Thursday 30 December 2010

30 Years of Japanese Fashion. 30 days left

Oh PLEASE SEE THIS EXHIBITION ! I did, the other day. Breathtaking. Several drawings made!

Official Story: Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion is the first exhibition in Europe to comprehensively survey avant-garde Japanese fashion, from the early 1980s to the present. Curated by the eminent Japanese fashion historian Akiko Fukai, Director of the Kyoto Costume Institute, the exhibition explores the unique sensibility of Japanese design, and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing.
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion
15 October 2010 - 6 February 2011Barbican Art Gallery

Monday 27 December 2010

Looking back on 2010: J-Lo misses the sun in Cyprus!

Fun and sun in July:
I went to Northern Cyprus. J-Lo did not. A wonderful part of the Levant.
We may well go back.
Oh, and here is the back ground to the story: Jennifer Lopez has cancelled a performance in Turkish-held northern Cyprus after angry protests from thousands of displaced Greek Cypriots.
The US singer's gig at a luxury hotel had triggered fury among Greeks who accused her of according legitimacy to northern Cyprus, a breakaway state recognised only by Ankara.
Links left in and my thanks to the Guardian Newspaper.

Illustrations of Northern Cyprus all my own!

Looking back on 2010: Escape from the Dust Cloud

April 2010. Saturday evening: Stranded in Hong Kong for 24 hours, then to Dubai over night flight, then to Istanbul another night on a plane, Istanbul a stop over and a night in a real bed, prepared to take any flight from Istanbul into Europe, we took a flight to Hamburg which landed in Hanover, a night in a real bed, Hanover to Heathrow the next evening.
We were lucky. Air travel across much of Europe was paralysed for seven days by a huge cloud of volcanic ash. All airlines were desperate to begin freeing the log-jam created by the cancellation of 35,000 UK flights in four days.

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Snug and warm in Singapore

Whilst England continues its way through cold snaps that have arrived too too early, and struggles with engineering works on every train line and a disfunctional underground system, greetings from Singapore. Hot, sunny, clean beyond belief where even bus drivers smile! Just a short stay working with local team - hero's everyone! Love the people, love the architecture, can't wait to return. Featured: happy snaps of the extraordinary Hotel Re!, lobby and room and lovely tower blocks downtown.

Saturday 11 December 2010

The Tree of Threads

Last Saturday super-cyclist chum and ex-oil man Chris and I were out cycling an we came across a curious piece of debris in the road. It looked like some sort of twine or strap that had fallen off a tractor . We pulled up and I took these hallowed threads and drapped them round a small tree, a la Andy Goldsworthy.

One week later Chris and I past the same spot and lo, the threads are still in place. However, having settled down after the initial excitement I see that things have changed with the disposition of certain strands across the tree.
Pictures featured from last week and this. We will monitor progress as we pass by across the coming weeks.

Thursday 9 December 2010

Cold Snap

The other day, out with my framer and great friend Chris, cycling. We were through the woods of Burnham Beeches. With a little snow on the ground in and most leaves off the trees we could almost see into the heart of the wood, we could see for miles through the reflected light. Chilly cold fresh, nose-red bright.
Oh you trees! Oh you winter trees!

Saturday 4 December 2010

The J is silent

Wandering the streets of Worcester with super-friends Chris and Liz we happened upon this curious shop front, of one of the UK's leading boot-makers. Doubtless the victim of a prank and waiting for a new 'J' to turn up!

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Cathedral Project back on track

After a rest of just under six months we are again visiting cathedrals. This weekend - Gloucester. Wonderful Romanesque nave, and royal patronage which enabled the east end to be re-build it the perpendicular style. And blends wonderful in the Autumn afternoon sun that fades all too soon as they dim the lights for Evensong.

Details here: a floor tile in the Presbytery and stained glass in the Lady Chapel.

Disneyworld Hammersmith

Before you all start climbing all over the web to start booking your tickets, Hammersmith is actually home to The Walt Disney Company's London office. However Mickey was very much in evidence as I delivered a picture from my exhibition to Client and super-chum Amanda. The wonderful thing about Mickey is that he gets everywhere - check out the details on the handrail in the reception area!

Friday 19 November 2010

Toronto Pronto Tonto

What a week! Toronto, now it Friday and I am heading home having been working with great BBC colleagues and catching up with wonderful colleagues from my old school - Microsoft. Four days being subjected to an extremely wonderful service culture epitomised by the oh so wonderful Hotel Le Germain in Mercer street. Long days, neon lights, friendly sidewalks and great beverages. It is two years since I was hear and the warmth of the people is, absolutely, incredible. GOD BLESS CANADA. Thank you so much!
Picture feature - Random Creativity House Photographer

Wednesday 17 November 2010

Nicholas Bate

'Thanks very much' to colleague and collaborator Nicholas Bate for his mention of my book Doors to Automatic on his daily dose of magic and nuture for business of life and the life in business.

His blog is a real reward full of fresh ideas.

Journeys End

Saturday was the last day at The Circus Gallery . Several pieces from my ‘back studio’* were snapped up which was especially pleasing.
Better still a good crowd of people visited:
In the morning super-friend Katherine, painter-husband Oliver and baby Rocco. Attached to this delightful entourage was Katherine’s father, poet Gene Stevenson. Gene and I chatted about how we both celebrate the world of travel, me in print-making, and he in poetry. Bonus: Gene was acquainted with Thom Gunn**

Rocco was awarded the Youngest Visitor to the Show .
Photos feature Oliver Katherine Rocco and Jo Bergdahl, Partner at Circus

*Back Studio – I picked this useful phrase up from Juliet Johnson, Director at the Frost & Reed gallery who the other day told me how artists often bring out work unsold from previous exhibitions in the hope of selling in a current show. All rather grand I though, must give it a go. ** Thom Gunn (1929 - 2004) In Praise of Cities – a poem I discovered earlier in the year, that was a critical in inspiring my show

Thursday 11 November 2010

Fish and Chip Shops in West London

There was a particular church that I wanted to visit in Chiswick and my cycle route took me past this excellent establishment. This part of London is rich in Fish and Chip shops which leads me to the idea that the topic is worthy of further exploration.

The New Seven Stars Fish Bar on the Goldhawk Road run by two delightful chinese ladies. And even if you don't wish for chips with your sausage in batter they give you some anyway - quite delightful. Stay tuned for more fish tails/tales.

Tuesday 9 November 2010

Gallery refresh

Last Saturday friends Natalie and John came up to London help out at gallery. It was a slow Saturday so we played around with the display and hung some new work, small pieces: New York, Seattle, Cairo and Cambodia. Nice work both of you. Thanks for tackling the travel of the Commercial Road.

Monday 8 November 2010


Luck is a lottery. My number came up the other week – I got to go to Dubai; on the cusp of British Winter Time. I slept two nights on a plane and worked two days in Dubai. Two blue skies, two wonderful sunsets and working with a great team of people. Yes, I love Dubai.
By the way, a big reach-out-hug to the super-fan in Pleasant Valley CA who poem-ed (verb?)
the Chocolate post - love ya!

Paris warm grey

Voice 1“He doesn’t think globally”
Voice 2 “Budget cycle, usually successful, Nordics you know about, Belgium we have, very natural he is, Nils, director but then again, in the Netherlands. . . . “
Voice 1 “Sandbagging?
Voice 2 “I don’t know. Quite agitated though. . .
A conversation you cannot help overhearing - on the eurostar train back to London, Two high ranking north Americans, spear-carriers, in software, at a guess. I click on iTunes and drown my self in the Pulp Fiction sound track.
I am returning to the UK after a day with the team in Paris; and with it the stark realisation why my depiction of Paris in my show (runs until 14 November) has not sold: The picture is bereft of energy. I went out at lunchtime to buy postcards and was struck by the liveliness on the streets featured in the photo a woman on a bicycle carrying a fir tree on the back. Christmas comes early? Warm grey Paris the perfect counterpoint to Dubai the previous week (details to follow).

Sunday 31 October 2010

Chocolate - always appreciated

In the gallery this Sunday afternoon, a little quiet, lady comes in, oh I think, a visitor. Alas, not even giving MY work one glance she asks directions for another gallery in Marylebone.

Not knowing the place I looked it up on my phone, grateful she makes hurried exit. Oh well.

Two hours later the same lady turns up in gallery and presents me with chocolate from the wonderful shop just down from the gallery - Rococo Chocolates.

I kiss her and force her to sign my Guest Book.

Chocolate now in fridge.

Examples of Roco's output featured.

Saturday 30 October 2010

VIP Gallery Guest

My show has been open for a week.
Today we had super-guest Lilianna, who completed a wonderful drawing in my current Moleskine . She also demonstrated the correct use of Anglo Bubbly bubble gum.
Enchanting, wonderful: Lilianna, thanks for coming to see my show!

Full details of the show? - least I be eclipsed by L, visit
And Lilianna's drawing in my book will be featured shortly - when I cease to be threatened by her .
Additionally: Impressive roll of pencils in photos - artist's own.

Saturday 9 October 2010

Back at the Lock Press

Saturday 9th October 2010

I have returned to the printing press. Left all the fuss and bother of mounting this exhibition.

We (Christine sits on my shoulder) created some very good work this afternoon. Christine made a lovely Orange Cake too (featured).

My life in pictures


The last eight weeks: mounting, framing, fretting, complaining to people. Getting depressed. Being happy. Being excited. Oh, that's right its called giving birth to an exhibition - opens on October 21st.

Friday 8 October 2010

The beginning of a great day

Soho, northern Soho, junction of Goodge and Charlotte Street is the Italiano Coffee Company. A wonderful coffee and complimentary huge coffee no better start to a day. I have been here many time, also a favourite with bicycle couriers.
More detail is here

My book is published

In celebration of my second one-man show I have produced a limited edition book of my travel drawings
Entitled ‘Doors to Automatic and Cross Check’ I have taken 22 drawings from 28 Moleskine sketchbooks filled across the last six years.
Only 50 books have been printed. Each one is individually numbered and signed by me.
You can secure a copy for £15 including postage to the UK or £17 per copy including overseas postage.
To order email

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Count on it.

Leaving Tokyo, because all good things come to an end!

Saturday 25 September 2010

I want to be writer

A couple of Saturdays back, one of those wonderful September afternoons, in fact perfect for a wedding. We were nestled in the lovely Sussex village Slinfold for the wedding of Jenny and Simon. At a wedding which table one is put is always abit of a lottery! I won the jackpot! Being wedged between Sylvie (featured here) and her step mom Katherine - research guru at Associated Newspapers. I drew Sylvie whilst Sylvie wrote and wrote and wrote in her book. Thoughts, ideas came pouring out. "I want to be a writer when I grow up" she said.
I think she is very grown up.

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Memories of a Geisha

Tokyo +13 days:

My friend Katsu-san took me to MARIFUKU, a Kyoto-style Japanese restaurant. The owner is Marifuku-san (true name is Ms. Ebina-san). Ms Ebina-san is a former Geisha from Kyoto. During a wonderful evening I watched her flit around her restaurant, engaging guests celebrating a birthday, conferring with two other customers. This lady's self possession was delightful.
Behind the counter she commands the Chef and lightly guides her staff and shares a joke.
Her every movement full of poise, her every gesture full of grace. The discipline and exactitude of her former life and her beauty are so very self evident! Each scene like a Kitagawa Utamaro print. We share books; Ebina-san lets me leaf through her album from Geisha School (two pictures featured her) and in return I pass my Moleskine across the restaurant's counter.

Now happy tears from the recollection of this chance encounter and deep gratitude to Katsu-san for bringing me to MARIFUKU.