When I was sixteen my art teacher tacked this photograph to our bright red stockroom door.
At the time, I was drawing lots of animal bones. It’s not easy to get hold of the skulls of owls or birds. On the odd day when Dad was well enough, we went up to the moors with our greyhound on the look out. Never had any joy with the much-sought owls skulls but always pellets full of mouse bones.
Most often we'd bag a sheep head. After two weeks in a bucket of bleach, they'd be properly cooked. Bones draw well on white paper with a soft pencil. Sheep skulls have these rolls of honeycomb bone where the soft nose once sat. Terrible fight to draw but very beautiful, like icing covered brandy snaps or French lace.
After that picture went up I always sat close by that door, looking up now and then from my drawings. I found myself looking more and more at him, that thick corded blazer, blousy tie and slick hair. Wasn't he a dish? A golden oldie. The eyes don't change, you see.
If you haven't seen his light drawings, which trace shapes with neon streaks of light captured in photographic frames, then look below. Wunderbar.