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This double episode celebrates my daughter Samantha’s 18th Birthday! The first half looks at the strange we choices we made for our ‘birthing mixtape’, that didn’t work, and the second showcases artists that she’s introduced me too. Featuring, Frank Sinatra, Ben Folds Five, Radiohead, Florence and the Machine, American Football and Cigarettes after Sex.

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For this episode I wanted to look at music that just used the voice, and choose some examples that were just a small part of that huge spectrum. ‘Mouth Music’ has so many variations globally, that it would impossible to cover properly, so instead I’ve picked 6 of my favourites. ‘Salve Mater Misericordie’ by Trio Mediaeval, ‘Sleep’ by Eric Whitacre, ‘Boy 1904’ by Jonsi and Alex,
‘Hide and Seek’ by Imogen Heap, ‘Song for the Siren’ by This Mortal Coil and finally, ‘Who is it (Carry my joy, the left, Carry my pain on the right)’* by Björk.

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Sketches made in Procreate app, trying to capture different angles of a feeding oystercatcher at Rushy Common

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Little Egret’s are fairly regular at Rushy Common, but the Great White is less so. I saw this single bird skulking around the reed beds last month, and it’s bright white body made a nice contrast with the reeds behind it.

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Last month, just as I was about to leave the hide at Rushy Common, a Peregrine Falcon appeared. After trying to take out a Black Headed Gull in mid-air, it then perched on a nearby pylon (the closest thing to a cliff in Oxfordshire). I took some photos of the sunset and some very fuzzy close ups through my scope as reference for this painting.

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I’ve recently been getting to grips with Procreate on the iPad Pro and have started painting wildlife again. I’m finding the process really relaxing, and long way away from my days painting with acrylics and all the paraphernalia it needs.

Rushy Common is part of the Lower Windrush Valley Project, and area of gravel pit lakes, created by gravel extraction when the A40 was built. It’s what I call my ‘local patch’ – not necessarily a birding hot spot, but my closest place to relax and watch birds. It’s the place where I observe the comings and goings throughout the year, and feel inspired to to paint what I see.

So this is going to be a series that I’ll be posting here and to Instagram. Starting with this resting Great Black Backed Gull.

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It’s been too long since I last managed to squeeze out a Troika, but it it’s still very much a project I want to continue! So, in this episode I“m looking at ‘Endings’, those last tracks on an album that have a particular ‘End credits of a film’ feel about them.

This Troika features: ‘Sandpit’ by Curve, ‘Burger Queen’ by Placebo and ‘Everyone but me’ by Starflyer 59. As I mention in the podcast, the last track is my favourite song of all time – I love the coda at the end. It’s epic!

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I was recently a guest on The Elastic Brand podcast, a new series by Elizabeth Elcoate talking about brand design with the emphasis on digital. You can listen to our discussion on episode two.

We had a great time chatting over subjects like process, my recent work for iHasco, and the fact that no one cares about your logo. I found it particulary interesting comparing with the first episode where Mike Kus explained his process, which has some key differences to mine.

A few hours after we recorded this episode, Slack unveiled their new logo. Shame about the timing, it would’ve been good to discuss that, particularly in the context of the inevitable “I would’ve done it like this” comments!

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This was another great year of music, which makes it hard to choose favourites! However, these are the nine albums that I’ve played the most this year…

  1. 7 – Beach House
  2. Columbus (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – Hammock
  3. The Appearances – Ester Drang
  4. The Art of Pretending to Swim – Villagers
  5. Twenty Two in Blue – Sunflower Bean
  6. In Transit – The Amazing
  7. Vide Noir – Lord Huron
  8. Marauder – Interpol
  9. The Great Untold – Scott Matthews

As always, I’ve also kept a Spotify Playlist of all my favourite tracks:

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