Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Arthouse Sketchbook Project 2011

UPDATE: July 24, 2012
If you would like to see inside the finished sketchbook 'Face in the crowd,' please visit: here

An example of how a completed sketchbook can look: Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project Tour (2009).

I received my moleskin in May this year, with the idea that I fill it however I want according to a theme chosen from a long list thought up by Art House Co-op.  - 'Face in the Crowd' appealed. Now in September I'm pretty much finished, just last minute touches and I want to scan it (as I don't own a video camera), otherwise a little film would be a great idea, like the one featured above.

Shortly, I will be sending off my completed moleskin to New York, USA to join the throng of other sketchbooks for the 2011 tour around the United States. The books can be seen and borrowed (like a library book) in various preselected galleries and museums before finally ending up in the Brooklyn Art Library for posterity.

Monday, 20 September 2010

The Kiss

This summer, whilst on holiday in my hometown of Oxford, in England, I was party to what I can only describe as the best kiss ever! 

In the words of the band INXS ‘…two worlds collided...’ and boy did they, as it was a kiss of total abandonment, insatiable in it’s duration, hot and familiar, but in its action uncanny, as we had literally just met.

Upon reflection, I will admit that the cause of this was probably partially due to a night on the town with my sister-in-law and the predetermined ‘a half in every pub’ along the way pub-crawl. Poison of choice was cider, and, several pubs later with ample amounts of the golden beverage inside us, the wheels of the lack of inhibition had been well oiled. 

Our tour of Oxford pubs ended at a club (as by this time it was well after midnight) belting out good music, and heaving with dancing people, plus, it served cocktails as well! Fatal mistake, but a very tasty one, as the cider was traded in for the funkily named Woo Woo cocktail, as we joined the heaving throng on the dance floor, which seemed to be just about anywhere you wanted it to be in the club.

How to make a Woo Woo:

1 ½ oz Peach Schnapps
    1 ½ oz Vodka
    3 ½ ox Cranberry Juice

Pour all ingredients into a highball glass over ice cubes, stir and serve.

Well, one Woo Woo, of course led to another and after a while I was definitely feeling no pain. All of a sudden, a tall, dark and very fit, handsome stranger appeared at my side and asked me if I knew of anything to do around here.  Much to my amusement, upon questioning him I found out that he was Dutch and on a couple of days visit from Amsterdam. What were the chances! Laughing, I told him that although Oxford was my hometown, I had lived out of the country for many years in the northern Netherlands, and was not really up to date on what there was to do in Oxford these days, except the obvious, like museums, bars and restaurants, visiting the colleges and a bit of punting along the river. After that the Woo Woo’s were replaced by Sex on the Beach cocktails, the taste of which I have absolutely no recollection.

One thing led to another, and by the time the club closed we were kissing passionately on the street, outside the club with my sister-in-law and his entourage standing and staring in bemusement. It was obvious that this was a kiss with a mission and it wasn’t going to let up for a while. When I finally did come up for air, I made a Cinderella-like dash for the white, black-cab we’d manage to hail, leaving behind my website address scrawled on a piece of paper, for if future contact was desired. Whatever happened to a simple phone number, I hear you ask? Yes, I kicked myself several times the next day. Well, let’s not forget I was totally Woo Woo-ed at the time and it seemed a less threatening option with more potential in the long run. Oh, who am I trying to kid!

So, why do we kiss? Putting one’s lips to those of a stranger is not only very intimate, but a total invasion of body space not to mention the potential exchange of a vast array of bugs on both sides. Also, hanging onto someone with the sucker-like tendencies of an octopus tentacle and at such a close proximity too, does tend to obscure one’s vision of the other person. That last point (although I think it had more to do with my cocktail-ed state than distance), I managed to clarify by demanding that my sister-in-law describe him fully to me the next day.

Quick surf on the Internet and I find an article where kissing is said to have possibly stemmed from the pre chewing and passing of food by mothers to their offspring. It’s also equated with social bonding, and the exchange of pheromones during such an interaction can become a prelude to courtship and even sexual encounters!

Back to this summer’s pheromone encounter, although I probably won’t see Mr tall, dark and handsome again, he scores a definite 9 out of 10 for that kiss. Only 9? I hear you ask. Well, there’s always room for improvement isn't there? After all perfection is rarely attained. Maybe he’d like a re-match sometime! Until that time, it goes on record as a kiss to remember – ‘Ow Zat!

Why not see if you're up to scratch on kissing, with the ultimate Kissing Quiz