Sunday, 30 November 2008

Drawing by my Mother

Mothering Sunday 1972, my mother Marian O'Hare drew portraits of all her children, me on the left, then Christina and Justin. The picture looks like I may have done a scribble over the top of Justin. Marian went to Hornsey art college in London and trained as a theatre designer, she found her husband there and got pregnant soon after her course had finished, which in those days meant you could not work in the theatre as there were no child care facility's. So her career was ended by us kids. Later she worked for the Lambert puppet theatre producing programmes and posters for shows, usually very late at night, when we had gone to bed. She was also an activist and protested for wheelchair ramps for the streets of Dublin and access for wheelchair users, she took the Lord Mayor for a ride in a wheelchair that ended very quickly as there was no where to go in a wheelchair. She volunteered for the wheelchair society driving people to day care centres, her back was soon out lifting the very heavy chairs on to the roof rack. She also worked on new wheelchair designs. If you see the film my left foot you will soon be informed of how hard it is if you are born disabled. Marian also campaigned to clean out the Dublin Canals which were full rubbish. The canals were used up until the 1960's for transporting flour and goods to factory's and warehouses. I remember the boats that were stranded in the canals after the scheme had ended. The canal campaign ended after she got the neighbours to help clean one lock which had 15 cars in it, dead dogs, tyres, eels, etc. The lock had flowers planted and benches put in and looked beautiful. Marian was labeled by the papers as water rat woman.
One of the protests I remember going on was save the viking village that was discovered by archaeologists, developers wanted to build an office block on top of it. The developers won and how stupid were they as it would have been a major tourist attraction.
Marian has recently been published in a book of the allotments of Norfolk with her illustrations. She has always grown fruit and vegetables as well as being part of a group of famous female elderly artists that go out drawing views of Norfolk every week. She also maintained her set design skills by making model doll houses and there contents.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Hey Didley Diddle!

This is four lino cuts I made at art school. The colours were worked out by starring at a blank wall. I used one piece of lino for each and kept cutting it out should have four pieces for each so I could print them again. These are a very limited edition.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Coastal Singer Poster

I draw this picture for the lady at the dole office in Cromer, who told me how she toured around the countryside singing. I thought this was a great Norfolk rock poster, as everyone loves crabs and lots of legs. I sent it to the dole office and never heard back.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Metcalf's move to Cromer

This is a copy of the Metcalf's first house in Cromer, the picture is halve finished I think I put spider man climbing the wall. It was a lovely house near the beach in Cromer. Very idyllic for my cousins to bring up there children by seaside. The fresh air must be wonderful to live with. After this picture I got a commission for the family around the dining table eating crabs at the same house. I enjoyed doing that picture enormously and went on to paint Rebecca's family around the table. Might do one of my family around the guitar bar.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Flat Backed turtle

This flat backed turtle was a little happy creative papermache accident. It rocks so it looks like it is walking and can carry things on its back. The turtle was on exhibition at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and art on the railings at Peter Mancroft church.
Best to try and stop using plastic bags as turtles think there jelly fish and eat them and die. Ireland stopped using plastic bags over night, but the rest of the world is a very slow and behind the times of caring for the environment so it looks pretty.
To make plastic bags, tin foil, cling film, takes lots of water, oil and energy. The other side to this is have you every tried picking, cling film, foil wrappers out of compost after it has decomposed, not a nice job, these are the things that accidentally end up in compost if you use them in the kitchen.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Janie Hampton

Auntie Janie Hampton, author of the Gold medal winning book that covers the post war Olympics in London, that was built on community spirit. The Austerity Olympics makes a great Christmas present.
Janie has written lots of great books that cover a whole range of her interests. Her website is The website was built by easy openings which is my in house website company.
My first memories of Auntie Janie was her coming to visit one Christmas, she gave us all home made pillow cases and my Mum had bought a giant jar of lolly pops, which I over indulged in.
A few years later my family cycled to her house in the south of England and there I experienced the feeling of self sufficiency, homemadeness and invention.
She made my whole family blanket coats with big hoods, which we wore for nearly a decade, my brother and I both sewed secret pockets into ours so we wouldn't get pick pocketed.
I have have had the urge since I was little to make a duvet coat. Think I might make it this winter.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Toni Geiling and Trevor Brown

The these photos were borrowed from Toni Geilings website.
I first encountered Toni playing outside Badde Manors in Sydney, his music reminded me of something. He was just casually playing not busking or performing for anyone. I invited him in for a coffee and to play in the cafe he suited the cafe, clientele and interior. He came over to where I was living at the time in a big warehouse round the corner and I introduced him to Trevor Brown who was living there too, Trevor played all the time to and had lots of great bands. Instantly there was a band. Guy Freer joined them and Toni stayed at Guys place. The band played all over Sydney. Toni had a no smoking ban on his gigs which was unheard of in those days, I thought it was very conscientious for a young talented performer who wanted to protect his voice and life. One of the places was an old church. Toni had filled it with guests. Toni had great stage presence and told funny story's between songs.
I drew the band on the floor of every gig in Sydney at the time. This time it was on wooden cut out shapes of instruments that were originally drawings of instruments.
I was frantic and manic drawing with melting oil pastels in the Ozzie heat, with sweat running in every direction. My face and parts of my body usually had smears of pastels. I did it because I wanted to capture a scene, the moment, the atmosphere and create something that is apart of it, to be in it and looking at it from an out sider view.
All the pictures of all the shows were sold or given away to people who were there in that time.
Toni had played in Ballyferrieta near Dingle before coming to Oz, that was where I spent my holidays as a small child in an old cottage with no running water but wild countryside. That why some of his music sounded familiar to me.
After a few years of playing in OZ he went back to Germany where he now performs and produces albums. Have a look at his website.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Washable hand made Sanity Bag and Sanity Towels

This something I have been meaning to make for years. I have made 16 sanity towels and a bag.
The bag is used to store them till the end of period then you cold wash then hot wash with the towels in the bag.

I have used an assortment of different weights of cotton fabrics to stay cool.

This is cotton t-shirt fabric with a terry towel piece discreetly sew into the sanity towel. I found flannel fabric to hot but could be used in cold country's.

Using buttons to fasten into knickers ans a pocket to put extra insert terry towel pads for nights.

Sanity Towels is such a sane idea. VAT and taxes on paper disposable sanitary towels and tampons that are wrapped in plastic and don't decompose with the dump being one of our worlds biggest problems. It makes sense to use washable towels. Women are now going back to washing babies nappy's so we might as well go back to washing sanitary towels.
My Sanity Towel designs are the most modern and stylish on the planet. Well I think they are I have never seen any other washable sanitary products, apart from in old films where they looked like a real hassle with no design at all.
My sanity towels are hand made and cost £20 each with postage on top.
The bag costs £10 plus postage and packaging.
£280 for Sanity bag and 16 Sanity towels and free postage.
Leave a message in comments box it you would like to buy my sanity towels.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Wave 2 painting

Wave 2 painting in the series of hot wax. I save up the ends of candles to use for this semi batik paintings.
This painting is part of a series but I am quite happy to sell it separately for Three million pounds all proceeds go to Green Peace save the Whale projects.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Wave One painting

Wave painting done with wax, an experimental period when I was trying to put together memories of the Australian big waves that I use to dive through, they come in sets of six waves so when you have got through one you have five more to battle with, useful to know so you can gasp for air between them. I have painted six so you can gasp in aw at them. They now hang in my bathroom so I can lie in the bath and stair at them and come up with other images that can be seen in the paintings. Robert sees   different images to me, when he stares at the picture.

If I sell one in the series might as well sell the other. This amazing painting I would sell for Ten million pounds and all the proceeds would go to the restoration and up keep of the Chauncy Maples Hospital ship on Lake Malawi in Africa.

Monday, 17 November 2008

The Jester Puppet

The jester puppet also starred in puppet idol and was performed by Raven my cousin Emma Anderson's son. Juggling many objects through the air. Raven was only a young boy at the time and did very well at puppetry especially as we did no rehearsal for the show. There was other children wanting to perform the puppets but as they were not involved in the making of the show and we had already planned what was happening I had to let them enjoy the show instead.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Pink Fluffy hat

This pink fluffy "Candy floss" hat was made for my friend Fizz. She saw me in my candy floss hat and wanted one for her sister. Fizz is on the right of the picture. Fizz has got back to me to tell me, her sister loves the hat and not only is it cosy in winter, the hat has been taken to a festival in summer and soaked in water so the hat keeps you cool in the summer.
I originally made one for my granny, when I heard from a hairdresser how much pensioners pay to have there hair done. They mainly have there hair done because when your old you have trouble lifting your arms to wash hair. So there maybe occasions when there is no time to go to hairdresser or no cash available the best answer is a instant pink rinse hat.
Granny had a great time at church in her hat and it kept her head warm in the big cold stone building, as well as gaining attention from people.
I found putting yellow fluffy chicks in the hat at Easter turns it into an Easter bonnet.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Jim O'Hare Puppet

Jim O'Hare puppet another of the family portrait puppets that starred in my first unscripted show. Jim is a retired set designer and mostly spends his retirement on the phone to old friends, but has recently got a job showing people around Felbrigg hall. He designed the famous Wanderly wagon kids show, the Late late show, Murphy's micro quizzum, Halls pictorial weekly, the Billy Boyle show, Heart beat, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emedale farm and many more I cant remember the names of. Bugsy Malone was my favourite film and I really wanted one of those peddle cars as a kid and could do with one now.
Jim took up extra work with my mother and stood in for Peter Ustinov as a king in a film made in Dublin. Being an extra is part and parcel of working television the list is endless of parts in films he has been in. If you watched father Ted the drunk priest Fr. Jack Hackett is based on Jim's character. Since Jim watched Father Ted he has given up the drink.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Rachel Anderson puppet

Auntie Rachel Anderson one of the family collection of hand puppets, I especially enjoyed making her glasses, she has always worn glasses with a bit of sparkle in the frames. Rachel is a prolific writer and wrote her first book when she was just 17 years old called Pineapple which my mother illustrated for her. Her books range from children's stories to real life events. She manages motherhood and grand-motherhood and one of her sons, Sang, is my favourite cousin, who came with his parents to visit me in Australia. Sang is a brilliant and works at Norwich Cathedral and the Forget-Me-Not cafe. I sometimes join Sang in song at his wild karaoke nights.

Rachel has got a new book out every time I visit her. My last visit I was picking blackberries with her grandchild in her woodland garden.

Tip toe to her website, built by Robert.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Annabel lines the puppet

"Annabel Lines", one of the best performers on the planet. This puppet has working hula hoops, just like in one of Annabel's incredible performances she can hula more hoops then anyone in the world and has toured the world doing so. I caught up with her as she was hooping on stage with Rock star "Peaches" in London, it was wild.

Annabel was the lead in my Can can show in Sydney and she can Can can with high platform heals.
She also got me back to fitness and health after I had a major operation and got very tubby. She came to Norfolk and speed walked me across fields and through woods. The Annabel puppet starred in my Puppet idol show hooping the hoola.
The first show I ever saw Annabel in, was in Sydney's finest theatres performing with Marty Jay and Boogle woogle, she is definitely the hottest, funniest shiela on stage. Far funnier then Jack Tattie and if I had a million bucks I would make a movie with her staring in it.
I caught her on You tube here doing comedy 

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

"Clock eyed" painting

Clock eyed painting was just an idea that came to me while doing another clock painting of Norwich city hall clock. I looked it up in the on line slang dictionary and it means students who are bored at school, college and constantly looking at the clock waiting for time to go home.
I must have spent years doing this and so must have most of the population of the planet. Strange how were forced to sit in front of something that is highly boring. If only teachers learnt how to be interesting or let us study what we want to do. The watch on the wrist is my old wind up Mickey mouse watch well an impression of what it looked like.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Kath Ellis Puppet

Kath Ellis puppet, my good and talented friend from Australia artist and performer. She is wearing a green tou tou that she had made for gigs she did at the Sandringham hotel in Newtown in the 1980's and the Elvis outfit was made in the late ninety's. Kath and I worked on so many arty things together I would be here for 7 years writing them. Kath is still working hard and has a band called Kathellism and also sings solo and does not need a microphone. She is currently working in Indonesia creating a festival with the art of bamboo, bands and pure talent.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Boomy puppet

Boomy puppet I made with his dungaree's that have tyre track marks across them. Boomy came to visit me a few times from Australia he was cycling all over the world and wears the dungarees as a protest at cars they have tyre tracks across them quite hard to reproduce on a puppet. He is very tall and also wears a motor cycle crash helmet when riding a bicycle and sometimes at party's that have low roofs. He is also a costume maker his costumes are out of necessity because he is so tall. We went to Barcelona together to catch up with his Spanish friend Nelson, it was great fun we went clubbing and went to stay in Nelson's parents cave and picked olives at the weekend, we dressed up wacky, to pick the olives and played music Like a mini rave, the local farmers were very amused. Boomy was in the arts gang in Sydney and we use to perform together. At the Barcelona markets we found real handmade clown shoes that fitted all sized feet with two sets of laces. I told him he should buy them because it is very rare to find shoes his size but the great thing about them is we could both wear them. I have made a miniature pair of them on his puppet. I still have to colour his hair, he is half kerry man and half Pacific islander a great cross. We discussed having children but my hips are not wide enough to give birth to a big Boomy. Boomy now runs his own very grand restaurant in Sydney called Fab. It would be great to hang out again and have a laugh. Boomy's claim to fame is he nearly got run over by Princess Diana, when he was standing in front of the gates at Buckingham palace as a tourist and she was in a hurry to get in to the palace. He turned around to see who had bumped the back of his legs and it was the Princess herself. No wonder she got a herself a driver. Cars are killers and kill the famous too, as for poor Gaudi the artist in Barcelona got run over by a bus while admiring his wonderful work the most amazing cathedral in the world. Boomy and I prayed for Diana in the chapel in the basement of Gaudi's cathedral.

This blog post was written many years before my dearly loved friend Boomy past away unexpectedly in 2010.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Brothers of the head puppets

My first Siamese twin puppets, made of the actors that starred in Brothers of the head movie that was originally a book written by Brian Aldiss in Norfolk in the 70's. The film was made in Norfolk and I got a part in it playing myself back in 1974. I made the puppets while sitting on the bus waiting to be called for the set. I used tissue paper instead of paper mache. I took the finished puppets up to London to the screening at Leister square. I had ideas of doing a puppet version of the book. I made some good friends that were also staring in the film and we are just about to launch are own mini film company.

This rare siamese twin puppet is for sale to pay for my first comedy feature film. Eight million pounds and a percentage would go towards building a series of art schools in Africa.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Marilyn puppet

This is a puppet of Marilyn my good friend from Sydney who worked as a great "Vegetarian Chef "at "Badde Manors",  for many years. She also trained as a make up artist and helped with a lot of shows that I did. She had amazing great taste in clothes and use to style me with some great clothes. This puppet she is wearing shoes made by Demanda from Badde Manors also, Demanda went on a great shoe making course at Ultimo Tafe. I mean her real shoes not the copy's I made for the puppet. Marilyn moved to Melbourne because it was more fun down there with great bands and boys. She went to art college and I have lost touch with her.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Chicken Man

This is a puppet of Burkurrr the chicken man, he is famous in Australia for just being the chicken man, which has helped the change of law in Australia where all battery chicken farms are being changed into free range chicken farms. I met Burkurrr when I was a host at an art party In Sydney I had made a chicken claw outfit that was in same material as his outfit that night purely coincidental. I watched him dance from the stage in his own creative way. We went out for a while and turned his car in to a chicken mobile, by drawing all over it with oil pastels and reupholstering the inside. The car got stolen on two occasions one of which it had all the Mardi gras costumes in the back. We went to the papers and got it back. both times it was found parked in the same location, nothing was taken. A lot of people approached him saying sorry to hear you had your car stolen. Bukurrr went on to do an amazing giant chicken show that flew across a swimming pool on a flying fox. Burkurrr helped out for years on all the amazing shows we did. He is no longer Burkurrr because there is no longer a need to protest about battery farms. I certainly miss the days of driving around in the chicken mobile waving and smiling at people.

He lives in Melbourne and works for the University and has a daughter.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Christina Anderson 3 puppet photo

This photo was on exhibition at the Ballet Shoe factory which holds exhibitions every year in Norwich of Norfolk contemporary artists. The factory is used as studios the rest of the year and is unfortunately being turned into silly apartments.

The puppets in the photo are of my sister Tina and a magician who starred in my puppet show Puppet idol at my cousins Taffeta and Jays wedding. My cousin Emma Anderson also a puppeteer helped make some of the puppets and performed in the show. Taffeta and Jay now have a wonderful restaurant in Keyston, Huntingdon
News update 2012: Taffeta and Jay no longer run the The Pheasant in Keyston.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Christina Anderson 2 Puppet photo

This is another photo of Christina Anderson's, with my puppets in a row. I really want to give them bodys but don't have the time. One day I would like to make little puppet films.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Auntie Christina Anderson puppet photo

Christina Anderson is a famous artist photographer based in Norfolk and has a wonderful fascination for my puppets. I started making them in at the end of 2002 and got very carried away I made them of all my friends, over a hundred of them but a lot of them I have not got round to making the costumes for them to wear. Christina likes them without the costumes and takes photos of them. You may recognised yourself in one of the photo, its been so long since I made them I cant tell who everyone is apart from a few there is Kerry in the third box at the top. Demanda in the first box. Hue Coffey on the 2nd row. This photo was in an exhibition at Norwich arts centre on St. Benedict's in Norwich. 

Christina's work is for sale if you would like to buy a print.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Rebecca and baby puppets

This my a puppet I made for my friend Rebecca and her two baby's. Rebecca's puppets outfit is made with scrape pieces of felt some of which was her felt that she uses to make lovely felt art in Co. Leitrim where she has an Eco small holding farm. 

You can buy her felt art from her blog. Her small holding is very popular as she tells the world how to live sustainably without wrecking the planet. She started the farm with a dog and two cats and now has goats, pigs, chickens and bunnies and is getting a pregnant horse from the ispca, to help with the farm.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Vera and Peter Wedding Puppets

Kilcolgan Castle is located on the banks of the Kilcolgan river overlooking Galway Bay, this is where my friend Vera and Peter got married a few years ago, it was a very romantic setting. I made wedding puppets for Vera and Peter to take on there voyage sailing round the world, so they could sort out newly wed, disputes using the puppets. I also made my pink fluffy outfit for the occasion at my friend Rebecca's house in Leitrim for myself. The bride looked lovely in her dress which was a rare occasion as she is normally rock climbing or out at sea. They now live in the area of the Castle and plan to build an Eco house one day. They have had a baby girl which I plan to meet one day and make a puppet for her. I cooked breakfast in the morning for the guests which was quite an effort after a night of drinking whisky and wine.

In today's world must people live single for a number of years, then they move in with either partner then have double the amount of house hold goods, so there is little point in buying more. Commission me to make puppets of your friends who are going to get married.