Monday, 21 March 2011


These are some quick illustrations developed from the possessions of Bonnie and Clyde in gouache on paper and patterned paper cut-out.

Friday, 28 January 2011


Further sketches of Clyde Barrow. While drawing earlier designs for his character I noticed that repeat pattern worked well amongst such rigid and economic lines. Moving on I plan to focus on the idea of imagery repetition- also inspired by a photograph I stumbled upon depicting the numerous license plates registered to different states that were recovered from the death car- I'd like to make a record of some sort cataloguing weapons, hats, shirts, shoes, license plates, bottles, cigarettes etc that acts as some sort of visual 'props cupboard' to represent the lifestyle they lived.
I think I shall also begin to integrate some colour in these studies.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Other Side of Bonnie and Clyde

I as doing some more light research on B&C and came across the mention of some documentary by a fellow called Larry Buchanan. Its on order...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

The swing of things

I'm on a bit of a roll with this here theme of crime in the deep south- gangsters and murderers and such and found (quite worryingly) that I cant get enough of them! The 50's and 60's had a big thing for them which might have something to do with why they all look so lovely and hazy. And those fuzzy sound tracks and dramatic close ups.... brilliant.

Here's the tailer for Terrence Malick's Badlands. Great film and a little more like what I wish Bonnie and Clyde had been.

and Angels with Dirty Faces (great 1938 Boghart and James Cagney film)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Bonnie Parker's Poetry

Suicide Sal by Bonnie Parker 1932

We each of us have a good "alibi"
For being down here in the "joint;"
But few of them really are justified
If you get right down to the point.
You've heard of a woman's glory
Being spent on a "downright cur,"
Still you can't always judge the story
As true, being told by her.
As long as I've stayed on this "island,"
And heard "confidence tales" from each "gal,"
Only one seemed interesting and truthful ---
The story of "Suicide Sal."
Now "Sal" was a gal of rare beauty,
Though her features were coarse and tough;
She never once faltered from duty
To play on the "up and up."
"Sal" told me this take on the evening
Before she was turned out "free,"
And I'll do my best to relate it
Just as she told it to me:
I was born on a ranch in Wyoming;
Not treated like Helen of Troy;
I was taught that "rods are rulers"
And "ranked" as a greasy cowboy.
Then I left my old home for the city
To play in its mad dizzy whirl,
Not knowing how little pity
It holds for a country girl.
There I fell for "the line" of a "henchman,"
A "professional killer" from "Chi;"
I couldn't help loving him madly;
For him even now I would die.
One year we were desperately happy;
Our "ill gotten gains" we spent free;
I was taught the ways of the "underworld;"
Jack was just like a "god" to me.
I got on the "F.B.A." payroll
To get the "inside lay" of the "job;"
The bank was "turning big money!"
It looked like a "cinch" for the "mob."
Eighty grand without even a "rumble"-
Jack was the last with the "loot" in the door,
When the"teller" dead-aimed a revolver
From where they forced him to the floor.
I knew I had only a moment -
He would surely get Jack as he ran;
So I "staged a ""big fade out" beside him
And knocked the forty-five out of his hand.
They "rapped me down big" at the station,
And informed me that I'd get the blame
For the "dramatic stunt" pulled on the "teller"
Looked to them too much like a "game."
The "police" called it a "frame-up,"
Said it was an "inside job,"
But I steadily denied any knowledge
Or dealings with "underworld mobs,"
The "gang" hired a couple of lawyers,
The best "fixers" in any man's town,
But it takes more than lawyers and money
When Uncle Sam starts "shaking you down."
I was charged as a "scion of gangland"
And tried for my wages of sin;
The "dirty dozen" found me guilty -
From five to fifty years in the pen.
I took the "rap" like good people,
And never one "squawk" did I make.
Jack "dropped himself"on the promise
That we make a "sensational break."
Well, to shorten a sad lengthy story,
Five years have gone over my head
Without even so much as a letter -
At first I thought he was dead.
But not long ago I discovered
From a gal in the joint named Lyle,
That Jack and he "moll" had "got over"
And were living in true "gangster style."
If he had returned to me sometime,
Though he hadn't a cent to give,
I'd forget all this hell that he's caused me,
And love him as long as I live.
But there's no chance of his ever coming,
For he and his moll have no fears
But that I will die in prison,
Or "flatten" this fifty years.
Tomorrow I'll be on the "outside"
And I'll "drop myself" on it today:
I'll "bump 'em" if they give me the "hotsquat"
On this island out here in the bay …
The iron doors swung wide next morning
For a gruesome woman of waste,
Who at last had a chance to "fix it."
Murder showed in her cynical face.
Not long ago I read in the paper
That a gal on the East Side got "hot,"
And when the smoke finally retreated,
Two of gangdom were found "on the spot."
It related the colorful story
Of a "jilted gangster gal."
Two days later, a "sub-gun" ended
The story of "Suicide Sal."

Trail's End (The Story of Bonnie and Clyde) by Bonnie Parker

You've read the story of Jesse James-
Of how he lived and died;
If you're still in need
Of something to read
Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang.
I'm sure you all have read
How they rob and steal
And those who squeal
Are usually found dying or dead.

There's lots of untruths to these write-ups;
They're not so ruthless as that;
Their nature is raw;
They hate the law--
The stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers;
They say they are heartless and mean;
But I say this with pride,
That I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.

But the laws fooled around,
Kept taking him down
And locking him up in a cell,
Till he said to me,
"I'll never be free,
So I'll meet a few of them in hell."

The road was so dimly lighted;
There were no highway signs to guide;
But they made up their minds
If all roads were blind,
They wouldn't give up till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer;
Sometimes you can hardly see;
But it's fight, man to man,
And do all you can,
For they know they can never be free.

From heart-break some people have suffered;
From weariness some people have died;
But take it all in all,
Our troubles are small
Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas,
And they have no clue or guide;
If they can't find a fiend,
They just wipe their slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There's two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow mob;
They had no hand
In the kidnap demand,
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy:
"I wish old Clyde would get jumped;
In these awful hard times
We'd make a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped."

The police haven't got the report yet,
But Clyde called me up today;
He said, "Don't start any fights--
We aren't working nights--
We're joining the NRA."

From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide,
Where the women are kin,
And the men are men,
And they won't "stool" on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
And rent them a nice little flat,
About the third night
They're invited to fight
By a sub-gun's rat-tat-tat.

They don't think they're too smart or desperate,
They know that the law always wins;
They've been shot at before,
But they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.

Some day they'll go down together;
They'll bury them side by side;
To few it'll be grief-
To the law a relief-
But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

Lists for the future

Ive come across some significant names whilst reserching public enemies and Bonnie and Clyde. Thought i'd write them down to look into later as my project takes shape.

Al'Scarface' Capone
Lucky Luciano
Bugs Moran
Dutch Schultz

Pretty Boy Floyd
Baby Faced Nelson
John Dilinger
Ma Barker
Alvin Kerpis
John 'Red' Hamilton
Homer Van Meter
Tommy Carroll
Vincent 'Maddog' Coll
Frank 'Jelly' Nash
Jack Rabbit


Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn

My Life with Bonnie and Clyde by Esther L. Weiser, B.C. Barrow, and John Neal Phillips

The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Phillip Steele and Marie Barrow Scoma

Bonnie and Clyde: A Biography (Greenwood Biographies) by Nate Hendley

On the Trail of Bonnie and Clyde Then and Now by Winston G. Ramsey

Running with Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults by John Neal Phillips

The Strange History of Bonnie and Clyde, by John Treherne

Bonnie and Clyde by Sandra Wake and Nicola Hayden

Bonnie and Clyde: A Love Story by Bill Brooks

Bonnie and Clyde: A Twenty-First-Century Update by James R. Knight and Jonathan Davis

Doodles and canvas

A few doodles and such... and i realised while doing these thumbnails that i kept falling into the trap of making the characters look too "cool", i dont want them to look like they're having the time of their lives, they should like a pair of worn-out criminals. (Harder than it looks actually.)

Thumbnails for Bonnie

Thumbnails for an overly friendly-looking Clyde
and significantly less chummy.
Magazine cut-out
'Bonnie' tryout; gouauche on canvas
(I say tryout as i havent painted anything on canvas in about 5 years. It shows.)

'Bonnie and Clyde's Death'; planning on doing this improved version in gouache on this bit of old canvas i dug out. (Oh and er... the Florence street scene won't be included.)