Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Annie Leibovitz

Annie Leibovitz pawns copyright to life's work to pay debts.
Annie Leibovitz, the renowned New York photographer who has taken portraits of the Queen, has pawned the rights to her life's work in order to raise nearly $16 million (£11 million) to pay off her debts.

Sorry about this old news. I really wanted to sketch a female today, but it took a long time to find something of interest. And that defeats the object of my original idea, which was to sketch whoever was on the front page on the day. It is certainly a waste of time spending hours trying to find a 'good' picture!

Anyway, this captured my attention, eventually, because this week I am counting the pennies! The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I would just like enough.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Prince Charles

What happens when you let a prince design a fire station?

It's 25 years since Prince Charles delivered his most memorable denunciation of modern British architecture.
His 'monstrous carbuncle' attack on one proposed design was followed by a call for buildings of elegance and dignity.
Maybe this one, which has sprouted in his model village project at Poundbury, Dorset, is what he was driving at.
The question locals are asking, however, is whether it is appropriate for their new fire station to look like, er, Buckingham Palace.
The £3 million building, which will be the HQ for Dorset Fire Service, includes neo-classical pillars and a mock balcony.
One resident wrote on a local internet forum: 'It really does look like a miniature Buck House...a blot on the landscape.'

It took a long time to find a news item that made me smile, rather than cry!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Gordon Brown

Disloyalty. Humiliation. The week that Brown's grand vision was brutally shattered.

For the past three months, Gordon Brown has truly cared about only one event: the G20 economic summit he will host in London next week.
He resolved that he would use this gathering of world leaders to save the global economy, salvage his own diminishing reputation and provide Labour with a launchpad to win the next General Election.
In particular, the Prime Minister planned to construct what he calls a 'grand bargain' between the world's leading industrial nations, which would see them commit themselves to a massive spending package that would kickstart the global economy and thereby jolt us all out of recession.
Finally, he hoped that, as a consequence, David Cameron and the Tories (who have opposed his public spending plans) would become isolated from the international consensus.

The end of a gruelling week for Gordon Brown
However, in what amounts to a personal tragedy, Gordon Brown's dream has died.
The last few days have seen a series of brutal, debilitating and totally unexpected humiliations as one world leader after another has come out and rubbished his idea of extra spending.

From The Mail on Sunday.

I don't understand all this, so I have no comment.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

T-I-M-B-E-R !

David Hockney's horror after trees he was half-way through painting are 'massacred'.

For more than a century they stood proudly beside a tranquil country road.
Their bleak, black branches formed dramatic silhouettes against the winter sky, their leaves in summer a rich, majestic green.
To any ordinary eye, the copse probably looked like scores of others that punctuate the Yorkshire landscape. But to artist David Hockney, it was a scene of particular beauty.

Such was his passion for the magnificence of the beech and sycamores that he decided to paint them in all four seasons. Winter came and went and was committed to canvas. Summer, too, was recorded in all its glory.
How he must have been looking forward to capturing the fresh colour of spring produce and the hues of autumn.
Then. . . disaster. Or more specifically: 'T-I-M-B-E-R!'
When the artist returned to the scene this week, he found it had vanished. A gaping space was all that remained - plus a pile of sawn trunks and limbs that used to form the copse at the edge of the Warter Priory estate in the Yorkshire Wolds, formerly owned by the Marquis of Normanby.
Hockney described it as a 'massacre'. The 71-year- old artist detailed his dismay in an interview with The Guardian. Philosophically he believed someone had simply exercised a 'perfect right' to harvest the trees for valuable timber.
From The Daily Mail.
An artist in the news again so soon, a much nicer story this time, although I can well appreciate Mr Hockneys' 'horror'. I wonder if he will find another copse, and start again, or consider it job done? Two paintings, Summer and Winter, is balanced enough, I feel.
My drawing is 'same old, same old', I feel experiments coming on! Maybe.

Friday, 27 March 2009


Indonesia dam burst kills dozens
Scenes of devastation caused by the burst dam
A dam has burst south-west of the Indonesian capital Jakarta, killing at least 58 people.
Witnesses said a "horrifying" flash flood of water up to 4m (13ft) deep engulfed hundreds of homes in Cirendeu in the Tangerang district.
Officials say they expect the death toll to rise, and 150 body bags have been sent to the scene.
An official said the Situ Gintung lake behind the dam became overloaded after hours of heavy rain.
"The dam was an old dam, 16m (52ft) deep," said Ratu Atut Chosiyah, governor of Banten province, where the lake is located.
"Last night, because of heavy rain, the dam could not hold back the water so it broke," she added.
Thick mud is hampering rescue teams, but the waters have now begun to recede.

The incident happened at about 0200 local time (1900 GMT) in what is a popular tourist area.
This poor child is one of the lucky ones, but the bewildered look on his face says it all. I have never experienced anything like this, we have no extremes of anything in England, but I can imagine.
The drawing disappoints, today, I haven't got him quite right.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Maurice Agis

The creator of an inflatable artwork which blew away in a County Durham park killing two women will be sentenced later for health and safety breaches.
Maurice Agis, 77, from London, was convicted at Newcastle Crown Court of breaches relating to the 1974 Act.
Two women, Elizabeth Collings and Claire Furmedge, fell from his Dreamspace sculpture in July 2006.
Agis had been charged with manslaughter but the jury was discharged after failing to reach a verdict.
Claire Furmedge, 38, from Chester-le-Street and Elizabeth Collings, 68, from Seaham, died and 13 others were injured when the artwork broke free from its moorings at Riverside Park in Chester-le-Street. From BBC News.


I don't know about you, but any article with the word 'artist' grabs my attention. But this saddened me. Although Mr Agis is ultimately responsible, I do not believe he should stand alone. Surely, such an installation, to be used by the public, would not have been allowed without stringent health and safety checks? Although it actually happened two years ago, my heart goes out to the families involved, because their lives have been changed irrevocably by an accident that was preventable.

Happier with the drawing, today, done with carbon pencil on Saunders Waterford 140lb HP watercolour paper.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Sir Fred Goodwin

' The Edinburgh home of former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin has been attacked by vandals.
Windows were smashed and a Mercedes S600 car parked in the driveway was vandalised.
A group angry at bank executives' pay contacted a newspaper claiming to be behind the early morning attack.
Police said they were investigating these claims as part of their inquiry, adding that they took planned attacks "very seriously".
There has been widespread public and political anger over a pension payout worth about £700,000 a year to the 50-year-old former chief executive.
Sir Fred took early retirement from RBS last year after the bank needed a £20bn bailout from the government.
Last month, RBS reported that it made a loss of £24.1bn in 2008 - the largest annual loss in UK corporate history.

Windows of the stone villa have been smashed
When Sir Fred stepped down from the post in October, he rejected government pressure to accept a reduction in his package, insisting that changes to the early retirement deal he had negotiated were "not warranted".
The payout was described as "obscene" and "grotesque" by MPs and "unjustifiable and unacceptable" by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
It is not known if anyone was in the house at the time of the attack or who reported the vandalism. ' From the BBC NEWS.

My view is that however unfair something is, mindless violence will not make it any less so.
As for the drawing, I know I can do better already! I was in such a hurry to get started that I grabbed the nearest things, a pencil and paper off the printer, instead of going to the studio. I don't like graphite because it is shiny and I prefer a paper with a bit of a tooth for drawing.