Mail art postcard. No. 4553…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s octopus is the one upsetting the old ladies at the local knitting club by getting to work on six pairs of socks simultaneously.

Another of my silly mail art postcards (Are you getting fed up with seeing these things dear reader? I hope not, I love showing them to you.), a simple collage on bright card using clippings from that trashy brash British TV listings magazine, What’s On TV.

It’s amazing what just a pair of glued-on eyes can do for a face. No, I don’t know who these two people are, but I’m sure they must be well-known actors from some popular TV series – please don’t bother getting in touch to inform me – it is something that I really don’t need to know.
What a serendipitous choice those eyes were! Don’t they go well with that narrow face and the tiny pinched mouth? It’s so hard to avoid being drawn in by them isn’t it. I think if the character had those eyes fastened on for all the episodes in the show I might have watched it, and possibly enjoyed it.
If there are any TV scriptwriters reading this, why not use this novel idea? Put some drama or sitcom together with all the characters in it wearing big stuck-on cardboard eyes, and with no explanation included or referred to in the storyline. The script and plot could be the normal dreary humdrum stuff, but with the eyes making it, er, what shall we say, Unusual? I expect the critics would eagerly jump on it, and like it, because it would of course refer back to that old Greek theatre stuff where the actors regularly wore masks in their plays.
Yes, even I’d watch that!…

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Stella drops something on the carpet…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected adjectives are: grim, prolegomenous, triapsidal, leucitic, coticular, pygidial, and frothy.

The Cloudy Day. 2015. Charcoal and pencil on paper, probably about 24″ x 18″.

‘Did you see the sky?’
‘Oh, good morning Stella my dear, do come in. The sky?’
‘Yes, it’s full of dark grey clouds, but with a low down livid streak of colour showing through a hole in it.’
‘Oh, what colour?’
‘Well, it’s not livid then, is it?’
‘Shut up you oaf! Is the kettle on? I want strong strong tea!’
Strong strong tea?’
‘Yes, and, I can use the word livid to mean anything I please David!’
‘Alright… Two teabags in your mug then. It’s funny that you mention clouds and sky phenomena today Stella.’
‘Oh why? And by the way I want plenty of biscuits – ginger nuts if poss!’
‘Because the drawing I have selected for you to sneer at today, does feature such clouds and aerial activity.’
‘Oh yes, so it does – but I’ve seen this before! It wasn’t like that outside though.’
‘I’m glad to hear it – sure you want two tea bags in your cup? It’s Taylors of Harrogate Yorkshire Tea you know?’
‘Alright just the one then. Oh goody! Ginger nuts! There’s plenty of turbulence going on there David.’
‘Thank you, I do like a bit of turbulence in my drawings… And, you will have seen this drawing before, because I used the image on my recent Christmas card – I think I sent you one… By the way, why don’t you call me Dave, like every one else does?’
‘Because I’m not every one else David! Did you do those smudgy clouds with a finger end?’
‘Well, my finger end, with a bit of rag wrapped round it, dipped in charcoal dust…’
‘Rag and dust eh?… Nice tea this… Good old Taylors of H!’
‘Ever been to Harrogate Stella?’
‘It’s a bit of a stiff conservative town – you wouldn’t like it…’
‘I see… I’m sure the feeling would be mutual… Oh!…’
‘I’ve just spotted the tiny people at the bottom, in the corners – they’re all standing there watching…’
‘Yes, they are… Look!… You’ve dunked your ginger nut, taken it out of the cup and its wetted segment has flopped off onto the carpet – and I only vacuumed recently!’
‘How recently?’
‘Just two or three weeks ago… What are you doing?’
‘Just rubbing it in with my shoe, you won’t notice it when it’s dried out… I see you have the sun or moon up in the corner – you like including suns and moons don’t you?’
‘Yes, I do, it adds reality to the composition…’
‘What the hell do you mean by that, David?’
‘Er, I don’t know…’

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Yes, I think I’m in the mood for spam!…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s octopus is the one showing off in the music shop by playing Chopin preludes on three pianos at once.

Yes, recently I have experienced a glut of spam. I really only said that so I could have the juicy word ‘glut’, and that rather sweaty word ‘spam’, close to each other in one sentence. ‘Glut’ is a great word isn’t it? It sounds slightly disgusting, don’t you think?
Oh dear, I think I might have a glut coming on!
But hold hard, let’s have a look at the definition of it. (click here) Ah, good! That’s what I thought it meant!
Yes, spam! Here are a few items that have recently slithered and plopped into my comments box. I still don’t really understand what the hell they are, or what they are supposed to do – they all seem to have links attached to them though – of course I have never dared click on any of these. And, many of these things seem to be bad translations from some other language – those are the bits that I like best!

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Distant galaxies, or just bird shit?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s dictionary words are: arcanum, araeometer, arbalest, aptote, archegonium, argand, and beslubber. Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. The professor will conduct the lesson from a tall stool and will be wearing a long wig and dressed in the red and white garb of a high court judge. Sentences for poor sentences will be handed down at the end of the lesson. (HCJ)

Yes, this is a shot from the Hubble Deep Field Telescope showing thousands of galaxies which were formed a couple of shakes of a lamb’s tail after the big bang. (click) We are not short of galaxies in this universe are we? According to Hubble there are a good hundred billion of the buggers. It certainly gives you a bit of perspective on tiny human things such as Brexit, global warming, the shape of someone’s arse, and a few other daft things that we get up to, such as: religion, driverless cars, wars, fracking, Celebrity Big Brother, rap music, building long walls, golf, sex, etc. Of course each one of those galaxies will have plenty of stars in it – ‘ours’ (what a nerve, calling it ‘ours’) the Milky Way, has 300 billion stars in it, not to mention their concomitant planets, with interesting creepy-crawly things trotting around on them. Gosh, it really makes you think, doesn’t it? Well, no, it doesn’t…
We distracted humans would rather think about money, and nice cosy things much nearer home…

No, you see, it’s bird shit. It’s pretty obvious really – but it does have the vague look of a NASA photo, don’t you think? I took this yesterday afternoon. It’s just an area of pavement under a tree that is pretty popular with the birds. Yes, we still have some birds! Isn’t that great? We haven’t quite killed them all off… yet…
Me, I’ll miss the chirping, and the twittering, and the bird shit, when they’ve all gone…

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Squirming decalcomania…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word word

Look out! Here comes some black acrylic paint and graphite!…

Decalcomania monoprint. 2010. Black acrylic paint and pencil on white drawing paper about 16″ x 12″.

Decalcomania is a great word isn’t it? It’s a good word to bandy about in cafes, or bars, when you want to come over as a bit of an intellectual smart arse. No, but really, if you want to know something about how I do this form of fine art printing, or would like to try doing something like this yourself dear reader, you could have a look at an old post of mine on the subject – just click here.

So, what do you think is going on here?
Does it in some way have the feel of Japan about it? I expect that long horizontal form at the bottom could be the sea, and that thing to the right, it must be a carefully knotted cloud, and the round thing on the left is obviously the sun, but looking a bit ragged, or possibly the moon? Mind you, the thing on the floor does seem to be flopping about a bit, maybe it’s alive – a trio of cheeky seals poking their cute heads up, or curious narwhals, or, you know… what are those big round wet shiny bulbous-headed things called? Oh yes, sea lions, or maybe they are walruses – they’re very nice, are walruses. Just look at them rearing up and snorting through their moustaches at us! Do they snort? I would if I was a walrus – or should that be, if I ‘were’ a walrus? I’ve never really got to grips with that element of grammar! As you can tell by now, I have nothing much to say about this print. Art is for looking at rather than waffling on about, which unfortunately, is exactly what I’m doing here. Just look at the satisfyingly solid block of text that I’ve assembled above – all one paragraph too – when you first glance at the page it probably makes you think, Oh, this looks like it’s going to be informative… What a deceiver I am!… Anyway, do you like my print? It’s striking, and it’s abstract you know. Things like this look very classy on walls – tastefully framed, and hanging over someone’s posh fireplace in a trendy stylish detached house somewhere in the leafy suburbs… Yes, this it now the bottom edge of a pretty impressive and dense slab of words… There! I think I’m done. Yes, that’s plenty! Not too long, not too short.
Hm, another cup of tea I think…

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“You will each take twenty-five lines!…”

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s carefully selected colours are: mandolin mauve, organ orange, flute fawn, bassoon beige, tambourine turquoise, and of course viola violet.

Yes, another couple of intriguing panels from a page in my tatty and defaced old junk shop book the Lion Annual 1956. Would you like to see a picture of the front and back covers dear reader? They are very nicely drawn and the colours are delightfully rich and mellow – pity they got the colour of space wrong though, it should of course be jet black, but a lot of black on the cover wouldn’t have made the book very attractive to the prospective buyer, would it? Me, I can live with a blue sky in space…

But back to the panels above:
I always find it odd that this annual, and it’s companion weekly comic, which was of course aimed at a mass audience of kids – portrayed the school days of posh lads (no girls here!) who had well-combed hair, wore smart suits and ties in class, and had a ‘study’ of their own, and where teachers were called ‘masters’, who wore flowing gowns and very silly hats – rather than the very different experience of the majority of the kids who actually read the comic.
Perhaps the writers and graphic artists who produced this comic were posh themselves, and knew nothing of working class life and schooling – yes, that must be it. Let’s make sure that the poorer people stay invisible in our culture. Who on earth would be interested in their drab lives?
Anyway, there’s Mr Tallow (nice name!) reprimanding Sandy and his mates for arriving late to class, and giving them some ‘lines’ to write. Good job Mr Tallow doesn’t know about that chimp though!…
‘What chimp?’ I hear you ask – ah, you’ll have to read the full story to find out! Me, I’ve never liked or trusted chimps – nor that ‘Bossy Bates’ – he’s always at the root of the mischief in this school!. I say you chaps, let’s go punch Bates on the head – serve him right!… I expect his family are awful rough working people!…

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Brownlow and the professor’s trousers…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s joke is the one about the Prime Minister and the rubber mouse in the dispatch box – oh, how we guffawed later on, down in our dungeon…

‘Good morning Professor – oh, my goodness!’
‘What’s the matter Brownlow, have you never seen a grown man’s legs before?’
‘Sorry sir, it was so unexpected – you sitting at your desk in your underpants, especially with your tweed jacket on, I…’
‘Oh, stop blithering man! Just reach over to the radiator and see if my trousers have dried out.’
‘Yes sir, oh, still a bit damp around the knees I’m afraid – I’ll turn them over for you.’
‘Thank you, and get the kettle on, I’m parched!’
‘So sir, what happened?’
‘Oh, it was that thing for the British Museum, that buffoon, Dr Swyne had me go to
South Kensington – got rather muddy.’
‘Muddy in South Ken sir?’
‘Yes, it was the previously sealed up basement of a Georgian house there just off Edwardes Square, that belonged to Victorian, so-called archaeologist, Sir Giles Plummet. Some very interesting stuff squirrelled away in there Brownlow! Pity the water has seeped in – where the hell’s my tea?’
‘Here you are sir.’
‘No biscuits or cakes today?…’
‘Not yet sir, I…’
‘What do you know about Sumerian city states and fabric manufacture around the Euphrates back in the 21st century BC Brownlow? It was Plummet’s speciality.’
‘Really sir?… I…’
‘Oh yes, one item from his private collection I came across in the slime was of particular interest – very good tea this!’
‘Oh yes sir?’
‘A sort of ancient wooden framework, almost rotted away – those idiots from the BM were totally baffled as to what it was.’
‘Yes, I had to set them straight!… So, no cakes today then?’
‘Oh yes sir, there will be – I was trying to tell you earlier, that my…’
‘You see, the ruler at the time, Ur-Nammu, had one son, who was to follow him, a bright lad – he developed a kind of fabric made from a particular fur from the Lepus Europaeus…’
Oh, er, right… I see…’
‘Very handy for garments in the cold weather – what was that about cakes Brownlow?’
‘Well, as I was trying to tell you sir, my Aunt Cissy…’
‘Ah, fine woman your Aunt Cissy! I have always had a soft spot for your Aunt Cissy… Anyway, it was obvious, to a man of my experience, that this framework thing was for drying the materials for the fabric manufacture after it had had the animal stink washed out of it – speaking of drying, how are my trousers doing?’
‘Oh, still a bit on the moist side professor.’
‘Oh, alright… Look Brownlow, I have just finished my report on the item for Swyne and the boys back at the BM – it just needs a title.’
‘What are you thinking of?’
‘Well how about something simple, and straight to the point – such as, The Ur Heir Hare Hair Airer?’
‘Well sir, I do think that might be a little bit confusing for…’
‘Oh, and what was that you were saying earlier, about your Aunt Cissy?’
‘Oh, she phoned yesterday, she said she’ll be bringing some of her home-made scones for us – oh look, here she comes now sir… Hello Auntie!…’
‘Damn it Brownlow!… My trousers!… Pass me my sodding trousers!…’

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