The Elton John of trees

View this post on Instagram Three #cats and it’s still standing! #christmas #christmastree #flashylightyglitterything A post shared by Dr SP Conboy-Hill (@fishbits) on Dec 9, 2018 at 12:51pm PST Two nights and counting … Happy, merry, whatever-this-means-to-you-time. New Year wishes? A kinder, more welcoming year and, like compound interest, giving the world a nest egg of nice for the future. Continue reading The Elton John of trees

Cats playing to the gallery

This is a small corner of Steyning’s new gallery and shop, The Basement (instagram @thebasement93), a lovely new outlet at the bottom of the High Street, near the independent Steyning Book Shop, and the remarkable Sussex Produce Company. Within a matter of a few dozen yards, you can find a unique piece of art, a hand-chosen book, and a strangely shaped vegetable you have to Google when you get home. I left some mounted prints there today of the four cat cards. Also a sheep. All hand drawn then finished in a digital painting programme called Rebelle. Have look – … Continue reading Cats playing to the gallery

‘Art is Everywhere’

This has become an annual event with BBC 6 Music and in particular Maryanne Hobbs who has a knack of de-pomposifying [but never trivialising] the arts and artists. Let’s face it, much like literature, art can seem to get in its own way if the life is squeezed out of it by over-analytical thinking, by people making assumptions about what an artist’s motivations were within a given painting, or placing a construction on a piece of work that the artist can’t refute by virtue of being dead. No such problem with the call for ‘art inspired by the words or … Continue reading ‘Art is Everywhere’

Forensic Architecture

This is the group of artists, film makers, architects, software developers, and activists you might never have heard of but that might be hitting headlines shortly. I came across them a short while ago in the context of reconstruction of the much-disputed chemical weapons attack in Syria. From all available images, from all available sources, they reconstruct scenes such as this in order to bring out the most plausible understanding of what actually happened, and just now they are contenders for the Turner Prize 2018. As a side bonus (to me anyway – reflected glory and all that), they’re based … Continue reading Forensic Architecture

‘I don’t know’

Cross posted from my coursework blog. This is why I value that little phrase “I don’t know” so highly. It’s small, but it flies on mighty wings. It expands our lives to include the spaces within us as well as those outer expanses in which our tiny Earth hangs suspended. If Isaac Newton had never said to himself “I don’t know,” the apples in his little orchard might have dropped to the ground like hailstones and at best he would have stooped to pick them up and gobble them with gusto. Had my compatriot Marie Sklodowska-Curie never said to herself “I don’t … Continue reading ‘I don’t know’

New fridge magnets

I have no shame! I had a batch made earlier using this image. [via Zazzle who do a pretty good job.] But sitting in my folders was similar image that needed brightening up a little so it stood out more from its background. Both are made with Flamepainter (an Escapemotions product), but for lifting the light I used Corel’s Paint Shop Pro which gives me more control over the brush. Here’s the result: It was originally called ‘Fuse’ because only the end of the tail was truly bright and who hasn’t been on the wrong end of a cat with that … Continue reading New fridge magnets


This is a digital painting programme made by Escapemotions who also make Rebelle. But unlike Rebelle which mimics the behaviour of actual paint on canvas (and if I can figure out how, I’ll make a short video to post here), Flamepainter is pure cat herding. With each iteration, I promise myself I’ll take some time to pin down the functions of the brushes and try to exercise some control over their output, and each time I give up at the point I’ve produced, by sheer serendipity, something that pleases me. This was yesterday’s effort, a composition achieved by selecting a couple … Continue reading Flamepainter