Friday, 16 December 2011

Blue Christ.

Drawing in a drawer. Best left.




Visitation? I shake the plum tree and look what falls out - I like to think that the dog may have inspired Sergio's not bad is it?

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Catch A Falling Star:

Merry Christmas to my 119 readers?

Friday, 9 December 2011

Once Bitten Twice Earls Court:

Last night there was a storm.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Monday, 5 December 2011

S O C R A T E S 57 was a doctor.

I leave the country. Full body search on exit. Gary Speed God Speed Ken Russell. Schiele reduced to a box of matches reduced to a fridge magnet. Better than hanging on a toilet door in a posh restaurant Shirley Maclaine for the ladies, The Duke for the gents It's over before you know it. Mowing the lawn in December. Plague of copyists in Savannah. Why? The spy reports and emails me evidence. Says Sorry to make you angry. Angry? Down to the last detail. It has no class no sense of design. It's - throw the material at the wall make it stick and copy. Can't you tell the difference? Who runs this academy in Savannah? Shoot the suspects. Line 'em up. Slap the culprits round the face point out the errors of their ways.........dislocate their fingers. Skewer their eyeballs and burn over the bar-bq. Illustration makes you sick. I couldn't get an interview a few years back at the University of Savannah they advertised for a full time lecturer of illustration in The Guardian newspaper in England. I applied. No they said I wouldn't be considered as I have no educational qualifications. No degree. Can't interview you. Can't consider you. New Yorker? The Washington Post? Esquire? Your students write to me seeking enlightenment...........No good. No qualifications. No provisional licence. Sorry no degree. You are not a Professor. You are not a Doctor. You are not qualified. I make a living. You don't make a living. Who you kidding? The plagiarism is terminal. Copy something else you slug brained cretinous clams. The Professors of Savannah should be sacked, trousers pulled down and buttocks caned.   Should be discouraged. Should close the shop. Everything must go. Identity plundered. Looted. It's all been done before, Klaus said. Not worth a light. It's only illustration. 

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday, 4 November 2011

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Charmer. Snake Charmer.

I last went to a Chelsea match at Stamford Bridge in 1971........I couldn't have predicted my next visit yesterday was going to be in the company of my chef chum MPW, sat in the directors box guest of the Chelsea Chairman and witnessing a classic contest in a 8 goal thriller and Arsenal coming out the victors after a second half comeback. Viva Van Persie. Bit different 40 years ago. 40 years! 50000 pornographic violent chanting skinheads looking for blood swaying as one standing massed tsunami gobbing their fury at Peter Houseman. And after the match away from The Shed End raiding the enemy stampeding in their 64-eyed steel capped DMs across the rooftops of parked Morris Marinas,leaving their impression on Austin Allegros sensing blood slinging their sharpened coins. Giving Old Bill something to do. Yesterday it was a taxi rank of massed chauffered latte swigging smoked windowed four by fours waiting in a shiny queue for their smartly dressed crew. Great match though.And the best goal of the lot was Theo Walcott's. He dribbles the ball in from the right wing falls over the ball stumbles through a group of Chelsea defenders having a natter as if at a day time creche, the ball half left behind but Theo manages to regain his balance at the same time as renegotiating a deal with the ball who joins him on his mesmerising path to glory and launches the sphere the missile past the leather capped Peter Cech bulging into the net. Genius.   

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Five minutes.

Holt.A twee small town in the county of Norfolk. Stuffed with estate agents. Stuffed with craft shops. Stuffed full of grandparents with children looking to pass the time in search of gift wrapped Giclee prints of oil paintings on canvas, signed HARRIS. Didn't hang about.

Hotel de Paris, Cromer. Norfolk. Rain. Regular Haddock and Chips. Irregular thoughts. Save The Cromer Crab. Caught a bit of BBC Radio 4 documentary on 70 years of Classic Comics. Moby Dick. Treasure Island.  The Iliad. Didn't hear all of it-found a parking space. Time was tight.
Dexter had a haircut. He's up for anything now.
Going for a pow-wow, for a pint at The Dove to smoke the peace..  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


6.50am Got up. Just. Made a cup of tea. Fantasied of giving up. Stopping. This. That. Drawing. Illustration. Especially illustration. Switched on the laptop. Checked the email. No response. Half looked at TV Breakfast News. I suppose I mean with one eye like Cyclops. Swop. One Israeli for 1000 Palestinians. Switched off. Went to iplayer. Nothing worth a view. Then Clicked on Brian Clarke An Artist Apart. Gobsmacking. Inspirational. Breathtaking. The genuine thing. Leonardo Da Vinci. 

Now back to the Iliad.
Greek Unorthodox.I perpetuate the artistic lie. Back to the mediocre.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


We waited for hours. A surge. I was shuvved violently against the perfumed Wilfred Brambell. George winked and he was gone. Twickenham Film Studios a long time ago.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Can't tell a joke: Take two.....
Think. Idea. Draw. Scan. Post. Pocket picked. Ideas, can't copyright an idea can you? Depressing. Hands off. Stop this nonsense. These drawings. These childish self conscious expressions of ink. Normal service. Sleep. 
60 is the new - 40. Fuck off. Golf. That's it dedicate myself to reducing the handicap. 
Invite to Vienna. I said how good is that? Wonderful he replied. An offer of 75% less than the previous project. Absurdly high expectations he said. 
Another publisher sent a royalty statement for the period January 2011-June 2011 they sold eleven books. Just the £4230.20 to break even. I could do that in an afternoon sell eleven Hot Dogs. Why don't you? Arsehole. Because it is by Sandy Turner and Sandy Turner is dead. The price of the airmail statement cost more than the Cool Cat Hot Dog royalties of eleven sales. 
I sold Hot Dogs at The Gaumont Cinema. Richmond. Tore in half admit 1 tickets, skewered their other half on a spike. Ushered couples to their viewing positions,shone a torch on their row number. I sold choc ices in the interval. Short changed customers in the dark. Saw Charlie Bubbles. Whom The Gods Wish To Destroy. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 63 times. One couple who followed my torch-beam to their seat in the stalls was Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave. And another was Nicol Williamson.

Monday, 10 October 2011

SENDAK: Signed

In 1992 I was invited to meet Sendak along with other notable illustrators including if I can remember correctly, Angela Barrett, Helen Oxenbury, John Burningham and Shirley Hughes. I had driven down from Manchester with Jill Barton, I missed the cup final to go. It was for a meal hosted by Walker Books in his honour at The Ivy restaurant. He was in London to promote I Saw Esau edited by Iona & Charles Opie, beautifully designed by Amelia Edwards and decorated by his illustrations. It was all very polite and reverential until I got up from the long table and I produced my copy of Where The Wild Things Are for him to sign and then it suddenly became more relaxed and every one else also produced various Sendak books for him to sign. As he left at the end he gave me some sound advice. "Don't let the bastard's fuck you up!"

Friday, 7 October 2011

Courtney Pine:EUROPA

I might play some Miles Davis I might listen to some jazz influenced tracks but last night I witnessed a breathtaking performance by Courtney Pine and his band featuring a mesmerising pianist Zoe Rahman. Artists at play. The pity there wasn't a larger audience to witness his genuinely human presence his conversation his virtuoso playing of a bass clarinet. Genius. I said I would do a drawing. I did. And you know what? It's crap.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Dog Goes to Market.

Bert Jansch, 67 has died. Dexter attracts the freaks. The market place draws them in. Earwigs round an ants nest. I got an offer today. 

Tuesday, 4 October 2011


Charitable.Drawing without reference. Without blinkers. Didn't have time to sit for me. Drawing from memory. No photographic aid. 45 minutes duration. Partial Soundtrack:Thou Shall't Always KIll: Dan Le Sac Scroobius Pip/Land Called Home: Jim White just to give a flavour. Dog asleep in the doorway. Sky turned grey. Heatwave has withdrawn.

Monday, 3 October 2011

S E N D A K:

Today's Guardian Newspaper, interview with Maurice Sendak. Worth a read. Honest. Funny. Shame there ain't more. I think it wasn't until I was in my first year Foundation course that I was aware of Sendak. 16 or 17 years old I saw a copy of Where The Wild Things Are, it belonged to Jonathan Briant. Of course later it became one of the influences on my work.

Friday, 23 September 2011


Twenty degrees? Twenty two? Twenty three? Twenty five this afternoon? Twenty. 3pm. sat in the sun outside the studio door glass of red wine. A mob of Long Tailed Tits making a racket in a plum tree. Don't want to work. 
Earlier a courier who bore an uncanny resemblance to Albert Einstein, he got it wrong at first, went next door, knocked at my door. David Hughes? Yup. Sign at the bottom. I scrawled an autograph across his mini screen. Unsealing the packet to find a magazine for which I was asked to contribute. 'Britain, Hometown of Picture Books'. South Korea - God Bless You. I know if I remember correctly that I said something along the lines of 'what do you expect, bloody Beatrix Potter...' in the interview. I like to think their designer has a keen sense of humour, even if they did manage to crop off/amputate the feet of I presume John Bull. What am I doing amongst this company? Kate Greenaway, Beatrix Potter, Charles Keeping, Shirley Hughes, Quentin Blake, John Burningham, Oliver Jeffers, Sara Fanelli, Harriet Russell, to name a few....surely some mistake. Brilliant. Genius. Cheers. Long live the dog! Buy it now, let's hope the translator has a keen sense of humour too. Can't trust no one least of all Albert Einstein.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

4 0 4

Compulsion. This compulsion with the computer. Facebook. BLAH. Sketchbook. Cheap drawings. Waste of ink. Taste of drink. I woke up. It's Wednesday. 7:40AM. Bins? She said. Bins she repeated it's bin day today. Have they been? Have you put the bin out? It's Wednesday. I said.  No it's Thursday she said. She was right it was Thursday. Bin day. Grey bin day. I lost a day. Lost the argument.Do you really care. Fish pie tonight. But fish pie should be served on Friday. I am in a state. Football used to all kick off at 3pm on a Saturday.  

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Putting On The Ritz

Just the usual Tuesday afternoon followed by a stroll across St. James's Park. The life of the illustrator.(retired). Bumped into Binky Chambers outside Lock & Co.hadn't clapped eyes on him in 30 years. Recession? Life's a riot isn't it darling. Nibs, oh yes the drawing implement of choice, personal preference of course is the Gillott 404. Don't leave home without it. Carry a supply just in case. Now where's the Hansom Cab?   

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Angel

Doodle. Not very good Doodle. 
Out of gas. Devoid of energy...... Who....tea at The Ritz tomorrow funny life Slow worm legless as a lizard a couple of days ago. Buzzard today. 

Monday, 12 September 2011


You should wear white socks with tailored shorts..................................................................I was invited to a round of golf in deepest leafy Surrey on Saturday. I haven't played a full round for at least three years. I managed not to make a complete idiot of myself I even parred two holes. My friend Ian partnered me. We were up against another team also Ian and David, which made life simple. Dave was a builder, Ian a chippie (carpenter) . Dave told us he had recently played a round of golf with a disabled player and was impressed by the man's ability to hit a golf ball. I remarked you should've asked what his handicap was.  But the comment flew over the heads of the alternative Ian and David, just like one of my wayward hacks. It was such an obvious comment to make I couldn't resist. Still my partner Ian laughed.
Another friend hit's sixty. God it's depressing. Celebration in a restaurant in Holland Park. I met up with Ronnie a former editor of Hello. I don't really know her that well but we meet up at intervals of I don't know of five maybe even ten years but I always enjoy seeing her. We first met in the offices of Options magazine in the early 80's I was working at Granada Television Studios in Manchester and she was suitably impressed that I knew several members of the cast of Coronation Street at the time. When I say knew it was more like I can remember exchanging small talk to Len Fairclough in the next urinal cubical one afternoon, I think he was later arrested at his local swimming baths............... chatting with Vera Duckworth in the bar while she fed the fruit machine that sort of thing......... Ronnie was a fan, so I think we hit it off. Somehow it seemed the perfect position for Ronnie when she was offered the editorship of Hello Magazine several years later. Not before she had worked in a funeral parlour for a number of years, interesting  CV. 
Sunday morning made a pilgrimage to Cookham to see Stanley Spencer and his war paintings of shipbuilding on The Clyde. Interesting small exhibition but I was disappointed with Cookham I expected to see resurrected souls clambering from the graveyard, spotty Dalmatians peeing up against lamposts fat naked torsos lingering behind upstairs net curtained windows. Instead mobs of daytrippers every other one talking into their mobiles.  And a head full with blank intervals of the previous night and serious self hatred.........I was going to inflict my memories of that day 10 years ago but really who cares what I think.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Fish of Fukushima -Wish you were here..........

First postcard drawing: Did this lot fetch a decent price? Was it a bargain? Did the auctioneer give it a good hammering. Did he bang his gavel? Does the bidder keep tropical fish? This morning, weather a bit wet, a bit windy. Dog a bit damp. So you punch your victim's mobile number and if it goes to answerphone you punch 191 and you can hack them, you can listen to their messages? Simple is it really that simple or did I miss hear? I am deaf. That's how you retrieve your own I thick? He did mumble. It makes you concentrate. It's getting depressing more and more of my acquaintances, friends even are reaching the sixty year mark. Still that bodyboarder had both legs bitten off by a Great White that's worse.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

I blame the parents:

Looting. Don't do it. Don't say you are inspired by me. Dog's and their owners. Inspired by: You are just copying. There is no apprenticeship. No understanding. Lazy. I am not impressed. I am depressed by it. It has to stop. All the tics and mannerisms. Mike Yarwood. Phil Cool. Rory Bremnerisms. 

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


I must not make jokes at others misfortune. I must try harder. I must not be cynical. I must be a picture book illustrator. I must not attempt to draw political type cartoons. I am not a cartoonist. I must feel a sense of pity for the estate agents of London. Next target Richmond? Teddington?


A lovely day yesterday in Broadstairs on the coast of the Garden of England. How tranquil, how English....

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Amy. 27

Middle name Jade? You should've been Rita. This hasn't come out as I wanted. It started with a quickly drawn right eye the left as you look at it and then the pen went it's own way. Far too big. What about the hair do. What about the black why not colour it in black. Don't know. It's a failure. But it's done. And I'm putting it up here. Amy Rita Winehouse was cremated today. Bloody sad.
So as many a critic/fan has pointed out she joins a club of similar icons. I think you could lay the blame at the feet of that great late cabaret singer Matt Monro - Born Free - From Russia With Love- the Camay soap advert. Before Matt hit the big time he drove the Teddington Bus and guess was the number 27. Matt died prematurely too I think at the age of 54. No significance there just that 54 is twice 27......... 

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Hi David:

Spot looks great. Would like more focus on the megaphone for the opener. Anyway to make this more dynamic? 

I got feedback form the design director for you. He is concerned that

these are feeling a bit dark. Is there anything to be done to lighten

the spirit of these? I think you should try infusing more humour in

them. Although I like having a woman and I definitely think we need

women for diversity maybe Maria's quote is too dark and sensitive for

the DD.

Hi David, Actually we have opted to art this differently. Thank for trying to take on this impossible task. Hope we will work together again soon.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Egon Schiele. David Hockney. Hans Holbein.
Today is Sunday the rain is torrential the sky dark it is beautiful. I have completed 6 drawings in progress, deadline Wednesday. I've listened to Desert Island Discs. I've tuned into Danny Baker on Radio 5. He is a genius. Now I listen to the rain.  
I am washed away with the flood. I MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO BE A POLITICAL CARTOONIST. I MUST NOT ATTEMPT TO BE A POLITICAL CARTOONIST. I MUST try something different..............