Wednesday, 29 February 2012


In case anyone was looking for some art comments - unlucky - I'm still on car maintenance:  The van is very poorly!  It will be fixed tomorrow.  Yesterday I took my Mum and Dad up to see the exhibition.  We whizzed round it and shot off for lunch at the Europa on Albermarle Street on a table next to Michael and Brenda Felmingham and friend which was fun.  I don't think the decor in there has changed since Bill Paterson first treated me to cod and chips and a bottle of red one Friday lunchtime 10 years ago.  I had to return to Messums today to sort through some possible commissions with Kris.  4 hours later we emerged a little clearer. I took the TR6 and it was lush.  It makes such a great noise!!  I managed to rework a couple of oils from Hungerford Bridge looking at Westminster (nothing new) and I think made them passable.  The light was misty/pink/twilight at 5 and I tried a view of Buckingham Palace though the light faded too fast.

Monday, 27 February 2012


I did not book tickets for the show.  It's always just too much grief.  I always miss these things.  Spoke to mother on the phone about wheeling her and the old man up to the show tomorrow (in a van with dodgey PAS again, an airbag light and a brake warning light on! It's booked in again on Thursday).  Mum mentioned she'd been watching Andrew Marr and Hockney and she loved it then my friend Joy phoned reporting the same.  So for the first time ever I used BBC i player.  I do like him.  He does not use deliberately ambiguous 'smoke and mirrors' art language.  He is very straight forward and yet passionate.  Best bit of the film:  25mins:35seconds - 52seconds: The lady with the feather duster!!
Some good quotes I thought (not new ideas but succinct):
'The world does not look like a photo.  It's not the human view'
'Notice what the artist does not what he says'
'You can teach the craft but not the poetry.  Now they try to teach the poetry but not the craft'
And then his paraphrasing 'The Chinese': 'You need the eye, the hand and the heart.  Two will not do you need all three.'
Now I shall try and find the freud programme if it's still on i player.  Do they have shelf lives?
I Think I'm going to be up all night.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Private view today. We'll catch the 16:15 from Bath Spa and probably sneak a quick gin in on the way up.  They are funny old evenings private views: Usually busy although I remember one at W.H.Pattersons when my aunt told my mother she'd like to go:
"Well please do Natalie but you have to realise Peter will be very busy and probably will not get the chance to say hello"
Come the night I was delighted to see my aunt kick the tumble weed out the way and I gave her the biggest hug.  I had been feigning interest at all the paintings for 10 minutes and had run out of things to do other than stand with my hands in my pockets waiting for 8.30 when Bill Patterson, the bloke serving the drinks and me could go home.  I did not let my aunt go.  It was a god send!  Coming tonight Nats?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

End of man flu!!

I woke up this morning having slept well with no cold.  Deep joy.  18th February (Saturday) is hand in for the Lynn Painter Stainers Prize which seems to have taken over from the Threadneedle (having taken just 4 years to go trendy) as the major figurative art prize.  So today I am going to paint the messy desk in my office to fit in a frame in the studio.  It is going to win the prize.  Well it is a bit unlikely but you have to think that.  The likely outcome is I get in a tizzy and finish the day grumpier than I started yesterday.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Back from India missing the snow in England

Arrived back from Udaipur via a 12 hour wait for a connecting flight at Mumbai where I caught a taxi from the domestic airport to the beach to watch the sunset before getting completely ripped of by a rickshaw back to the international airport.  I had my luggage transferred with the 20 oils I had done and was relieved to see them again before boarding.  India, as my pal Caroline told me, was a 'seminal experience'.  I am weary of boring people with it but let's just say it was jaw dropping and the people were amazing.  Painting on the narrow busy streets of the centre of Udaipur's old town was at first nerve racking (how they can fit 2 rickshaws a motorbike, a cow and a few pedestrians across  a road 3 metres wide I do not know).  I would have loved to have shown Westminster city council how the people of India did not bizarrely find my tripod a risk to human life.  I would ask the shop keepers/ stall holders if they minded me painting from their spot and they could not have been more welcoming and helpful insisting I shared their lunch and offering masala chi every hour!  It was a treat to spend the week or so sharing evenings on rooftop restaurants over looking the lake with the lads (Ken, Patrick Cullen, James Horton (with his botttle of whisky) and George Devlin) and of course Dora (but please Patrick don't mention Berlusconi).  I experienced for the first time jet lag over the weekend and having adopted Ned's cold will now spend 2 days doing that guff that we all said it was great to get away from in the last week: emails, post and goddam VAT!!  Patrick Cullen organised the trip - thank you very much chum.  Let me know when the next one is.