Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Ok Big News the Next show which will be at the Courthouse is nearing completion, Please see the poster for more details either call me on 321325 or email me at
The other exciting news is that I'm pleased to announce that the final show (the one that show cases all of the work from all the exhibitions of this project) has been confirmed and will open at the Manx Museum in July 2011 ! (Yay!)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Yesterday's Guardian

I've been so busy painting for the next show which is looming ever closer, that I'd completely forgotten that last week I did another commission for The guardian, which came out yesterday.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Learning, exhibition announcement.

So as part of the Welcome to the neighbourhood project, I've spent the last couple of weeks going to the high schools on the island and doing workshops on conceptual thinking (the process I use to come up with artwork ideas) I must say there are a number of very talented young people around and I do hope some of them take it further.
I must say I'm very pleased with some of the work produced in the workshops and as a result some students work will feature in the final show.
Chico & Rita (the animation I worked on for 15 months) premiered last Thursday, myself and some of the team I worked within went to see it, it was nice to see the end result, having never seen the fully finished film, it was nice to finally close the book on the project which my involvement began in November 2008.
unfortunately I'm now very far behind with the work for the next show.
The next show "One Night Stand" will be at the courthouse bar on 17th January 2011, so I'd best get painting.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Exhibition 2 and procrastination

Now all the excitement (and stress) is over from the first show, I'm now ready to begin work properly on the second exhibition. I did a painting yesterday but felt it was far too similar (in colour at least) to the work produced for carpe diem. I think for this next body of painting I may try and combine the painterly styles from Carpe Diem with a more bold graphic composition.
Much of the last show was about backgrounds and clouds (and fish) so may move focus on the human figure more for this show.

I think I will begin properly on this on thursday and aim to have 5 paintings done for Monday (believe me I need to set myself these little deadlines or nothing would ever get done, I am an olympic level procrastinator after all.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

First show is up!

Even though it was a dark and horrible night the attendance for the first part of the show was brilliant, Tanroagan (the venue) was packed from opening to closing, the show had a great friendly and relaxed atmosphere even though it was so busy. I managed to sell a large number of works at the show (something I wasn't sure would happen given that this show was not in a gallery). It was a good mix of people there too, there were a number of MHKs (manx politicians), the mayor of Douglas as well as People who were interested in the project, all in all a very good night. I'm now going to take a well deserved break for a day or two before working on show number 2, which is due to open in mid January.

here are some photos courtesy of Rosie Irvine:

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Almost time for the first show.

Ok all the paintings are framed and ready. I've almost finished the 30 drawings for place mats for the restaurant (thats a total of 50 images about fish..not an easy thing to do) I've been very busy for the last two weeks promoting the project and the show, through posters, invites, press interviews and the like.
Its been unexpected how difficult and time consuming it is, normally the gallery does all of that stuff and a good gallery does it really well.
any way I did an interview with the BBC yesterday and you can see it here.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Carpe Diem Baby!

Right after almost two straight months of painting (and little else) this show is is just about ready. there will be 20 (much bigger than normal) paintings based around the theme of fish. The paintings have come out somewhat surreal (as you might expect) but I'm very pleased with the out come. if you have not been invited and would like an invite, then please email me. once the show is open I'll post some pics.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Its all go!

The project is off the ground and I've almost finished all of the work for the first show.
you can now join on facebook to follow the project: Facebook

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Welcome to the Neighbourhood!

1 year, 5 shows!
Welcome to the neighbourhood is a series of temporary
exhibitions over the space of a year in places that an art exhibition
wouldn’t normally be seen. The Idea behind this project is to show
art (and a lot of it) outside the context of an art gallery. The
premise of most of Juan’s previous art has been to cut through the
stigma and pretention of “high” fine art and make it more
accessible to everybody instead of just those well versed in
contemporary art and art history, these exhibitions also aim to
show the art working alongside and within the community. Each of
the exhibitions will not simply have a theme but will be very site
specific. Each of the shows will have a preview evening and each
show will be displayed in its unique location for about two weeks,
there will be final show of all of the artwork at the end of the

The project is supported and fully funded by the Isle of Man Arts council.

first show opens 1st November 2010

Friday, 20 August 2010

Look what just got Arts Council funding!!!

work is well underway and I will shed some more light on this project soon.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

This weekend's Guardian

I got to have a whole page to myself as well as 2 spot illustrations on the following double page spread....woo hoo!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Today's Guardian

I thought I'd also show a bit of the process of a commissioned illustration. What normally happens is that I get a call asking if I'm available, I then get a bit of a verbal description of what it is that the client wants me to do, some times referencing colour or other work I've done in the past, but mostly describing the context of the illustration. I then get emailed the copy (the article I'm illustrating) I then read through the copy a couple of times and try and work out the feel or crux of the piece, this becomes my starting point. I then start doodling to come up with a very rough idea of what the copy is talking about. once I have an idea I work on the compositional elements of the piece and produce a rough:

After emailing the rough attached with colour notes to the art director, we then have have a chat about the image, in this case it was felt that the stress aspect was too much and that the begging hands and bike was enough, so I got the go ahead to do the final artwork. a few hours later its finished it's emailed off, all being well the art director then approves the artwork (or asks for changes) and a few weeks later it appears in print.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Currently on the Drawingboard.

I've been commissioned to do a CD cover / itunes image for a rather excellent band called The heights. here is the initial painting:

I was worried I was going to gory but after speaking to Sarah (lead singer) It seems It is to be gorier (which I like a lot) so I will make the necessary changes and post the finished artwork up here when its done.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

New idea for portfolios

I've been planning on updating my portfolio for quite some time now, its shocking that i haven't updated the thing in almost 18 months and I got to thinking about how much tougher it is to get your work noticed than it was when I first started out. so instead of re organising and printing new pages for a folder I decided to try something new. I used a very underused feature on iphoto to arrange jpegs of my work into photo album (books). i decided to do an experiment and organise my fine art (not my illustration just yet) into their appropriate exhibitions and make books of each one.
it took about a day to do each and a week for the books to arrive from apple. when they did I was extremely impressed with the hard back books that arrived in slip cases. the cost of each wasn't too bad either, still less than what i would have paid out in printing to do a portfolio the normal way. I think I may do one for my illustration work and plan a trip to london and attempt to get some illo work that way. though it will have to wait a little while as I have a few projects up in the air at the moment. these books were an experiment worth doing.

Sunday, 11 April 2010


After finishing work on the paintings for the DoE, I've been mucking around with the subject matter a bit as I don't have much freelance work on the go at the moment. I'm in the process of altering my work a little, I'm trying to do more work with out out the odd little black figure I've been using over the last few years. I've always liked fantasy artwork, so maybe in this down time, I'll do a little more of that, any way this is just a messing around piece, just trying things out really.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

quick update

well since finishing the animation at the beginning of this month and after having a very very very drunken and enjoyable wrap party I have managed to hit the ground running and just finished a number of paintings for the Isle of man department of eduction based around manx folk lore, I'm not entirely sure what purpose the will serve, but I did enjoy doing them. I have also invested in a new printer and scanner, which will hopefully arrive soon, after a number of years loyal service my old printer and scanner have died. right on to the next job now.

Friday, 5 March 2010

It' over

As of sunday Feb 28th, my part as a digital colour artist on the animated feature 'Chico & Rita' has come to its end, production here on the Isle of man will completely cease a week today. a few of us have been on the project since it began production on the island 15 months ago, most others have been on it for about 12 or 13 months, so it is a bitter sweet fare well to my time on the project, I have worked within a great team of people and I will very much miss the insane things we have spoken about throughout this project.
but on to new and exciting things, I'm currently working on some images commissioned by the dept. of education over here, which is good fun, One of the things I have discovered about working on Chico & Rita is that though i love working as an artist and illustrator, it is a somewhat solitary profession. So whilst I have relitivley little work on the go at the moment, I'm contemplating getting together a body of work that would allow me to apply for some more team based work. so I am going to focus for a few months on concept work, storyboards, maybe environments as well. so I'll see how it goes.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Illustration friday: propagate

finally got round to doing something for illustration friday's topic, its also my last week on the animation this week, so it was excellent practice for going back to doing this full time, I'll do a big update soon, proberbly in the next week or so.

Friday, 29 January 2010

wordless narrative

Going through old files, updating my portfolio and I came across this:
I used to do a lot of these odd little sequential narratives, they are good fun, just making the story up as you go along is good fun, on a side note, this piece actually got me some storyboarding work once.

my top 10

The other day while talking to a very nice girl who was buying one of my pictures, she asked me out of all the artworks I have ever made which was the one I loved the most. This got me thinking. I have done plenty of images that I have not liked that much, but art that I've loved... that's much tougher so I have decided to show here, in no particular order, my top 10 images that I have created:
The government hates creativity: I did this the day I got a somewhat rediculous tax bill right after new year in January 2009. I was miffed, this made me feel better, the fellow who bought the piece, told ne he felt the same way and I believe he was an ex government employee, I ended up doing 3 paintings like this.

The Day I realised my own mortality: again another one which has appeared here before, but I like it because it just sums up how I feel from time to time, its resuring when someone buys a piece like this as you feel less insane for making the statement.

The Last dream: I was mostly really pleased with the sea in this one, and how painterly it all turned out, which in five inch square I found difficult, I had grown a bit bored of mixed media when I did this one towards the end of 2008, it kind of made me fall in love with painting again, though at the time of writing this I'm growing bored of painting so who knows where to next.

We all came from fish: I did this mid way through the 100 paintings phase, just a silly image I like because it was all getting quite serious and i was terrified I wouldn't be able to deliver 100 paintings on time.

Dying: This is on odd one, very dark, but people loved it, I could have sold it six times over, I made a limited edition print of 50 and sold them all on pre-order, its awhile since I looked at this one, I do feel good about it, I will I think rework it somehow.

Born of Tree: I think this was the first image I did for my first exhibition, for a long time its what I used to promote that show as well, a lot of people ask me what the antlers in my work symbolises, they mean responsibility, leaves often mean the opposite, freedom care freeness.

If the body is just a shell, then where is my soul? I now this has appeared on here more than once before, this image just worked well for me, it looked like it did in my head, I remember the gallery being concearned with the grizzly nature of the piece, in the end though it was well received and I was kind of sorry to it go when it was sold.

I'm more of a Night person: This was one of the last paintings I did for my first exhibition, at the time I was really hoping to create an image for the poster, at the time I found I was doing more work at night than any other time so that was definitly where it come from, odly this is the most successful piece I have done to date, it won 2 painting awards, also I never sold it instead I gave it away to a good friend of mine.
Live or Die by caffine: created for my first exhibition in 2007 this piece, took maybe an hour at most to come up with and then to create, it happened on one of those rare days when I get an idea every 4 seconds or so, I think I did about 6 paintings that day, this was also one of the first images to sell at my exhibition.

Evolution: this is possibly the oldest image in my portfolio, done somewhere near the start of 2006 or possibly even the end of 2005. I like this as even though it didn't turn out like the image I had in my head, I nailed my mixed media style with this peice, something I had struggled with for quite some time.

So there you have it, these are my personal faves, not technically the best but I like them all for diferent reasons, maybe you agree and maybe you don't.

goodbye 2009, hello 2010

my apologies I have been very slack the last few months, the work on the animation has been pretty much all I've been doing of late, but that will change very soon so as of Feb 28th 2010, out department will be finished on the project and will thus be disbanded, I have mixed feelings about this on one part I will miss the people I have been working with for the last 15 months on the other hand I will like to get back into the art side of things full time. on that note I have many grand ideas concearning that, but for now here is a highlight of 2009: