Saturday, 3 October 2009

Cheese and Pickle

Thursday 01/10/09

Didn't get much sleep again. No weird dreams to report, must be work stuff nagging me or maybe I'm getting worked up about the bath prize. Mistake - got to be laid back about these things, we've been here before.

It's lunch time and I'm sitting in the common room at the studios eating my cheese and pickle sandwich. I look down at the dry brown bread in my hand with distaste and I suddenly realise that I'm bored of cheese and pickle. I force the last of it down regardless, before setting out to paint.

I walk up to the Royal Crescent. There are lots of exciting yellow lines to paint, but it's all too obvious and would say something that I don't intend. Further on and after a good deal of deliberation I set up outside the Marlborough Tavern to paint Julian Road. It's a perfect spot - lots of yellow line action and a big STOP in the foreground. At least it would have been the perfect spot if it wasn't for the wafting aromas - cooking followed by pooh followed by cooking followed by pooh. It's not good and the cheese and pickle is coming back to haunt me.

I balls up the yellow lines and writing in the foreground, but it's okay as I can sort them next time. I leave out the blue sky - ha - no blue for me in my gritty urban landscapes. Grey a plenty though in the vari-coloured roadsurface.

A young woman has a nosey at what I'm painting, she says something, but that's not the point. To speak she has to take out this dummy that she's sucking. I don't know and I don't ask and it doesn't help my nausea. I can't take it any more and I pack up.

Later and it dawns on me that it is the 1st October. Ten years to the day that I started painting. Ten years. That's a lot of paintings. That is also a lot of cheese and pickle sandwiches.

Friday 02/10/2009

The sun comes out briefly in the morning and I get a bit more of my yellow line painting done (still not finished).

I resort to finishing the Sydney Buildings painting in the studio - messing about with the road until I'm happy with it.

Despite myself I start to look forward to the announcement of the winner for the Bath Prize tonight. I must Be Cool. I must not Be Drunk.

Later and I'm shaking the mayor's hand as we pose for photographs, because cor blimey guv, I've only gone and won second prize, and he turns to me and says, "Why did you choose to paint Southgate?" .....

I gently point out that we didn't have a choice of location and that was the point of the competition. Reminder of what it looks like:

Later still and I've had a few too many to drink (but it's okay because it's after the event) and I remember that I haven't done my self portrait line drawing. I do it and it's a bit wobbly, but then again, so am I.

P.S. One more (and probably the last) Thailand painting:


  1. hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    dearest bro... that's fabby fantastic, especially when you consider what you had to work with as 'subject matter'.

    i'm not at all suprised, it was a brilliant portrail of modern Bath. infact modern any city, in any country... do you think one day when we are looking down from above, we will be known as the era of 'the roadworks'...

    seriously, i'm pretty made up for you :)

    wish i could have been there to see the moment...

    Tif x

  2. plus, i'm so into orange these days... i love the way the barriers 'pop' in the picture.

    and as to the urban gritty settings... more of them please, this could be your nitch... urban gritty settings and roadworks of a modern society :)