Now then... Shall I draw fun or ideas around the zeitgeist?
The Charlie Hebdo newspaper has gone to print and I am about to start on another piece... it'll be a naughty satirical piece, enough tears shed over the dead cartoonists for this week, it's time to enjoy fun, but in an English fashion.
The land that gave us philosophy and democracy has a new prime minister today. I wonder what ancient Greek philosophers would have made of the Islamic fundamentalists killing people for poking fun?
Here is my drawing done in a cafe in Kew the other day. Look, see? No commentary on society, no poking fun at someone else's god, no view on the people around me. An ordinary, sanitised, pretty picture of women having coffee in a cafe.
No thinking, no satire, no comment. I know which images I prefer. We are being gagged.
The view of the day.
Last night was spent at a talk, 'London Thinks: A Scientist, an Atheist Biblical Scholar and a Vicar walk Into An Ethical Society…' I listened to them all chatting but my heart was won by the vicar, Giles Fraser, he made me laugh and tickled my brain cells.
By the by, at Kew today drawing with the others. Pencil and sketchbook at the ready. Charlie Hebdo project sitting here looking at me til I decide what to do with all those drawings.
The usual offers started at the dinner table, just after the haggis. Unusually surprising offers were made after the pud. In the cab home I wondered if the cartoonists would have enjoyed Burns night, or would they have gone back to their studios to poke fun with their pencils the next day, as I will?
This is another Charlie Hebdo drawing.
There were two of us at the dinner table last night for a change and we attempted to explain the experience of being an artist, that in fact it was all about looking. He looked interested, but I suspected otherwise, and with that topic exhausted fairly quickly we moved onto the claret and horseradish sauce. Much easier.
My heart is utterly broken and I am very angry. How can people kill artists for drawing? How could we have arrived at that state of affairs? Without Art we are dead. It's a crime against humanity to kill someone for drawing. Surely? I have made a few more drawings. Here is another about the latest thing, the letter written to all muslim leaders suggesting they have a word with the extremists and those that want to join them. They wheeled out Lord Tariq Mahmood Ahmad of Wimbledon, well, at times like these we must use everything we've got and a charming muslim lord is a very valuable resource and he looked nice enough.
Here is another drawing.
Got to hand it to them, they kept their cool after doing the job. Efficient killers. One wonders what they would have become had they had a decent education, a decent beginning in life. They were orphaned at an early age apparently.
Here is my first drawing, what do you think? A scene from the temporary offices where the latest issue is being made. You know the one, the one with a muslim god on it crying, holding up a 'je suis Charlie' poster.
I am an angry woman. I walk the streets angrily talking to myself, the audacity, the cheek, to kill people for drawing. I know I can't be let loose in civilised company otherwise I may explode. I went to Boots just now to buy toiletries and the girl serving me was wearing a veil, hoping for a moderate muslim viewpoint, I asked her, "What do you think of what's happened?" She looked confused, I tried again, "France? The dead cartoonists, what do you think?" Nothing, she said nothing, and just looked at me blankly. Oh well, perhaps they don't read the papers in her house. I have already embarrassed myself twice in public this week and I am dreading the remaining month, my thoughts tumble out of my mouth with little censorship. Three madmen killed artists for offending them, then they hid in a printing press, of all places. Well, I as an artist am also offended, very offended by their extremist religionist views and offended by how they expressed them.
And here is the view but frankly, who gives a damn, the world has lost it's lustre.
Utterly heartbroken I have spent the time archiving images, I can't draw. When I start drawing it will be about Charlie Hebdo. Killing artists for drawing is like ripping out the heart of a society, how can they justify attacking those that are privileged enough to be able to express themselves in images? I can't work at all, my heart is broken.
This is what Ian McEwan says:
The pen is mightier than the sword.
A black week for us all. Mindless idiots are using religion as an excuse to kill those that are more able, more intellectual, more interesting. Without thought, expressed through the pen, without critique, even of the Charlie Hebdo variety, we become as mindless as they are.
There I was about to draw something fun, upbeat, entertaining for a change and what happens? Artists and journalists are killed for god's sake, quite literally. The tragedy of my past only comes back to haunt me when I think of the values and ideas these idiots are trying to kill.
They have killed journalists and five artists, they sought them out by name. They think the gun can kill the pen and so tonight, we took pictures and posted the lot on social media. Words can't describe how I feel about what's happened.
London is coming back to life after Christmas and I am drawing. I am going to start working on another project now, all about something positive for a change. Not psychosis, not death, not racism, ignorance or prejudice, not even about my pet hate, parochialism. It will be about intellectual stimulation and fun, I am going to do it quick, before something gets in my way but for now, look at my drawing of the week, this is about my mother's illness.
I suddenly have too much to do, so much to sift through before I have a portfolio that is in anyway acceptable. Here is an image from one of my sketchbooks. Do you like the Hilda Ogden ducks in the background? My pride and joy, made them myself so I did.
“The canary bird in the coal mine theory of the arts: artists should be treasured as alarm systems.”
My blog, a thought or two