Monday, February 24, 2014


things that go wrong often come in clusters, for no fathomable reason. That's how it was last week and how this week is starting. At least four important areas in my life went bang, slapped me in the face, knocked me down and didn't help me back up. I won't go into detail in case that makes it worse. I thought that just mentioning it here might magically remove the jinx. What magical symbol could I insert to make it work?

Thursday, February 20, 2014


I should have explained: that 2008 video was my attempt at comic self-analysis, a kind of psychodrama-lite. If it left you bored or annoyed, this might be because it was boring and annoying. But if I add a footnote, at least what I was on about will be clearer.

The four characters I amateurishly act - Chico (Spanish), Samyra (Egyptian), Madame la Gueule (French) and Happy Hank (American) - are aspects of my personality that I felt needed making fun of, in the interests of improving my Know Thyself credentials and giving my ego a bit of a kick up the proverbial ass. Humour is very important to me, I believe in humour. Sometimes it can take you straight to an AHA moment of discovery, by-passing many long and arduous other roads. That's how it works for me but I'm willing to make a fool of myself in the process. 

I heartily recommend this process and suggest you try it at home. Just for fun, or in case you are a puzzle to yourself or to any of your nearest and dearest. Dress up in the appropriate gear, put appropriate make-up on, turn the video camera on and act....act yourself, but in your various guises/disguises. You might be amazed at what you uncover.

You're not going to do it? I thought not. But does my video make sense now?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Looks like I can do things on the main Blaugustine site again but I have to get used to an entirely new way of doing them, breaking old familiar habits. Not a bad thing. 

Testing the system, I went looking for past videos and found this on YouTube from 2008, when I didn't mind taking the mickey. If you haven't seen it before and have nothing important to do for the next seven minutes and forty-nine seconds, watch this. I was perfectly sober, I swear. Please be indulgent.

Friday, February 14, 2014


I'm getting old
I wear the bottom of my trousers rolled
Inside my boots when it rains
Like it's been raining every day
More than it's ever rained they say
But anyway
In the mirror
I can still smile
My yellow-toothed smile
Not all of them mine I confess
As you've no doubt already guessed
But anyway
Blanche, my beautiful Mama
Before she died thirteen years ago next summer
Told me that I was
Une adorable créature

Mama can't be wrong
That's why I sing this song
Une adorable créature I am
And will forever remain.

P.S. I forgot to say thanks to TS Eliot for my opening line.  See the last verse of The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock if  you don't already know it.

Saturday, February 08, 2014


I'm the turtle in a race with the hare (whoever the hare may be) but gradually I'm crawling up to the goal and I only have a few more preparatory drawings to do before I can resume cutting the blocks. Below is a montage of tiny versions of some of the black & white drawings that are finished - the original single pages are 35cms wide x 33cms high. All blocks will be printed in two or three colours and will have textured surfaces so they will look very different from these roughs but the basic ideas are there.

I wish I was one of those artists who progress from A to Z in logical, orderly fashion and who can always see the end from the beginning. My way is the opposite. It consists in trying to extract an image from a formless chaos in which innumerable possibilities are hidden, like hacking away at a rock or clearing a forest. It is not fun. It's hard, demanding, frustrating but eventually satisfying if the images that emerge from the struggle look as if they've always been there.

An interesting BBC documentary last week on High Intensity Training shocked me into realising how much time I spend sitting on a chair every day. So I immediately got up and began surfing the net to find a modestly priced exercise bike and without further ado, ordered it. I'll have it next week and therefore will be able to get my 3-minute HIT with almost no interruption of the sitting down routine required for drawing and cutting the Trans-Siberian blocks. I'll report on the results of this new regime.