doood i've known for a long while.
He was discussing with me the purity of dreadyness ...
and he, being a brandmeister, was dismayed that i hadn't completely stuck with the original essence of 'dready' which he felt had an authenticity to it and that some of the newer work was sometimes incongruous and often, he felt, cold ...
and for the most part i disagree with him ...
you see when i first started this idea, dready was a character, in caribbean cliche scenes, very rustic, very faux primitive, designed for post cards and t shirts to tourists.
as tourism failed and then collapsed altogether that vision of dready needed to evolve or fail with it.
and that evolution came in the form of original art commissions and art prints.
and then there were things that people wanted to portray in their art that couldn't be done with 'dready' as he didn't fit ... so not that he died, he stayed within the realm of his corner of the art and the name, dready, became instead, my signature on the art.
the art then became a revolution in itself and my want to portray things outside of the realm of 'dready', while being cognizant, one, that I wanted to stay true to the idea of the inherent simplicity of dready and two, the forms that the art had been designed to take and that I didn't not want to do dready, i did, but I wanted him to be part of a bigger thing.
I wanted him to find his place in a group of art by the artist dready.
and here we have a crux and this is where the brandmeister was wrong - he considered dready to be the brand ... but the signature is the brand.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Cunninghams Lake Tahoe - original on canvas 36x50
this dready is for a house in, and a piece of art about, lake tahoe ...
the clients had some things that they liked a lot ... an urn by claudia clare, art, by chiura obata, of the area - the urn portrayed two sides of life, play and home, the obata art was of landscapes and trees with a certain colour palette; they wanted the california bear and a sense of the seasons.
and so the layers of winter, spring, summer and fall of the lake and the mountains and the hills and the colours ...
and then in researching lake tahoe i came across these gorgeous 'plans' of the mines at the comstock load; drawings with colours of the various shafts going down, in plan form - and so the whole piece of art became about plans and contours and lines of interest from other research and images and the some of the lines of the comstock load which could also be colored ski runs ...
i run on ...
but it was cool.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Mermaids - Original on Canvas 44x14
'mermaids' is a commission, 3 girlfriends giving a gift to the 4th for her birthday ...
so the birthday girl has a lovely, peaceful, tranquil house on little cayman to which all 4 often retreat to be at rest from busy lives ... i like little cayman ... my father used to tell a story of the plane that went out to the sister islands in the very early 70's and how when they were coming in to land the stewardess would walk down the aisle, lift the floorboards and pour a quart of hydraulic fluid into the reservoir so that the wheels would go down ...
is not like that anymore; modern planes fly in modern people to visit modern houses but in the same quiet tranquility ... little cayman is an ace of a place.
but back to the art - i chose to portray the 4 women as exactly alike except fro their hair and skin colour: they have the same bodies, they're wearing the same glasses ... it was the sense of sisters I was after and in my mythological mind mermaids are all essentially the same like a school of fish where the differences are very very slight.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
so, i was doing another piece of dready art, the jakes panorama that's below in this stream, and i wanted something for it, i wanted a character ...
and hence 'the girl on a bike' ... casually cycling through the space and time in front of jellyfish, one of the villas at jakes - it's artistic license by the way cause you can't actually cycle in front of jellyfish, but in the art-space-time continuum she's actually cycling somewhere else and just appears to be in front of jellyfish ...
anyhow i liked her, i liked her for a few reasons, one is that she's based on a photo of of my cousin and 2 it's the casual way she's going about her ride, texting on the cell phone and just ambling to somewhere ...
i liked her and so i extrapolated her out of that art and into a piece all by herself ... like a 'spin-off'
simple beauty ...
Friday, January 31, 2014
2CV - Limited Edition Print 44x14
recently opened, a series of dreadys based around cars and 'evolved' dready characters ... there are 7 pieces altogether on the wall, which isn't all of the 'car' pieces, just all the pieces that could fit
This one, one of my favourites, 2CV, was not in the show because there was no more space.
i remember seeing my first 2cv, in a film, bouncing along a pasture road with happy french people on their way to a picnic, the roll top roof pulled back, the car full of light and verve.
You can't help but dig this car. I've always wanted one ...
the dready series of car prints is a trans-dready group of art, there are vehicles like the Vdub, with original dreadys in them, there's things like the smart car with the trustafarians driving ... and then the Renault 4 and the Fiat 500 which I did with the fully formed 'hipsters' as above and with the stick figure trustafarians and the Jaguar with Ostrich which is just evolved and nothing but evolved.
thanks for taking the time to listen to me chat.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Monday, December 30, 2013
Jakes, Tresure Beach - Very Limited Edition Print (#of 15) 7 foot long
before i was even a bwoy, before i was a glint in my fathers eye, at the end of the 50's, the south coast villages of st elizabeth and westmorland, like little bay, bluefields, treasure beach, whitehouse, were places where Jamaicans got away to - the north coast was already developing its persona of kinda for tourists.
development escaped it: the experiences were those of tranquility and commune and family and nature ...
and this place, jakes village, grew up amongst the vestiges of that and retains the feelings and the emotions and it's cool and vibrant and wild and interesting and i wanted to capture that in a piece of art because it reminds me of the jamaica i grew up in.
And so this is the dready of that ...
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
i (obviously) like doing panoramas ...
i like jakes in treasure beach jamaica; it is one of the coolest places on the planet ... just getting there changes your whole perspective ... you make the journey and you leave the life you lead behind; you travel to get there and then at the end of the road, literally and on the edge of the sea is jake's village.
jakes is sprawled, from the driftwood spa to jack sprat restaurant along about half a mile of the south coast of jamaica; it ambles, cooly ... villa to villa, visual sensation to sensual experience, iron shore to cove and back to iron shore, garden to grass piece ...
(above map of jakes provided by sally henzell)
i couldn't fit all i wanted to say into one panorama and so i've divided it into 2, 'grass piece' and 'sea side' ... it's how i see it, because in truth half of 'sea side' takes place in the garden and most of 'grass piece' takes place on the sea side.
anyhow, dat's me ...
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Barbadian Chattel House - Limited Edition Print 24x24
I been to Barbados a few times ...
the first time I went I wrote in my journal ...
" “Barbados lacks soul and that’s what’s wrong with it” – and then I thought about it and continued - "but the truth is that that is what Barbados is, it’s not really something that’s wrong with it, just a piece of its essence, they don’t flaunt, they just are. Others, friends, tell me that they know a Barbados, a warm, welcoming one full of interesting fun loving people – but they, these friends, when pressed, still agree that yes, definitely, there is a wall, albeit a low slung and Georgian cut stone one, over which you have to climb before you can encounter this warm side of the Bajan spirit. "
barbados and bajans grew on me over time as I went back again and again ...
actually when i started doing dreadyness i started not in cayman or jamaica but in barbados, grenada and the bvi ... i was really fond of grenada, but then i should be as my great grandfather emigrated to jamaica from grenada.
So, here i am again, coming back full circle to the idea of bajan-ism and art based on barbados - dreadyness has evolved somewhat from them first days of experiment in a new style and fashion.
there's a particular kind of building in barbados called the 'chattel house', they're iconic, you see them all over bridgetown; architects evolve them for the modern vernacular and they're part of the historic landscape ...
"The term goes back to the plantation days when the home owners would buy houses designed to move from one property to another. The word "chattel" means movable property so the name was appropriate. Chattel houses are set on blocks or a groundsill rather than being anchored into the ground. In addition, they are built entirely out of wood and assembled without nails. This allowed them to be disassembled (along with the blocks) and moved from place to place. This system was necessary historically because home "owners" typically did not own the land that their house was set on. Instead, their employer often owned the land..."
anyhow, so when i came to do a bajan image i chose to do a chattel house ... and a goat and a banana tree ... and then a friend said i had to put in a bajan dog, so there's a dog on the back step ...
there's always a dog!
part of the 'job' is doing things like gallery openings where your work is displayed (over my left shoulder) and showing up on behalf of people you do art for or who promote your art ... you meet, you greet, you chat, shake hands, talk about what inspired you to draw a renault 4 driving across a sand coloured backscape ... (you might actually have to make up that answer cause it was just something in your head at the time.)
"what are those shapes?" "They look like fish" "Flags ..." "if you look at the whole thing it looks like a reclining nude ..."
the answer to which is "that's the thing, it's abstract, it can be what you want it to be ... I call it rainbow; it kinda came to me one morning, in my head, fully formed, pretty much as you see it now." which is a very 'artsy' thing to say and when you say it out loud to someone it sounds even artsy-er.
they invariably answer "ah!" and go and look for free wine.
anyhow, i said to an artist once, your job's not painting, painting's what you get to do as the treat for your work; your work is selling your art ... and that work can be a lot of fun, the people you meet, the conversations you have, the joy of meeting people who really like your work (the ones that don't rarely walk up to you and say 'dooood that's absolute crap!') ...
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
the coolest thing to happen to me in is something i never fathomed when i started doing dready art ...
that people would ask for portraits of their lives but with traditional dready stick figure characters rather than evolved depictions of themselves ... and it happened from the very first commissions (actually the very first paid commission was a request for the 'Last Supper' done with dready stick figure characters).
it was cool for me that people were drawn to the original characters in that kind of way.
i do both; like the below i sometimes characterize people as stylized versions of themselves, selves that you can see, with their lives around them in a more evolved way ...
but it still coolest to me that people wanna see themselves in that other way ...
live love life ...
a few years ago and further down these pages i was asked by the dept of tourism to do an blue iguana that would be on a logo with the jazz fm chameleon in the uk.
above is the 'blues iguana' with his soul patch beard, his rasta tam the beads on his dorsal spines ...
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Silver Wheaton/Vancouver Skyline - Original on canvas 60x18
in the days before dready, when the man was just a bwoy of 13, he followed his grandparents from jamaica to the great white north, to vancouver island, to where they emigrated ... to where they escaped really.
he would go to vancouver on the ferry to play school sports against other boys; to the very point grey from whence this view of vancouver is taken ... ubc is out on point grey and so is wreck beach, a nude beach ... boys find nude beaches.
later his mother moved to vancouver and he having left the great white north for the wilds of belize and other places would return on holiday to visit her. he has sat many times on jericho beach and looked at this skyline.
days gone by!
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sun Bums #2 - Limited Edition Print 44x14
so there are now several sets of characters moving through dready art simultaneously ...
there are the two trustafarians, in this same austin van in a post below, and then these two 'hipsters' trolling through life and love and the pursuit of happiness. my dooood has now grown a little goatee beard and longer hair ...
somebody told me yesterday that i need something more than just pretty pictures to help people glom on to the idea of the pretty pictures ... he meant more of a 'slogan' or a repartee for each piece of art ...
i said, that it was these ideas that i wanted to impart along with the art:
'I'm just a bit of a hippie artist at heart, who believes that the ultimate goal in life is to live happily and, I suppose, that by buying into the art you're sharing some of that joy.'
'dready art is a 100% caribbean product: we live here and are from here, our children were born here, I draw it here (mostly, cause sometimes I draw it when I'm travelling!). So despite what has become the kind of global reach of dready art, we try to think of ourselves as a little Caribbean company just doing our thing.’
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Ponderosa - Original on Canvas 40x14
i have a first cousin who is the same age as me and when we were small small yutes he moved to a liccle farm just outside of kingston ... dairy cows and horses and orange trees and bullfrogs the size of cats!
and in those days the trains still ran and we would leap out of bed in the early morning, with the mist and the dew still on the grass, and dash down the hill from the house to watch the train rattle by ...
we've spent a lot of time together through the years but i will always remember us watching the trains in the morning mist and the dew wet grass on the hill at ponderosa ... and so here we have that, because when we sat in the grass and looked back up the hill, this was the view of the house; a nice piece of dready art about memories of stuff and t'ings.
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Sun Bums - Limited Edition Print 44x14
the trustafarians be movin' ...
the continuing saga of their lives in cool vehicles ... not sure why i chose modes of transportation as the 'vehicle' for these characters in dready art - it started with the vespa and then the smart car ... it all just seemed to convey a whimsical message about who the characters were and are ... and as i've repeatedly said i like them; i like who they are in my head.
but then the vespa didn't start out as a vespa, it started out life in a piece of dready art as a honda 50 and evolved into a vespa ... there was this guy, neathersole was his name, and he lived round by barbican and thought of himself as mr. lova lova long before shaggy had thought of it ... he had air jamaica 'lovebird' stickers all over his bike. When I was leaving and going away to school, neathersole said to to me; 'anytime you come back and you want to find me, jus' come a dis corner and call mi name; people will know me.'
but then that story is not related to this one ... and this one is called 'sun bums'
Friday, September 27, 2013
so, i been doing all sorts of art based, vaguely anyhow, on the idea of 'what i did last summer' and this is, as one might guess, the scotland part of it ...
but all the art's been about more than that, it's full of t'ings that i've wanted to draw; in this one ... highland cows are so rasta-ish, sheeps are just cool - unless you have to live with them (but that's for another story) ... and when i was a yute you used to see these austin minor vans all over jamaica; pattie pans they used to call any kinda van like that ...
so you see i'm not really drawing last summer, I'm drawing my life; one liccle bit at a time.