Plaisirs d’été (good and bad at art)

Good or bad at art?

Back in my school days – the dim and distant past, the criteria for good or bad at art was simple.

If you could draw, you’d get not only the full attention of the art teachers, butas one of he star students, you’d get to do photography, sculpture, pottery and such like – all the interesting stuff.

If like me, you couldn’t draw (i.e produce a drawing that looked like it had been down by a real artist and not a short-sighted, cack-handed geek), then you got shoved to the back of the class to “muck about”.

Art at primary school was worse, for two hours on Friday afternoon, our class teachers would hand us over to a student teacher for “Art” – meaning each kid got a blank piece of A4 paper, a set of cheap, half-dried, scratchy felt pens and the instructions “draw something nice and the best pictures will be hung on the classroom walls) – well I never made it to the wall.

So, in later years, I discovered photography, I enjoyed taking silly snaps and mucking about with different papers and filters in the dark room, and then came true salvation with digital photography, the invention of the scanner and some decent photo softwares.

I still can’t draw, but I like to muck about with images, I like to mess around with collage – whereby people who can’t draw rip up paper and stick it to more paper.

Actually there is more to it than that (or is there?) Collage – a juxtaposition of random images against improbable backgrounds that may (or may not- have a point or tell a story.

The following collage all follow one theme and one basic rule – done in summer with exactly what is to hand. Those newspapers or magazines that you buy to read on the beach and then just tend to pile up in your holiday accommodation before you take them all the the dumpster on the last day. That is the material, an the rule is to confine yourself to one newspaper or magazine per collage. You get pictures, you get a curio juxtaposition of headlines, you might even get a thematic on the go. Well here are some “random” results.

Can’t say if they are good or bad, the whole point in the first place was just to play about with limited resources and see what I cam up with

Let’s start with some early booking. If you want your place in the sun, hurry up.

Book Early

This one’s called “Vacances Parfaites.” Working from stress to holiday paradise. We all need a place in the sun to unwind.


à la mer

Plaisirs d’été – speaks for itself.

Plaisirs d'été

A touch of the Sex Pistols in holiday mode.

Never Mind the Tourists

A collection of headers from holiday adverts in a British newspaper

Don't Let the Sun go Down

Once again, all from the same newspaper, headers from holiday stories.

Noisy, messy antics

Did this the year after my mum died of cancer, the first real holiday I’d had since her demise.

It's Fun To Escape the Terminally Ill

Ready for your vacation?  Titles cut from holiday junk mail ads thrust into my mailbox at home.

Read for Summer?

A vos glaces …

A Vos Glaces

Dose this make any sense? Sex and the older Woman. Headlines taken from a newspaper I bought on my holidays in Port Grimaud.

Sex and the older woman

If you go a group holiday with friends, go with those kind of friends who will still be your friends afterwards.

Love your summer tribe

The Sun Tropez Times

Sun Sun St Tropez

This is Scotland not St Tropez – I enjoyed both that year.

This is Scotland (not St Tropez)

Take your own Doughnuts

Take your own Doughnuts

Venice is full of bloody tourists, all treated like bloody cattle.

Welcome to Venice

Au Départ – I cheated and did this one at home – I scanned a few 1930’s holiday and car ads; printed them, cut them up and then re-scanned.

Au départ

and finally, a couple of photo collages – collage background on three sides, installation in the centre, it’s all about Glamour in Cannes (cans)