The celebrated Brighton artist and musician Dan Woods died peacefully in the early hours of the morning on 7th January 2019 after a couple of bad years with terminal cancer. He was stoic, cheerful and positive even during our last conversation not long before he died. His bravery in the face of this horrific terminal illness and the hellish pain and disability he suffered was nothing short of awe-inspiring.
He is sorely missed by family, friends and fans of his art and music over the many years he has been creating artwork and music. As the Fish Brothers guitarist for many years (often under the name of Chesty Charnsworth) he is especially missed by fans who remember his blazing technical solos worthy of Ollie Halsall or Allan Holdsworth while at the same time the band, who were all very competent musicians as well, proclaimed themselves to be “totally crap”.
I met Dan at school when we were eleven years old and only one person outside his family has known him longer than that. Howard has known him since they were eight years old at junior school where Howard claims he regularly beat him up … in the face of overwhelming evidence that this never even happened once.
What is known by very few people is that Artists UK would not have existed if it had not been for Dan. An odd coincidence had me out of work in 1994 just when Dan had published some prints that he was having some trouble marketing and selling. He was an artist through and through and selling himself or his work was, as it is to many creative people, a rather distasteful and almost dirty occupation, far away from the sublime inspiration of art and music. Being at the time plunged in that dirt and mire and unable to find a convenient spitirtual shower I said I’d have a go at selling them. This I did and then branched out adding in other artists and merchandise to end up with the massive portfolio of over 2,000 products today. But Dan’s section has been there all the time during these 25 years for fans of his art to collect his great art prints and we will continue to keep his section live as long as we still have stocks of his prints.
Personally, I owe more to Dan than just Artist UK though. For my 13th birthday he gave me a book that changed my life. It was ‘Day of the Triffids’ by John Wyndham and that really kick-started my love-affair with science fiction that arose naturally after buying the comic FANTASTIC! around the time we met. That comic contained reprints of American Marvel comics although we didn’t know that at the time. Dan and I both developed a fascination for fantasy and science-fiction as well as for all sorts of music and spiritual practices like meditation and yoga. We took different directions in life but in many ways it was the same inspiration that he expressed to me in our teens that saw him through one of the worst kinds of illness that anyone could suffer with such positivity, dignity and maturity.
The first band (Dan on left)
A big thank you to all our customers for making this the best year for us for over five years! We’re down to UK only for standard shipping of all our amazing art prints, posters, tshirts, puzzles etc to arrive before Christmas but that still leaves plenty to do and strangely enough we still get orders in from overseas customers despite the shipping restriction. A few last minute courier requests as usual and the odd challenge to get a complex order ready in time but we’ve never failed to keep our shipping promises so far to make sure everyone gets their lovely gifts in time for Christmas. If you still need something it isn’t too late providing it will be delivered in the UK. As usual, we are always here.
The Walker gallery in Liverpool are currently hosting an Alphonse Mucha art exhibition and for the sum of £7 (£5 cons.) you can pop in and have a look around. It also includes a 5 minute video by his great grandaughter actress Tamsin Omond.
However, if you’re expecting to find a treasure trove of Alphonse Mucha original paintings in this art exhibition you will be sorely disappointed as most of what is on display are just prints, large prints maybe, but still prints, not the originals. The four originals included are three rough sketches and a study, hardly a collection worthy of such a great artist as Alphonse Mucha. The Alphonse Mucha exhibition is not massively large and clearly they ran out of prints, let alone originals, since a massive Burns Jones adorns much of the last part of the far wall … and there’s a Mackintosh artbook on the bench for some reason. Oh I see, that’s Art Nouveau as well so let’s throw it in. I was really very surprised to find a major art gallery hosting an exhibition by a famous artist like Alphonse Mucha with so little original work on display. The prints may be old but they are barely antiques by anyone’s standards and one or two have seen better days too.
Clearly it is all about making money nowadays and if we can get the public to pay for looking at a load of art prints why bother trying to get an exhibition of original artwork together? Pleasant enough to look at but ultimately rather disappointing and disillusioning. I think the Walker Gallery should really have done better than this. In fact, you’d probably be better off spending your money on an art print you can keep forever by looking here.
Brian Savory is usually more interested in old Victorian buildings, or in fact any buildings really apart from “modern monstrosities”, when it comes to subject matter for art but every now and then he dives off into fantasy as with this wonderful take on Tenniel’s rendition of the Mad Hatter, who I’m sure needs no introduction now taht pretty much every generation knows of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ since the advent of the two blockbuster films starring Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter. To see more of Brian Savory’s art just click here.
To see Alice in Wonderland art prints by Sir John Tenniel just click on the Mad Hatter image itself.
To see Alice in Wonderland Limited Edition fine-art prints by Rodney Matthews click here.
Over the years we have heard of all sorts of uses people have made of art prints and posters etc bought from us at Artists UK. Some have used them as a basis for having tattoos done or to spray-design their bikes. One of our customers has gone a step better and made a model based on the print he bought from us, as you can see above. To find out how this modeller went about it just read on dudes and dudesses …
THE MAKING OF DESTINY
by Peter Miller
I design, build and fly radio controlled models. I have done this for years. Occasionally I develop a sadomasochistic streak and design a model that will stretch my skills and patience a little. More importantly,
it will make those who build from my published plans shudder at the thought of all the extra work and complication.
Over the years I have designed a series of these more complex designs, all named after the Angels from Captain Scarlet and have I just started on the last one, Destiny. For this model I wanted a very special pilot and when I saw the picture of Destiny on the Artists UK website I knew that I had found it. I spent quite a lot of time working out how to create the bust. My artistic skills do not extend to sculpting it from scratch.
I performed a lobotomy on one commercial pilot figure which provided the basic bonedome. This had the areas cut away for the transparent panels. I then ground away to create a rebate for the panels. Now that was masochistic I can tell you, the head is only just over 1” tall when finished and the rebate is tiny but in the end I got the panels installed.
The other pilot’s head also suffered a lobotomy and then some plastic surgery to make it more like a female face than the original rather expressionless character who looked like an overtired budget airline pilot. The hair presented more of a problem but we modellers are an ingenious lot so one Wednesday morning saw me touring the toy shops in my local town with a pair of vernier calipers measuring dolls heads. I am used to getting strange looks.
Eventually I found what I wanted in the local pound shop. That was a relief! You wouldn’t believe the prices that they want for some of the dolls of the size I needed? The young lady in question suffered the indignity of being scalped but the hair worked after a bit of trimming and setting with clear varnish. The the parts were assembled and the assembly was duly painted up including the tiny badge etc.
The final touch was to make a pair of sunglasses out of soldered up 30 amp fuse wire and adding the lenses.
I must admit that after looking at the completed figure I realised that the sunglasses need to have the lenses tinted. Those eyes do not look calm or happy. Maybe someone has told her about my flying.