A friend mentioned that I only paint women so I thought I would paint a man - a young lad on a night out in his dadís tuxedo at a lap-dancing club.
I painted his mouth open in surprise then I found myself putting a cigarette falling out of his lips. He looked more shocked than surprised. I thought, What can he be shocked about? I was just going to paint a bra with gigantic cups and called the painting, "Double D-Cup Doreen" but the poor lad looks so shocked it had to be something more than that. So, as I like to shock my sister, I thought Iíd make the dancer became his mum.
My sister didnít disappoint me. I went round for tea last night and showed her the painting. Predictably she said, "Eeeww - its just weird. Who would want that? Its disgusting!" I said, "Its dry in places, you can touch it if you like," but she just said did not want anything to do with it. Yes, I think I will give it her at Christmas. Iím sure she will put it on the wall over her mantle piece.
I knew there would be only one go at painting the smoke rising up from the cigarette. If I got it wrong I would probably have to paint the ladís face again. I had done most of this painting sitting down but in order to get the smoke right I stood up and put the canvas on a proper easel and get out a new brush. I just did it in one go. I know that you almost have to not think about these things and just do it. Thankfully it came out okay. Iím not sure what the mother would be most shocked by - her 16-year old boy using a lap dancing club or her catching him smoking (and Malborough Lights - theyíre about £6.50 a packet - thatís a whole weekís of pay from his newspaper round.)