Diary: June 24-25

‘Kaufmann paid for private models and did her nudie drawing on the sly’

Wednesday Just as I thought the upcoming US presidential election was a foregone conclusion, Barack Obama has stepped up to campaign for the dud Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This makes what I presumed to be a catastrophic one-horse race an interesting battle of ideas, a contest I had switched off now definitely worth watching. It also raises the tantalising prospect that if Biden wins, Obama will return to government in some sub-presidential job, where I think he will thrive.

πŸ“Œ Tom Petty’s family have taken legal action against Trump for using the dead star’s song ‘I Won’t Back Down’ at a rally. This recalls the memory of Ronald Reagan using Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born In The USA’, totally unaware that it is a song about the despair of Vietnam war veterans. Neil Young, a Canadian supporter of Bernie Sanders, had a similar ruck with Trump over his use of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’, another song lyrically scathing about US society.

πŸ“Œ Gill posted this on Instagram, adding a pun about a “brief” speech.

πŸ“Œ The weekly email from the Royal Academy includes an online study of Angelica Kaufmann, in which we learn that it was considered improper for Renaissance women to draw real nudes, so they had to practise their life-drawing with sculptures. Kaufmann, however, was rich enough to pay for private models and did her nudie drawing on the sly.

πŸ“Œ Sam seems to be doing a picture every day under Lockdown. Today she sent me a photo of her ‘Twiggy’, which I love, but she says is one of the worst she’s ever done.

πŸ“Œ Liverpool found their form in an empty Anfield and thrashed Palace 4-0. Mark Steel was watching.

Thursday Lockdown Catchup. Series 3 of ‘Spooks’ was a turkey, and Series 4 is all plot and no character. 

πŸ“Œ Zoe Ball had a story that there will be two special episodes of ‘Normal People’ for Comic Relief. I can imagine a cracking satirical version of Connor and Marianne (was that their names?) on the job. 

πŸ“Œ July 4 has been renamed “Trimdependence Day”.

πŸ“Œ I’m really hooked on the Open Studio Zoom sessions because they very happily recreate the Arch experience. Typically, you’d see everyone painting, drawing, sculpting, talking, listening to music and enjoying the whole business of doing it together. In today’s Open Studio, Emily showed us some fantastic archive photos tracing the project’s history, and Kat had arranged a still life exercise for us from some of the studio’s current contents. I focused on drawing Chris’s ceramic “mask”, which is in fact another of his self-portraits.

πŸ“Œ I’m so bad at growing plants, anything that looks easy and low-maintenance becomes my holy grail. Our balcony gets a lot of sunshine, so I’ve decided that geraniums will be my pet plant, and I intend to make the ‘pelargonium peltatum‘ my speciality. Famous last words, etc.

πŸ“Œ It’s hard to see in this photo from our spare bedroom, but at the end of that crane hoist is a concrete staircase.

πŸ“Œ Starmer has sacked RLB over an article by Maxine Peake and anti-Semitism.

πŸ“Œ I’m half-expecting a Summer of race riots.

πŸ“Œ We both think Roland is the Eddie Grundy of ‘Schitt’s’.

πŸ“Œ Chelsea beat Man City 2-1, which meant…

Read my June 21-23 Diary.

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