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 what.....it 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..............   

Saturday, 16 July 2011


Saturday. The flood. Like the sketches the rat (anagram) director emails, can you make the opener more dynamic...I should be trying to make the opener more dynamic instead I've been side-tracked YouTube-ing various versions of Leonard Cohen's song Chelsea Hotel. When I was 17 Leonard Cohen was girls music but I admired some of his songs in secret. I even swapped a John B. Sebastian LP for Songs From A Room circa 1970. I have to do a magazine commission. It's perfect weather for working.  But all I want to do is watch Youtube. On my first visit to New York in 1989 I stayed in The Chelsea Hotel. I didn't use the elevator. If I drove the elevator maybe I might have met Patti Smith or Kris Kristofferson instead I climbed the staircase and met the spirit of Dylan Thomas sliding down the bannister. I found on Facebook an old friend who I haven't seen since 1973 and the clue to her was Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen is the only music she lists on her info page. So it had to be her. She introduced me to Leonard Cohen in 1969. I bought Pearl in 1970. Janis Joplin was according to the song the girl in the song. It is a beautiful song. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

esther pearl watson:

Just received a Design Arts Daily email with an interview with illustrator Mark Todd who is married to another illustrator Esther Pearl Watson , an artist I am not aware of (not so unusual for me ) so I clicked her website I love this painting what a beautiful sky there's others too anyway I'd better get on with my assignment I keep putting off the moment, I've cleared and polished the desk top. It is very stuffy close clammy atmosphere I can't breathe the day is slipping past ........  

Thursday, 14 July 2011

M E D U S A :

Drawing in hindsight. I took the Murdoch half crown, drawing a weekly portrait for nearly three years in the early nineties for his newspaper Today. It was unusual in that I would be told  it could be Jeffrey Archer one week, Billy Connolly another, Princess Anne and so on. I would be free to interpret the subject, draw the victim how I saw fit. I was free to do what I wanted. On occasions my drawing would appear castrated in print, censored frequently but it was a regular earner. I am a tart. I would often get angry-threaten disembowelment and similar then I'd have a week to get over it til the next time. It always travelled Red Star except during industrial action and then it might get lost in transit by carrier pigeon. Besides I liked my editor Christopher Wilson, who would write the copy for the column Poison Pen. He was a fan of my work. He first clapped eyes on my illustrations as part of a small exhibition in a basement bar at Waterloo Station, a bar that previously had housed the gents toilets, so quite an appropriate setting to hang illustrations and cartoons. He tracked me down phoned me up and told me he had been invited to edit a weekly 8 page insert into the main paper. He would like to run Poison Pen a full page. So that's how it started. It ended abruptly.  I have just googled it, November 1995.  Thursday, the day the last Poison Pen appeared, I have a horrible recollection that the last drawing may have been of David Hockney God knows why he had been selected I love the man personally, so it was impossible to produce a drawing that attacked the subject. I suspect it was a gentle apologetic excuse of a drawing. I know it was a gentle apologetic piece. I couldn't do it. If nothing else a bad drawing serves as a spur to draw a better one next week. I am in my studio. It is nearly 5 o'clock. I have music playing, probably Jeff Buckley or if I was really miserable, Bjork. My daughter walks into shot. My memory makes her about 7 years of age in fact, she must've been thirteen. "Dad," she asks "is it true that tomorrow's edition of Today will be it's last?" I think I hear her right. "Pardon." I say. "Say that again."  "Is it true that tomorrow's edition of Today will be it's last?" She says. "Where did you hear that?" I ask. "It was on John Craven's Newsround, just now." This is 1995 before most of us were getting our instant up to the minute information from the internet. I eject Jeff Buckley. Switch to the BBC Radio 4, just in time for the 5 O'clock news. First headline. The Queen Mother is comfortable after an operation to remove a fish bone from her throat. Second item: Leah Betts's life support machine is switched off.......and in the bronze medal slot: Tomorrow's edition of Today Newspaper will be it's last. I phone Christopher Wilson's direct line. No answer. 
The following week I eventually get a call from Wilson. He was on holiday in Devon apparently unaware of the the sudden closure of the newspaper. When he heard the news he was having lunch with TV chef Keith Floyd. I don't know why I've added that piece of information. It turned out that despite Today having a healthy circulation, it was haemorrhaging  massive sums of money. So Murdoch took the decision to shut it down with immediate effect. According to Wilson there was an enormous swindle being carried out by many of the employees who were bleeding Rupert dry, secretaries, office staff on a major expense scam, on the fiddle. Fuelling luxurious lifestyles. But that is a tradition of the newspaper industry I imagine. Me I did get paid what I was owed, but several original drawings mysteriously went awol, including one of Rolling Stone Keith Richards, it's probably hanging on some journalist's toilet wall who in his spare time is a guitarist in a Rolling Stones tribute band. Helps him memorise guitar licks as he wipe's his arse to Satisfaction..............

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wilder Shores of Love

This postcard delivered by Royal Mail. A postcard from a friend. Brian. Not so usual these days. To get something in the post, personal signature and a message. Much appreciated better than a bank statement or junk mail selling insurance. Nowadays it's a facebook thumbs up or an email. Brian's message was handwritten with a fountain pen. Cy Twombly died last week. An artist I don't know much about in fact I know damn all about him.  Now he's dead I'll begin to appreciate him. Roy Orbison. Marvin Gaye. Arthur Worsley. I think I remember reading somewhere that Paul McCartney  owned a Cy Twombly. I like the name Harper as well. Cy whats that short for? Resignation? 
Brian tells me it is impossible to post a comment on this bleedin' blog Flogging the dog he says it's more like floggin' a dead bleedin' horse......anyone else having the same problem because I don't appear to get much reaction but maybe that is because of the dull nature of my waste. I do feel like knocking this on the head.

Thursday, 7 July 2011


Tap Dancing. Cold water tap. Plumber's mate. Tap on the shoulder. Visit from The Grim Reaper.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Bird Spotting: The Greenfinch.

Drawing room. Beware French Windows. Farce. Man with trousers down around his ankles. Very unfunny. Greenfinch unclose your eyes.