In this page that I have called ‘The Aviary’ simply because you will see that it is full of birds! They are however anthropomorphic ones. Birds have been a life long passion of mine in one form or the other, and they have fascinated man for thousands of years. At one point when I was very young I wanted to be an Ornithologist.  Here are some examples of a project I started back in 2005/2006 which was an animation idea inspired by Russian Pigeons (yes I did say Russian pigeons). This came about because I had a friend that was half Nigerian and half Russian. She told me some very interesting stories about growing up in Nigeria with her Russian mother, and they were so evocative that they inspired me to create a story and animation concept.

The character was called Tatiana Chimakova, again half Russian and half African. They were a little ‘affluent’ family of pigeons living in the attic of the Balshoi theatre in Moscow, which gave Tatiana the remarkable ability to be able to sing. But due to the fathers dark secret the family had to escape to Africa, tragedy struck and eventually Tatiana and her mother flee to London where the story ends, and potentially another could begin? This was officially my first illustrated book, and could be revisited again at some point in the future? Examples will appear on other pages. Included here are some examples of the project and combination of paintings on canvas and light hearted gift cards.

The Anthropomorphic Pigeon Project

This character below is called Mimi Chanterelle. It was the synopsis of her character that I created that was enjoyed by Bloomsbury Books, enough for them to ask me to write two chapters on her which I did (from a human perspective, this image formed part of a dream sequence). In doing so I had to do some research in Russia which lead to me having a great adventure in St Petersburg, Moscow and Novosibirsk in Siberia. Maybe one day I will pick up the project again, but it proved a great experience, and gave me my first taste of the publishing industry which has helped with my first illustrated book.

This is a painting of a character called Nicolai Slovanovski, a kind of fire bird that was also a conductor of an orchestra, and would do so using his extended tail feathers.

This is a painting that is inspired by burlesque and by one of its best known stars, Dita Von Teese. Her name is ‘Candy’ and was a character that I was thinking of writing about as a fictional narrative.

Here is an example of the illustration that was the catalyst for me interviewing Quentin Blake for the Guardian. This was the cover design for my diary in 2007 (the original is a water-colour). Decorating my diaries has become a little habit over the years, and it was when I was with a friend of mine and I took my diary out to enter a date, that he remarked that it looked a little like Quentin’s work. I agreed and mentioned that I had his work in mind when creating this piece of two ‘women’ gossiping at a party. And so this is how the idea of meeting him and interviewing in a ‘Vlog’ came about.

Below is a slightly saucy card about the exploits of a fictional character called ‘Brigadier Jones’. ‘Brigadier Jones liked to reminisce about the good old days entertaining the troops…behind enemy lines’

This cool funky lady with the earrings is being a little naughty…’Samanther wondered if her disguise was enough to get her keg of Gin through customs?’

‘Jessica looked out languidly over what some day would all be hers. The house, the land, and the gardener!’ This was given as a birthday card to a friend. Some thing to just make a person chuckle?

Below is Chiara Ambrosio (left) she is a theatre set designer and animator. Jon Revell, Set designer, Artist and PhD student, and recently on channel fours classic ‘Come Dine With Me

On the left is Yoriko the Japanese member of ‘Procopetia’. Due to female comedians being rare in Japan and Yoriko’s fondness for playing clueless characters, I have modelled her on the Dodo. On the right is Ana Gallego who is a Spanish actress and comedian. She plays the ‘Diva’ in Procopotia and so is modelled on the Peacock. These portraits were painted in Acrylic on canvas.