110626 It’s All Go!


Well, what a week. I am well and truly cream crackered but happily so. I have participated as much as possible in the inaugural Literary Festival, reading out my own satirical piece as well as someone else’s where I played the Queen (as One does) as part of the Worcester Writers’ Circle Lampoon evening at Drummonds last Wednesday, read my short story “Whistler’s Mother” as part of the Sinister Shorts evening at the University on Friday, as well as run a Picture Book workshop with children’s book author Karen King in the very beautiful St Swithun’s Church ( I have lived in Worcester for twenty three years and am ashamed to say this was the first time I had stepped inside this beautiful interior).

As well as “performing” I have also enjoyed hearing Tony Judge talk about the writing of his first novel Sirocco Express in an interview with Peter Spalton, attended a mesmerising book binding workshop where I hand stitched two small booklets under the expert eye of Angela Sutton, heard about the writing of the play “Elgar and Alice” about Elgar’s life by Peter Sutton at the Swan Theatre, and nearly, I repeat nearly, heard William Cash talk about his book about Graham Greene’s affair which inspired “The End of the Affair” (unfortunately we turned up not realising he had cancelled. Gggrrr, William Cash, gggrrrr!)

This afternoon I am off for cake and bubbly to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Worcester Writers’ Circle and shall no doubt read a few of my haiku, and tonight I am off to read more haiku at Malvern Theatre as a member of Malvern Writers’ Circle. Today and tomorrow are the last two days to catch our Literary Portraits exhibition here at our Battenhall studios. Oh! and I’ve got toothache. It’s all go!

So what now? Well, I have started writing a non fiction book about life drawing so watch this space and I’ll keep you informed. If and when it’s published you’ll be the first to know and I’ll encourage you to buy a half a dozen copies to keep the bare wolf from this door.

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110412 Ladies Day


Last week was Ladies Day at Royal Ascot when all manner of hats and outfits are brushed down and given an airing. This fascinator was difficult to attach to the model’s short hair as it kept slipping which was comical. Like a fan it had been made with pleat folded stiffened fabric. Not very practical but architectural and interesting if you want to make a  design statement. This is a brush and ink study which  is crude but captures the back view of the seated model in her costume outfit. I like the way you catch sight of her profile and can just see her nose especially if you double click on the image to enlarge it. Notice too there is a wide range of mark making from fine trace lines to much broader brush strokes.

sketch book study in medical dictionary: Comrie, J.D 1931 News Chronicle Home Doctor Morrison and Gibb Ltd., London

110409 mannequin


This is a study of a mannequin produced on a day when there wasn’t a life model. I used charcoal. Notice the ghostly imprint on the left hand side of the page.

Today I had my hair done and it was very disconcerting to see  a chap behind me with a rubber cap on his head having his low lights done. I have to say I think grey is very distinguished and men having their hair coloured is a complete turn off. Probably the opposite of the effect they”re after. Talking to my hairdresser after he’d left the salon she explained he has a very young girlfriend so wants to stay looking young to match her age. We both agreed that for blokes colour, toupees and comb overs were a complete no no whilst for women we should do whatever we fancy.Of course.

Top tip for men: if you do decide to colour your hair stay away from warmer shades which border on ginger, and doerr on the side of ash tones which look more natural. Apparently. Spread the word and it will save some men a small fortune. We also agreed that the day Tom Jones went white he looked better than all those years with coloured hair.

STOP PRESS: I asked my other half what he thought about me going natural , ie. grey, and he said he thought white could be very stylish if cut well; Really, I said, yes he replied, just look at the French finance minister. And they say men don’t notice things!

sketch book study in medical dictionary: Comrie, J.D 1931 News Chronicle Home Doctor Morrison and Gibb Ltd., London