Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Sketchbook/pad: No.2

In 2011 Scratching around for an idea, doodling...........on  cheap paper falling apart.

Friday, 16 January 2015

The Sketchbook: No.1

I don't use a sketchbook. History. I never drew in the sketchbook for twenty years. I drew on sheets of Canson paper. I don't use a sketchbook much in the traditional way of 'sketching' from life - it is a notebook. The warm up. It has become the run up. Some images have been posted here before. But stick with it. From a quarter of the way in, a Jumbo 10 x 10 sketching pad cost £7.80.

Friday, 9 January 2015


Art matters.

I just watched this interview with the great Art Spiegelman.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

How to use The Sketchbook:2011

and you listen to the radio. There is a test match cricket broadcast. And you draw. I don't remember exactly what came first but it was more than likely the hare in the hole with the fish swimming through the eye sockets. 

January 23rd 2015: On reflection I think I would have started drawing the boy first and then King Neptune Father figure emerging from the North Sea behind him.........and then the horizon line spreading eastwards across to the other page followed by directionless animal nonsense, and there you have it.  

And you dip the pen in the bottle at intervals and you draw. Like scales, not fish scales. Practice makes perfect. Like playing the piano. Like bowling a cricket ball. Because I'm scared. And the ink spreads. The line marches outwards. Invades the cheap rag paper. Draw from experience. Recent history. Two days in Cromer.Why are you doing this?  Because the commissions have dried up. Because people don't get my ironic humour in print? Because Americans don't get my sarcasm?  Because my past has caught up with me. Because I became complacent.  Because my brain is a pea? I'm attempting the impossible. I'm trying to dig up, I'm trying to find an idea for a childrens book. Huh. Hysterical. Hilarious. Git! So why don't I scribble with a wax crayon? 

Saturday, 3 January 2015


I can't escape the sketchbook. I'm trapped in a sketchbook. Rarely used a sketchbook. Now it's all I use. Since drawing Walking The Dog in a sketchbook in 2007. Seven years........this is from a sketchbook 2010 scratching around for an idea for a book. It is a portrait of pianist John Ogdon. Watched his first prize winning performance at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1962 on TV. My mother was the piano lover, she loved Semprini, Mrs Mills, Liberace, Russ Conway, cheezy, showbiz fare. But this was another level. This was inspirational genius. Even through my ten year old eyes Ogdon was this odd, slightly mad, cliched, tortured soul. Mesmerising. 
Anyway using a sketchbook to map out a book idea? Groping around in the dark.