4425. Elton Street (6)

This is another gorgeous T-Rex piece painted as part of the recent renewal of the high hoardings in Elton Street on the outside wall of the Lost Horizons Arts Centre. T-Rex as always, has produced a very classy dinosaur on a very classy background.

T-Rex, Elton Street, Bristol, April 2022
T-Rex, Elton Street, Bristol, April 2022

Of course, the dinosaur is full of mischief, running off with a stick of dynamite in its hand – I’m not sure what the story is here other than to highlight the naughty character. The pink Tyrannosaurus Rex, which is cleverly positioned in the frame by looking backwards, has all the hallmarks of the artist… strong and solid fill and clean solid outlines. In this particular piece, the background deserves a special mention, providing a forest canopy kind of habitat. Great to see.

4374. Sparke Evans Park (38)

Dopes is an artist who appears to like spraying in tight little spots tucked away on the margins of popular graffiti spots, or maybe I just happen to find his pieces in such places.  This one is underneath the bridge in Sparke Evans Park, alongside a Maesyhook piece that until a week ago had been there forever (to make an appearance on Natural Adventures soon).

Dopes, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, April 2022
Dopes, Sparke Evans Park, Bristol, April 2022

Set out in chrome on a turquoise background, Dopes spells out his name, with a rather curious character figure making up the ‘O’. A subtle splash of pink decoration and border gives the piece a little bit of zing and lifts it up above other chrome throw ups.

4318. Turbo Island

There is no question that this a fabulous piece, and Ryder clearly demonstrates that he is not only a ‘letters’ man, but is equally adept at creating characters.

I have a reservation about this piece though, not of its quality, but because I always struggle with street art being used to advertise commercial products, unless as a commission on a commissioned space. Somehow, it just doesn’t sit right with me and I know I am being super-picky, but the street art and Graffiti art community is one that is usually at the front of the queue to complain about consumerism and advertising. I expect this piece was painted for friends, and is at the acceptable end of the advertising spectrum, so I will get over myself and stop here.

Ryder, Turbo Island, Bristol, March 2022
Ryder, Turbo Island, Bristol, March 2022

This is an eye-catching piece at a spot that seems to lurch from high quality pieces to absolute dross and this certainly sits in the former category. The Cheshire cat with its huge grin is outstanding, and the blue and red colours work so well on the black and white of the piece. Love the roller painter Ryder above the piece. Nice work from one of the best.

4287. M32 Spot (135)

Ryder seems to like this particular spot as much as I do, or at least it would appear to be that way given that he paints it reasonably often. This piece is a classic piece of Ryder wildstyle graffiti writing, which is always of the highest order.

Ryder, M32 Spot, Bristol, February 2022
Ryder, M32 Spot, Bristol, February 2022

The most striking thing about this piece is the copper colouring of the letters that seems to change completely in tone, depending on where it is viewed from. This is the kind of piece that one could easily imagine being slapped on the side of a wagon on the New York subway. Classic, clean and tidy. Pure graffiti writing at its best.

4206. Dean Lane skate park (456)

Smak is without question one of the best writers in Bristol, and just in case you need reminding, here is an updated gallery of his work. His letters have an ephemeral quality that almost look like they have been dusted onto the wall, such is the skill and quality of Smak’s workmanship.

Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022
Smak, Dean Lane, Bristol, January 2022

The colour selection is typically brilliant and clicks perfectly. On his Instagram feed, Smack describes this piece as a ‘scrappy one’ which perhaps gives you some idea of the high standards he sets for himself. To my way of thinking, there is nothing scrappy about this at all.

4175. Peel Street Green (3)

There are about eight panels of graffiti writing at Peel Street Green, and I have to confess that there are several by artists that I don’t recognise, which only goes to show that there is a great deal For me still to learn. No mistaking this lovely piece of writing, which is by Smak.

Smak, Peel Street Green, Bristol, January 2022
Smak, Peel Street Green, Bristol, January 2022

The colour palette works really well, and Smak does have a really good eye for his colour combinations. Spelling SMAK, there is a whole lot of movement in the piece, which is dynamic and full of interest. Swapping the base blue and orange from letter to letter is cleverly done, resulting in a complex piece that is easy on the eye. The work of a craftsman.

4103. City Road (12)

This magnificent beast was created by Ryder as part of a magnificent paint jam marking the opening of Stoked Food in Stokes Croft. The whole delivery and car parking Bay Area was decorated by several local artists, but this shutter skull was the centrepiece.

Ryder, City Road, Bristol, October 2021
Ryder, City Road, Bristol, October 2021

Ryder is better known for his outstanding writing, but this is a great character piece, and extra clever as the mouth opens up when the garage door is raised. Very nicely painted and full of cartoon ‘over-the-top’ character, this piece demands to be looked at and enjoyed by passers by on City Road.

4086. M32 Spot (126)

You know that thing where you hear a word for the first time, and then start hearing it again and again, and realise that you have been blind to that word for no explicable reason? Well it is a bit like that with me and Dopes. I met the artist a couple of months ago, and although I have seen and probably photographed his work in the past, I just didn’t post any of it. After meeting him, I am seeing his work everywhere, and it is really good. This is a nice little burner recently painted in the M32 Spot.

Dopes, M32 Spot,Bristol November 2021
Dopes, M32 Spot,Bristol November 2021

The colours are really nicely selected and work well, and he has fitted his letters to this awkward space really well. Super nice that this is a birthday piece for his son Jack. Great work.

4044. City Road (11)

Having only recently started to post pieces by Dopes, it was particularly gratifying to find this absolute beauty recently. Sprayed during a recent paint jam celebrating the opening of a relocated eatery, this piece really stood out, and ticks a lot of my boxes.

Dopes, City Road, Bristol, October 2021
Dopes, City Road, Bristol, October 2021

The multi-coloured, beautifully and skilfully patterned fills are truly exceptional, and the white spots and trims provide the depth and 3D look. Dopes’ letter shapes are all very nice too, particularly the elaborate D. This is a belter of a piece of graffiti writing from the RAW man.

3976. Dean Lane skate park (431)

Although I have photographed many pieces by Dopes over the years, I can’t recall ever posting any of them, which is a pity really, because he is a very skilled graffiti writer who has collaborated with other artists (largely from RAW) whose pieces have made it into Natural Adventures. Time to make amends.

Dopes, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021
Dopes, Dean Lane, Bristol, September 2021

While I was photographing this piece, Dopes was actually watching on, unbeknown to me, and eventually he self-disclosed that he was the artist and we struck up a conversation. He was fretting a bit over the colours and some of the detail and was wondering whether to come back and make some small adjustments. I love it that some writers are such perfectionists, for example Rusk is another, that they agonise over a piece even after they have finished it. The lettering in this chrome piece is nicely accompanied by the blue borders and gaps, and the pink dashes just set the piece off really well. More to come from Dopes, and a few forays into my archive are likely.