18 July 2011


                    My purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
                              Tennyson, Ulysses

I can’t decide whether the Brushes app is a red herring in my career as a part-time painter or not. The iPhone ‘paintings’ I did, partly whilst travelling on the Tube to and from London Bridge and Antigone, were absorbing and made the time fly. I think my attempt on iPad to realize an illusory childhood vision of mountains, which I was disappointed to learn were ‘all clouds and sunset’ as my mother explained, is one I should make again in real paint. (N.B. As a boy soprano at Rehoboth Methodist Chapel I would sing Mendelssohn’s ‘Oh! For the wings of a dove’.)

My gallery seat [in the Alhambra Theatre] afforded me the best view of Bradford, and indeed of life, I’d ever had – not counting a magnificent range of hills and mountains bathed in pink and golden light, which had revealed itself one evening a year or two earlier, down the cobbled road at the corner of our street of back-to-backs, soaring up on the other side of the railway lines and beyond Bowling Park. I fully expected to be reaching the foothills next morning and exploring the streets and lanes, where, I imagined, donkeys pulled carts up through quaint mountain villages. I was thrilled that, after all, the great and beautiful world I’d become aware of by repute had turned out to be only a tram ride away. But no; the journey was impossible, as my mother explained when I persuaded her to come out to the corner and look: ‘It’s only made of clouds and sunset, Edward.’ (From Slim Chances)

This partial preview of Sara Kestelman as Coco may seem coy, but I am saving up the whole iPad portrait to accompany a written piece.


  1. I don't think it's a red herring at all Edward - it was absolutely fascinating to watch the 'painting' appear and then morph before my very eyes ...And you should DEFINITELY secure it in real paint.

  2. Your childhood memory of this event will make a beautiful painting. Feelings this strong are important, don't miss the opportunity.