New Year Catch Up

Dearest Pigeon Fanciers,

Happy New Year ! I’ve got lots to show you, from what I’ve been up to during the festive season, to more recent work I’ve been steadily pecking away at.

Collages

As you may have seen in my previous post, I’ve been having lots of fun making collages in the past few months.

lady-collage

mayan-lady-three-collage

mummified-cats-sketchbookMountain-Goat- IMG_3500Boxfish A5 Abi Ponton IMG_2781Collaged Dog A3 Abi PontonIMG_3981 Collaged Plaice A3 Abi PontonScreen Printing

When I get the chance, I love to screen print in the Drawn in Bristol studio in Hamilton House.

I made a series of two-colour Happy Cactus and Platypus cards:

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I also worked on a much bigger scale, making A2 prints of a group of canopic jars I’d previously drawn in Bristol museum. I tried making the detail as minimal as possible – one colour per jar:

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I also made a two-colour screen print of a drawing I’m working on for a picture book:

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Shops

My screen printed cards and prints were then displayed in the Print Shop, a pop-up by shop filled with only hand-printed products, in Quakers Friars, Bristol. They also did a lovely Meet the Printmaker blog on me and the work I had in the shop.

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I also had my work in Objets de Desir, a pop-up shop in Cabot Circus, Bristol, with a range of hand-made products, over the Christmas season. They also did a nice blog, Spotlight On…Pigeon Illustration, on me and my work.

objets de desire

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Exhibitions

I teamed up with Hare Raising Designs in December to do a joint exhibition at the Parlour Showrooms on Park Street, Bristol. Sadly it was one of the last exhibitions there before they closed the space at the end of the year.

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My work is currently hanging in the Grant Bradley Gallery in Bristol for their exhibition Let Me Illustrate II, which will be up until the 1st of February:

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Current Work

During the last week or so I’ve been working on some Wild West themed pieces, experimenting with different techniques and colour palettes:   GunslingerIMG_4990Cacti-and-Bird
That’s about all for now, thanks for visiting and you can keep up with my work on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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Collages and Cacti

Hello again faithful Pigeon Fanciers!

Over the last few weeks I have been working on some collages, so here is a little taster.

inca statues pencil

These guys started life as a sketch in a museum.

I abstracted them down to shape and colour, then added some detail with a blue biro.

I liked these so much that I tried it on my cactus at home. First drawing it from life, then collaging it in tissue paper (as I had run out of magazines).

cactus pencil and tissueBut I wasn’t happy with the tissue paper, so I reworked it when I had a fresh stock of Sunday supplements.

I hope you like them, let me know what you think by commenting below.

Bye for now!

Back from Hibernation

Hello again!

I have a lot of catching up do!

I haven’t posted for a while due to being forcibly occupied with the real world, as opposed to the world of Pigeon that exists in my head. In this world I imagine that anyone who is reading this, (or even knows I exist – Mum are you still reading these posts?) believes that there really is a city-pigeon sitting at a desk typing away with it’s beak after a hard days work scavenging and sketching.

So! Here is a rough round up of everything I have been up to in last few months.

In August I was part of an exhibition in Hamilton House, Bristol with Bethan Buss aka Boodle, Jenny MacKendrick aka Stitch Ink and Rebekah Leigh-Marshall.

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Our pretty stall in a sunny corner

Our pretty stall in a sunny corner

Pimms and cake for the opening night

Pimms and cake for the opening night

You can see the full exhibition here.

In September got to exhibit with Stitch Ink again in the Grain Barge in Bristol through Drawn in Bristol.

Beaver and Finches

Winged Beaver and Finches

Goldfinch

Hand Screen Printed Goldfinch

Hand Screen Printed Brambling

Hand Screen Printed Brambling

Winged Beaver

Winged Beaver

In November I was in an exhibition in Bristol at the Parlour Showrooms with Rachel Falber of Hare Raising Designs and Tina Altwegg of Winged Fox Designs

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View from Park Street, Bristol

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Setting up

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My wall of work

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I’m an Elephant Shrew, how do you do?

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Swinhoe’s Pheasant

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Goldfinch. Hand screen printed

You can also see the full exhibition online here.

Meanwhile I had been working on some drawings:

Birds…

Kakapo

Kakapo

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Kakapo penned

In the process of being coloured

In the process of being coloured

Great Crested Grebe

Crested Grebe

Smew

Smew

Coot

Coot

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Swinhoe’s Pheasant

Little birds

Little birds

Birds of Paradise

Birds of Paradise

Seabirds

Seabirds

Skylark

Skylark

Woodlark

Woodlark

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Shorelark and Lapland Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting in the process of being coloured

Cirl Bunting in the process of being coloured

Experimenting with an idea I had of Photobombing animals…

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And various other drawings…

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Then there was Christmas where I had stock in Paper Scissors Stone through Made in Bristol and saw my last month in BS8

Stag

Stag

The stag's conversion to a Christmas stag

The stag’s conversion to a Christmas stag

Christmas stock

Christmas at BS8

A Pigeon's Alternative to The 12 Days of Christmas

A Pigeon’s Alternative to The 12 Days of Christmas

Ducky Goosey T-shirts

Ducky Goosey T-shirts

Christmas at Paper Scissors Stone

Christmas at Paper Scissors Stone

More recently I have been developing sketchbook drawings…
ceramic chicken crop eskimo seagull crop Mexican skull crop Ugly chicken crop Ugly patterned bird crop bird with mans head crop

And making cover artwork for the Cheltenham Poetry Society and Armchair Committee…

Initial drawing for poetry book cover

Initial drawing for book cover for The Cheltenham Poetry Society

Final artwork

Final artwork

Initial song artwork

Initial drawing for Armchair Committee

Line layout of song artwork

Line layout of song artwork

Final artwork

Final artwork

And finally two pieces I made this week…

Stripey skull low Q

Mexican Skull

owl teapot1

Owl Teapot


That’s about all for now, I’m looking forward to being inspired by Spring and the promise of warmer weather!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my work, lots of prints and products are available in my Society 6 shop. And you can keep up to date with regular posts on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages too.

Screen Printing at Drawn in Bristol

Hello again!

In the last few weeks I’ve made some nice new prints, all hand screen printed by me! So I thought I would give you a little peek into the Drawn in Bristol print studio to see how it all works.

First you need a pretty black and white image:

Expose your images onto a screen and print each colour separately:


(Lining them up and leaving to dry between each colour):

Sort the rejects (send them to friends and family):

And trim the rest to size:

And voila! a beautiful selection of feathered friends.

Thanks for reading and see you next time when I blog about my addiction for museum and gallery drawing.

Find out more about the Drawn in Bristol print studio here.
You can find the featured prints in this entry in Upstairs at BS8 and Paper Scissors Stone Volume 3.

Skulls in Store

Hello again Pigeon-fanciers!

Recently I visited Bristol Museum’s Natural History stores with my drawing buddy Rachel of Hare Raising Designs to pick out some skulls to study and draw.
We were greeted by a lovely lady who showed us through hidden doors to the underground Natural History store full of taxidermy and skeletons for study or out of display.
It’s a fantastic (and odd) place to explore, with rows of cabinets and draws filled with weird and wonderful preserved creatures.

I managed to get some drawings of a man-eating tiger skull, two huge elephant skulls (in chalk and charcoal) and a bear skull.


This was a great drawing day and I got a load of inspirations and ideas from it, and I recommend that artists make use of these free facilities – available at all publicly owned museums and galleries – for inspiration and to justify the collections being there. After all, we own them!
(I do recommend that you treat the staff and artefacts with respect (my tiger specimen was shot in the 1930’s!) and make sure you give a generous donation on your way out)
Find information about visiting Bristol Museum and Art Galleries here and say hi if you spot me sketching in there!

A Real Interview

Hello loyal Pigeon-fanciers!

I’m sorry to say I have been neglecting my blog recently, but I have been doing lots of drawing and arty, crafty things, so if you want to see more regular updates on my work and what a Pigeon gets up to from day to day, then make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (search ‘apigeon’)
And make sure you say hi! I always like to hear from you.

Meanwhile, in Pigeon land, I managed to get myself a real interview! It’s all about the new pop-up shop my work is featured in, in Bristol. It’s full of great makers, besides my own work, so if you are in the city pop in and say hello, but you better hurry as it will only be around for 13 more days.
I pasted the interview below, but make sure you visit the Made in Bristol website who run this pop-up shop and do lots of other good things too.

Hope you like!

Meet the Team: Pigeon



Pigeon (real name Abi Ponton) is an artist and illustrator living in Bristol. She describes her own work as ‘honest pencil scratchings’ and draws her inspiration from all sorts of sources, but loves drawing animals and pattern in lively line-work. The illustrator’s images are bursting with colour and her folky style stems from her natural way of drawing, often joined with hand-drawn patterns and eccentric comments.

We spoke with the lovely lady behind these creations, and you can read the mini interview below!


Hi Abi! Which artist also involved in Paper • Scissors • Stone have you been particularly inspired by – and why?

Sarah Dennis. I’ve never come across her work before and I was instantly drawn to it because of the beautiful colours she uses and the warm, dreamlike atmosphere she creates. I also like her freedom in using different techniques and materials.

What do you think makes Paper • Scissors • Stone stand out from other boutique shops?

It is firstly unusual to have an independent shop within a purpose built high street shopping complex such as Broadmead/Quakers Friars/Cabot Circus, so a lot of our customers are pleasantly surprised to see local, handmade and unique products being sold in the area. Secondly we have a great response from shoppers when we explain that the artists/makers run the shop. They often ask to see and hear about your own work and it’s really satisfying when a customer is as excited about our products as we are.

Pigeon’s illustrated wares.

What is the best thing about being a creative in Bristol?

Coming from Essex I am used to the hostile competition of the London creative crowd, but whenever I meet creatives in Bristol they are always friendly and supportive. There is a real community spirit and I have met a lot of lovely people through being part of projects like Paper • Scissors • Stone.

Describe the Paper • Scissors • Stone Temporium in five words.

Fun, happy, inspiring, quirky, quality.

What tips would you give other “makers” for getting their work out there and seen? 

Find out how you can take part in events that interest you, book a table at a craft fair/market, make a website/online portfolio for yourself, write a blog, network online and in person at events, fairs and markets, e-mail other artists/makers whose work you admire and tell them what you like about their work, use your initiative and be brave.

If you could collaborate with one other Paper • Scissors • Stone maker, who would you choose and why?


Stephanie Sarlos aka Fräuleinwunder. Her work is very different to mine, but I have a great love for print and a great love for abstract art and I would really like to see how she works and how that could affect my work.

We love her quirky animals!

What’s the most challenging thing about your chosen discipline?

Keeping my work honest. It is easy to get caught up in trying to make work that you think other people might like or forcing a different style, but the best responses I get are always from my most ‘honest’ work; the work I have created out of pure passion or inspiration.

If you where a biscuit, what biscuit would you be and why?

A milk chocolate Hobnob. They may seem a bit lame at first, but once you give it a chance the whole packet is gone in one sitting. Like the milk chocolate hobnob I feel that once people start talking to me we will often end up chatting at one-hundred miles an hour and laughing our heads off, generally whilst munching on biscuits.

How/where would you spend an ideal day off in Bristol?

An ideal day off in Bristol would probably consist of visiting a couple of my favourite shops on Gloucester Road like Fig on the way into town, browsing the Harbourside Market and checking out any exhibitions in the Parlour/Showroom at the bottom of Park Street before walking up the hill to pop my head in atUpstairs at BS8 to see how my products are doing. Then I’d take the views in at Brandon Hill then head toBristol Museum and Art Gallery to get some inspiration and do some drawing. Then have tea and cake in a hot-air balloon on the way home!

Pigeon’s work is currently for sale in the Paper • Scissors • Stone Temporium. Pop by and say hi!

An Interview with Pigeon 1973 Style

Hi!
Today I read some interviews on the Nineteen Seventy Three’s blog of a couple of illustrators I love. I don’t usually read interviews because I get annoyed by crap questions, but these were good because they had a quick 10 question round that you can read in two minutes.
Then I got sad that no one would ask me these questions until about 5 years time when, hopefully, all my hard work will have paid off to a certain extent.
So I decided to do my own one as I am now, for my own amusement, but also it would be cool to look back on in five years and compare.

Pigeon is a Bristol-based illustrator. Her work is cheerful, colourful and more often than not features animals as a main subject. She was kind enough to take a few minutes to answer our quick 10.  

1. What is your greatest Achievement?
I don’t think I have done it yet.

2. How would you describe your work to someone who hadn’t seen it?
Happy, folky, animally.

3. What piece of advice would you give your 15 year old self?
Keep working hard and doing what you love and you will eventually get something good out of it

4. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Jim Henson Studios. I always wanted to be one of their mad puppeteers, but now I’d love to design creatures for them!

5. What is the worst job you’ve ever had?
There was a café I worked in where I was only authorised to make one type of sandwich – under supervision. It’s not there anymore!

6. Who would play you in the movie of your life?
David Mitchell

7. What is the greatest song of all time?
I love music too much to pick a top 100, let alone 1!

8. What do you dislike most about popular culture?
Celebrityism, if that’s a word. But you know what I mean. Mainly because everyone takes themselves too seriously and the fact that a lot of current role models are bad people.

9. What is the greatest achievement of all time?
I would say something like the Pyramids or Machu Picchu, but as I haven’t seen them I have no frame of reference.

10. If you didn’t do what you do, what would you do?
Be a zoologist. Ever since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to be a zookeeper.

You can see 1973’s proper reviews here: www.nineteenseventythreeltd.blogspot.co.uk

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