Comic strip workshop and event at Swedenborg House

Many wondrous comic strips were made by 40 or so participants at yesterday’s Swedenborg House explore and draw event, the second in a series of events for children.

 My workshop in the Whispering Room started off with one or two exercises including drawing a self-portrait made with your eyes closed, and then erm, feeling the bumps on your head …Participants learned about some of 18C polymath Swedenborg’s inventions, and the mystery of his lost skull, accompanied by suitably mysterious and muffled sounds coming from one of the cupboards …

Who stole Swedenborg’s skull?  Why did 18th and 19th century collectors want the skulls of famous people?  Do bumps on a skull indicate what sort of person you are? Some people believed this at the time.

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Chinese calligraphy at the Royal Philatelic Society

Last weekend to a free event celebrating Chinese New Year at the Royal Philatelic Society. Disappointingly there weren’t many stamps on display – they’re very light-sensitive – but I had a chance to try some Chinese calligraphy.  Hopefully this says ‘happy’.

I learned that it takes about a month for the RPS committee to authenticate (or not) a stamp – there are a lot of forgers about – and saw a picture of the most valuable stamp ever.  It’s the British Guiana magenta, and was sold for 10 million dollars.

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Riding a Mechanical Horse at Newmarket (as you do)

Dusted off my cuttings book and realised I miss my travel writing days. Some years ago I took part in an Introduction to Racing day in Newmarket for  the London Evening Standard. The day included my riding a mechanical horse at the National Horseracing Museum, wearing jockey silks.  As you do.  The Evening Standard insisted, and sent a photographer.  I rather wished the horse hadn’t been turned up to full gallop mode at the time.

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Draw It! Monsters and a young artist

Great to see this talented young artist using one of my Draw It! series of activity books,   this one about monsters and other scary stuff.  With thanks to author Alexandra English for today’s photo.

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Defying Gravity – audio and Paper Theatre event

Two scenes from Paper Theatre (with moving parts) made to go with my audio piece Defying Gravity, one of six events by different artists in six small rooms in London last night.  Events included film, performance, magic, music and a feast including a fabulous cake.  The entrance was guarded by a doorman who checked, weighed and measured visitors. Of course. With thanks to Roland Denning for sound and Roland and Lesley Davies for organising.

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Work in progress – notebook ideas for new commission

Greatly enjoying playing with ideas in my notebook. For a new commission.

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Another workshop at Swedenborg House – explore and draw comic strips

I’m running another explore and draw workshop on the afternoon of February 14th at Swedenborg House in Bloomsbury – 20/21 BloomsburyWay, WC1A 2TH, nearest Tube Holborn or Tottenham Court Road.  This time I’ll be encouraging everyone to make comic strips.  What happened to Swedenborg’s ear? What is the talking cupboard saying?  Explore this fantastic venue and get creative.

For adults and children 6+  Book online at publicity@swedenborg.org.uk. Book signing, free leporello … and cake.

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Almost New Year …

It’s almost New Year … this drawing from a while ago (it fell out of a book while I was looking for something else) but thought it a propos possible new adventures in 2018  …

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HS2 evicts Euston humans, but builds hotel for Camden beetles

More unchecked HS2 lunacy.  This letter from Jeff Travers (Chair, Adelaide Community Garden Club) in the 28th December edition of the Camden New Journal comments on the recent eviction of uncompensated Euston homeowners, and the building of a hotel for beetles in Camden’s Adelaide Nature Reserve.  Having experienced some of HS2’s shenanigans last year as a petitioner at a Lords Select Committee hearing, maybe it doesn’t surprise me..

Beetle pictures from Twiddling Your Thumbs, a book of rhymes for children written by Wendy Cope and illustrated by Sally Kindberg, published by Faber & Faber.

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Sally Kindberg’s Pinboard commissions

I’ve always collected bits of printed ephemera, and my flat has several pinboards and walls covered in it.  A friend/work colleague asked me to make two pieces in the style of my pinboards, incorporating my own drawings, Victorian scraps, labels, cards etc, as presents for two young sisters.  A delightful commission …

Here’s how they looked after my friend put them into frames for the two little girls…

Below are some details of the pinboards in my flat.  Every item tells a story.  Can you spot the Atomic Fireball, Sigmund Freud, the Pocket Trout, Desperate Dan’s chin reliquary, Tommy Cooper, my Tall Ships Race medal, a leaf from Sherwood Forest’s Great Oak, two female wrestlers and Joseph Beuys’s felt suit?  I’m taking more commissions by the way …

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