August 31, 2011


Outside and inside the National Gallery a couple of days ago.

Rain, Trafalgar Square

Rembrandt watching the watchers

Visitors in Rembrandt room, National Gallery


August 29, 2011


I love scarves. I was cleaning out a drawer and realised just how many I have, far too many, the picture is only a small selection. I buy them on impulse, seduced by some gorgeous colour, pattern or texture and then only ever wear the same three or four. I took the whole lot out and hung them on a clothesline, wondering what could be made out of them.

Ideas, anyone? The more unusual the better.

And below I am in Middle Eastern/ancient Egyptian mode.

Some of my scarves

Double Natalie headscarfed


August 18, 2011


I had trouble drawing the chapel built by Père Lafitte and Susan without some kind of model so after many false starts, I made a very rough cardboard structure loosely based on the idea of a hollow tree trunk. Of course I didn't go as far as working out how many plastic bottles and other junk would be needed to build such a thing but I thought it would be fairly small, more or less human-sized. Below is the cardboard idea and you can see below how it developed. The illustration is now inserted at the end of Episode Eighteen of La Vie en Rosé and there's another new image there at the start of that installment. I hope to add the rest of the missing illustrations pretty soon.

rough cardboard model, chapel

La Chapelle Lafitte


August 14, 2011


Not writing about the riots because thousands of words are being written and spoken about the situation and I don't have anything useful to add. Those who have said the most useful things are not politicians or pundits but people whose actions are better than words, people like Camila Batmanghelidh. Or like the man in the street who had served time in jail and told a reporter that instead of wasting money and time to lock young mayhem-makers in jail for a few months, they should be put to work clearing up the mess and making amends to the communities, and individuals they have damaged. And though I'm certainly not a Daily Telegraph reader, this article also hit some nails squarely on the head.

I had no intention of making a word-painting and the image below evolved like this: first I covered a large sheet of paper with splashy abstract shapes of the gestural kind. Then I decided to do a splashy self-portrait over the top. Then I painted over it with a grid of heavy white brushstrokes. Then I wanted some abstract shapes to fill each rectangle of the grid. Then I saw that letters made the best shapes. Then the words emerged.

Greenyellowbluered    Acrylic and ink on paper

The next picture is not relevant to anything and I regret falling into the cat-blogging trap once more but Pushkine (she is female) dropped in again and is just too photogenic to resist.

Pushkine's eyes


August 7, 2011


Here it is again, turning up regularly on the same day at the same time, midnight, every year. I wish that it would forget to turn up and then I could stay whatever age I was when it stopped coming round.

But since something must be done to mark this date and since it's all about identity, leaving one's handprint on the cave walls of time, I've gathered photos of a few of the self-portraits I painted over the years - many many years. They're arranged more or less chronologically but the actual dates are probably lost in prehistoric mists. I must say that seeing these portraits together makes me realise that I could be quite a good painter one day. Must get back on track. A renaissance is due.

All the actual paintings are in colour. Apart from No.3 and 4, I still have these and they are for sale, if anyone's interested. By the way, in real life I don't have a long neck, unfortunately.

1. Brazil self1, Brazil
2. New Yorkself-New York
3. Florencesp Florence

4. Parissp paris

5. Paraguaysp Paraguay
6. Los Angeles-onesp Los Angeles 1
7. Los Angeles-twosp Los Angeles 2
8.  London 1978sp London 1978
9. London 1984sp London 1984
10. London 1985London 1985

More recent ones, including the digital series, are here and here .


August 5, 2011


There's been a very lively response to Dave's post about ghosts, inviting poems on the subject. I've just added my own in his comments. Here it is. I made a very short but time-consuming videopoem for it and posted it to Vimeo as well as below.


They exist
just not here
not now
the way to see them
is to wait
for that moment
before sleep
when your eyes are closed
but you’re still conscious
I forgot what it’s called
never mind
that’s the moment
a little window opens
as if you’re in a cave
looking out
to brilliant sunlight
and there they are
not pale zombies
but ordinary people
tiny figures moving about.
I saw them last night.
Some of them I recognised.