Saturday, 10 October 2009


Hello peeps me here - who am I? Where am I? And what have I been doing?
You may ask. Cor long time no blog hasn't it been - and now with Pot tucked away in India I can safely re-launch (ha ha ha) As you can see from the end of my last post - things seemed to have come to a grinding halt..

Anyway it was like I had these 9 scriptwriter followers and then lured them over to an art blog under false pretences - ha. I've been steadily slapping up art on facebook as I go - drawing those dark pieces now - through strangely they're not as dark as I suspected they would be - and going off on other tangents...For those who haven't seen already, I'm putting this 'Rapunzel' one up. Working on a companion piece for this right now (love using these natty phrases 'companion piece' or 'diptych' )

Plus the world has been spinning me into the middle of a rather peculiar web of serendipity lately. I kind of try not to look at things too closely or read too much into stuff - in case I scream. One small example is that I saw a lovely little ornamental tree thing in my usual food superstore and thought it'd be perfect for my mum's birthday. It even had a plaited trunk - cute. Anyway she loved it. "Ficus" she enquired "isn't that a fig?" My hackles rose and I glowered at the offending item feeling cheated & wondering If I could suddenly hurl it out into the street - without her noticing....

So myriad stuff like that. Everywhere all the time. Keep my head down. BTW has anyone seen those kind of magnetic arrange-the-beaver iron filings things in the shops? Jeez.

But anyhow, I've always been a great believer in following your own path, listening to your gut, instinct and what what. Other people often get it wrong for you. Years ago I remember going for a job cleaning toilets in a nightclub in Leeds and I got the job and the day I started the manager came round and said, 'Oh we can't have you cleaning toilets, we'll have to put you on the bar.' So reluctantly I struck up a pose behind the bar and started serving drinks. On my third day I got the sack - for not smiling. See - I'd have lasted a lot longer in the toilets.

So what else? Anyway October's planetary shifts are already being felt and I shan't tempt blog karma by talking too much here. But the house is sold, papers are being filed, plans are being made - holes in the floor gape angrily - but who cares? - time to make a life shift huh.. what say you...

Plus sat down a wrote a lovely new synopsis ..

Cheers to autumn or spring whatever hemisphere you may be in.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


So whattagoarnhereso? Still arting about. This one above you may remember from the old blog, I did back in 87 and not 89 as mentioned elsewhere - blinking 22 years ago - some of you weren't even born then huh? That's what aging does - overloads you with back story. Anyway those aeroplanes in that basket were part of some billboard that was all over the underground at the time - some may recall. I stood on the platform and fell in love with it. Shame Concorde is gone now. Anyway the reason I put RRH drawing up here is because (during a rather prolonged absence) I've been scratching away doing sketches for 'Hum of History' 9 - 22 - or rather the Act Two of this series - quite a task - plus I want to get all the 14 sketches finished (and visually coherent) before I even make a start turning them into large drawings. Quite apart from the fact that I don't have any room left. The RRH is actually going to influence the style of the next segment - which will be far more charcoal-y, edgy and dark almost monochromatic compared to the first 8. Plus tons more drama. Ha!

Also quietly working on some book plates and a proposal for a huge scale project.
Kind of quiet on the blog. Still waiting for the remainder of jazz book funds to finish that off. Blogging about waiting around for stuff isn't all that interesting is it? So hope the new (or even the old - while moving desks) powers-that-be get their fingers out soon..


Tuesday, 31 March 2009


The other day my daughter drew a picture of a man climbing a long ladder into the sky to get into an aeroplane. Woooo!

Anyway - slowing down now with the pastels. Running out of steam - I think finally - phew. So the first act of 'Hum of History' (parts 1-7) is finished - with the rest of the series to be continued later...
Now the desk summons. Writing. But meanwhile catching up on a whole heap of films this week - all those you've already seen - but which take forever to hit these shores.

How are you nine persons doing?

Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Hello my few. Pot reminded me (in the intimate environment of the mini-chatroom that accompanies a wordscraper game) that I'd not blogged for ages and yes it would have been even longer - were it not for that meme below.

I try to keep up a slight pretence that I am writing here and there, but my word count this year so far has been zilch. Even though I do feel the urge - every now and again..

But I'm still smitten with drawing - mainly because it is so lovely to get an instant response. There's blog/facebook feedback and my daughter of course - who demands to be in every picture - but also reactions from the few folk who stroll through the house from time to time. You don't get the nasty shades of 'no' of script responses. People can wrinkle their nose or walk away - but they tend not to - they always say something unexpected . Yesterday a couple from Canada came. He was fascinated by Helen's microwave on the canoe (he in furniture - I think) and talked about making kites. His wife was pleased the naked lady had the good sense to keep (what are clearly her best) shoes on. She thought the kite tags looked like medical sutures.

My daughter, when she first saw the picture with the orgy (and big hand) announced she was going to report me to the police for drawing people doing rude things with no clothes on. She sleeps in the room with the Ark on the wall and, in the morning, tells me what everyone on deck did during the night. When she comes back from school she always notices who's new on board.

So that's what I enjoy - engagement.


Saturday, 21 March 2009



1) Put the link of the person who tagged you on your blog.
T'was Potdoll of course

2) Write the rules
Here they are

3) Mention 6 things or habits of no real importance about you:

i) I prefer savoury to sweet
ii) I drink between 8-12 cups of tea per day
iii) I love hoovering up dead cockroaches but not emptying the bag later
iv) I'm now addicted to wordscraper - especially 'random rules'
v) My favourite colour is olive green
vi) I can't count (as pointed out in comments) and get left and right mixed up too

and I tag you

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Update: now finished
In the end I used google earth (of course) to 'image' the world. I find I keep downloading and removing it - but it was perfect for finding exactly the right piece of the globe for the picture - plus it can stretch and contort the continents as the world rotates. That arm-like inlet ending in two fingers (on the bottom leftish) is apparently the Suez canal. So I printed off the bit I needed a couple of times and worked from that - but still haven't worked out quite what happens up beyond Japan at the top. I think there may be room for a small piece of Australia above or near the peach bird. The oceans were a bit of a nightmare - so much space really. Then there's still the constellations to work on...
In photographs, the egg seems to have this ethereal glow.

Ploughing on..


Sunday, 8 March 2009


For the next picture I'm taking a small section out of No 4 and expanding it - from this:

to this.

I went to an opening at the gallery the other evening and - looking at the space, worked out that it could probably accommodate 8 pictures really well - plus maybe a few sketches and photographs. I'm on the 6th. The one decribed here will be no 7. Then there's always one I made earlier I could pull out again...


Saturday, 7 March 2009


My mum went in for a hip replacement operation this week so my mind switch has mostly been on 'agitated'. She's doing fine right now and walked 10 metres unaided today. There's always that dread at times like these, when you phone the hospital or get a call from them. The hospital she's in is like a prison in terms of security - and won't even allow family members to drop off newspapers or anything outside of visiting hours.

The lady in the next bed to my mum looked in a pretty bad way - don't know what she was in for but she looked thin and old and kept sort of doing this sort of lacy, typing dance thing with her fingers on the bed clothes and trying to lift her head - very close to the end I'd say - but fighting, fighting it, then retreating. There's a strange skin thing that seems to happen to the nearly dead - whatever colour people happen to be - the skin gains this sallow, soapy quality - do you know what I mean?

Years ago (when a student) I worked as a cleaner in several London hospitals - Bolingbroke was one (now defunct) and another near Old Street. Most of my time was spent dusting and cleaning toilets. So being on the ward was always more exciting - despite the fact I was usually on wards full of elderly people. I heard the death rattle for the first time. Other times I'd be dusting in the dayroom - quietly spraying the windowsills away from the circle of wheelchairs & stuffed-chair pensioners positioned round the TV when a low menacing hiss would start 'Die!' Quickly the cursed whisper would spread across the room like a football cheer; 'Die die die!' And I'd rush from the room.

The best thing about cleaning wards was the polisher - you know those big industrial hoover machines that skim from side to side leaving polished stripes. Great fun.
In fact my own fear (of bad news from the hospital) was probably exacerbated by a story I read fairly recently in the 'No 1 Ladies Detective' series - where there was a series of regular and unexplained deaths on a particular ward in a hospital. They always occurred on the same day of the week at the same time. They were eventually connected to a cleaner whose routine involved switching off a defibrillator (or other vital lifesaving equipment) in order to plug in the electric floor polisher. Tut.

Aside from this - the art. Have made a start on the next one as you can see. I'm having a bit of trouble drawing out a rounded, globe piece of the world. For a start, can't find a bit that I want, that doesn't have too much ocean in. I've downloaded these rotating NASA animatronic rotating earths - but it's the angle too I'm having difficulty with. When you're drawing pictures you need to think about filling the space well, as well as accuracy - it has to look good too..

Actually been thinking about the essence of drawing and writing quite a bit lately - particularly in terms of 'composition'. In drawing I think I've now finally 'got' composition for the first time in my life. In drawing, composition is maybe just a couple of lines on the page - but lines on which the whole of the picture will rely. If I compare this to scriptwriting, then composition is probably closer to metaphor than structure. (Schrader says "the metaphor is the structure" Maybe all art and writing is about finding the essences of things - the absolute simple reduction of message. A bit like the throwback way smell works. GG Marquez said that the enigma of the tropics could be reduced to 'the fragrance of a rotten guava.'

So in this picture I drew two circles (not whole circles) one is the outline of the nest and the other is the edge of the world) Once those were in place I knew the whole picture would work - just the details had to be worked out. Two circles. That's all.
So after I've sorted the ocean, there's the constellations.

Other than that its been insanely hot here this week - 40 degrees plus. My pc keeps crashing because the fan inside just conks out in the heat. Agghhh - always seems to be right in the middle of an important game of word scraper.

Life can be a little trying sometimes huh?

Talk to me

Thursday, 26 February 2009


firstly a sketch for the next one - the nest - well actually it is only half of one because I drew on A3 and it wouldn't fit on the scanner - so the rest (left hand side) shows the rounded edge of the world (it'll look like a globe) and sky and stuff beyond..
Here I put two people eating in the nest - though it feels a bit static - so will likely end up as something completely different. The first drawing only had the girl looking down on the Ark below etc. Maybe I'll draw people sleeping.. let's see...

Then I've also posted the almost finished Ark picture. There are still three seats left empty for latecomers - or folk who don't realise that I need to see more than a thumbnail before can seat them. So that's why there's those grey shadows.
And I still have to do Pot's hair wisps..


Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Nils Udo - Nest

..thinking out loud this post really - notes towards the next picture which is going to have a massive nest in it.
There's a nest right on top of the shed thing on the Ark. So the next picture will be from inside it - with maybe a couple of people and some luggage or stuff. I like the image above. The nest will overlook the edge of the Ark, the oceans and edge of the world etc.
By the way if you still want to be pictured on the Ark, join the facebook group by clicking here. The gallery is talking about an exhibition - it'll be great to see them all up together...


Saturday, 7 February 2009


3rd or 4th updated version in progress on this Ark at the moment - and still a fair number of things to solve. It sails at night, I think (because of the cinema projection on the sheet above.) The sheet thing was the only solution for an open air viewing on such a large vessel and it seems to be strung up with bunting (ha!) and attached to the sky. The movie itself is something scary - at the moment there's just a wolf and a girl running away - but that'll probably develop - I keep thinking of Spirit of The Beehive) which I love.

So the whole thing will be more about light and shade than the previous ones - with the projection beam illuminating all the upturned faces on the deck below etc. Not started on the detail yet - but don't worry Lara and Pot I've reserved your places either side of the aisle on the third row C. Plus I'll be dipping into fb for the most flattering facial photos.

There may well be an usherette to keep the audience under control. I think I'll put any animals in the back rows, out of the way - they'd probably cause havoc any further forward. Bad enough with all the cell phones going off. That thing that looks a bit like a nose to one side of the Ark is actually a volcano. I'm still working out what to draw in this large empty space on the lower right hand side - maybe a face of someone emerging from the sea.. Hmmm what do you think?

I need to add another bit of paper lower left as there wasn't quite enough. Laters.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


'Mrs Sockett is a prop for Pontypool* front row' was a sentence etched carefully on a desk in a classroom of my secondary school. (*see WC Dixon's recent post.) The infamous 'Mrs S' was a French teacher. And Pontypool RFC probably still need supporters.

And so do I - for the front two rows of seats in my ark. I'm considering filling them with bloggers - top seats though. No props required. Fancy one? See I've decided to install an open air cinema on the top deck (prow?) - so of course there needs to be an audience. After googling around today, I find that the traditional ark as a model looks rather stark (see above) - more like a big boaty version of a Shaker house. I also think eff all the 2 x 2 animals. I'm no good at drawing animals anyway apart from the odd bird and perhaps (giant this time) rabbit - so a cinema it is..

How are you btw? Let me know if you're shy.

Monday, 2 February 2009

basking... the glow of my blog award from Pot.
I am fab woo hoo.
Now what else do I do with it?
(BTW - apologies to all those of a fragile disposition - as I have - who are offended by the expletive. This is showbusiness)

I would like to thank my mum for being so trying and my daughter for keeping me sane. And you fellow bloggers for just being there through flab and fibs.


Put the image on your blog
List 10 truths about yourself
Give the award to 5 other people
Provide meaningful quotation

10 truths...

1. I enjoy your company
2. I'm a crap liar
3. I had the Midas touch - but now it only works on myself
4. I like eating more than swimming
5. I'm glad I'm female
6. I enjoy faffing around
7. I prefer drawing to writing
8. I have a secret than no one will ever find out
9. I'm unforgettable
10. I'm not finished yet...

Ooo I nearly forgot my meaningful quote. I found this one yesterday and put it on my fb page:

'Art is the lie that reveals the truth'

I only have 7 followers and most of them Pot has tagged so there's Lianne, Jon Peacey, Elinor, Mr Andy 'Pancakes' and anyone who feels like it...


Well hello my six. Long time no blog and its February already and I've missed you sorely although - really not much to report - except swimming - which is probably (with my daughter - see above) the best thing about now in this hemisphere. Mind you, seeing a cow-sized fox running along Camden High Road in the snow would be amazing...

So besides drafting ideas for the local broadcasters latest RFPs, I've been doing some smaller drawings on brown paper. But really not happy with them - feel too cramped.

Here's one (useful to put up stuff that's not working sometimes)I mean look at the poor bloke - with the feet sticking out the bottom. Tssk..Much prefer a bigger canvas and a broader sweep. At art college there was always someone who liked to work on stuff the size of a postage stamp, itsy-bitsy miniscule images (like those painstaking folk who etch panoramas on a grain of rice or a lentil of whatever) - I suppose perhaps its a measure of dedication..But when I get hold of the big paper again, I'll do a massive boat - with loads of people in it - you perhaps? Hey maybe an Ark! *chortle*. Yes with a giant rabbit in it - why not?

What else? Waiting for the final instalment of jazz book funds so that can get that to the finish line..

How's the snow? I do miss snow.


Wednesday, 14 January 2009


I promised I would blog only inanities didn't I? - so here you are. Today I bought a new swimming costume - long overdue indeed -something more becoming of my increasing girth and rasping inner thighs. The pool is rather populated these days (strangely by women with red hair or perhaps red wigs.) Anyway took a train to Fish Hoek (or Vishoek in Afrikaans) - lovely sea front train ride and if you ever come to Cape Town I implore you to try it - catch the Simonstown train from central Cape Town especially for the view - even better in whale season when you can see the huge lumbering mammals leaping balletic from the waves ... anyway. So bought myself a navy-blue, matronly item with slinky skirt (which may embolden my walk from the bench to the pool - though limelight has never really licked my moth).

What else? - life has been consumed by oddity lately. On the old blog I'd probably refer to the 'signs'. Hey but eish.. not saying nothing, not saying anything. I'm crying a lot too - getting rid of all this feeling and stuff. Not easy. I'm so glad there's bloggers who know me from the start. Yes I cry too.

Anyway rewind to Sunday - after visiting my mum, the family was shuttled off to an evening meal in the suburbs. Firstly the driver and his accompanying friend both wore white sombreros as did the host of the palatial, gated, suburban mansion set in acres of crimped lawn. There was even a trampoline - on which (after I'd consumed more than my usual ration of wine) I happily bounced away for nearly an hour. The food was divine. The sun set across the mountain valley. My daughter had been whisked upstairs to a playroom and fed and tended to and I didn't see her or even worry about her for the rest of the evening. Conversation meandered, then I was gently interrogated on the state of the worldwide economy to which (after 7 glasses) I burbled that the market economy was a 'myth' - hey why not? - artist-writers have a duty to be interesting huh?
At this point, the men started clutching their heads in anxiety and striding up and down and swearing to sell all their shares immediately. Talk then moved on to equality in divorce payouts and bitterness. Hmmmm that is a large topic but I'd like to think I'm fair.

So as you see apart from all the redheads at the swimming pool - life is kind of banal for now. With undercurrents..

Check you later x

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Nice little meme that's doing the rounds and since I have haven't talked about writing for a while - here it is:

When it comes to writing, what do you know you're good at, and what aspect of writing are you worst at? (Procrastination is not permitted as either part of the answer.)

I think I'm pretty good at character - I often pluck people from my life into scripts (often without even bothering to change their names). There's often something about that person that intrigues - to make me want to get inside their head...

Endings - in life too as in scripts. I prefer to slip out the back door while everyone is busy. Must really brush up on the 'big finish', climactic stuff. My endings tend to whimper or are open-ended - maybe due to 'travelling hopefully' writing-wise. A bit like forgetting the punch line. Folk wonder if there's more to come or whether they should go home ...Maybe its an Aries thing


a few sketches from Christmas afternoon.
Laters peeps,


Monday, 5 January 2009


Job vacancy: Angel
(Guardian or misc)

A motivated and enthusiastic person committed to specialised, random acts of benevolence sought for high level management team. Previous seraphic experience preferred but not essential. Must enjoy flying, word games and be IT literate.

1 Year Fixed Term (to cover present incumbent on sabbatical)

Location: worldwide
Remuneration: tbc

Closing Date: 23 January 2009

Saturday, 3 January 2009


Once upon a virtual time, there was a story which twisted and turned and got a bit complicated (nay nail-biting) at times - confusing even. Characters didn't know whether they were written in or out - playing cameos, star roles or just one-liners. Other times they didn't show up. The protagonist wanted to back out, while the antagonist bamboozled the bit players. Everyone forgot lines and spoke out of turn. Even the plot got lost.

Fortunately, right at that moment, fate intervened and steered the story back on course. It started to come together just fine.

And everyone lived happily ever after. Of course.

Happy New Year!