It’s been a while since I’ve done a blog about my Alice illustrations, I’ve been stupidly busy with this and that and whatnot and I haven’t really had the time. But lucky for you dear reader (not for myself) I have managed to knacker my back. So whilst recreating my own low budget version of Misery I am forced to take to my bed and write, dirty birdy that I am. The next few pictures that I am going to write about are those featuring the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle. For these characters, my main inspiration was a programme I remembered watching as a child, Fingerbobs, where a funny bearded old man (probably much younger that I am now) made creatures from gloves, paper and bits of string.
When I thought about the mock turtle’s shell the character Flash the tortoise sprang to mind and, once on that theme, the paper cone mice seemed a perfect replacement for the Gryphon’s talons. Both characters feature legs from pantomime animals and the Mock Turtle’s arms are scuba diver’s flippers, I distantly remember sticking a pair on my hands and flapping them around a when I was a kid , until I got told off that is.
There are various hidden details in The Mock Turtle’s Tale, The pirate ship and the balloon boy are from my children’s book The Dweebling Who Lost His Smile, the balloon boy has a much longer history though, which really needs a blog on it’s own. Also tucked away on the horizon is the Royal Sovereign lighthouse of the east sussex coast near Bexhill and Eastbourne, which has featured in many of my paintings as well as being the subject of one of them. The swirly wave pattern is stolen from the video game, The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker, where the sea is drawn in a highly stylised cell animation manner.