‘I always feel like somebody’s watching me’ sang Rockwell in his 1984 hit (which features Michael Jackson on backing vocals assumably because Rockwell’s dad was Motown CEO Berry Gordy). And he wasn’t wrong. In today’s always-connected society the feeling that you’re being watched is very real indeed. Because you probably are. Being under lockdown hasn’t really helped to allay this anxiety for Marcus here but he’s getting on with things as best he can. Aren’t we all.
Well, there it is. My first solo mission. I’m pretty pleased with the final product – from the skin tone to the wallpaper. Now I just need some sunshine again and I can move on with some modifications before whitewashing and starting all over again.
Sometimes there’s nothing I like more than a good trawl through Wikipedia in search of something inspiring (and in our world inspiration can come from just about anywhere). There I was reading through an entry on the possibly fictional ‘hobo graffiti’ from late 1800’s USA when I came across Leon Ray Livingston.
Leon Ray Livingston who was a hobo who travelled under the name ‘A-No.1’ and was often referred to as ‘The Rambler’. He has been lauded by historians as the King of the Hoboes. He even wrote 12 books on the subject. Once I’d checked out his A-No.1 moniker/tag on the front of his books I knew a picture was in the offing.
What we’re left with is this playing card style ‘King of the Tracks’ design featuring his own tag which looks just like something from 1980’s New York and a ‘Rambler’ ambigram over the middle. It’s just a shame the only photo of him I could find to work with was small and grainy or I would have attempted a bit more detail. Right, back to some proper work…
Now i know you’ve all heard of a king’s ransom but have you ever heard of a clown’s ransom? Probably not and that’s because no one’s ever paid one. Who would?
That said no is quite sure where the term came about. Was it when a clown got kidnapped and a ransom demand was given but instead of paying they just let the clown get it? Or as some others postulate a clown once kidnapped a poor soul but when the clown asked everyone for a ransom they thought it was a joke and carried on with their day. Neither story ends well so i’m not really sure what the moral is. I’ll let you work it out for yourself.
Title: A clown’s ransom
Materials: Paint pen, acrylic, and charcoal
This kid has had 13 ASBO’s slapped on him this month – and it’s only the 18th of November! He just doesn’t care and it seems he’s collecting ASBO’s like they are going out of fashion. So far he’s had them for the following (amongst others as yet unspecified):
littering and dumping rubbish outside his local dry cleaners (apparently related to his misuse of the fabric softener)
A constant misuse of fireworks (including using them late at night)
Shouting and noisy behaviour in places where this might be annoying or upsetting (e.g. outside someone’s house). This I have a personal experience of.
Using rude, abusive or insulting language to pretty much anyone especially the old or infirm.
Threatening behaviour or bullying – including on the internet, mobile phones or other electronic media (whatever you do don’t let him borrow your phone or laptop).
Uncontrolled and dangerous animals – he has 3 feral rabid rabbits that he takes with him everywhere
Joyriding or using vehicles in an anti social manner (for example blocking access, noisy radios, wheel spinning); abandoning a vehicle – he especially likes pulling donuts at traffic lights.
Excessively drinking alcohol, alcohol related trouble or buying and selling drugs in the street – yes to all above.
Begging – he has such a sweet face (not).
As you can see he’s already got a tattoo of this achievement definitely making him the ASBO king and probably not an ideal next door neighbour.
Title: The ASBO King
Media: Acrylic, pastel and paint pen
The lady in this picture is what most people would call stand-offish or aloof and that is because she is. She just loves to look down on everyone and not just in a figurative sense but a literal sense as well.
When talking to her she looks down at you from a high angle due to her Amazonian height (and heels) but more importantly the sharp angle at which she keeps her head in relation to whoever she is talking to. She likes to think it creates the illusion of looking down at a miniature model just like in tilt shift photography.
To get the angle I wanted for this portrait I had to use every trick in my arsenal and resorted to painting her whilst balancing precariously at the top of the tallest ladder I could lay my hands on…
So there I was in the pub the other day professionally ignoring the football when this guy came up to me and started pontificating about how secure an investment of Bitcoin surely was. He told me he could increase my investment 100 fold. It surely seemed a little too good to be true but I entertained him because there was still 40 mins left on the game of ballfoot to endure. Come full time he was still banging on about a new crypto wallet or some such rubbish. It took all conversational skills I’ve garnered over the years just to get a word in edgeways and in that conversational sweet spot I somehow managed to get him to accept a small portrait of himself by way of my investment. I’m not really sure how i’m going to get my investment back but I did manage to get rid of him. For now at least. The Bitcoin investors are easily startled but they’ll soon be back. And in greater numbers.
For someone I’d never heard of until I read an article about him Denis Mugweke seems to be a pretty special character. His Wikipedia page makes for interesting but sobering reading. He’s a Congolese gynecologist who specialises in the treatment of woman who have been gang raped during wartime and has treated well over 30,000 women at his Panzi Hospital in Bukavu. Perhaps unsurprisingly he’s since become the world’s leading expert on the medical treatment of such atrocities. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times and was awarded the Sakharov Prize in 2014 (which honours individuals and groups of people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of human rights and freedom of thought) and survived an assassination attempt in 2012.
With such a fine pedigree he seemed someone worthy of an id-iom portrait. So here it is. Laser engraved on wood then lovingly hand painted. This one may have to hit the street somewhere I’m thinking…