Saturday, 14 April 2012


'Yes, sir, that's my baby, 
No, sir, don't mean maybe,
Yes, sir, that's my baby now.'

'Go to sleep, my baby, 
Close your pretty eyes...' 
(he always gets the next bit wrong)

'There is a lady sweet and kind
Was never face so pleased my mind
I did but see her passing by
And yet I love her 'til I die.'

'So far I've kept my sanity. I said I’d never and I never have played bowls. Are you still left-handed, lovey? Good girl.’ 

I tell him to finish his lunch. ‘Get double stuffed,’ he says. But that's how we talk.

A portrait of a parent is essentially a self-portrait. I draw five over a couple of hours and he says that being drawn is like being on holiday. I am too shy to ask him to hold his portraits for a photo like all my other sitters.

I last drew him when I was 13, for art homework. He is reading The Times, which was in broadsheet format then.
My drawing at the age of 13

Sunday, 8 April 2012

New recruits on the pavement

Amelia and Skye
Skirting the archipelago of fag ends and pigeon droppings outside the Royal Courts of Justice, I snap into my default position: sitting on the pavement to draw.

Amelia and Skye are at the launch of Occupy Faith, a summer pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury (think Chaucer, think Aldermaston) organised by Skye's mother Tanya. There are speeches, prayers, chanting.

The girls draw without inhibition. 'Why is everybody watching us doing it?' asks Amelia.

It's cold. A man crosses the road. He's wearing nothing but floral Bermuda shorts, a red baseball cap, sandals and his natural ginger pelt over his bare yellowish skin.  'Uurgh,' say the girls.

We retreat to the crypt cafe at St Paul's cathedral with Tina, Amelia's grandmother. Tina is energetic, undefined by national boundaries, direct, passionate.  If Starbucks' lav is shut she'll unlock it with a coin.

Amelia and Tina
The Occupy protest camp outside St Paul's had a scruffy romance. Bertie Wooster had the Drones Club, Jeeves had the Junior Ganymede, and lovers of tragical-comical-historical-pastoral, scene individable, or poem unlimited were welcome at the Information Tent. To the evicted occupiers it is Camelot, more real in their imaginations than the destination of Occupy Faith.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Your desperate internet search terms

How do people land on this blog about drawing? To find out, I go to ‘Traffic sources’ and look under ‘Search keywords’.

And an oracle speaks. Obscurely:

Wicked voyeur Izzy, Izzy pissing sex, pissing opaques, pissing in the bag, drawing pissing, military pissing.

Random acts of portrait drawing. Sad moment charcoal. Deranged drawings. Drawing of hell.

Mary Poppins sketch. Rasta fall out of window. Mickey Mouse rip off his face.

How to draw a camel. How to draw Adele. How to draw Mr Bean naked. Are there any white Jamaican constables.

Your blogger

Posh back of the neck tattoos.
Elderly couple holding hands. Man faces eternal troubles struggle.

Tina Van Slot. Cleavage cigarette. Adam’s apple in girls. Life in school uniform and bondage.

Emotionless wine bucket. My sternum pops when I stretch.

Army signalman. Edge of a wood constable. Foundling
[sic] tits on bus tube.

How to stop a gazebo from blowing over. Can a guy break your hymen with his finger.

None of these search terms has appeared on this blog.