Friday, July 25, 2008



Originally uploaded by Paul Grand

I think we all had a teacher whilst at school, who like "miss Jean Brodie" from "The prime of" inspired us. Mine was in the last year of junior school, I was aged ten. He was called Mr Kelly, thin, gray haired, old fashioned and tweed wearing with those leather patches on his sleeves and cuffs. He was a an accomplished artist and drew little pencil sketches of some of us.He'd also copy old 1920's French cartoons onto the blackboard and we'd all have to draw our version, every week.

The class was divided into two teams, Romans and Greeks, Red and green. I was a geek, er..I mean Greek! He had a silver cup on the high Victorian windowsill. We'd get points for the week and the winning side had their own colored ribbon around the cup for a week, it was awarded every Friday afternoon. Course, this dividing the class would be frowned upon these days..

One day, he asked the class "What is the white ribbon that you see across the night sky? Quick as a flash, I raised my hand and said, "The milky way Sir?" "Good lad, I suppose you would know that doing a lot of star gazing, Grand?"
Give yourself a ten points, he said, whilst handing me the chalk. I walked to the front of class. He then said, "And give yourself another ten points, Paul, for having the straightest back I've ever seen, Wonderful posture!"

Looking back on the conversation, I see his sarcastic remark was regretted and he'd just tried to temper it with a complement, it didn't matter to me. My day was complete, I was a triumph for once and Mr Kelly for me,ascended to the stars!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Here it is !

Here it is !
Originally uploaded by Paul Grand
My new Duoflex 2 and a couple of reels of retro film from 1974!
I bought it at a local flea market a few weeks back, I'd been looking for these things for about two years without any luck, then during the same morning, I came across two of these types of cameras!
I bought the reels of film on ebay, quite cheaply for a just a few euros within France. They arrived just this morning.
I cant describe how much reverence I opened the first package with.
It had no smell and no degradation as far as I could see, but I did notice a bit of rust on the spools.
Sorry for the anal description, but I had to share! O_O
So, now for the hard bit, using such a cumbersome contraption!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

There was no beating Martine!

There was no beating Martine..
This one was inspired by Martine's ice skating prowess.
I've never seen her ice skate, but she assures me she's good at it,
or used to be.
I'll just have to take her word for it,
as there are no ice rinks around my area..
So, the idea of trying to ice skate, in between a rock and a hard place took root!
Those rocks were on my desk and the figure is an antique one.
The shadow was stretched in CS2 and warped around the rock.
Thus, pulling the objects together.
The sky was a sunny coastal afternoon.
The idea behind the dedication was a tribute to Martine's hard work, doing a daytime job and managing to also do her photographic work, like spinning plates, but here she's ice skating whilst balancing three huge rocks.
Who needs the addition of ice!

Fear of falling through the ice

I know, I have strange dreams...o_O
This was another winner of a Man Ray contest.
With big dollops of help from my NZ friend, Jill and her ice skators fragment.
The cracks are way ott here, I guess they ran away with themselves,
joining up and forming a kind of loop.
I think I made this one in a hurry, there was a deadline, see!

Crow Hill

Jeepers creepers, this one was fun to do!
I'd been cycling with friends in the spring and we spotted this just outside the old village.
It's not had much done to it, its warmed a little, enriched with antique layers and my famous crackle glaze.
The Crows were kindly donated by Katherine and the skull from our
Textures for Layers, objects group, in Flickr.
I suppose it looks like a movie poster.
Must be the illustrator in me trying to get out!

Sunset from my French window

This is the view from my bedroom window in the old house I just moved from.
It faced south but if I looked South/West in winter, this is the kind of view
I sometimes had at sunset.
It took 3000 hits and I think its one of my most popular images.
I'd not done much to it, just a little colour tweak and the addition of a TTV layer donated by every bodies friend, Nesster!
I don't miss the old house at all, as I'd been there several years and just had to move on.
I now know that I much prefer city life to country village living.
Just an urban kind of guy!


I created several versions of this image or visage as the French would say..
I wasn't entirely happy with the outcome, limited quality of the original images imposed restrictions, but I think I did okay in the end.
Its made up from several layers, chiefly being a graveyard statue, and a stone layer.
Not forgetting the eyes, of course!

Feeling Crabby?

"I love this little guy" said Julie..
So did I.. He was captured in a French Hypermarket fish tank,
so I guess he had much to feel crabby about,
I mean, those poking people!

Volney Lilliputians Joy

Yikes, its been a year since I updated the old blog!
So, here's playing catch-up.
This picture was a long time in the making.
The final element being the big corkscrew.
In real life this thing is around two feet long and is used in the wine trade to take large corks out of huge barrows of wine..
Kind-of fitting, really!

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