Il Primo Maggio

We’re just back from a great trip to Radicondoli. Only one problem….it was far too short!

We were determined to be there for May Day, as it’s a really big celebration for the town. It starts at 7am with the Radicondoli Band playing at different parts of the town, (a bit like an irreligious version of “the Stations” in Ireland). At each stop there are refreshments in the form of home made cakes, cheeses, cold meats and wine, or if you are really “lucky”….the demon grappa! Now for the uninitiated, this is a VERY acquired taste. Whereas Marcus is very fond of it, I think it resembles something from the selection of solvents in my studio, (and would probably do the job just as well).



Very Italian!

I was in London last week and I would highly recommend a visit to the V & A to see the Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition. It’s of fashion from post-war through to today and is absolutely beautiful! There are lots of exquisite dresses, (and some fairly dodgy men’s clothes from the ’60’s), which are fantastic to see in the flesh...



Valentino posing with models in Rome, July 1967. Courtesy of The Art Archive Mondadori Portfolio / Marisa Rastellini


Good, with mint sauce.

I have only realised today that just a few of my blogs and none of my print of the month thingies have gone up on the website for ages….they are probably floating around the stratosphere somewhere. ( I’ve an awful feeling it’s a case of pilot error, as you might remember the extent my computer “skills”)
So I’ve decided to start again.

Read on, dear reader..


I've fallen in love...


I forgot to include on image of the print I finally made after returning to etching, so here it is. It’s called “Angel”.
It’s printed on one of my favourite papers to work on, Fabriano Avorio. It is a soft, off white colour and black ink looks particularly velvety on it, and, I think, perfect for this image. So, below you can see the plate on the left (with thumb-marks for added authenticity) and the proof on the right.

After an absolutely dreadful two months of “work” which inevitably ended up as firelighters or in the recycling bin, things began to go right on Tuesday. And about time too! Up until then it seemed everything I touched in the studio was doomed. To compound the problem, the the arrival of the R.H.A entry form with it’s deadline at the end of March was now like a runaway train hurtling down the track to my studio door.



RIP Prof. Campbell Bruce HRHA

I cannot believe that I am talking of Campbell in the past, he has always been there for all of us... please honour my friend and read on.


I am writing this on the eve of the funeral of an old friend, Campbell Bruce. Nothing unusual in this you may think, the elderly must pass; but, this is different; there was never anything elderly in the usual senses about Campbell.

I have known both he and his wife, Jackie for over thirty years. I met them first when I was hoping to get into Fine Art at N.C.A.D in the 1970’s. I had luckily taken the advice of Charlie Brady, and ditched some paintings I had thought were good, for two etchings I had made in Kildare Street, and I remember encountering Jackie at THE interview and being both terrified and fascinated by her in equal parts. Soon I was to meet Campbell, who was head of Fine Art. He was always very fair in his opinions, never cruel, and I can still hear his softly spoken advice.

There was always something different about Campbell and Jackie. When we finished college, they kept in touch with their students. They kept newspaper cuttings about them, went to their exhibition openings, or sent cards wishing them good luck if they couldn’t be there in person. They have been tireless in their support. “The Decade Show” held in the Guinness Hop Store proved this. Campbell and Jackie were still always there for us for advice. They are our friends.

One of the most memorable images I have of Jackie and Campbell is from last summer. We arrived to an almost deserted Roscarberry for an exhibition, which included some of Jackie’s work. Just as I was beginning to think I’d made a mistake about the date, the familiar gold estate car rolled up the main street and the pair of them emerged like two Hollywood film stars! They had STYLE! They ignited the fuse, and the party began!


God bless you Campbell, we'll look after Jackie.


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