Thursday, 21 September 2017


Calling all STAR TREK fans ...

I've got some fantastic retro STAR TREK ANNUALS from the 1970s, especially for you!!!

Boldly go to my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset and live long and prosper whilst reading these Sci-fi classics.

They all have spectacularly cheesy front covers, in true 70s style, and are packed with cartoon strips featuring all the heroes from the series.

Check them all out here first, then zoom down to West Bay and snap them up. 

It would highly illogical not to!!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


This week I trooped up to London for the day. Having left my job in the big smoke 6 months ago, it's nice to go back as a casual visitor now.

I jumped in the jalopy and motored up the M3 to Kempton Park racecourse for the Sunbury Antiques Market.
It was the first time I'd ever been to this magnificent event, but I'll definitely be going back!!
There were stalls sprawling everywhere, with all sorts of amazing vintage goodies! It reminded me of the fantastic flea market at Shepton Mallet.

This was a bit of a reccie for me, as I want to expand the ArtPix Empire to trade at these sorts of shows. The only drawback is I'll need a nice big van!!

After that I left the car and hopped on the train to Waterloo. Was funny tootling along the line through places like Teddington and Kingston as some of the ArtPix Clan lived in these parts and I was born not far away as well!

Whilst in town I went to one of my all-time favourite places ... the National Portrait Gallery. I've been there hundreds of times, but never get bored of it. It's often their small, tucked away exhibitions that are the best, and this time there was another gem ...

A Century of Photography 1840-1940
Some intelligently selected examples of portrait photography. Each with their usual immaculately descriptive captions explaining the experimental techniques used, a brief biography of the photographer and of the subject. I read every word and stared at each picture for ages!

One of the photos on show, a brilliant portrait showing one of Queen Victoria's gardeners and his wife. I just can't believe it is 163 years old. 
'The old gardener Simpson ... and his wife' by George Washington Wilson 1854.
© National Portrait Gallery

Stunning portrait of Tilly Losch, an Austrian dancer, choreographer, actress and painter. 
By Emil Otto (E.O.) Hoppé 1928.
© E.O. HoppĂ© Collection/Curatorial Collection Inc.

I then had a peak at another fave of mine, the little side-street around the corner called Cecil Court.
I've always loved peering into the windows of the shops, selling antiques, books, posters and prints.
One or two of them have disappeared or changed slightly over the years, and I wonder how long they can hang on. It seems to be an oasis of calm down there, in amongst the tourists and chaos of central London.

After a bite to eat and meandering down Whitehall towards Westminster, it was onto the District Line to Fulham Broadway. Another reason for my trip was having a ticket for the Chelsea v Qarabag match. 

My visits to Stamford Bridge have sadly dwindled in the last few years, the price and availability of tickets being a major issue. But I still get that massive thrill getting out the tube and seeing a wall of blue and white. Despite the money and the fact football just isn't the same anymore, I still feel a strange sense of history and of ghosts as I walk down Fulham Road. 
Picking up the essential CFCUK fanzine along the way, you can pick out all the old buildings and the remnants of the original Shed End terrace, built in 1905. I wonder if anyone else can feel the ghosts of the past when they walk to the ground?

One of the ghosts?
This is Jack Harrow on a Pinnace Card from the early 1920s. Jack played 333 games for Chelsea between 1911 and 1926.

After a 6-0 win, (different from when I first used to go and see them!), I picked my way through the crowds to the tube and got back to the car in driving wind and rain. After a dramatic drive home through the rain, spray and murk, I arrived back in Portland in the early hours and stood and stared at the sea as it crashed on to Chesil Beach in the howling wind. An incredible and slightly unsettling experience in the pitch black, and a brilliantly unusual way to finish the day.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017


Have made a little collage out of some vintage railway tickets I bought recently ...

They are actually tickets with a difference! Apart from a couple of them, they are all tickets for restored railway lines running steam trains.

Many dating back to the early 70s, they include the Festiniog Railway in Wales, the Bluebell Railway and the brilliantly named Leighton Buzzard Narrow Gauge Railway Society.

I've framed it up and I'm hoping it will prove a nice present for someone who appreciates vintage steam trains. 

You'll be able to find it in my unit at The Customs House in West Bay, Dorset.

But hurry up as this is a complete one off!!

Sunday, 3 September 2017


I recently acquired this rather striking painting.
Little did I know that it would open up a whole new world I never knew existed ...

Black Velvet Art is exactly what it says on the tin ... images painted onto black velvet material.

The idea was that it enhanced the brightest colours on the rich, dark background and boosted the overall dramatic effect.

It appears that Mexico in the 1970s was a particular hotspot for it, and the tourist industry in America lapped it up.

I love the unusual quality and texture this painting has. Its got a very 60s/70s feel to it and the quirkiness is extended by placing it in a dark, antique frame which would've been at odds with the times it was painted in.

Although this picture doesn't especially look it, a quick look online revealed that Black Velvet Art is very much ensconced in the world of 'KITSCH'!

The genre is famous for, and often looked down upon, for its incredibly cheesy subject-matter. 

Really badly done portraits of Elvis Presley, semi-naked women and for some reason, unicorns are popular themes!!!

I guess that could mean, at any time in the future, someone, somewhere in the media/art/hipster world will decide Black Velvet Art is THE next essential, ironic must-have item.

So watch this space!!!