It’s far from easy to write a full-length novel.
It’s even harder to get it published.
You can help me get my novel, ‘A Stirring in the Blood’ published through amazon’s kindle scout scheme. Just click on my book’s cover picture below. That will take you to my kindle scout page, read the short extract, then nominate it.
I can’t promise you a share of the royalties but I will be grateful.
Pete Postlethwaite (1946-2011)
My portrait of the actor, Pete Postlethwaite was recently bought by the owners of The Green Dragon, Little Stretton, Shropshire and now hangs in the bar above the chair the actor used to sit in. Best known for his roles in films like; The Usual Suspects and Brassed Off, he was also an extremely accomplished stage actor.
Steven Spielberg called him “the best actor in the world” though he was far too modest a man to describe himself in those terms.
Picture this, you buy a house for £471,000 and discover that you have a Damien Hirst spot painting on one of your walls. It’s painted directly onto the wallpaper so you think, “I’ll have that off there, mount it and sell it – it must be worth a few bob.”
No problemo, you might think, but you would be wrong… oh, so wrong. It’s not yours to sell, not without a certificate of authenticity signed by Mr Hirst anyway, and his company Science have got that. You see, the painting was originally bought as a present for the previous owner and, when he sold the house, he was given an alternative version of the painting on canvas in exchange for Mr Hirst taking back ownership of the original, which should have been painted over.
Now, I’m sure Mr Hirst is acting within his legal rights (there are precedents for this) to demand the return of the, now portable wall painting, for destruction. Incidentally, I’d be happy to lend him a hand with the destruction of any of his works, but I digress. The real artwork apparently is in the concept, not the work itself – in this instance a few scribbled half-circles of colour and some written instructions on a scrap of paper. I note the youthful Mr Hirst has misspelled surrounding on this early example of one of his certificates of authenticity.
Call me naive but I’ve always assumed that an artist was a man or woman who, not only conceived, but created works of art with his or her own hands! After all, if you pay $12 million dollars for a Picasso, you have a right to expect that the great man himself actually put the paint on the canvas. Surely, it ain’t a Picasso if he didn’t!
What makes it different in the case of a Damien Hirst or others of his ilk? And if they do get someone else to turn their ideas into a physical piece of art, shouldn’t the maker also get a credit for his work? I think a little more transparency is called for here. When this type of work is displayed in a gallery or placed with an auction house, perhaps the catalogue listing should be something on the lines of; ‘A spot painting by (insert the name of the assistant or contractor) based on an original concept by Damien Hirst.’
After months of work, I’ve finally finished a second painting of Jimi Hendrix. Unlike the first, this one is for sale. Painted in oils on canvas, it measures roughly 600 mm x 500 mm. Enquiries to: email@example.com. If Jimi isn’t your favourite, I’m happy to accept commissions for other rock stars, screen goddesses and even your dear old uncle Fred!
The painting is based on a famous photograph by Gered Mankowitz, the British photographer who has chronicled the rock music scene for the last forty years. He photographed Hendrix in 1967 at his studio in Picadilly. He found him to be a “quiet, humble and modest man. He wasn’t remotely the sort of wild man of rock n’ roll that people have come to think of him as.”
I think this comes across in this picture, as does Hendrix’s sense of humour. Some of Gered Mankowitz’s portraits are now part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.