Wednesday 29 August 2012

Ladies of Steampunk 2013 Calendar

Keep an eye out for this drawing in the 2013 Ladies of Steampunk Calendar… The image will feature somewhere within the second steampunk themed calendar produced by Sean McCaffrey and Sean W Makiney of Monkey House Media which is now available for pre-order. 
Following on with the success of their 2012 calendar it’s always a pleasure to work along side these fine gentlemen. Follow this link to their facebook page for further news and updates on this and other exciting projects.

© Arfon Jones 2012 All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Sunday 26 August 2012

RIP Neil Armstrong (1930 –2012)

I am a post space race child I was born into an age when man had not set foot on the moon for over seven years. By the age of 7 questions had been raised about the safety involved in transporting people into space after the Challenger disaster in 1986. It seemed that interest in space travel had weaned, yet I managed to retain an interest in the cosmos and man’s desire to visit it personally and the brave people that took those first tentative steps. Today this planet lost a pioneer in such matters, the first man to ever step on the moon, a gentleman explorer Neil Armstrong. A little something I sketched in tribute to this great man.   

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday 23 August 2012

The 100th blog entry Ghostbusters special: A Proton Pack Pilgrimage

This will now be my 100th post since starting this blog back in September 2009. I have decided to use this as an excuse to go back in time! Much like my ‘2009 end of year recap’ this blog post will recap 10 months before I started the blog and write about the time I made a pilgrimage to New York to celebrate a big influence for me growing up it both shaped my life and my work… Ghostbusters!
I saw this film during its original theatrical release back in 1984 and like its subsequent sequel, cartoon series and merchandise it has stayed with me ever since.
This pilgrimage was an especially poignant celebration of my youth, as it not only accrued during my final month of being “twenty something”, my brother also accompanied me, as children we rarely saw eye to eye but we both loved Ghostbusters. We hadn’t intended to make a comprehensive trip, just a few choice locations of particular points of interest to us so apologises if you are expecting a detailed tour. Despite the cold our spirits were high (pun definitely NOT intended) as we made our way to the first location which coincidentally was the site of the Ghostbusters first investigation, the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. There was no mistaking this magnificent building with its iconic marble lions seen at the very beginning of the film. Rocky fans will run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, Ghostbusters fans run down these steps!

Dana Barrett's Apartment otherwise known as Spook Central 55 Central Park West. I have drawn this building countless times. Outside this very building the Ghostbusters stepped out of Ecto-1 and made their way in to showdown against Gozer the Gozerian! The Stay Pufft Marshmallow Man stepped on the church before climbing up the side of this very building! (Yeah I know it didn’t really happen! but as a child it was very real!) Opposite the building is the Tavern on the Green where Louis faced the terror dog!

And then the finale, what the trip had been building up to the famous Ghostbusters headquarters Hook and Ladder 8, 14 North Moore Street. Used in both movies it featured in the animated series, comics, games and toys this building was like a temple devoted to my childhood. I stepped out of the cab and stared at it in awe, my young self wanted to live in this building and now here I was standing outside it! Being an actual firehouse it was interesting to see how different people view this building, we asked a citizen of New York to take a photograph and she simply took a photo of us cutting the building out of the shot… For her it was just that firehouse she saw every day she didn’t view it in the same manner as the tour bus filled with English tourists that piled out for photographs moments later. We were fortunate in the fact the fire truck returned as we stood outside, the crew very kindly granted us the opportunity to see the original Ghostbusters sign from Ghostbusters 2 left after shooting.
Once it sunk in we walked away, I took one final look with a stupid smile on my face. I didn’t think it would be possible to love the film anymore than I already did but it happened and certainly didn’t think it would be possible to add more precious memories to it but it happened, so pleased that I made this pilgrimage. 
Well there you have it blog post#100 I hope you enjoyed it, it certainly brought back some happy memories for me anyway. I have decided to write more posts that address my influences over the coming months- covering locations, objects or people in the hope that they might provide an insight to my work. Do please feel free to comment on the posts and thanks for reading the previous 100!

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Silurian and Sea Devil Embryonic Phase

It suddenly occurred to me that I never shared my Silurian/ Sea Devil print with you all! Originally devised back in 2005 this illustration showed the embryonic phase of the Silurians and Sea Devils however it never went beyond the sketch book phase until this year.
For those not in the know the Silurians and Sea Devils are regular characters in the world of Doctor Who. The Silurians and Sea Devils are a prehistoric, scientifically advanced reptile- humanoid race that were first introduced during the third Doctor’s tenure. Both species went into hibernation believing that the moon was due to collide with the Earth only to awaken in the 1970’s discovering their error and frustratingly that man had evolved and replaced them as the dominant species of the planet!    
The drawing represents my favourite incarnations/ design of the characters over the years.  Staying with the original Sea Devils design from the 1970’s but favouring the 1980’s version of the Silurians instead. Since the original idea the new series have reintroduced the characters with another version of the Silurians, which I have also included to the chart. Designed to reflect a Victorian natural study drawing it has been designed to appeal to both Doctor Who fans and natural history buffs or better yet a Doctor Who fanatical, natural history buff!

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday 9 August 2012

RIP Sir Bernard Lovell, OBE, FRS (1913-2012)

Very sad to hear that pioneering astronomer, physicist, and British legend (not to mention one of my heroes) Sir Bernard Lovell died on the 6 August aged 98.  Bristol born Sir Bernard founded one of my favourite man-made structures, the third largest steerable telescope in the world The Lovell Telescope based at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire. Back in 2010 I featured Sir Bernard in my September Science Spotlight,

Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell, OBE, FRS Born in 1913. Studied physics at the University of Bristol, obtaining a Ph.D. in 1936. He worked in the cosmic ray research team at the University of Manchester until the outbreak of World War II. During the War he led the team at the Air Ministry’s Telecommunications Research Establishment, developing the H2S, the first airborne, ground scanning radar system earning him an OBE in 1946. he then returned to Manchester with an ex-army mobile radar to continued his research on cosmic rays However electrical interference from the city’s tram system prevented him from doing so forcing him to move to The University’s horticultural/botany department at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire. The first Transit Telescope constructed in 1947 provided valuable data however readings were limited, a fully steerable telescope was needed prompting the construction of the “Mark I” Telescope in 1957. Standing at 76.2 m (250 ft) in diameter it was the largest steerable dish radio telescope in the world. That same year, the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik I the “Mark I” was the only telescope in the world able to track the satellite's carrier rocket. Since then, it has been used for pioneering work in the discovery of pulsars and quasars. Lovell was knighted in 1961 for his contributions to the development of radio astronomy and served as Director of Jodrell Bank until his retirement in 1981.

Being one of my sanctuaries I have been to Jodrell Bank many times and still marvel at the Lovell Telescope for both its sheer size and accomplishment, it now stands as a testament to a great man’s determination find out more about the Universe. RIP Sir Alfred Charles Bernard Lovell, OBE, FRS (1913-2012)

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.


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