Dear Cleo 17 11 26

Dearest Cleo

Here are this weeks life drawings. I have had a busy week, as you know .the house next door burnt out on Wednesday night. I think my life is turning into films, Mickos I Attacked by Damiens Dog three weeks ago and now Mickos II, Flaming Hell.

To be fair the EFD did an excellent job saving me and my house from the inferno, all that got burned was a bit of the back garden fence  and the kitchen windows cracked in the heat.

Now that the fire has gone out the back of the house next door is not so scary in fact in a sureal way it is kind of pretty. I took two photographs.

Figure 1 (17 11 26 01) Fire exit, digital photograph

Figure 2 (17 11 26 02) Gutted, digital photograph

It happened in the middle of the night and it was very emotional, but nobody died and life goes on.

I digress here are the life drawings;

Figure 3 (17 11 26 03) ink on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 4 (17 11 26 04) charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 5 (17 11 26 05) charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

I hope you like my drawings, catch up with you next week, dont forget your letter for Santa so I can give it to him when I see him in the pub.

My love as always

Mickos xx


Dear Cleo 17 11 04

Dearest Cleo

Sorry to have missed you yesterday but I had to go for the test. I passed so it wasn’t a problem, This morning I went life drawing and drew these.

Figure 1 (17 11 04 01) Charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 2 (17 11 04 02) Charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 3 (17 11 04 03) Charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 4 (17 11 04 04) Charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Figure 5 (17 11 04 05) Charcoal on A2 grey sugar paper

Hope you like this mornings drawings

Love as always

Mickos xx



Dear Cleo 17 10 02

Dear Cleo

I hope you had a good day at school, Mondays are always the hardest. In the old days there was a song about Mondays, I’ll play it for you the next time you come over.

More photographs that inspire me, these are of the Hogan Stand when I went to Dublin.

The first one is about lines, the very straight man made lines of the stand structure and pitch markings, the drawing in the gold tickertape that is a record of the movements of the winning team on the pitch, I never knew pieces of tickertape were so long. I have had hours of fun with a pair of framing angles isolating sections of the crowd as well.

Figure 1 (17 10 02 01) Hogan Stand 01 Digital photograph cropped in Photoshop

The rest of the photos are of the structure of the stand itself, as you know, in my work, I am used to looking at drawings of structures and imagining what they will be like when they are built, I find it interesting to look at a completed building and strip it down into its blue print lines. There is probably a way to reduce these photographs to lines in Photoshop but you know me, never press more buttons than you need to.

Figure 2 (17 10 02 02) Hogan Stand 02 Digital photograph cropped in Photoshop

Figure 3 (17 10 02 03) Hogan Stand 03 Digital photograph cropped in Photoshop

Figure 4 (17 10 02 04) Hogan Stand 04 Digital photograph cropped in Photoshop

Figure 5 (17 10 02 05) Hogan Stand 05 Digital photograph cropped in Photoshop

If you still have the framing angles handy, they work quite well on the photographs of the stand. While I have been writing I thought of the old days Tuesday and Wednesday songs, I expect by the time we get together I will have the whole week sorted out.

Love as always

Mickos xx

Dear Bryan

Dear Bryan

Thanks for bearing with the computer problems I was having at the start of our hangout for the third part of the course. When I posted the assignment I was pleased with the amount of work that was in the portfolio and also pleased that there were one or two bits in it that were quite good.

The blind drawings for Project 1 were interesting but were perhaps not carried to a finite conclusion there is a sense of doing and ticking a box rather than a complete investigation.

You, like I, was pleased with the change in my practice initiated by the stick drawings in project 2, drawing at the easel and using more of my body in my mark making, the drawings are now a record of a performance piece where I have danced at the easel. I think the music helped to bring this out but I was especially impressed by the photographs of Cezanne light footed before his easel. It has given the drawings a sense of airiness and space that they somehow lacked before. Pollock is famous for his dancing around his paintings maybe I need to take the drawings off the easel and put them on the floor and dance around them as if they were my handbag, steady lad you don’t have a handbag.

My series thing is Girls at the Bar, there is a painting in there somewhere, but it isn’t there yet, they will take a further bow in part 4 when hopefully they will be finally resolved. For series, you quoted Jim Dines, Roger Hutton and Morandi, from a quick look on the internet, I think Amazon will be delivering a Jim Dines book sometime soon, I have Morandi books already.

Project 3 was where I became Butada’s creator, I made her, I named her, I curated her drawings, and then became jealous of her success, her Giotto curves and her freewheeling attitude to creativity. I tracked her down, turning her drawings into believable aspects of realities that even she could not imagine and lived deep inside of me. You were glad of my interaction and collaboration with her but felt I was ticking boxes rather than pushing the game to its absolute limits.

Project 4 was perhaps my greatest success, the drawing of my tigress was part inspired by a double visit to the once in a lifetime exhibition of Raphael’s drawings, coupled with my new found drawing  practice of drawing at arm’s length, brought the project work to a successful conclusion. Being aware of my mood when I am drawing was not something I used to think about and I can see now how I can induce my mood to suit the subject or mood of my drawing.

The assignment piece allowed me to incorporate many of the techniques I had practiced in the earlier part of the course.

The sketch that you picked out from the moleskin sketchbooks was one I did in a Venetian restaurant with particularly slow service, I will take that as a nudge to do some more considered work in my moleskin sketchbooks.

I really enjoyed this part of the course and had lots of fun doing the work but the interaction and collaboration aspect of my work is as you predicted getting stronger and I am interacting with more things and different types of stimulation which in turn is I think making me more creative, it is like a win win thing and is resulting, I think, in better end results.

I think the work in progress shots and breaking down the work into visible steps is letting you see my process more and over this part of the course my sketchbook work has influenced my other work in a much more positive way.

My background reading is going well and in informing my work and I feel in the written pieces that I am coming to grips with being critical of my own work if only in a positive way.

With regard to a submission date for the next assignment I think if we leave it until mid-December it will give me the time to get a substantial amount of work done on the parallel project and the critical review.

All the best


Dear Cleo 17 07 09

It was good to see you and Auby today especially as you won the silver medal for maths you are a very clever girl you just keep trying hard at stuff and you will win more medals and more prizes.

Figure 1 (17 07 09 01) Blind drawings 1 Ink on A4 cartridge

I have been doing blind drawings I did these in my sketchbook the other day and have spent the last couple of days wondering if it would be possible to learn to draw blind.

I thought hard about how I draw, when I draw I use my spare hand as a measuring tool for angles distances and proportions transferring these to the drawing as necessary. My spare hand spare hand can touch and measure the glass but I have no way of transferring this information to the drawing. I remembered that Cornelia Parker introduced texture into her drawings by using correction fluid and reasoned that if the drawings had texture my drawing hand could with practice orient itself around the page.

My first experiments were quite successful I would first draw the glass blind put it to one side to dry then overdraw blind when the first drawing had dried. At my second attempt I had produced a fairly creditable glass working this way and I am sure with more practice I would only get better. I understood that there are nine key points in the drawing of the glass so I drew the glass while I was looking at it this time in heavier texture so it would be easier and brought my spare hand into play and transferred the measurements and joined the dots. There is a blind girl in Italy called Gaia who leaned to draw probably using techniques similar to this.

Figure 2 (17 07 09 02) Blind drawings 2 correction fluid on A3 pastel paper

Professor John Kennedy in probably the world’s leading expert in this field and by following his link you will get a fascinating insight into his work and studies, and definitely not to missed is Tommy Edison on Youtube.

I hope darling that you learned as much as I did by reading this

My love as always


Dear Cleo 17 05 09

Dearest Cleo

Just a quick note to tell you that I won’t see at the weekend something has cropped up that will keep me rather busy so we will have to put the swimming off until the weekend after.

I wont bore you with so much writing today because it is the day to update my sketchbook on the blog so more pictures than words today.

Figure 01 (SK01 56) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 02 (SK01 57) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 03 (SK01 58) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 04 (SK01 59) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 05 (SK01 60) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 06 (SK 61) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 07 (SK01 61) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 08 (SK01 62) ink on A5 cartridge

This was an attempt to get the geometry of the Cantina right for the drawing I am weorking  on

Figure 09 (SK01 63) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 10 (SK01 64) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 11 (SK01 65) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 12 (SK01 66) ink on A5 cartridge

Mickos goes to Newmarket races

Figure 13 (SK01 67) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 14 (SK01 68) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 15 (SK 69) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 16 (SK01 70) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 17 (SK01 71) ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 18 (SK01 72) ink on A6 cartridge

Figure (SK01 73)Black chalk and ink on A6 cartridge

Trying out the new black chalk on the Charring Cross Road.

Now darling wasn’t that much easier than all that reading.

Love as always


Dear Cleo 17 04 08

Dear Cleo

As promissed in my last post here are this weeks sketches

Figure 1 (SK 01 30) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 2 (SK 01 31) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 3 (SK 01 32) Ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 4 (SK 01 33) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 5 (SK 01 34) Ink on A5 cartridge

Figure 6 (SK 01 35) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 7 (SK 01 36) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 8 (SK 01 37) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 9 (SK 01 38) Ink on A6 cartridge

Figure 10 (SK 01 39) Ink on A5 cartridge

Well not a bad Haul from what was quite a busy week, I have been studying the techniques of the Abstract Expressionists on a Moma Coursera and created the following.

Figure 11 (17 04 08 01) Response to studying Barnet Neuman. Evening, acrylic on A3 canvas

Figure 12 (17 04 08 02) Sketch response to studying Willem de Kooning graphite in A4 cartridge

Figure 13 (17 04 08 03) Drawing response to studying Willem de Kooning, Girl on a barstool, charcoal and Conte crayon on A3 tracing paper

I hope you liked this weeks efforts and I look forward to catching up with you tomorrow.

All my love