My travelling portrait project…….

My Life as an Artist (2)

I painted watercolour portraits for many years as preliminary sketches for large oil paintings, however, it wasn’t until I returned to the UK/Europe in 1993 that I began to record people as I travelled.

It all started when I had an exhibition of portraits at the Centre Auguste Brizeux in France in 1995.   I had been asked to give a watercolour demonstration in the gallery each day and decided to paint portraits of the local people.      It was because of the response I received during this period that I realised this was something I needed to do much more of.

Cousin Lyn – watercolour  

I stayed with my cousin Lyn and her family for the first six months after moving to Crickhowell, Wales.     All the family became my models…..


I soon realised that this method of communication was like a mediation.    …

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More like eight hours

The Sketchbook

My delay in Toronto (en route to Chicago) last Friday turned out to be longer than expected so I had lots of time to draw. I was travelling very light —carrying only a pencil, some pens, a water brush and some drawing books (it is Inktober, after all) so I made the most of my time by drawing both in Toronto and then at the airport. I finished the drawing of the Victorian house across from the museum using only a Sharpie pen and a Pentel brush pen.

SixHours1 I did a little thumbnail of the skyline from the island airport, using a Pilot fine liner (water-soluble) and my Koi water brush.SixHours2When the plane was further delayed, instead of eating the free Porter snacks, I expanded my thumbnail into a more complete drawing.SixHours3 And then did one final thumbnail of the CN tower from the plane just before takeoff. Glad I did all this drawing in…

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The EU’s Embarrassing Little Secret in Labeling Israeli Products

The EU alleges that the “Interpretive Notice” has nothing to do with a boycott of Israel, and the U.S. has officially concurred in that assessment. The EU says the Interpretive Notice merely responds to “a demand for clarity from consumers, economic operators and national authorities.” But this is disingenuous.

There is a long list of separatist movements in the EU, some demanding independence, others demanding greater autonomy. It is easy to imagine that some Jews in Israel have corresponding sympathies with such movements and “demands for clarity” about the products of the respective European states. Surely some Israeli Jews would like to buy Scotch whisky only from the few firms that are still in Scottish hands. How can Israelis’ right to know fairly be denied? Israel is entitled to request that Europeans label their products accordingly.

What has happened is another manifestation of the infuriating zeal of the European Commission to issue endless directives to all member states in order to impose uniformity in cases where most Europeans never imagined that uniformity was necessary.


Once Again the Discussion is How to Satiate Mahmoud Abbas

Beyond the Cusp

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, a presumably apolitical position of honoraria, told reporters on Wednesday after his meeting with United States President Barack Obama that during discussions the American leader expressed strong, almost obsessive concern over the future of Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leader, chairman Mahmoud Abbas, the man President Obama apparently bases all efforts to attain peace upon and his being sated. Fears that this may be impossible, considering the light of the disconnect with Israel, was the President’s main concern. Remarkably the discussion with an Israeli leader through whom President Obama could deliver a message to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu centered on fears for the Chairman of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas, and made his being satisfied and aided in preventing any damage which may threaten the continued ability for the PA to hold its power and control over the lands it has under semi-autonomous rule apparently, in…

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Fake Protests

When no one is out there to protect freedom and democracy, groups masquerading as democratic forces move in to serve the designs of their masters.

Anyone questioning the authorities’ interpretation of Islam is dealt with in a barbaric fashion, from the 2am “knock on the door” to sham trials, public floggings, protracted imprisonment, rape, beatings, torture and extrajudicial murder. In some countries, the lawyers who represent such clients are also murdered.

Mauritania passed a new anti-slavery law this year, but has yet to start jailing slave-owners instead of anti-slavery activists. The government has yet to release award winning anti-slavery activist Biram Dah Abeid, arrested last year for organizing a peaceful demonstration against slavery.

Many theocracies have little-to-no respect for law; freedom of expression; equal justice under the law; freedom of (or from) religion; for women’s rights; tolerance of homosexuals or other sexual preferences — but they condone the sexual assault of children.


Being A Girl: A Brief Personal History of Violence

The Belle Jar


I am six. My babysitter’s son, who is five but a whole head taller than me, likes to show me his penis. He does it when his mother isn’t looking. One time when I tell him not to, he holds me down and puts penis on my arm. I bite his shoulder, hard. He starts crying, pulls up his pants and runs upstairs to tell his mother that I bit him. I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone about the penis part, so they all just think I bit him for no reason.

I get in trouble first at the babysitter’s house, then later at home.

The next time the babysitter’s son tries to show me his penis, I don’t fight back because I don’t want to get in trouble.

One day I tell the babysitter what her son does, she tells me that he’s just a little boy, he doesn’t know…

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