Archive for February, 2013

Eric Sykes on display

My portrait of Eric Sykes was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery last week and is on show now for a while in their new re-hang to coincide with the Man ray exhibition. It is on the ground floor gallery space .

February 17th, 2013


I was sad to hear the news that former Doctor Feelgood guitarist and latterly solo artist Wilko Johnson has terminal cancer. I loved his attacking guitar technique but also his down to earth, working class attitude. I saw him on a BBC4 recently about 70’s rock music mimicking the pomposity of the keyboard players with arms at full stretch either side of them pawing over their banks of keyboards. He hated David Bowie’s arty image preferring his local gangster style sharp suit. Anne and me were watching Game of Thrones over Christmas ( thanks Nige) and I thought ” That Looks like Wilko Johnson” and it was. I saw him a few times with my friend Matt and he was brilliant. I wish I’d got a ticket for his farewell tour but they sold out in hours, and what a great sitter he would make too.
All the best Wilko

February 10th, 2013


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I was invited to Eric Sykes’ memorial at St. Martins-in-the-fields, just off trafalgar square last week. It was an upbeat memorial , Eddie Izzard made a speech and set the comedy tone and Robert Lindsay , Peter Alliss , Tim Davie and Bill Kenwright also spoke. It was full to the rafters with family and friends and lots’ of actors and comedians. The service closed with the RAF band playing the theme tune to his 70’s sit com “Sykes” .

February 10th, 2013


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I was introduced to Rosemary and Co brushes by my friend Mike Gaskell and I’ve been using them a lot over the past few months while I’ve been working on a commission for the NPG and I think they’re great brushes. I’ve looked for a dependable brush for years, I find one and then the quality changes after a few years and then onto the next but I’m really impressed with these so far. they keep their point and last a long time, can’t ask for more. They’re hand made in Yorkshire and are a great price for the quality too. They’re not sponsoring me or anything, I just think they are good.

February 10th, 2013


I’m really enjoying the poignant , bitter sweet of Derek at the moment.class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-765″ />

February 10th, 2013

Tony Benn Interview

I was invited to the House of Commons a while ago to do an interview with Tony Benn which took place last week. It has been 15 years now since I completed the portrait of him and they wanted to do an interview with us discussing the portrait for documentation. It was lovely to see Tony again, the last time I saw him was on one of his tours about 10 years ago in Telford but we’ve kept in touch over the years with Christmas cards and telephone conversations. His son Hilary Benn was asking the questions. It’s amazing how much momentum portraits of people in the public eye gather over the years, I’d still say that this portrait is one of the pictures that I’m most asked about, they tend to take on a life of their own afterwards. I hadn’t seen the picture for a while and it’s strange how you forget the scale of some of these paintings, it was much bigger than I had remembered, even within the scale of Portcullis House. This was the first of these interviews so I guess they’ll see how it goes but I’ll put a link to it once it’s published.

February 10th, 2013

TV Show

Just before I went to Eric Sykes’ memorial I had a screen test for an art TV show on Sky which was an interesting experience. It’s all in the balance at the moment and you know “us actors” don’t like to jinx anything, I’ve probably said too much already.

February 10th, 2013


Here’s new drawing or Ray, who kindly posed for me with his full body tattoo. It’s a drawing and will be in the Winter Show at Plus One gallery next week.

February 10th, 2013


February 2013
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