4848. Brunel Way (184)

Frog, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Frog, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

It doesn’t get much better than this. A frog wearing a cowboy hat. Fantastic. This piece is by the artist with no ‘street name’, so for the meantime I am calling her Frog, for obvious reasons.

Frog, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022
Frog, Brunel Way, Bristol, November 2022

Frog has painted alongside Nugmoose a couple of times, and his piece is a yard or two away from this one. The frog is nicely painted without sentimentalising the frog’s features. The frog looks like a frog, apart from the cowboy hat. It is not a cartoon representation of a frog. The humour is in the absurdity of a frog wearing a hat and doesn’t rely on a funny frog. Great stuff.

4838. Dean Lane skate park (542)

Frog and Nugmoose, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Frog and Nugmoose, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

This is not the first time I have seen this pairing on a collaborative wall, and I am sure it won’t be the last. I met them both while painting underneath Brunel Way. I already knew Nugmoose, but it was the first time I met the lady who paints frogs. I asked her what her ‘street art name’ was, but she said she was still working on it, so until I know more, I will call her Frog (see what I did there?).

Frog, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Frog, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

To the left, Frog has painted a few frogs about the place, and they make a fine addition to the diversity of pieces in Bristol. I believe that she is quite early on in here street art presence and am really looking forward to watching her technique and compositions develop. This is a beauty, and the flowers and hat bring a narrative to the piece, which is a whole lot more than just a frog.

Nugmoose, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022
Nugmoose, Dean Lane, Bristol, November 2022

To the right is another weird and mysterious piece from Nugmoose. It must be fun writing alien letters and confusing anyone trying to read them. The alien is proper alien, with no recognisable anthropomorphic features to identify with. These two demonstrate just what a fabulously varied offering we get in Bristol, and how blessed we are to see it all for free.

3520. M32 Cycle path (112)

And here we have yet another first appearance by an artist on Natural Adventures in 2021, this time from Melosh, with this intriguing piece along the M32 cycle path. I have seen plenty of small pieces/tags/characters dotted about the place by Melosh, but this is the largest and most coherent piece I have seen to date.

Melosh, M32 cycle path, Bristol, February 2021
Melosh, M32 cycle path, Bristol, February 2021

What’s not to love about a frog on the grog, and one in such a fancy blue shirt? When I saw this piece I liked it instantly. It is nicely finished, slightly zany and brought a smile to my face. I will be including some of his smaller pieces soon, so watch this space. Welcome Melosh.

2991. M32 Spot (74)

Something good pretty much always results when these two PWA artists collaborate, which fortunately for us is often, this time under the M32. Soap and Face 1st seem to have a telepathic connection like Pires and Henry (I had to choose Arsenal players, but think of any deadly football partnership and you’ll know what I mean), and their collaborations feel so comfortable and easy if you know what I mean.

Soap, M32 Spot, Bristol, June 2020
Soap, M32 Spot, Bristol, June 2020

I don’t quite get what the story is but there is consistency across the whole collaboration. On the left Soap is the writing of Soap which is filled with a sophisticated array of colours and techniques and is truly a thing of beauty. Soap’s fills just seem to get better and better.

Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, June 2020
Face 1st, M32 Spot, Bristol, June 2020

On the right we have a rather unusual Face 1st piece of a girl riding on the back of a cigarette-smoking frog waving a bee on the end of a stick in front. What?!? I must ask him what on earth is going on in this piece next time I see him. Wild, imaginative and wonderful.

2678. Cheltenham 2019 (27)

I love the work of I Bee W, but feel a bit guilty that I haven’t posted much of his work – there is no reason for this, I just have a few pieces in my archive that never made it out. This poignant piece from the Cheltenham Paint Festival 2019 was always going to get posted as the subject matter chimes with me.

I bee W, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
I bee W, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

There is a high-gloss quality about this piece, which is remarkable really as it has been sprayed onto chipboard. The image is a sad tale of the disappearance of wildlife through biodoversity loss and climate change, the two most significant issues facing the planet. A little red-eyed tree frog – a representative of life on earth – is saying ‘Bye then!’ as if its existence is a trivial afterthought. Although quite funny, I find this piece and all it represents very depressing. I never thought I would witness first-hand the tipping point, where slowing or reversing biodiversity loss becomes impossible, but all I see around me is an acceleration towards that eventuality. Big changes are needed urgently if we want a beautiful future.

2156. Upper York Street (14)

I love it when it happens, when an unannounced collaboration appears as if by magic. This sensational work from Smak and Hazard is one of those special pieces, and I think they have absolutely smashed it.

Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Smak, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Smak has again gone for one of his double burners, where he has cleverly crafted two versions of his name into one piece. If you look carefully, there is one in blue and one in mostly orange. Such an accomplished thing to do from an artist who seems to be at the top of his game at the moment.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Then to Hazard’s fabulous frog, which I have to say has come as a huge surprise because I am more used to seeing her portrait pieces. I am a naturalist by training, and I have always had a bit of a soft spot for amphibians, especially frogs, so this piece really chimes with me.

Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019
Hazard, Upper York Street, Bristol, April 2019

Everything about this frog is good, the colours and the shading and the light reflecting off the body and the eye. Such an unusual piece to find on the streets of Bristol, but a wholly welcome one. More of this kind of thing please! A great collaboration on Upper York Street, so utterly well worth a look.

2109. Upfest 2018 (136)

When I first saw this piece by Marvin or Marlon it was partially covered by a canopy to protect it from the rain/sun and as a result all I could see was the frog. It wasn’t until I returned the following day that I could see the frog in the context of the whole picture.

Marvin or Marlon, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Marvin or Marlon, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

This is a very clever stencil, with a black and white section showing a shopping trolley abandoned in a wetland and to the right a contrasting full colour stencil of a tree frog. The picture tells a story of environmental degradation and the beauty of nature that is compromised.

Marvin or Marlon, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018
Marvin or Marlon, Upfest, Bristol, July 2018

The star of the piece though must be the frog, although my photograph doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Another cracker from Marvin or Marlon at Upfest.

1942. Raleigh Road, Vector (26)

Over the Christmas break I decided to spend a bit of time trawling through my archives of 2018, to see if I might have missed some pieces that deserve a post. This piece by Khoi had been overlooked, probably because I am not familiar with the artist, and rarely see his/her work.

Khoi, Raleigh Road, Bristol, January 2018
Khoi, Raleigh Road, Bristol, January 2018

I am guessing that Khoi is an occasional visitor to Bristol, because the artist’s pieces are few and far between, or maybe they are just an occasional writer. This piece was created in January last year and was part of a paint jam with Sled One and Corupt. There is something unusual and rather compelling about the piece, and while perhaps not to everyone’s taste it does have a charm to it.

991. North Street Green (9)

Not long after Upfest was over, and just as the dust was settling, this wonderful piece from Bristol’s Cheo appeared in North Street Green. It is a very strong piece, and in my view, far superior to the Morph characters he produced for Upfest.

Cheo, North Street Green, Bristol, August 2017
Cheo, North Street Green, Bristol, August 2017

In this piece he has sprayed a couple of very cool frogs appearently chewing the fat and puffing away on a cigar and cigarette. It is an incredibly neat and crisp piece and in my view shows Cheo at his absolute best.

Cheo, North Street Green, Bristol, August 2017
Cheo, North Street Green, Bristol, August 2017

I’m not too sure how long this would have taken him, but it looks like he took care with it. Yet another great piece from the master.