unique works of art 

Facebook Twitter Gplus Flickr LinkedIn YouTube Google Maps E-mail RSS

Blog

The Joker – Latest pop culture canvas

Ben : April 6, 2016 7:57 am : Updates

Great character to paint.

Signed/embellished prints available to order of this one.

The Joker 72dpi sml

Joker close sml

Joker sml

Leave a response »

Musician portrait collection – #1 – Mark Knopfler

Ben : March 10, 2016 2:57 pm : Updates

One of my good customers recently came to me with the idea for a series of portraits he wanted to commission, all musician/guitarist based.

After some discussions we settled on a series of 10 works, each 40″ x 30″, oil on box canvas, with the first one being Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. This project will be about a year in the making, so stay tuned for the updates as they happen.

MK close

 

Mark Knoplfer 72dpi 30wide

MK sml

This is just the blog page! Click on GALLERY to see lots more of my work.

Leave a response »

Alex Turner commission

Ben : March 10, 2016 2:26 pm : Updates

I was commissioned to paint Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys as a Christmas gift, we went for a simple, bold white on black style. Captured a few progress shots and made a little animation out of them:

Alex Turner2 72dpi

Alex Turner Gif

This is just the blog page! Click on GALLERY to see lots more of my work.

Leave a response »

Star Wars – The Artist Awakens, exhibition

Ben : March 10, 2016 1:31 pm : Updates

So December 17th 2015 saw the opening of this great exhibition, had been looking forward to it for a while. Loads of cracking, innovative artwork on show and a great turn out, credit to the organizers!

I had my Boba Fett and C-3PO in there. Here’s just a few pics:

PANO_20151217_194022

IMG_20151217_202008_072

12373397_1295399503819578_6075209949388945179_n

This is just the blog page! Click on GALLERY to see lots more of my work.

Leave a response »

A long time ago, in a gallery far, far away….

Ben : October 28, 2015 3:33 pm : Updates

…I finished some Star Wars metal pieces. ūüėÄ

Been meaning to get these done for a while and have plenty more planned, but for now, here’s R2-D2 and Vader:
R2-D2 72 sml_1

Vader sml72 crop

This is just the blog page! Click on GALLERY to see lots more of my work.

Leave a response »

Land’s End – John o’ Groats diary – Day 12. The End.

Ben : September 19, 2015 4:10 pm : Updates

Let us don our warrior garb and do battle, this one last time…

IMG_20150912_064922

LEJOG Day 12 Thurso – John o’ Groats.
27.5 miles. 13.2mph average. 29.5mph max.

Stats, pah. What really matters is this is the end.

About eighteen months ago, myself, Robin and Russell starting planning this journey.
As some of you know I told my mum that I would do this for the hospice, so for me it was inevitable, but for the guys to commit (how relevant!) to something as big as this was no light decision and I truly thank them for doing so.
I’m afraid I can’t avoid the clich√©s, it really has been a journey, mentally, physically, and certainly for me, emotionally.
I’m not naive enough to think that at least some of this was about me, about seemingly taking control of something that in reality I had no control over. About drawing a line under something. If I’m honest I’ve felt that emotion building for the last few weeks and obviously more so over the last few days, as we pushed towards our goal.

The group have been fantastic. I could not have wished to meet a better bunch, we have supported each other, made each other laugh, and taken interest in all our individual reasons for doing this. There are some amazing characters and some superb cyclists. Aside from all that though, they are all bloody good human beings, raising money for some amazing causes.

There have been some big laughs along the way. Some of my favourite random quotes, with no names mentioned:

“We’re so ****ing fit now it doesn’t matter!”
“He snores so hard, I swear his mouth is trying to turn his head inside out”
“You just Terminated The Borg… “
” -blank- won’t be happy, I’ve rubbed my dinky off”
“I now associate beautiful scenery with a sore arse… “
“It was all fine, and then your back wheel caught fire and you were gone”

So, here we are. 960 odd miles behind us and 27 odd to go.

It was never going to let us go lightly, sure we have been lucky to have such amazing weather over the last 11 days, but we’ve had hints of what was to come. Yesterday’s last 15 miles were a real effort, and I think that’s where the anger started to build…
I expected no less from today, the forecast was similar and we were heading in the same direction. I went to sleep listening to something that fires me up and prepared for a fight. I wanted one if I’m honest.

We left at just before 8am, and as soon as we turned the first corner the headwind was apparent. We cycled about 13 miles or so to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point, without too much hassle, but as soon as we left for the final leg, the battle started.
I laughed in its face like a madman, I shouted if it was all it had to try and stop me, so it threw hail at me as well. It knew it was beat and didn’t like it.
Somehow it was right that it was a struggle, it’s supposed to be, and fighting for literally every last mile was a fitting end.

We regrouped at a hotel about 1/4 mile from the finish and had a quick coffee. I must apologise to the guys for going a bit quiet but I was sorting a few things mentally.
I’ve had my mums ring around my neck for the last couple of weeks, as I’ve lost so much weight with all the training that I was scared of losing it, but for this last stretch I put it on again.
And so, together as we started, we rolled to the finish, amid a few champagne corks and cheers.

It’s been emotional. I’m man enough to admit that reaching that bloody sign post brought it all to a head.
This has been for the Hospice, for all the care they gave mum and that they continue to give others.
It’s been for all of you, that supported us with sponsorship and good luck messages, and believed we could do it. We’ve raised more than we ever hoped and I thank you all so much.
It’s been for our families. Our awesome wives Lucy,¬†Anneke and Diane,¬†who have held fort and given up so much family time to allow us to train.
It’s been for me, to settle a score and to draw a line under something which part of me didn’t want to draw a line under.
But most of all, in my case, it’s been for mum.

This one was for you mum. I said I’d do it, I’ve done it.

Sleep well x

IMG_20150912_083907 IMG_20150912_085026Dunnet Head lighthouse

IMG_20150912_085214 IMG_20150912_085510 IMG_20150912_090018 IMG_20150912_110524Yup, the sign says it all.

IMG_20150912_110556 IMG_20150912_111114 IMG_20150912_111536aMe and my squad of ultimate badasses.

IMG_20150912_111819 IMG_20150912_111844 IMG_20150912_111914

IMG_20150912_112347

LEJOG Day 12 mapOur final madness, mapped.

IMG_20150912_112123~2aJob done. Signing off.

Click links to other days:

LEJOG Day 1
LEJOG Day 2
LEJOG Day 3

LEJOG Day 4
LEJOG Day 5
LEJOG Day 6
LEJOG Day 7
LEJOG Day 8
LEJOG Day 9
LEJOG Day 10
LEJOG Day 11
LEJOG Day 12

Leave a response »

Land’s End – John o’ Groats diary – Day 11

Ben : September 19, 2015 3:58 pm : Updates

LEJOG Day 11 Brora – Thurso
65.6miles. 14.3mph average. 34mph max.

Well, that started off as a nice bimble!
Actually the A9 is a dodgy Road so we couldn’t really relax for the first ten miles or so,
then made a turn and went into the mooooors……
Great sweeping roads with the now usual picture postcard scenery,
really just coasted along trying to take it all in.
The clouds swirling around the top of one of the hillsides was particularly cool.
Had lunch in the middle of nowhere, but the DA guys made us bacon sandwiches and supplied
us with fetching sarongs.. Sorry, blankets to keep warm.

Onwards for the last 27 or so miles, no real dramas until we turned onto the main road again about 15
miles out and got hit by the most vicious headwinds and crosswinds, really took a lot of concentration
just to stay on the road/out of hedges.
Got angry with it again, got my head down and just pushed for home.
Now sat in the Park Hotel in Thurso, the most northerly town, with ‘just’ 29 miles to our goal tomorrow.

That said, we’ll be battling these winds again so it won’t be a walk in the park.
Its a funny thing, approaching a goal you have worked towards for so long and for so many reasons, I’m sure I’ll try to expand on that a bit in due course but for now, thanks for all the messages of support they are great, I’m off for a whisky or six to numb the pain….

Pics! :

IMG_20150911_084522Leaving Brora

IMG_20150911_084553 IMG_20150911_084613 IMG_20150911_085341 IMG_20150911_090631Out on the moors..

IMG_20150911_122235Lunch stop on the moors. Windy!

IMG_20150911_122241 IMG_20150911_133650Dounreay Power station.

IMG_20150911_162157Mad Australian goes for a dip off the coast of Thurso.

IMG_20150911_162206 IMG_20150911_164654Coffee and Twix cake. Well what did you expect by now…

PANO_20150911_090645Moors panorama

LEJOG Day 11 mapOur madness, mapped.

Click links to other days:

LEJOG Day 1
LEJOG Day 2
LEJOG Day 3

LEJOG Day 4
LEJOG Day 5
LEJOG Day 6
LEJOG Day 7
LEJOG Day 8
LEJOG Day 9
LEJOG Day 10
LEJOG Day 11
LEJOG Day 12

Leave a response »

Land’s End – John o’ Groats diary – Day 10

Ben : September 19, 2015 3:44 pm : Updates

LEJOG Day 10 Laggan – Brora
98.1 miles. 16.1mph average. 37.1 max.

Tough, tough day.
Let’s start with the good. The weather was amazing, clear skies, beaming sunshine again
later in the day.
Ride alongside Loch Ness. Tick!

The bad. Near as dammit 100 miles, killer climb known as Heartbreak Hill,
where I’m pretty sure my heart left my ribcage and had to be pushed back down,
and the most evil headwind for the last 15 miles of the day.

It’s always hard to condense these days down into a few paragraphs as we see so much in the course of
one day, but suffice to say there was a hell of a lot of pedalling and in my case a lot of vocal discussion
with the headwind.
Anyway, that’s our longest and hopefully toughest day behind us, though tomorrow’s 65 mile ride
promises to be tougher than it sounds due to more of the headwind. We’ll see, whatever the bitch
throws at me to try to get me to quit won’t be enough so it doesn’t matter.

Staying in some very nice apartments in Brora, but frankly these days anything with a shower
and a bed is fine by me…

A few pics as usual…

IMG_20150910_075807Leaving the hostel this morning.

IMG_20150910_085727Loch Ness!

IMG_20150910_090544 IMG_20150910_090617 IMG_20150910_090744 IMG_20150910_134348 IMG_20150910_154239Last water stop was in the grounds of the Glenmorangie Distillery.
Didn’t have time for the tour, but had a sneak peek.

IMG_20150910_154402 IMG_20150910_155052 IMG_20150910_180532Making our swish apartments look somewhat less so.

IMG_20150910_182227View from the back of the apartment.

PANO_20150910_085649Loch Ness panorama

LEJOG Day 10 mapOur madness, mapped

Click links to other days:

LEJOG Day 1
LEJOG Day 2
LEJOG Day 3

LEJOG Day 4
LEJOG Day 5
LEJOG Day 6
LEJOG Day 7
LEJOG Day 8
LEJOG Day 9
LEJOG Day 10
LEJOG Day 11
LEJOG Day 12

Leave a response »

Land’s End – John o’ Groats diary – Day 9

Ben : September 19, 2015 3:33 pm : Updates

LEJOG Day 9 Inverary – Laggan
93.7 miles 16.5mph average 35.8mph max.

Another day, another cream application. I swear, it’s all I do….
Anyway, enough whinging.
Left Invarary just before 8am, nice if chilly start, then straight into a long climb to warm us all up.
Pain. At that time in the morning, before the legs have got going it takes an extra effort to get up
to the top, but the descent was good at least.
The unseasonal amazing weather continued as we rode around the Lochs,
I won’t try to put it into words as I’ll fail, but one of them was called Loch Awe for very good reason.
Short stop in Fort William with Ben Nevis looming large on our right hand side.
The last water stop was at the commando memorial, a very poignant place indeed.

I just made 94 miles sound like about ten minutes, I assure you there was a hell of a lot of pedalling and pain in there, so do please keep the sponsorship coming, you may not stop our pain but you can help stop others and that’s what it’s all about. www.justgiving.com/ben-askem

Pics!

IMG_20150909_075039Moody morning start, stunning views over the Loch.

IMG_20150909_085001 IMG_20150909_101109 IMG_20150909_110851 IMG_20150909_121111 IMG_20150909_121932 IMG_20150909_144027Fort William

IMG_20150909_153050 IMG_20150909_160634The Commando Memorial

IMG_20150909_161258 IMG_20150909_182048The hostel, our home tonight.

IMG_20150909_182739 PANO_20150909_085135 PANO_20150909_110859 PANO_20150909_111008

LEJOG Day 9 mapOur madness, mapped.

Click links to other days:

LEJOG Day 1
LEJOG Day 2
LEJOG Day 3

LEJOG Day 4
LEJOG Day 5
LEJOG Day 6
LEJOG Day 7
LEJOG Day 8
LEJOG Day 9
LEJOG Day 10
LEJOG Day 11
LEJOG Day 12

Leave a response »

Land’s End – John o’ Groats diary – Day 8

Ben : September 19, 2015 3:19 pm : Updates

LEJOG Day 8 Kilmarnock – Inverary

83.6 miles. 16mph average. 38.1mph max.

Dunno why I bother with the stats really, they don’t really matter to me or you I doubt!!
It’s all about the pics right. Well there’s a few.
Misty start again today, first water stop at 27 miles in Largs, sun beaming down by then,
we really have been so lucky with the weather.
Stopped in Nardini’s Italian bakery and ice cream parlour…. Need I say more?
Warm apple and cinnamon pancakes were epic.
Anyway onwards to the next stop which was actually for a ferry.
4 mile ride over the water and onwards to lunch, in the middle of nowhere. And yet there was still a
little nursery/school there, made me miss little man a bit ūüôĀ
After lunch, a long winding, stunning road around Loch Eck, then lots more of the same to Inverary.
What a beautiful little place, I’m starting to run out of superlatives on this trip….

IMG_20150908_094437Largs

IMG_20150908_094521 IMG_20150908_094551 IMG_20150908_094704 IMG_20150908_094735 IMG_20150908_095035Nardini’s Ice Cream Parlour.

IMG_20150908_100644 IMG_20150908_104825 IMG_20150908_104838 IMG_20150908_112306 IMG_20150908_112843Waiting to board the ferry.

IMG_20150908_113150One of the guys wearing something more comfortable today…

IMG_20150908_123526 IMG_20150908_130006Schoolhouse/outdoor learning centre in the middle of nowhere.

IMG_20150908_130011 IMG_20150908_130718 IMG_20150908_133931 IMG_20150908_133952 IMG_20150908_151438The afternoon water stop.

IMG_20150908_154715Inverary

IMG_20150908_155625 IMG_20150908_155918You’ve done well, steeds.

PANO_20150908_160023Inverary


IMG_20150908_160747Inverary castle

IMG_20150908_160758 IMG_20150908_190124 IMG_20150908_202846

A few of the local ‘muscle relaxants’ before bed…IMG_20150908_204112Home for the night.
The Loch Fyne Hotel.

LEJOG Day 8 mapOur madness, mapped.

Click links to other days:

LEJOG Day 1
LEJOG Day 2
LEJOG Day 3

LEJOG Day 4
LEJOG Day 5
LEJOG Day 6
LEJOG Day 7
LEJOG Day 8
LEJOG Day 9
LEJOG Day 10
LEJOG Day 11
LEJOG Day 12

Leave a response »
« Page 1, 2, 3 ... 8, »
Home Blog