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We went to see the Quentin Blake exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge today. Got there really early (free, but timed ticket entry) before it was too full. It is a small exhibition but full of wonder, for me and my son. He grew up with us reading Roald Dahl and laughing at Blake’s characterful drawings. Seeing the real thing is always better isn’t it? What amazed us was we could almost hear the scritchy-scratchiness of his pens. The drawings were full of gesture and movement and conversation. We amused ourselves (is this a good point to tell you my son is 27, not 7?) by inventing the conversations… between the beaky tour guide and tourists; the women and birds; the women and babies; the birds and dogs. Conversation was everywhere, except, curiously, the drawing of the only two “real” people? Gesture and movement caused us to emulate – I especially loved “Big healthy girls” the large colourful woman with lots of uncontrollable hair struck a chord, and we tried to strike her pose – she was wonderful and I want her on my wall. By the time we came away, the room was filling, with adults and children, all of whom were laughing and doing the same poses and actions we had done.

A really unserious look at art. Made us giggle, put smiles on our faces, brought the sun out. Well done Mr Blake, you clever man!


Ha Ha!

Who am I trying to kid?

I knew it wouldn’t last long!

Elena Thomas only has enough words for one blog? No chance.


I have decided I need some decent photos of my work for my website, I feel my quick snaps are not hitting the right note any more – onwards and upwards and all that!

I met a lovely photographer today. You know the sort of person you arrange a short meeting with about one thing, then end up talking about life, the universe and everything?

My friend Dan Whitehouse recommended his friend Carsten Dieterich (link below), so I went armed with a load of work scrumpled into a big ikea blue carrier bag. We chatted, played, looked at examples, decided we liked similar things, didn’t like similar things (one thing too busy, another too bright, simple is best…)

We found we had a lot in common in terms of how we view our work, earning money, variety, and the staving off of boredom through creativity, insomnia and the useful quiet hours between 11pm and 2am.

I am finding these are common threads lately, in the people whose work I admire, be they musician, artist, photographer.

Problem is, when you discover there are other people up at that hour, you start a conversation online and end up going to bed even later…

*stifled yawn*

Carsten’s website is: http://www.focused-photography.com/

He’s a lovely man, and he does some lovely work, in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Then, I get back home to discover Ruth Geldard has been delving into my ranty archives and has been talking about the Artists’ Lie…(post 224) Carsten and I touched on this a little too, about how what you do to bring in the money doesn’t have to be connected to the thing you love to do, but how variety helps you to keep all these things going, one income stream supporting another, which supports the thing that sometimes doesn’t create much income at all. Doing all of it, enables all of it. Balance.

Ruth’s blog is: www.a-n.co.uk/p/3134411/

(I wonder if Ruth stays up late too?)