25 million people visited one of London’s principal public art museums in 2017. Meanwhile, Tate Modern has become the most popular of all of London’s tourist attractions. Art in general, and modern art in particular, is extremely popular. Whether we seek something beautiful, thought-provoking or historically significant, art museums have something for every taste. Having … Continue reading Art or ‘art’
A thought experiment. Imagine a big red button on your desk or table. It is prominently labeled 'STOP'. If you press it, all fossil fuel extraction will cease within 24 hours, everywhere on earth. Did you press it? I've no idea how much energy inventory is held – oil, gas and coal. Let's say 90 … Continue reading Global Virtue Signalling
For the past year or so I've been immersed in the world of traditional figurative art of the Italian Renaissance, researching my novel, 'All Visible Things'. In the course of this eminently enjoyable endeavour, a number of questions have been nagging at me. – Why is it considered a bit tacky to hang a reproduction … Continue reading Art / Decor / Garbage
Having written a little about Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, it's time to turn the spotlight on another work by the Renaissance genius. This is the cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John The Baptist, formerly known as The Burlington House Cartoon. It hangs in the National Gallery in London. … Continue reading Believe Your Own Eyes
'All Visible Things' narrates the fictional tale of the discovery of the diaries of one Paolo del Rosso, assistant to Leonardo da Vinci. Along the way, the book also exploits the complicated saga of the Mona Lisa. There is fairly compelling evidence that the painting in the Louvre, La Gioconda or the Mona Lisa, is … Continue reading The Mysterious Mona Lisa
Just uploaded the corrected file for 'Empress' to CreateSpace. Should be available on Amazon in a couple of days. Always an exciting, and nerve-wracking moment!
It's been a while, but I have been busy. After the usual busy Dordogne summer, I got back into writing with 'Empress', a novel inspired by a true story. While researching a project about the history of Glasgow, my hometown, I came across the tragic and enigmatic story of the 'Empress of Britain'. Launched by … Continue reading The historical background to ‘Empress’
I just learned a few minutes ago, that the reason I write is my characters. I've just finished defining, creating one of my key characters, who I KNOW I'M GOING TO KILL! I am truly, really sad. Five days ago, he barely existed; but now, he is a real, breathing person. And I'm going to … Continue reading Why I write
The recent UK election may presage a 'tipping point', a transformation of the British political landscape. The next few years may witness the implosion of the Conservative Party as we know it; the election of Corbynesque Labour government, followed by a period of political unrest. The UK Conservative Party is one of the longest-lived political … Continue reading A Tipping Point?
Although novel writing is thought of as 'creative fiction', there is, or can be, a surprising amount of non-creative research involved. For 'Bunco', I had various references to contemporaneous cultural and sporting events - new shows opening on Broadway, 'date' movies on general release, important events at the end of the baseball season, facts about … Continue reading The Joy of Research