I like a road sign I do

Hello there and welcome to my latest ramblings. I enjoy writing in this online notebook and I like sharing what I’ve been up to. I tend to write as I speak which means my posts often lack structure and purpose but I’m open to suggestions so let me know if there is anything you’d like me to cover in future. I’m naturally nosey inquisitive and I like the behind the scenes stuff, learning about peoples processes and the highs and lows so I guess that’s what I’m trying to do here. I also post photos of my working day over on Instagram (esp Stories) so please give me a follow at georginawestley8870 if you don’t already.

So what am I going to ramble about first?

In my last post I mentioned the Portraits for NHS Heroes book. At the time, I didn’t know if my portrait of Emily Russell had been included…and I’m so pleased to say it was. Whilst it was an honour for me personally, I was so pleased for Emily. Her hard work as a nurse during this pandemic has been celebrated in portraiture and now in publication. Emily sent me the pictures below of her with the book and I believe her mum may have ordered a few copies. My Mum and Dad did too and when it arrived Mum said it fell open on Emilys page. Yet more evidence that Mums have superpowers.

Roadsigns

I’ve been working with Stevenage Borough Council to create some new welcome signs. The roadsigns are currently being printed but as soon as they’re up I’ll go and track them down and try to get a selfie (assuming they’re not in the middle of one of the many roundabouts). I am fond of roadsigns. I know I said that out loud, but it’s just how it is.

A few months ago Newsnight featured the graphic designer Margaret Calvert who created some of Britain’s iconic roadsigns. She was assigned the task of creating pictorial roadsigns, many of which are still in use today. Most famous of them all is the ‘men at work’ sign which has been subverted by pop culture throughout the years. If you didn’t have some poster version of this sign in the 90’s on your dorm walls, were you even a real student?

If (and it’s a big if) you like road signs as much as I do, you could check out this article from the Design Museums website. You might just see things a little differently next time you’re out driving. Speaking of which, when I was a child I used to think the motorway sign was a robot. I think it was around the time of Transformers (robots in disguise) and still to this day, I only see a robot. My friend Rhys Ellis said he thought the loose chippings sign was a clawhammer. It took me a few seconds, but now a clawhammer is all I can see too. And now that’s all you can see. Blame Rhys not me.

Woman at work

This time of year is always busy for me, but this year has been bonkers busy. I’m so grateful. Not only has it kept me out of any furlough scheme, but it’s meant I have purpose and structure during this strange year. Most of my week is spent printing, checking, signing, packing and posting. I print to order so it’s quite an organisational task and leaves little room for new work at the moment. However, I did manage to create two new prints recently. One based on my love of yoga and the other inspired by the Queens Gambit on Netflix. Both are now available to buy online.

I am currently working on a Motown print, similar in style to Northern Soul. This type of artwork takes ages though as it is essentially 20 different illustrations that need to hang together as a whole. So I’m just chipping away at that one. I’m also working on a RAF Brize Norton print, which should be ready in the new year.

Recommends

I recently read The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku. What a book, what a man. I feel blessed to share a similar outlook on life to Eddie without having endured the unimaginable horror of the holocaust. There is so much to learn from this book. In one chapter he talked about his memories of his mother baking Challah bread on Fridays ready for the sabbath. This reminded me of when I lived near a Jewish bakery in Mill Hill and my ritual was to buy Challah bread and watch Saturday morning tv. Prodded my this memory, I decide to make my own. It was nice. I liked doing the plaiting, it was quite therapeutic. It also made a nice talking point at breakfast as my youngest is covering WWII at school and had been focusing on the holocaust that week. Hard topics, but ones we must never shy away from.

“Kindness is the greatest wealth of all. Small acts of kindness last longer than a lifetime. This lesson, that kindness and generosity and faith in your fellow man are more important than money, is the first and greatest lesson my father ever taught me. And in this way he will always be with us, and always live forever.”

Eddie Jaku, The Happiest Man on Earth

Other peoples art

I love art, in all it’s many forms and I like to showcase other peoples work. In this post I’d like to show you some artwork by two members of my family – Bob and Bobby. In this case Bob really is my Uncle, and Bobby (his son) is my cousin. Both are extremely talented and both are incredibly shy so I am really pleased that they gave me permission to show their work here. I hope that seeing their work online will give them a bit more confidence. I think they are absolutely fantastic. If you agree I’d love you to leave comments so that they can see and get a boost.

Uncle Bob (Robert Knox)

Uncle Bob shares my love of Cornwall and I remember speaking to him about our eventful boat ride on the Dolly P out of St Ives harbour. I’ve never got to grips with watercolour so I might get him to teach me one day. Look at how he has captured the light and shade of the snow. Crisp and cool in the foreground, warmer in the background. Wonderful work.

Cousin Bobby (Bobby J Knox)

Yes they are real, no they are not photos. These are so so SO good. What a fantastic wildlife artist. I hope seeing his work here will give him the confidence to approach some galleries or enter some competitions.

Thats all for now folks, thanks for reading this far. Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions or questions. I love hearing from you.

3 thoughts on “I like a road sign I do

  1. Love Bob and Bobby’s paintings. I love taking photos, but it’s so nice to see the personality and graft in each brushtroke. A photo is just a picture of something. A painting is a little bit of the artist on the paper.

  2. Wow -love Bob and Bobby’s work. Especially the snow. There’s something about snow captured well that makes me feel happy at a very deep level.

  3. Wow Georgina , I love your blog every word oozes an enthusiasm for life. And what a skill to make road signs sound interesting.
    The artwork shown here is truly remarkable. Bob and Bobby’s art work now needs to come out of the closet, spread the joy boys!
    Really looking forward to the RAF Brize Norton print Georgie.
    How lucky am I to have you for a daughter.x

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