Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hour

Sandwiched in between all the reality shows, at last a decent original drama on the BBC. And if you haven't seen it – no it isn't ‘Mad Men’ for the UK, granted it is set in the fifties, but personally I'm finding it much more engaging. I think where American dramas lose me is that if a series is successful they won't draw a line under it. More and more series are churned out until you can't remember what you found appealing in the first series. Here we either have no money,no business acumen or greater artistic integrity – take your pick – but invariably the audience is left clamouring for more, with nothing forthcoming after one series.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Florence Oakley, distinguished mathematician

In her last year at university my daughter Flo was often greeted by a shy, first year Chinese maths student with a 'Good morning' or even 'Good morning, distinguished mathematician' accompanied by giggles.

Three years of an Oxford maths degree, means a pile of equations as tall as my eight year old. So after sorting it out and reminiscing about various bits of homework the whole pile of paper was unceremoniously dumped by Flo in our paper recycling bin. I grabbed a scrap to paste into my sketchbook. Of course the bits of paper mean nothing, it's how her mind has changed and developed that really matter, but all you artists will know how much the physical evidence has a significance for those of us who make things.

And to clarify what amused the first year student, you might be interested in visiting this Wikipedia page and taking a look at the alumni list – but quickly before someone corrects it.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The philtrum, not the filtrum

I always thought philtrum was spelled filtrum, and as a child I read the word lingerie long before I ever heard the word spoken, so thought it was pronounced linger-ee. Anyway, forget my ignorance, back to philtrum and how useful it is to have a word to name the dent below the nose, which although serving no purpose, seems so intrinsic to a person's appearance, My Xavier has such a defined philtrum, it's often the point where I start, when drawing his face.

Good-bye Lucian Freud

Lucian Freud

A sad day – but what a life – painting until almost the last moment. I trawled my archives to find this picture I drew of the great artist on the day he lunched at the next restaurant table a couple of years ago.