Sunday, 20 November 2011

Old charcoal !

Last week I went to visit the parents of an old friend. Directly above their bed they had hanging up a large charcoal drawing I must have made 25 years ago. It's funny because I don't have any great memory of doing this and have no visual record of it except this camera phone picture.

I'd forgotten how much I used to love drawing with charcoal - and drawing cats too !!!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Vase of wonder !

This crazy vase by Carla Peters is covered in lots and lots of little

Ceramic trinkets, made in Thailand for Dutch company Wonderable, there is something about the sheer quantity of fun going on here on this vase that reminds me of being enchanted by intensely detailed pictures when I was a child - and of spending hour after hour

poring over illustrations in my ladybird books discovering new things in the same picture I had never noticed before, I recently felt this sensation when spending a long time enjoying a huge Grayson Perry etching and thanks to our new vase this is pleasure I am rediscovering once more again!

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Today is the day !

Today is my birthday and my wife Lorna gave me a beautiful patchwork quilt she had been making all this year. There is lots of very nice corduroy in there (my favourite fabric !) that will keep us warm all winter long.

... And if you are reading this

Thank you my darling

If you're ever in Oslo !

Recently me and Lorna took a short trip to Norway to see her favourite band Anthony and the Johnson's play. We were only there for two nights but we tried to have a good stroll around Oslo in the short time we had to try and get a feel of the place. My friend Jeanette Lee said to make sure we visit the City Hall ! From the outside this huge dark brown modernist building isn't particularily beautiful by any means though it is certainly imposing looking, however on the inside it is a different story. It is full of light and color, a total contrast to it's rather drab exterior. (Not unlike the new British Library building in London.

The central part of the building is a huge hall, this is where the Nobel prizes are presented, and all around it are many ante rooms which are decorated with the most wonderful murals depicting aspects of norwegian life, stretching from floor to ceiling they are painted on a quite epic scale.

But even though they are massive they still remain feeling very human and all about the people and all the things they get up to in every aspects of their lives.

There is no pomp here at all and no references to kings and governent and power, if you saw these paintings in a building from the Soviet Bloc or China you might sceptically consider them as propaganda as if representations of people living together in harmony could only be a lie.

But here you believe that these pictures were painted with the best of intentions, and you feel that this City hall was planned to make the people of Oslo feel that it and the whole city was theirs.

The gig was great and the people of Oslo were very friendly. The hotel put on a buffet supper in the evening and there was a girl who worked there who was so friendly and welcoming to everyone that came in that it really did fill up your heart, the giant murals were incredible, as was the wailing American singer at the Spektrum arena - but she was by far the greatest thing in Oslo.

Friday, 4 November 2011

A Lemon tree is for life !

I received a beautiful gift of a handsome lemon tree recently ! What a treat! The leaves smell lovely and lemony when you rub them and it already has one big green lemon on it.

We've made a special home for it on the big desk upstairs at work, it sits on a little turntable and we give it a quarter turn every week so all of it's leaves get a fair share of the sun's warmth. We were inspired by a job we are working on at the moment designing the Christmas windows for a bank in Central London, behind the 14 metre high windows is a full sized tree that slowly rotates !