21 years old, Art Student, Illustrator, Photographer, Writer, Thinker, Existentialist.

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Thursday, 4 October 2012

50 Shades of Stray by Adam Lee Jones Parts 1-6

Part One

Glancing up from my mid-morning coffee I saw him, his hair flapped in the wind like a pigeon's wing and his smile could break the hearts of a thousand virgins. Tom Howarth, the new guy in town and the object of my desires and affections strutted across the road like a catwalk model.

I'd been living in Dewsbury about 10 years having moved from Gibraltar. Throughout my time here many men had come and many men had gone but they didn't mean anything to me, I realise that now as I gazed at the face of this captivating man.

I was lost in the intense world of passion and daydreams and I very nearly forgot how to compose myself in public. When I came to and looked towards the door he was there, entering Chatter's cafe and ordering a cup of coffee and a bacon roll was Tom Howarth. Cleanly shaven and smelling of Old Spice and fine washing powder he sat across from me. I don't believe in love at first sight, but I've been known to be wrong on several occasions.

I caught him glance over at me more than once and I could have sworn I saw him lick his lips. It could have been because of the brown sauce, but I firmly believe it was because I was wearing what could only be described as a summer casual outfit that showed off my milky white thighs.

Part Two

I got up from my seat after finishing my spam and egg sandwich, my legs were like jelly and my heart beat as fast and as furious as a vibrator. I was struck dumb with love, the butterflies in my chest wouldn't abate and carnal thoughts filled my mind.

I'd been in this cafe many times, I remember having my fifth birthday party here when I got told off for bursting balloons. But somehow, all of a sudden everything was new to me, foreign even. I didn't know where I was. Once I regained my composure and caught sight of Tom Howarth I knew that I must have been in Paradise.

I staggered over to Tom Howarth's table, for anyone who saw me I must have looked an awful fright. I placed down a carefully folded handkerchief on which I'd written my phone number. I mumbled, "How about once this is over you take yourself to the nearest payphone and you call me, Sugar." It was the boldest move I'd ever made in my life, and believe me when I tell you, I've lived. I've seen some things that no human being should ever see, I've experienced things that very few will ever experience; hell, I've done things which haven't even been thought of yet.

I'm getting ahead of myself here, I need to calm down. But when you've been in the presence of Tom Howarth it's very hard to calm down. I'd describe it as reading all of Dante's works in one sitting, in short, it was a head fuck.

What did I do next? Well, I did what any other man would have done after being in that situation. I strolled down the road with my head in the clouds, a smile on my face, and something gradually stirring in the base of my crotch.

Part Three

Once I made it home I realised what had occured. I'd just met the man who I was going to marry, I'd fallen for Tom Howarth hook, line and sinker. But let's be fair here, what man wouldn't? He was living, breathing beauty. He was Mona Lisa come to life. He was something that transcends words. He was the hook on which I hung my hat.

I live in a dainty one bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town, it isn't much to look at but the rent is cheap and it keeps me dry. I have a housecat called Steve, but when he's being particularly naughty I call him Stephen! with an exclamation mark. I don't get many visitors, but when I do they all compliment me on how tidy I keep it. I like to keep myself busy, I think Steve appreciates it too.

There's a rule that circulates about how when someone gives you their number you're supposed to wait three days before calling them back. That's absolute tosh, I knew it and so did Tom Howarth. I like to imagine Tom Howarth is a man of the world, he's his own boss and he plays by his own rules.

It must have been about two hours after I left him in Chatter's cafe when he rang. I'd just got out of the shower and my mind was on getting dried and feeding Steve. The phone rang and instantly I knew who it must be, not because I'm psychic, but because I'd just recently changed my number and I'd only given it to one person.

We exchanged pleasantries before indulging in what we really wanted to talk about. He mentioned that he had the day off tomorrow and if I wasn't busy would I like to go for a drive with him. I couldn't believe it, there was me thinking I'd need to be the dominant one and do all of the work. I think Tom Howarth actually likes me, and what's more I like him too. I agree to the offer, barely managing to remain calm. I think he can tell how giddy I am at the prospect of being in a car with him, side by side, wind blowing through our hair. We make small talk, say goodbye to one another and hang up. It takes me a while to process what had just taken place.

I get dried and feed Steve, my head feels light due to the excitement of the day's events. Still naked and feeling tired I take a nap on my bed. Freshly washed linen and silky soft sheets make falling asleep instantaneous.

Part Four

Dallas, Texas, 1958. An office. A filing cabinet. A lamp. A chair. A man sits at a desk smoking a cigar. Tom Howarth, the richest oil tycoon the city has ever seen barks orders at his receptionist over the phone. "Get me more coffee, dammit! Where's my paper? What the hell do I pay you for? This isn't some damn square dance! I'm a busy man, I could ruin you if I wanted to." I sit in the lobby waiting patiently for my interview with the man himself. I was a reporter working for the Colorado Express. I was fresh out of college and this was my first big job. Nervous doesn't begin to describe how I was feeling.

Tom Howarth was the son of wealthy cattle farmers who struck oil is the spring of 42', ever since then his family have been big shots. His father entrusted him with the family business 8 years previous and ever since then they've only become richer.

I'd always dreamed of becoming a reporter, when my parents heard I was working for the Colorado Express they were overjoyed. I'd only written short articles, nothing too big so this was a huge deal to me. I was here to interview Tom Howarth about the new casino he was opening up, it was to be a 9-page feature covering his early life and how one little boy rose to be one of the richest men in the US. It was your standard "This is where it all began" affair. I'd also be asking him about his future ambitions and goals, his personal life, was he married? Had he fathered any children? Who's inspired and influenced him? Had he any plans to do any charity work? That sort of thing.

After waiting patiently for around 45 minutes the receptionist's phone rings and I am told to go through to Tom Howarth's office. This is it, my moment of truth, my chance to shine and prove my worth as a junior reporter.

Upon walking into Tom Howarth's office he stands up and walks towards me, with his head held high and a huge grin on his face he shakes my hand. It's a powerful handshake and I have trouble matching the strength of his vise-like grip. It's a warm hand and I feel a jolt throughout the core of my body. He's a shockingly handsome chap with beautiful straight teeth and an impressive chiseled jaw. We sit down opposite each other ready to commence the interview.

Me: Good afternoon. How are you?

Tom Howarth: I'm great, thanks. How are you? Did you have a safe trip?

Me: I'm very well, thank you. Yeah, it was a pleasant drive, this is my first time in Texas so it's quite an experience.

Tom Howarth: Ah, that's good to hear. Yeah, I hear everybody's first time is memorable. They say you never forget your first time. I was born here so I'm used to it, I'm an old pro shall we say?

Me: Ha. It's certainly very different from home. There's more happening here, it's much more exciting. Tell me about growing up, what was it like on the cattle farm?

Tom Howarth: Well, my mother and father worked long days in order to provide for me so I'm very grateful for that and I can't thank them enough. I think that's where I get my determination to succeed from, from my hard-working folks. It's in the genes. We always had money and I never did without, some people would say I was spoiled but I was just lucky I guess. I had no other siblings so they spent all of their free time looking after me, I kind of feel guilty about that but they never seemed put out. We've always been a happy family.

Me: It seems your parents have had a profound effect on your outlook on life. You certainly have come a long way, I don't doubt there's been a lot of blood, sweat, and tear along the way. Given your success, is there anybody you look up to or admire?

Tom Howarth: I do respect my parents and their support and encouragement has allowed me to get where I am today. Other than that, I can't really say I admire anybody. I believe we make our own paths in life, together with our choices it's us who are responsible for our decisions, achievements, and actions.

Me: Hmmm, that's interesting. Given your busy schedule, do you have time for relationships? Is there a Mrs. Tom Howarth? How about children?

Tom Howarth: Haha. Erm, not at the moment. I've never been married, sure there's been the odd woman here and there, I can't lie. Right now however, there isn't anybody. I'm far too busy with work to be juggling a love life. I do want children one day, I want to give them the upbringing I had and teach them the lessons my parents taught me. But I feel now just isn't the right time for a family.

Me: Wow, that's very admirable. I understand you're opening a new casino. How do you think this will affect the city?

Tom Howarth: Well, more jobs will be created for a start. More revenue will be brought into the city as well as tourism and trade. How this will differ from your average casino is that we will allow ordinary citizens to buy shares in the casino therefore benefiting us and them. It's a win-win situation you see.

Me: I see. Do you have any charity work in mind? Is that something you're interested in?

Tom Howarth: I really do want to get involved with charity work, I see it as a way of putting some of what I've earned back into the community. I want to help others and make their lives better in whatever way I can, I see myself in a position to do that.

Me: That sounds wonderful, and I wish you more continued success in the future. It really has been a pleasure talking with you. Thank you for your time.

Tom Howarth: Yeah, you too. I really enjoyed it and if there is anything else I can help you with please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Me: I'll be sure to do that. Thanks, again.

Tom Howarth shakes my hand one more time and shows me to the door. He's incredibly charismatic and his charm and wit show.

I walk back into the lobby, there is a grey haired man wearing a dark brown suit sat in the chair where I was sat half an hour previous. I say goodbye and thank you to the receptionist. As I am doing this the man with the grey hair walks into Tom Howarth's office. As I walk out of the main door I hear a gun shot.

I rush back into the lobby, the man with the grey hair barges past me and through the main door. I run into Tom Howarth's office to see him face down on his desk. Tears well up in my eyes as I realise that the man in front of me is gone and I will never get to tell him how I feel about him.

I jolt awake on my bed. I look at the clock and realise it's nearly time for my rendez-vous with Tom Howarth, I'd been asleep for 18 hours, I must have worn myself out the day before. I get changed into a white steam-pressed shirt, grey trousers and a lime green tie. I make a quick breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs and toast, I drain my glass of orange juice, and brush my teeth. I check my watch and head out of the door. Feeling considerably fresh I head towards the train station car park to meet Tom Howarth.

Part Five

He's there. Slouched back in his Lexus looking like a big juicy steak just waiting to have my lips wrapped around him. Tom Howarth, stylish and beautiful as ever sits up and waves at me. I'd been really eager for this meeting with the man of my dreams, truth be told I've been getting hot flushes just thinking about it.

I walk over to his car with what I'd describe as grace and elegance. I sit down and he pecks me on the cheek, I'm having an internal orgasm as his moist, wet lips depart from my face. We decide that judging by the splendid weather we're going to head out towards Rectory Park, his hands firmly grip the gear stick and my thoughts immediately jump towards another long and hard object I wouldn't mind his manly grasp taking control of. We drive off towards our secluded hot spot, the tepid air blows through our hair, we're not men of the road anymore, we're Gods. Not your average Gods, we're Greek Gods who are hungry for love, passion, and excitement wherever they can get it.

I'd been to Rectory Park once before, don't ask me why; I was young, some would say foolish. I was naive, I had no idea of how hard a man could love another man. Suffice to say Rectory Park holds only erotic memories for me and I'd very much like to keep it that way. Yes, even I, your humble narrator has had sexual relations in the deepest, darkest corners of West Yorkshire. I'm not ashamed to admit it, but I've been around a bit. I have a very insatiable appetite, but with me and Tom Howarth it's different, it's the real thing.

Tom Howarth had the foresight to pack a picnic and a blanket, I was in such a tizz this morning it's a miracle I remembered to put clothes on at all. We lie down and commence eating our sandwiches, I'll say this about Tom Howarth - "He certainly packs a lot of meat into these sandwiches." We chat about the usual stuff, the weather, the cricket, our favourite colours, star signs and cheese. We're having a wonderful time, the weather and the company are both great.

It's then that Tom Howarth says something that makes me cease chewing the last chunk of my chorizo and cheese sandwich. "I've never been with another man before, of course I've imagined what it would be like, but I've never had the gall to go through with it. Something about when I'm with you... It's just right." I and Tom Howarth lean towards each other as naturally as lovers do, we kiss, but it's then that we realise that we are being watched...

Part Six

The bushes rustle like crepe paper in the hands of a toddler, I'm not the sort of guy to be distracted by trivial things but this had me spooked. I yell "If you wanted a piece of the action you could have just said, I'm liberal-minded and can accommodate for every taste!" Out of the bushes walks Eggy Wallop, a man who I myself have been searching for for as long as I can remember. My quest for Eggy Wallop is legendary and so is that of his reputation. I'd never met this man, other than seeing his bizarre and frankly disturbing YouTube videos I was unaware of his undeniable aura. Stories of his life permeate the tomes of human existence.

I was startled, some would say shocked. How could this man disrupt such an or...gy-filled affair? How long is long? And why is the common denominator so common? For Eggy Wallop to find me defies the laws of physics; hell, it defies the very nature of defiance.

With all the bravado of a swimsuit model at a Led Zepellin convention, he walks over as cocky as can be and sits down on Tom Howarth's picnic blanket. Helping himself to the humous he states, "For a man who likes men you sure aren't much of a man, man." Eggy Wallop is playing games, mind games. He knows how long I've been searching, the streets I've prowled, the sewers I've delved and the files I've opened. Yet he has the cheek to insult me!?

I admit that romantic relationships seldom work out for me, I've never been able to establish why but that's just life I guess. Eggy Wallop seemed hellbent on destroying my only chance of everlasting happiness, after everything I've been through why should I give up on love so easily? I throw down the Viennese Whirl so aggressively that cream and jam spread out across the blanket. I stand up and declare that Eggy Wallop may be wise, he may have the gift of the gab and the body of a swan, he may be the 7th God of Jupiter, and he may know the entire script to Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I've made my choice to be with Tom Howarth and there ain't anyone who's going to come between us. Especially not Eggy Wallop who's as elusive and cowardly as a gambler when the chips are down.

It's then that Tom Howarth rises to his feet, grabs my hand and states, "Love is a wondrous thing that can take people a lifetime to find but when you find it you never want to let it go." We march hand in hand to the car, leaving the remains of the picnic, the blanket, the discarded Viennese Whirl and Eggy Wallop sitting there motionless and dumbstruck like a man who's just seen what really goes into McDonald's chicken nuggets.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Our Frank

I'll admit I found the second year of my degree quite challenging, I had an extremely slow start and when I did begin to get going it was hard to muster creativity. To put it bluntly, I was a magician who had run out of tricks. Making work was a hard thing to do and concentrating and knuckling down was even harder.

However, once the Workshop Module started and we began to bring in ephemera I found that I could easily adapt on something already existing. Ephemera is something I love and have a considerable amount of, I'm not a hoarder but a lover of things, of objects. I'd bought some old books which were possibly worth a bit of money, but as I didn't care for selling them and felt that cutting them up might be of some benefit, I did exactly that.

The work I made with this ephemera was something very different and I really liked what I'd made, I was proud of it and I could see it going somewhere. I love words and I'm very fond of them so it seemed natural to combine both word and image to make work. The stuff I wrote as part of this investigative journey complimented the images I'd selected, I'd managed to impress myself. Not only was it using typography, collage and ephemera but it was incorporating my views on relationships and love - I'd not made work about these two subjects for some time.

So my Workshop Module and Studio Practice were working alongside one another and this was the whole point, to allow the two modules to intertwine. It was around this time that things got on top of me and everything just went by so fast, I didn't have time to catch up, all I could do was to stand there looking gormless, doing nothing.

At some point during the Exhibition Module I sorted myself out, I realised what needed to be done, what was important and how I could careen this sinking ship in a more stable direction. The stained glass windows proved to be somewhat of a saving grace. For all of the late nights and marker pens I plowed into them they were the one thing that managed to get me back on track.

When it came to report writing I found that I didn't struggle with this quite as much as others might have. I can write, and dealing with the facts and putting them in some form of logical order was something I didn't find hard to do. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed the report writing and there's no doubt that it will come in handy in the future, for whatever career awaits me.

As I've wrote about the ephemera, it really did help me to vision things differently and allow me to be able to create work in a new way.

Another 'highlight' of my second year were my Jesus screenprints, these too were made with literally seconds to spare; I was fighting off deadlines with my limited kung fu knowledge. The outcome is one that I am incedibly happy with. By taking some engravings from my ever-growing collection of Bibles I was able to create some beautiful and very profound screenprints. The typography of which was influenced by the colours, decided through trial and error, and subject matter.

In conclusion, my second year is one of mixed emotions. In the end everything worked out and all of the worry really wasn't worth it. Overall I've learnt that finishing this degree and doing something I'm extremely fond of is what matters. Onwards and upwards, so they say

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Susan Hiller

Monument by Susan Hiller

Not strictly printmaking, but interesting, inspiring and beautiful nonetheless. Susan Hiller’s work stood out to me on a recent visit to Leeds City Art Gallery. Her work seemed to have an assemblage quality to it, reminiscent to that of the art movement Fluxus.

The work was immediately eye-catching; it had what appeared to be a memorial bench inside a museum which completely threw me off guard. On closer inspection the inscription read ‘Susan Hiller, Monument, 1980-1’, it wasn’t dedicated to somebody who was deceased as I previously thought, but to the artist herself.

The wall on which the epitaphs were mounted attracted me, firstly because it made me question whether the curators had cut into it to display the pieces and secondly because of the hugeness and symmetrical presentation of the work. The whole installation seemed out of place, it was out of the ordinary and drew you in rather effortlessly. I was not the only one who was curious to see what this piece was all about and it struck a chord with others who were also admiring the work. Some of the epitaphs were funny, some were heart-wrenching, some spoke of heroic acts, and others of misfortunate incidents.

This work focuses on the dearly departed and does so with respect and dignity. I found the works compelling, moving and poetic; the work fitted into the environment and allowed you to be absorbed within it. Although I didn’t hear the audio that accompanied the piece, I enjoyed it greatly and will definitely be returning to hear it.

Saturday, 7 July 2012


First and foremost I would like to thank you for being so accessible and a patron of the arts, it really means a lot. It's humbling to know that there are people like you who are willing to showcase artists and provide them with a platform on which to be seen.

However, the first exhibition I attended at Mexico Project Space was 'Title to be Decided'. I'll be frank with you, I imagine I'd have had a better time at a Nickelback concert. The work was dreadful, I've since tried to erase it from my memory. I'm still undergoing therapy, but the doctor says I should make a full recovery providing I never see a Daniel Eatock piece again.

After that I thought it couldn't possibly get any worse, but well done, you proved me wrong. The FUCK SAKE PART DEUX exhibition was catastrophic and diabolical, in fact I'm pretty sure words haven't been invented yet to describe quite how bad it was.

If the intention of the exhibition was to make us think "Fuck sake, why have I been studying art for four years if people like this get to exhibit this bollocks here?" "Fuck sake, why have I brought people who I love and care about here? They now hate me and are wondering why they are friends with a person who could do this to them." "Fuck sake, if this is art then why don't I just jack it all in now?" Then it was a success.

But if indeed the title 'FUCK SAKE' came from the artists being fed up of the close-knitness of Perth's art scene, as it states in the programme, then I feel it was a categorical fail. It has failed because I can empaphise with the curators of Perth for not wanting to exhibit this, these artists are more than like exhibiting in Leeds because they are in exile for making bad art.

In conclusion, I've been to two shows at Mexico Project Space and they leave a lot to be desired. Harsh you may think? Not harsh enough would be my response. It's a fantastic space and I just feel it's not being used to its full potential. I did however enjoy the programme, if only for the fact it prevented me from looking at the work on display. The work itself was, to put it simply, dross. I'm an art student and to me it just looked like a half arsed attempt at something masquerading as art. My tutor says if it's in a gallery it's art, I'm sorry but what I saw on Friday 1st June wasn't art; it was shit on walls. Thanks a lot Mexico, thanks a bunch.

Kind regards,

Adam Lee Jones

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue Testament.

Pack of Print
In my studio practice I have been concentrating on stained glass windows, how they look and their ornate, decorative features. Previously I have used cut out images from an old bible in order to inform my work, this has enabled me to add to something already existing by modifying it and putting my own stamp onto it. Seeing how these prints were turning out and due to my interest in typography I wanted to combine the two and create a narrative with both image and text.
As I am a catholic, not a very good one, but a catholic nonetheless; I take note of churches and show a keen interest in religion, symbology, and art. Walking past churches it made me realise that there is a form of advertising going on, I’d describe it a guilt-tripping people into religion, luring them in, it’s as though if they weren’t to go to church they would be struck down by God or some other such thing.
Despite being baptised, I don’t go to church or worship Jesus nor do I believe in God- maybe it’s just organised religion I’m not taken with? Either way, I’m open-minded and the signage outside churches stands out to me. I’m genuinely fascinated by religion and how they all differ yet seem to all follow the same person/thing/entity.
Below are the prints that I’ve created in response to my findings.

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Crocodile on the Glass Rolling Pin

These are the images of the work currently on exhibit in Dewsbury Museum, Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury. Over the course of 12 weeks, 19 students planned, organised, managed and set up an exhibition in the public domain. The work was in response to the objects on display in the museum as well as sourcing inspiration from the town itself. The exhibition opened on 4th May 2012 and is on until 10th June 2012.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Slang King

These are the drawings of stained glass windows that I have produced for the Second Year exhibition at Dewsbury Museum, Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury. I did them in monochrome because colour isn't something that features heavily in my work and if it does it is very minimal. Although, looking at them, I am intrigued as to how they would look painted with gouache. As drawings I like the vast scale of them, they are the largest drawings I've ever done and I'd like to carry on producing work much bigger than I did before.

The stained glass windows were in response to the ones in the museum, I chose the stained glass windows because I've always been fond of them and they are the first things I notice when I walk into any church. The decorative and ornate features stand out much more prominently when done on lining paper with marker pen and biro.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Mrs Vandebilt

Is this me making excuses? I'm not sure. This past year has been godawful and as a result a lack of creative output has followed. Things have got to me and made me feel like I'm not capable of anything and the idea of throwing it all away has been very, very tempting. I think at the beginning of the second year of my degree I was at a loss of what to do and I was stuck for a while.
However this dry spell wore off and I created something that I was moderately pleased with. Then things went awry for a number of reasons, neither of which were my fault but these things have a way of making it seem so.
Psychologically my head is a mess, I think. I've toyed with the idea of changing my place of study, switching my course, jacking it all in and getting a job. I'm fairly certain that neither of the options would make me happy and would make true the statement that I'm "incapable of anything," as I was told by someone. The statement probably worsened the state I was in, but then I considered the person who said it and looked at their position in life; I'd happily say they haven't made much of it and that they're a horrible and callous person. Nobody should be told that they're "incapable of anything". It's a disgusting thing to say and it really affects people, but I seem to be getting back on track now.
I'm looking forward to summer, finishing my second year and moving onto the third. I can safely say that the time out will be much needed and very benefitial for me. As long as I get a pass for this year I'll be happy and I know it hasn't been easy and I'm not fully to blame for the disasters that have occurred.
I'm going to stick out this degree until the end and finish what I've been working for, hopefully I'll get to where I want to be.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tache Up!

I'm a big fan of moustaches despite being unable to grow one myself, I have compiled what I deem to be the greatest moustaches ever into this little book. You should grow a moustache, I think it would really suit you.

The Life and Times of George Hamburger

Here is my sketchbook graphic novella which I wrote and illustrated, the characters were created by Josh Whittington during a mundane English lesson at high school. The scanned article is rough, but as most things, it looks better in physical form.