A tribute to William Heath Robinson

Tribute to William Heath Robinson cartoon

Heath Robinson style cartoon - detail

Detail

This cartoon was drawn as a tribute to William Heath Robinson on the occasion of the opening of the new Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner (where Heath Robinson lived).

This cartoon shows a Heath Robinson style contraption and is captioned “A contraption for capturing unusually shaped clouds”.

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Gardening or DIY cartoon – about the fascination of old newspapers

joke about the fascination of old newspapers

DIY or gardening humour – about the way that old newspapers become interesting

A joke about the way that when you lay out pages of old newspaper as part of a diy project (such as to save the floor from paint splashes when decorating) or gardening project, the stories in the newspaper can become a distraction and become compulsively readable, distracting you from the job at hand

A humorous illustration about procrastination, displacement activity, displacement activities, yesterday’s news.

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A gardener who is more interested in the tools than the garden – cartoon

Gardener who is more interested in the tools than the garden - humour

Garden humour. A gardener who is more interested in the garden tools than in the garden

A cartoon about the way that it’s possible for the technology or tools relating to a hobby to become more important than the results of the hobby itself (Photography is another good example, where men become obsessed with their cameras rather than their photographs).

A joke about the psychology of hobbies, leisure activities, passtimes, pass-times, men’s interests.
It’s also about the way that some men will only use equipment that has a certain muscular masculinity – as here, a noisy power tool rather than a brush or rake.

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Garden design cartoon. Using jigsaw shaped paving stones on the driveway to the garage

jigsaw shaped paving stones on drive cartoon

Garden cartoon. Using jigsaw shaped paving stones on the drive to the garage

Cartoon showing a man constructing a drive in his garden, with flagstones shaped like interlocking pieces from a jigsaw.

The man has just finished constructing the driveway – to find that one of the pieces of the jigsaw is missing.
This is a joke about the cliche that there’s always one piece of a jigsaw that’s missing.

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Modern art cartoon – a painter painting a work of art instead of painting the kitchen

Art cartoon - painter painting artwork instead of kitchen

Modern art cartoon. A modern artist creating a colour field painting
A cartoon about the selfishness of artists

Cartoon about the conflict between being an artist and doing domestic chores
Cartoon showing an artist at work in his studio while his wife or partner complains that he should do more work around the house.

The caption of the cartoon is:
“Maybe when you’ve finished that ‘Color field painting number 186’ of yours you could get round to decorating the kitchen.”
The joke is that the artist is painting a huge surface with paint (of a single colour, as in colour field painting) but he can’t get round to painting the kitchen.
A cartoon about the obsessiveness of artists, artists neglecting household tasks and domestic chores, the self-centredness of artists.
It’s also a cartoon about gender difference, male obsession, male ambition, gender roles.
Colour field paintings as depicted in the cartoon were developed by, amongst others, the American Expressionist artists such as Rothko and Barnett Newman.

More of my modern art cartoons

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Cartoon. Too many hinges on a door can be counterproductive

too many door hinges cartoon

Cartoon: a door with hinges on both edges – making it impossible to open the door.

The hinges in this cartoon are a metaphor for devices (or people, or institutions) that are meant to make things function better, but that make them worse when over-used. The point of the cartoon is that they can be counterproductive.
Cartoon showing how too many facilitators can make action impossible.

The hinges in the cartoon can be metaphors for committees, too many cooks, lack of functionality, excess, excessive help, excessive aid, counterproductive aid.
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Optical illusion cartoon. The impossible cube as flat pack furniture

Cartoon. Optical illusion constructing flat pack furniture

Optical illusion cartoon
Impossible object cartoon
The impossible cube as flat pack furniture

An illustration showing someone assembling a piece of flat pack furniture, and finding that in the process he’s accidentally constructed an impossible cube (or irrational cube).
An impossible cube is an optical illusion in which a solid framework of bars that form a cube have their appearance manipulated so that beams at the back seem to cross in front of beams at the front and vise versa. The impossible cube was used by M C Escher.
(Because it’s a deliberate visual manipulation I’m not sure that the impossible cube is really an optical illusion in the strictest sense. In real optical illusions the eye and brain misinterpret an image because they can’t analyse them properly, such as the Necker cube, with no trickery involved)

A cartoon about optical illusions, visual ambiguity, irrational cube, ikea, false perspective, impossible shapes

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