Sunday, 28 June 2009

When you dance, there's a magic that must be love!

When I was young I was a punk at heart - I loved Blondie, the Stranglers, the Damned, etc. My dad was a security guard at a university, and sometimes they would share out unclaimed lost property. My dad brought home a cassette player, and in it was the cassette of "Off The Wall". I played it, expecting not to like it...and instantly fell in love with it. I think I wore it away in the end! I remained loyal to punk of course - but I think Off The Wall was one of the best albums ever made and I still love every second of it.

So to the person from Sussex University whose cassette player I ended up with in around 1979 - I am sorry, but thank you - and to Michael Jackson of course - for brightening my life.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


No printing today for several reasons (mainly financial).

I was just going to some drawing, as I have an unexpected hour to myself. But just as I got my stuff out, my neighbours started a rousing chorus of that Basshunter (or whatever it is) dance tune "All I Ever Wanted". It's getting faster and louder and I can just tell that they are jumping up and down, possibly punching the air. I bet they move onto Shania Twain soon, and when they do I shall be overwhelmingly gloomy.

It's been a crap week so far - and it's only Tuesday.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Illustration Friday - "Unfold"

Pull back a leaf, crack open a nut, and see what story unfolds...

I came across this in my garden today. (OK, OK...I came across it after I'd made it from cloth and mounted it in the nut shell!)

This Week

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Under a Burnished Moon

I had two failures at printing today - I ruined a plate I've been working on for ages, and also I had taken a piece of zinc home to try drypoint on (for those who don't know, drypoint is where you scratch directly onto the metal instead of through a ground followed by biting the lines with acid). The drypoint really hurt my hands (I have trouble with my joints anyway) and then when I came to print it today, the pressure was too light and it didn't come out very well. You don't get many prints off a drypoint anyway because the burr wears away (and it's the burr that gives a lovely soft line). So I gave up on it. The print above was almost a failure too - originally I'd done the moon using chine colle, but the blue ink made it a horrible muddy colour - I was about to go home but then decided to try burnishing it instead, and I think it worked out OK.

Luckily I have much more patience with creative things than I used to when I was little. In fact I have loads more patience with creative things than with absolutely any other aspect of life. Put a slow-moving queue in front of me and I am foaming at the mouth within seconds!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name...

And today I did - I visited my old place of work, Bags of Books in Lewes and had a spectacular lunch with my friend Karen. Very delicious it was too, and great to catch up on all the gossip.

It's the first time I've been to Lewes since I left Oxfam a couple of months back, and it was a weird experience. The "poshness" and wealth of it all used to get on my nerves a little bit when I worked there I must admit (all those precocious kids with names like Cordelia and Noah) - but after some time away it did make a refreshing change to see busy shops full of polite, sober people with money! (I know this sound bitter and horrible and I'm sorry. But we've had a few really bad customer-related experiences at work this week.)

On the way home I settled down to do some sketching at the station, very pleased with myself that I had remembered my sketchbook...only to find I had no pen or pencil. So here's a quick sketch I did of Brad watching telly last night instead.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


So Monday was my birthday and I had a lovely day! I got fab presents from my loved ones, as usual. Here I am wearing some of them (the presents that is not the loved ones!), ready to be taken out to lunch at the floating Chinese restaurant on Brighton Marina (yummy & gorgeous!).

I even got some garden furniture - and it's actually been sunny enough to use it!

Well the treats don't seem to have stopped yet - today I went to see the American Scene - Prints from Hopper to Pollock exhibition at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. It was fantastic, and so inspirational. I'd thoroughly recommend it to anyone in the area. It is a fiver to get in, but if you can prove you live in Brighton or Hove with a household bill, you get in half price. (Sadly Newhaven doesn't count!) I managed to stop myself buying the accompanying book - although I haven't ruled out going back yet!

I had the gallery to myself when I arrived - until a crowd of about twenty older ladies came in. They wandered around randomly instead of following the exhibits in order. They read labels and didn't bother looking at the work. They tutted and huffed and sniffed at everything. They compared the prints (loudly) to art done by their friends and family. When one of them saw this beautiful, moving lithograph (The Prisoner by Julius Bloch), she said, "You wouldn't want that hanging in your lounge, would you?"

Erm, yes actually, annoying old lady! I don't know, the older generation eh...

Just settling down now to enjoy my other treat, which arrived today, Gowanus Dogs by Jonathan Frost. It's a children's picture book illustrated entirely in etchings. Looks beautiful. Hurrah!