Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Lisbon social life.

My work is pretty much my social life. I spend so much time sketching on the street, I meet many, many people everyday. On time off, I hang-out on the streets more often than I spend time in bars. The first view below will be familiar to most who have visited Lisbon. It is a fabulous place to chill, listen to music, meet people...

When I am in bars to socialise you will often find me in Irish bars. They are popular everywhere in the World for good reason. This is Irish night...

That was Birthday (extended) day off.

It was fun.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

All I got for my Birthday...

...was this broken toe.

Many people who read here probably have a very romantic view of life as a travelling artist. Others may respect the more real, gritty side of this life. The dealing with police, street thieves, common wronguns, murderers on the run, drugs and dealers, crazy people who should be in hospital... the authorities, and all of us not so authoritarian types apparently running from something.

The real challenge in this life is dealing with unfamiliar situations in unfamiliar environments. Like an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar room, with an unfamiliar walk down an unfamiliar corridor to an unfamiliar bathroom. Try doing that at 4.30AM barefoot and desperate to leak after a heavy night out. Only the super lucky get away with it. Why I tried to get away with it is beyond me, but probably had much to do with alcohol and cannabis. It was a bad decision, but - hey; there are far worse decisions to make in life. I should fucking well know!

I also got nice messages and work questions for my Birthday. Thanks for those. x

51. Still going strong. Brains of a 19 year old being held together by the legs of an 80 year old.

Rock on!!!

Pics another time.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Fish & Chips, or Fish & Rice?

On web forums I have been posting enthusiastically about Portuguese cuisine on a budget. I like this one without vinegar. Two small cod tied head to tail, deep fried and served with salad and a bowl of rice in onion, red pepper and tomato salsa with red beans. It is ace!

Struggling to get anything good from my smartphone on close-up, but I'm sure you get the picture (so to speak).

A quick thanks to my 'esteemed clients' as they seem to say here :)

Hotel Corpo Santo is a new 5 Star, historic hotel with an archaeological dig in the basement. Sort of. It is finished. The old town walls of the city are preserved and displayed in a fabulous space that doubles as a very effective conference room. To say these people have been nice to me is understating a fair amount. If I had the money, I would choose the place above any other in Lisbon. Fantastic hotel, interesting historically, but above all - service that is unlikely to be bettered anywhere. So, thanks to all at Hotel Corpo Santo. Greatly appreciated.

Lisbon Check-in is a new 'contemporary' guest house on the edge of Lisbon's emerging alternative scene - Santa Katarina/Rua Sao Paulo. Somewhere between a hostal and a hotel, you get your own very nice room en-suite in a 200 year old building (the style has been reformed) with flat screen etc, and access to a shared kitchen, common room etc. Best of both World's - privacy with a socialising option. Very, very reasonable rates, and, again - as friendly as they come.

There are more to mention and thank. I will do in time.

You can get great value here during February. It is never that cold!

Saturday, 27 January 2018

More happy clients :)

It is what I like most. I find it incredibly gratifying when people email photographs of my art in place in their homes. They come from all corners of the World. This one came locally. Thank you!

Everybody I have worked with in Portugal have been incredibly helpful, friendly, and above all else, appreciative. This sort of attitude just makes me want to do the very best I can. I will make a list of thanks to the hotels and other businesses who have given me work (and, continue to give me work) tomorrow. Thanks to all the private clients also. This has been the most comfortable January since I started this blog! So glad I came to Lisbon.


The reason Portuguese people don't put vinegar on their chips is because, they don't need to. I should have known this. English chips need vinegar due to the fat saturation of our unhealthy cooking methods.

Good to know my sense of humour isn't lost here. Thanks for the explanation.


Anyone else very excited about looking out for The Humanity Star in future night skies?

The most ridiculous waste of money I have ever found a place in my heart for.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Portuguese people do not put vinegar on their chips!

Seriously? WTF? Jesus wept!

This is not possible. How does a nation survive on a basic diet of potatoes with fish, or pork, and not get it. You have an abundance of bad wine you idiots - use it.

I am seriously WTF here. Someone tried to tell me I should have been putting olive oil on my chips instead of white wine vinegar!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You bad people

Very, very bad people.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday is usually my day off.

I am still getting the luck. Plenty of work in the waiting. However, I am still on a strict budget.

A cheap snack in Lisbon means going to Minipreço Express in Sau Paulo for 3 hot, spicey sausages for €1.47, a dark bread bun for 25 Cents, and this pudding for just €5.49. It is on offer. It is only 17% Vol - I will be OK, and ready for work tomorrow.

Double espresso in a large paper cup filled to the brim with unbranded Bailey's. It is a fucking good pudding :)

Anyone for a Tuk-Tuk?

As essentially Lisbon as trams, quiosques and ornate wobbly paving you can't walk on. The Tuk-Tuks. Opinion seems to be divided. I love them. Most are electric - non-polluting (this is an original 2 stroke), they provide employment, and, most importantly of all, they are great fun. My top tip is to take a ride and tell the driver to just show you their own Lisbon. Forget the tourist stuff.

She's a little bit cute as fuck isn't she?

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Thee Oh Sees.

Thank you to whoever turned me on to this very healthy shit. It is about time rock woke again. Brilliant.

Good work :)

It is seriously about time rock and roll forgot about the money.

Love it, you Thee Oh Sees people.

Thank you so much.

Friday, 19 January 2018

And some art for the LOLS.

Another Praça do Camoes. I am getting good at this one. Practice makes perfect.
Some people think this is not work!

A laundromat self-portrait.

I am using US English, because, well, hey - American people, I know you are believers in democracy really.

I am now diving into deep history. Once upon a time I studied 'A' Level Photography and Media studies at Shrewsbury College of Art and Technology (SCAT for the laugh). I loved the photography bit. When I was supposed to be sitting my Maths exam I spent the afternoon on top of the Wrekin looking over the plains of Shropshire. It was a college for people who were not clever enough to go straight to university.

One of the first 'assignments' in photography class was a representational self-portrait. Piss easy - just empty my pockets and take a snap.

30+ years later, things haven't really changed that much. Here is my life from my pockets today. Seriously; fuck all has changed in 30+ years!

Pens. Tobacco. Ventolin. Condoms.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Rainy Days.

What to do on rainy days? They can be a good excuse for a day off if you have money in pocket. Trundle around all those galleries I've been wanting to visit. That would be nice. But, I need cash - setting up a new home takes money.

There was a time I would sit in cafes sketching from postcards, or even sketching from memory. Today, Google offers much more. So, I am sitting in a cafe searching Google Images for decent, high resolution images of Lisbon, or transferring pics from my phone to laptop and creating small, A4 sketches for sale another day.

When it is not raining I still much prefer to work BIG in the street. If I won the lottery tomorrow (I don't play the lottery, but...) I am pretty sure you would still find me sketching in the street on 3 Meter x 1 Meter, brown craft paper. When all is good, it is just a very pleasant way to pass time. Bottle of beer, sunshine, people, beautiful architecture to draw. It isn't always good, but most of the time I just love to do it. I have always been 'in it for the money' out of pure necessity, but most importantly, I am 'in it for the fun'.

Praça do Camoes, Lisbon. First large street sketch of the year...