Tate Modern X Leica Store Mayfair

Tate Modern X Leica Store Mayfair Starts

We took an impromptu day out and went up to London to Tate Modern. We’ve not been for a few years now and an injection of art was sorely needed. Actually, if truth be told we went to London to visit the Leica Store Mayfair as rp wanted a fix of extremely expensive but oh, so beautiful and focussed solely upon photography fix but hey, one bird, two stones…

We travelled up in the Space Wagon, our new but old transport which performed admirably – we made the Kessel Run in just under 12 parsecs! We parked in Twickenham and went into Waterloo via train. It was nice to pull into Grimshaw’s station (not actually his you understand, he was just the architect, along with his associates), rp’s a particular fan. It was then into the underground.

Train in Grimshaw's Waterloo Station
Train in the Station

Red Dot

We emerged at Bond Street and headed for Duke Street. We thought we’d take a look at Selfridges. Most of the time we spent inspecting and photographing the outside. We went in (I wrestled with the revolving door) and basically came straight back out again. It felt expensive, looked expensive and probably was too expensive! We revolved straight out. Finally arriving at Duke Street, we headed down the wrong part of it, then headed back in the correct direction and found the hallowed temple of red dot. They actually let us in! rp played around with cameras and lenses, trying to look knowledgeable while I looked around the Leica X Belstaff exhibition. Some documentary photographs showing amazing clarity and I adored the black jacket.

Leica Store Mayfair

With rp’s photographic needs sated we headed off to Tate Modern, by way of Pret A Manger and their vegetarian New Yorker on Rye which I can thoroughly recommend. We bounced around the underground once more and finally emerged, pinball like at Westminster. This allowed us to make for St. Paul’s and eventually find our way to the Millennium Bridge. I never tire of crossing this Norman Foster bridge as the first time we attempted it, it had just opened but was closed due to wobbling!

Tate Modern

Tate Modern is a masterpiece of design, housing the periods of art we love. It’s a repurposed building and the vastness of the turbine hall always brings awe to a visit. We spent time on the Blavatnik side as opposed to our normal side of choice; the Natalie Bell. We even bought a map. The Blavatnik Building has steps and windows that are a street photographer’s dream; harsh sunlight throwing industrial shafts of light and shadows, just begging visitors to walk into and be snapped for posterity.

Tate Modern – The Turbine Hall

Ana Lupas’s The Solemn Process and Explore Art and Activism through Bloomberg Connects were two pieces that caught our attention. There were many others but I could easily spend a whole day at this place. In fact, we’ve decided to visit once a month taking in Tate Modern and one or two other things the capital has to offer.

No day would have been complete without visiting the Café or shop (or shops as there are several). rp bought a book on photography and I bought a tote Tate bag 😉

Cafe View

Our Tate Modern X Leica Store Mayfair day was a great success and we ended it in Shoreditch with Tim (our son). Got to see Hirst’s formidable Cock and Bull formaldehyde work at the Tramshed. We ate Vegetarian!

Cock and Bull

* Photos by rp


The Circus Comes to Town

The Circus Comes to Town. Today, rp and I went to see Sharmanka Travelling Circus – a performing mechanical theatre by artist and inventor Eduard Bersudsky.

It was the last day of the exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath and I’m so glad I caught this fantastical delight. The body of work are kinetic sculptures, set to music and lighting.

Theatre and animation mixed with humour and strangeness in equal measure to create a magical performance. Titles of the individual pieces, such as Swinging Big Ben, The Bird’s Tower and Eternal Triangle of Love gave a feel of what to expect.

You can follow up on Eduard Bersudsky at www.sharmanka.com

meanwhile, take a look at the photo’s rp took

A Magical Delight

Sound and Colour

Full of Characters

Mechanical Mood


Back to Our Future

Back to Our Future - mu old photo

Going back to our future.

rp took this photograph of me many years ago, when we first met, in the ’80s.

It captures an essence of what was important then and is important now, namely; I’m painting and rp is photographing.

We’ve managed in some form or another to keep these two things going to a greater or lesser extent, over a period of many years. It is now that we are focussing on what we want to do. I’m developing A Delicate Fantasy; a website to showcase my watercolour work and rp is developing murpworkschrome; a website to showcase his photography.

The photo was taken on Pentax K1000 on black and white film but the exact details are lost in time.

We’re going back to our future…


Photographer’s Assistant

This morning I became a photographer’s assistant. I say this morning but I’m sure it was the middle of the night. It was certainly early, for me 🙂

Photographer's Assistant
‘Pack Mule’

It entailed a lot of hanging about. I wish I had brought my sketchbook and a flask of something warm. I hadn’t even had my morning cup of tea before I was dragged out into an early misty morning.

The morning was beautiful though. It was silent and with the mist, it gave the woodland an ethereal feel. It was very peaceful. Although we were up early, we had missed the Dawn Chorus (so it couldn’t have been that early).

Don’t look too closely at the photo, I don’t look my best first thing in the morning, before that first cup of tea 🙂

The next time I’m a photographer’s assistant, I intend to be more prepared…


Here Be Dragons

Here be dragons – my website A Delicate Fantasy is up and running. It’s here you’ll be able to see all my watercolour output.

My latest completed piece of work is Dragonboat – it’s a piece that’s going to represent what A Delicate Fantasy is all about and it will be the jump-point from murpworks.

Dragonboat - Here be dragons

I live on a narrowboat – MIRRLESS keeps murpworks afloat

On the canal network of England & Wales, there are many narrowboats of many sizes and styles but the ones that stand out for me and inspire me are not necessarily the pristine vessels of immaculate pedigree. No, it’s the ones, packed to the gills with paraphernalia along the lengths of their roofs. The liveaboad’s boats, who carry all they need to exist. It struck me that the tarpaulin-covered vessels looked like they were transporting dragons.

Check out A Delicate Fantasy because Here be dragons


Bookmarks for Books

I’ve created some output – the Books range of Bookmarks.

murpworks Book Bookmarks image

I’ve finished the first range of watercolour Bookmarks. The range is intuitively called Books 😉

Each bookmark was inspired by a love of books. There’s A Stack of Books, The Book Table, The Bookcase, A Quill and Mouse Books.

They’re held in Glassine (it’s the technical term for shiny paper) to protect them from the elements (and grubby hands) so you’re not getting to see them at their best.

rp & I are in the process of sourcing a printer to get some really good quality prints we can put up on Etsy, where they will be available to purchase. We have a printer in mind and will hopefully have something sorted by the end of the month. Once printed, we’ll open up shop.

The Books Bookmark range is the first for A Delicate Fantasy
the watercolour work of artist mu (that’s me).

Watercolours inspired by flora & fauna, with a delicate fantasy.

Hope you like the preview…


Watercolour Blotter

What’s left after the painting has gone

Warercolour Blotter
Watercolour Blotter

Watercolour Blotter

I’m interested to see what is left after the painting has gone. This is the blotter from my painting of Summerboat – a watercolour painting of a narrowboat. You can see the original Summerboat painting on our murpworks Afloat page at murpworks.com.

If you look carefully, you can just see early sketches of mu (daisy) and rp (dandelion) at the bottom of the image. The little blocks at the top and bottom left of the picture are my watercolour thumbnails (I have very small thumbs)

Summerboat is my first watercolour in a series and is the start of A Delicate Fantasy – watercolours inspired by flora & fauna, with a delicate fantasy. I’m currently building up a body of work with an aim to opening an Etsy shop. You’ll be able to purchase original watercolours there..


Space for a Robot

Space for a Robot

Space for a Robot - In Progress 2 image

If I’d have known how many episodes this went on for, I probably wouldn’t have started it. If I’d known how big it was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have started it. However, once I’d invested in a few episodes, it was difficult to stop.

In a Newsagents Far Far Away…

As stated before, I’m building R2D2 from Star Wars – a quarter size scale model from DeAgostini.

It’s metal and high quality plastics, wiring, diodes, circuit boards and goodness knows what else. I’m up to episode 75 with 25 to go. The trouble is it comes out every week, not monthly as I’d originally thought. When they say small print, they’re talking nanometres not inches. I collect the magazines in batches of about three or four and every time the lady at the newsagent asks me how I’m getting on – I thought I’d better get on with some more so I can truthfully say “I’m making progress”.

Space for a Robot - In Progress 3 image


It’s a great model and I am enjoying the intricacies of assembling and all the electronics. It’s a great way to relax from everything else. While everyone is competent at putting Tab A into Slot B, this is a bit more hooking strange-looking plasticy bit into metal flange that looks to have a bit missing! There’s a lot of problem-solving required using forums and even buying a back episode I missed. Thank you internet, you’re my only hope!

However, the real reason I’m so enjoying building R2 is because there’s a link to another project I’m currently working on, in conjunction with rp; At The Jumpgate – an episodic, sci fi, webcomic set in the far future with Max as the main protagonist.

As you may have heard, we’ve bought a narrowboat so the main problem-solving I’m still having to figure out is, where I’m going to put it, aboard Nb Mirrless!

So, if anyone has space for a robot…

Space for a Robot - In Progress 6 image

Ah, well. Back to the instructions…


Upholstery Classes – Sessions 5 – 6

Attended upholstery classes – sessions 5 – 6 the last two Tuesdays

Out with the staples – in with the stitches!

I seem to have swapped staples for stitches. I’ve been blanket stitching hessian into the form of the chair. It takes a lot of stitches.


Sessions 5-6 - Hessian Seat Cover image

Hessian is a natural product made form Jute or Sissal fibres of the corresponding plant and potentially combined with other fibres to make a rough cloth. I am using this to cover the springs and form the base of the seat in the chair.

Blanket Stitch

Sessions 5-6 - Blanket Stitch image
Blanket stitched

The blanket stitch helps reinforce the edge of a thick material and is ideal for use on the hessian seat fabric. I used a ‘Traditional’ version of the stitch.

After much stitching, I got to bunch clumps of coir, wedging them under giant stitches made in the hessian and then ‘massaged’ it into an even, non-lumpy mass. I then had to cover this with the softest felt I’d ever felt, to form a smooth interface between what will be chair and posterior 🙂

Sessions 5-6 - Coir - before image
Before ‘massaging’

Sessions 5-6 - Coir - after image
After ‘massaging’

The chair once again is starting to take shape and look like a functinal seat again.

I have to get my skates on – the narrowboat will soon be ready and the day of departure is fast approaching…

A soft seat




Hanami – A Simple Illustration


Hanami illustration image

Cherry Blossom

Hanami is the Japanese custom of enjoying flower blossom and it is a big tradition in Japan. It is especially centered around Cherry tree blossom which is known as Sakura. Plum blossom (known as Ume) is also part of the custom but it is the spectacular display of the Japanese Cherry – Prunus serrulata, that captures my and so many other people’s imagination, around the world. The trees flower between the months of March and May.


Above is my illustration of Schrödinger contemplating Sakura. I created it a long time ago now but after seeing Tomoo Ichigami‘s video Sakura, I thought I’d dig out my illustration and post it in my blog.

rp drew my attention to the Sakura video as he’s been pouring over video’s of filmmaking for inspiration. He’s going to be documenting our life aboard a narrowboat.

Schrödinger is my character from Schrödinger’s Coffee House; a simple comic strip I illustrated way back in the mists of time – some old sketches can be found here.