Roman Holiday V: Santa Maria in Cosmedin

Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the portico of the church is the "Bocca della Verita", an ancient stone face: if you tell a lie with your hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it will be bitten off.

We didn't test it.


Ink and watercolour on paper, 16 x 9 cm. 

Sussex Arts Collective Christmas show

I'm exhibiting at the Sussex Arts Collective "Noel" show, at the Hop Gallery in Lewes.



Friday 26 November to Wednesday 22 December.

Monday to Saturday 10.30 - 5, Sundays 11 - 5. Lewes late night shopping event: Thursday 2 December 6 - 8 pm.

Hop Gallery, Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane (off Fisher Street), Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YJ.

Roman Holiday IV: Rooftops

View across Rome: Looking east from the Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi on the Janiculum Hill.


Ink and watercolour, 15 x 9 cm.

This is a fascinating view to draw. What strikes me is that there are no skyscrapers breaking up the view. The highest buildings are still the domes of the Baroque churches (of which there are many), and the large white building to the right: "Il Vittoriano" (National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II), which is 81m high.

However, everyone else likes this view as well. I could have stayed drawing for much longer, but I was getting too many spectators to feel comfortable.

Willow Foundation auction

Stars on Canvas 2010 auction: Hundreds of canvas each created by a different artist or celebrity - from Tracey Emin to Jude Law, raising money for the Willow Foundation to provide special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds throughout the UK. The auction is live now on ebay, and continues until 5 December. An exhibition of the canvases runs from 2 to 5 December at the Catto Gallery, Hampstead.



And it's probably the only time that one of my paintings will be exhibited next to Tracey Emin.

New English Art Club

My "St Mary Axe/Leadenhall" linocut will be in the New English Art Club open exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The exhibition runs from Friday 26 November - Sunday 5 December 2010.


More information
New English Art Club
Mall Galleries

Roman Holiday III: Pyramid of Cestius

View from the English Cemetery, where Keats and Shelley are buried. The pyramid, which is a mausoleum for a Roman magistrate, dates from 18BC; the city walls were built around it. It's 37m high (I couldn't fit it all on the paper), and still covered in white marble.



Ink and watercolour on paper, approx 28 x 9 cm. Click the picture for a bigger version.

Roman Holiday II: Via della Minerva

This is a good example of what I was saying about choosing somewhere comfortable to sit before choosing what to draw.

Behind me is the Pantheon: the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome, even after two thousand years. To the left, is a curious Bernini fountain with an elephant carrying an obelisk on its back.


Ink and watercolour on paper, 9 x 14 cm.

But the wall I'm sitting on faces a lamppost and a MacDonald's sign, so that's what I draw.

Roman Holiday I: The Colosseum


The Colosseum from the north.


Ink and watercolour on paper, approx 28 x 9 cm. 

When drawing in a new location, the temptation is to draw the obvious things: the big sites and tourist attractions.

However, the priority has to be somewhere comfortable to sit: away from too many crowds, and preferably where no one can stand behind you watching. Then I draw whatever's in front of me. This often means that I end up drawing something unexpected, that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise.

But wherever you sit in Rome, you find yourself in front of some important world-famous, jaw-dropping, historical monument.

And as a bonus, the sun shines, even in the middle of November.

Cuckmere Valley, final stage

Final stage of this print, at last.





Seven-stage reduction linocut, 24 x 17cm. (Though now it's finished, I think, "Seven? Surely I could have done it in three?")
It wasn't until I'd started to print this image that I realised it makes a good pair with my "Across the Downs" print: This view is from High and Over, the highest point on the road between Seaford and Alfriston, looking north over the Cuckmere Valley towards Wilmington Hill. The earlier print shows the view looking west from Wilmington Hill, towards Firle Beacon. I wonder if I can get a view from Firle Beacon looking back to High and Over, to complete the circle.