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Art & Literature

A few months ago, I mentioned my admiration for the work of illustrator Victor Ambrus.

While helping my mum move house (at last!), I've just rediscovered a book I had as a kid – Favourite Tales from Shakespeare by Bernard Miles (Hamlyn, 1976) – with glorious pen-and-wash Ambrus pictures on nearly every page!

For example, here's carpenter-playwright Peter Quince and his black and white cat:

The King of Denmark's ghost:

and oh baby, Lady Macbeth:

There's so much more – duels, shipwrecks, fairies, Theseus and the Minotaur – it's almost unfair to pick these out. But aren't they gorgeous?


Art School Controversial

George's Hangover. Oils, 12"x16", 2006

George the Mod was a musician I was pals with for a while in my student days, a veteran of Glasgow punk bands like the Humpff Family and The Colostomy Bags. The original sketch for this picture was done the morning after a memorable party in about 1989 or so, at his girlfriend's flat on Garnethill, which had its own secret door into the Glasgow School of Art sculpture studios. Long thought lost, it resurfaced after I moved back home last year, whereupon I decided to make something a bit more permanent out of it.

I don't tend to get to parties like that anymore. The friends I have now are much too well behaved.

Original pencil sketch, circa 1989.

Digital graphic version, 2006