A great big headline to catch some attention, because everyone likes attention

So you understand the roaring wave of fear that swept through the greatest city in the world just as Monday was dawning--the stream of flight rising swiftly to a torrent, lashing in a foaming tumult round the railway stations, banked up into a horrible struggle about the shipping in the Thames, and hurrying by every available channel northward and eastward. By ten o'clock the police organisation, and by midday even the railway organisations, were losing coherency, losing shape and efficiency, guttering, softening, running at last in that swift liquefaction of the social body.

There is no escape!

From the royal wedding, that is.  Even ‘though I spent a good part of the day at the regional Italian Circle (surprise, surprise, the main attraction was the food!) I have been unable to avoid the constant media bombardment with information about this wretched wedding.  My wife even missed the Italian “special lunch” in order to settle down in front…

“Listening, hearing, seeing”

As I was packing my rucksack this morning for a day out in the countryside (of which more anon) I was listening to the radio.  There is an interesting occasional series on BBC Radio 4 in which artists from quite different disciplines meet for conversation about the nature of their artistic practice and experience.  It is invariably worth hearing, although…

You know it when you see it

The point at which a picture is finished, that is.  For some time now I’ve been working on a piece I intend to put in for an open competition organised by the Museum of Modern Art in Wales.*  It has taken rather longer than anticipated, partly because of interruptions to work because of holidays, and partly because of practical problems,…

In praise of sketching

I’ve just returned from a five-day visit to Scotland, visiting family and friends.  It has been really good to get away from the concerns of everyday life for a time.  My wife and I have agreed that we really ought to get up there more often, although we are aware that five days of sunshine cannot be taken as typical!…

Art in translation

Last night my wife and I took a trip to neighbouring Leeds, to the Grand Theatre, to see Sting’s new musical, The Last Ship.  I’ve been a fan of his work for some time, and already have the album Soul Cages which prefigured a good part of the material in this new show.  It was a fascinating experience, especially because of the…

Draw Closer

This is the title I’ve decided upon for my next local solo exhibition.  As you might guess it has to do with drawing, and the diverse functions served by draughtsmanship in relation to painting.  I have spent a good bit of time both yesterday and today, cruising through my archives and trying to form some idea of what might be…

The shock of the new

Let’s bear in mind, of course, that there can be shocks that are welcome, as well as those we would rather avoid. I suppose falling in love is one of the former.  Well: I had what can only be thought of as a shock of that magnitude in Italy last week. We visited the small northern town of Bassano del…

Miro, Nash and “personages”

During my visit to the Joan Miro exhibition (discussed in yesterday’s post) I was struck by he fact that several of his titles referred to personages.  This was a word also used by Paul Nash, as a description of natural objects (such as fallen trees or ancient stones) that appeared to him to possess a kind of personal presence.  It…