Random Spectacular No 2

Over at Saint Jude’s, Random Spectcular No 2 is about to be launched. Editor and designer Simon Lewin writes that it’s “a collaborative exploration of the visual arts, literature, music, travel and much more.” Anyone lucky enough to have nabbed a copy of the the inaugural edition a couple of years ago (see below) will know that a treat is in store.

Some of the artists who’ve contributed to the project are Ed Kluz, Christopher Brown, Emily Sutton, Angie Lewin, Mark Hearld, Jonny Hannah… a favourite of mine, who has produced the splendid Random Spectacular No 2 cover you can see below… and me. My offering is an illustrated re-telling of Hansel and Gretel (see top image) with a twist!


All profits from this issue will again be donated to the Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres that St. Jude’s have been pleased to support over the years. Over £6,500 was raised from the first issue of ‘Random Spectacular’ and there are hopes to beat that with issue no. 2. You can sign up for a copy


those of us who love staffordshire china…

… and paint it.

A still-life with a Staffordshire huntsman. Pastel by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

When you start looking there have been quite a number of 20th century artists who’ve been drawn to paint Staffordshire china, and there are a few contemporary artists, including me, who continue to be fascinated by the strange worlds that the figures evoke.

Staffordshire dogs by Enid Marx (1902 – 1998)

Many favour the iconic King Charles spaniels that have book-ended so many mantelpieces and dressers.

Contemporary artist Alice Patullo’s wittily named Staffordshire Figurines for the Clumsy, are made out of printed and stuffed calico

Staffordshire dog in a painting by Christopher Wood (1901 – 1930)

Contemporary artist Rob Ryan’s take on Staffordshire cats

The spirits of Ravilious, Nicholson, Wood and Wallis echo in the work of contemporary British artist Jonathan Christie. He uses chalky paint rubbed back, together with sgrafitto to create beautiful surfaces. Staffordshire figures are often a feature of his still-lifes

Staffordshire in the work of contemporary painter Emily Sutton. Emily uses starved brush-work in the manner of Ravilious, but her work also reminds me of another woman artist who had a love of the ‘unsophisticated arts’, Barbara Jones

Staffordshire group by contemporary graphic artist Laura Knight

My friend, contemporary artist and illustrator Paul Bommer, here paints Staffordshire dogs onto a faux Delft tile

While I’ve painted quite a few Staffordshire equestrian and equestrienne figures, for me it’s the weird juxtaposition of children with dogs the size of Shetland ponies, and shepherds and shepherdesses with sheep of Brobdingnagian proportions, that have proved themselves the subjects that I find most rewarding.

Staffordshire dog with a boy in a Welsh landscape. Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Staffordshire dog with a girl in a Cornish landscape. Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Staffordshire horseman in Winter Garden. Clive Hicks-Jenkins

A Staffordshire shepherd in The Boy and his Sheep. Clive Hicks-Jenkins

I have some more Staffordshire still-life works coming along for my next exhibition, so watch this space.