When I was a child my mother used to take me to Bredon’s Bookshop in Brighton. It had a small art department that for me was heaven. The lowest shelves held clay, plaster of Paris, Plasticine and modelling tools. I wanted them all but even more alluring than this were the upper ones displaying row upon row of soft pastels and paints and a spectacular array of coloured pencils, Derwent if I remember rightly, which of course I do. It seemed to me that every imaginable shade of every possible colour was there. I longed for them. Mum always bought me something – a small packet of crayons or pencils but that didn’t do it for me.
What I really wanted – and I might say – I haven’t changed at all – was the entire display. I wanted the biggest boxed set available. Not long ago I found out that my friend Mary had been given just this when she was a child and I felt engulfed by a curious retrospective envy. Ridiculous really – I have long since bought many complete ranges of pencils, pastels, gouache and inks and since this hunger is one that will never truly be satisfied a few weeks back I bought the largest boxed set of Rembrandt oil paints that they make.
I hadn’t really intended to use these oils for my Filthy Beast work – gouache is still this illustrator’s medium of choice but on this occasion I could not resist and the result is The Old Boar above. I have just seen that Sennelier do a box of their entire water colour range – 98 tubes in all – Mmm… Oh dear.