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Rob Sanderson, aka Sandy Floss, is exhibiting his doodle art are Tea Amantes throughout March. David Simper bussed along to thee opening and had a chat with the artist.

There was enough time to cook sausage and mash for the family before catching the service 3 bus down to the excellent Tea Amantes gallery to catch this remarkable exhibition from Robert Sanderson, otherwise known as Sandy Floss. I arrived to a buzzing venue with people enthralled by the work.

These images are strong, detailed and full of interest, clearly taking a great deal of skill to execute. The mark making is strong with clear lines within the cartoon style images, giving good contrast. I’ve never really been into comics since Battle (and Valiant) got too much for me and I went over to a plastic modelling magazine, but I have always liked the style, and that of anime. So, I found these compelling.

Most images were tightly grouped compositions of figures, mostly grotesque, but some were simpler such as Betty Boop’s head on a snake. They alternated between black and white and colour.

These fitted well into the Tea Amantes decor and vibe, particularly the tattoo parlour waiting room end.

The works are designed so that viewers will find something new amongst the creative jumble of characters and set pieces, partly inspired by old animation. Sandy Floss (Rob) invites people to take a trip of discovery through his doodle style artwork.

“A lot of the time there is zero planning,” Rob told me. “The images come out of my head โ€“ whatever sounds cool I just draw it. I draw a lot of inspiration from the old Fleischer cartoons, pre-Disney, stuff like that, also ’90s cartoons and horror films.”

Most of the time, he says his materials are either Bristol board or a heavy weight card and Posca markers. “For colour I’ll scan in and use the computer, or us Pro-markers’ alcohol pens.”

So what does the future hold? “I don’t know: this is honestly just a bit of a hobby of mine. If I sell anything – bonus! A lot of the time I just sit down, I’ll just gather pens and paper and doodle away really.”

I asked him has pitched his works to the comic industry (where surely it must have a niche). He hasn’t โ€“ surely this must be the way for this amount of talent.

As ever, thanks to the Tea Amantes team for keeping us supplied with snacks and a wide variety of teas, of which I sampled a few.

I am sure we will see more of Sandy Floss and his creations. For now the service 6 bus was due and I timed my walk down Albert Road to catch it. In Bank Hey Street I was pleased to see that the bus shelters had been repaired and look an awful lot better. Another pleasant evening spent with nice and talented people. The exhibition continues until the 31st March 2024.

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    I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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