Sep 262013



The college is on red alert.

Instead of taking my clothes off as usual in the middle of the art room I am using a ‘changing cubicle’ built in one corner out of a shifted bookcase, a giant-sized canvas and a bit of curtain. The art room is inhumanly tidy.

No-one can find the charcoal.

Peter’s absence is commented on forlornly by his abandoned friend, and Tristram the tutor informs the whole class that Peter has changed his options and is doing printmaking instead. His eye momentarily meets mine.

This week’s topic

21. Creative life, or kids?
I tried to have kids with my girlfriend. Didn’t work out. See my poem (click on this week’s topic, no.21, above).
In retrospect, I know I would have been unable to write, and hence been sorely frustrated. And anyway can’t parenting be as thankless and tragic as it is joy-bringing and enriching?

By the way, see here for the full list of discussions on life-drawing and Life to be found on my blog.

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1. Ta-DAH!
My joint poetry collection (with my manager Sue Vickerman), entitled THIN BONES LIKE WISH-BONES, may now be pre-ordered before its official launch on 18 October 2013. Read reviews here. Order it here. £7.99; subscribers’ price £5.99. This collection represents eight years’ work and we are very proud of it. Excellent said Neil Astley, Editor, Bloodaxe Books. Huh.

2. Further to my discussion topic ANCIENT ARTISTS AND WRINKLY MODELS (read posts 13-16 at, starting here), I just saw the most fantastic programme ever on BBC Channel 4 about women who refuse to be old. It features five women including, coincidentally, 85 year-old super-model Daphne Selfe, whose photo you may have seen as part of my discussion topic no.15: Whatever you dream, begin it now. YOU MUST WATCH THIS PROGRAMME – and let it change your life. See ‘Fabulous Fashionistas’ here (or if the link is dodgy, go to BBC Channel 4 then search for the programme transmitted on Tuesday 17th September 2013 at 10pm).

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Artist of the week

ROGER HITCHEN attends Doug Binder’s workshops at Dean Clough (click here then scroll to Halifax, UK) and also belongs to the Redbrick Mill lot (for details of the group, same thing – click here then scroll down to Batley, UK). Roger draws my face over and over and over. And then again. And again. Often sounding as though he is in physical pain. See samples of his portraits in my 2010-12 gallery.
So this sketch of me sprawling (a position where Roger just couldn’t get down low enough to do my face) may be considered rare. You’ll see Roger at work – and Doug Binder and the rest of the Wise Men – if you watch my photographer-collaborator friend Bel‘s lovely three-minute audio-visual piece about the Dean Clough life-room. Click here. Roger is the one doing the close-up pencil portrait.

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