Friday, 16 October 2015

Zoey and Lee

Here's my portrait of my eldest daughter, Zoey, and boyfriend Lee

Monday, 28 September 2015

Eric Cantona

Éric Daniel Pierre Cantona (French pronunciation: ​[e'ʁik kɑ̃to'na]; born 24 May 1966) is a French actor and former international footballer for the French national team. He played for AuxerreMartiguesMarseilleBordeauxMontpellierNîmes and Leeds Unitedbefore ending his career at Manchester United where he won four Premier League titles in five years and two League and FA Cup Doubles.
A large, physically strong, hard-working, and tenacious forward, who combined technical skill and creativity with power and goalscoring ability, Cantona is often regarded as having played a key role in the revival of Manchester United as a footballing force in the 1990s and he enjoys iconic status at the club.[1] He wore the number 7 shirt at Manchester United with his trademark upturned collar.[2] Cantona is affectionately nicknamed by Manchester United fans as "King Eric", and was voted as Manchester United's greatest ever player by Inside United magazine.[3] Set against his achievements in football was a poor disciplinary record for much of his career, including a 1995 conviction for a 'kung-fu' assault on a fan, and at a press conference following his initial conviction Cantona gave his famous "seagulls" statement.[4] His disciplinary record, however, was much improved after he returned from the eight-month suspension right up to his retirement as a player two years later.
Following his retirement from football in 1997, he took up a career in cinema and had a role in the 1998 film Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett, the 2008 film French Film, and the 2009 film Looking for Eric. In 2010, he débuted as a stage actor in Face au Paradis, a French play directed by his wife, Rachida Brakni.[5]
An inaugural inductee into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002, the museum states: "The enigmatic Frenchman was one of the Premier League's most talented, controversial players".[2] On 19 January 2011, Cantona joined the revived New York Cosmos as Director of Soccer

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Lorraine Kelly

Lorraine KellyOBE (born 30 November 1959 is a television presenter, journalist and actress, best known as a presenter for TV-am, and later GMTV and ITV Breakfast, on Daybreak and Lorraine. Previously, she was a reporter and main presenter of TV-am's Good Morning Britain, one of the UK's original breakfast television news programmes.
Between 2012 and 2014, Kelly was a main female presenter of ITV's Daybreak, which she co-hosted from Monday to Thursdays with Aled Jones.[2]

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Susanna Victoria Reid

Susanna Victoria Reid[3] (born 10 December 1970)[4] is an English journalist and presenter best known as the co-presenter of BBC Breakfast from 2003 until her departure in early 2014.
Since April 2014, Reid has co-presented the ITV Breakfast programme Good Morning Britain with Ben Shephard. She currently appears every Monday to Thursday.[5]

Monday, 31 August 2015

13 Members of BVUK

Blind artist who will never see his painting to display special work at Westminster Abbey Service to mark military charity’s centenary

A blind artist who says he owes his life to Blind Veterans UK has produced a special painting to thank and mark the centenary of the charity.

Matt Rhodes with his version of Gassed alongside the original in IWM London Low Res
Matthew Rhodes, 40 and from Preston, has painted a modern version of the iconic John Singer Sargent painting “Gassed”. The original, now hanging in IWM London, depicts a line of wounded soldiers walking towards a dressing station following a mustard gas attack in the First World War.

Matt’s version shows 13 veterans currently supported by the charity set in a composition that mirrors the original, with the veterans walking with their arm on the shoulder of the person in front. The veterans featured range in age from 25 to 99 and have fought in conflicts including the Second World War, Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan. It also includes the artist himself.

This week (23/09), Matt was invited to display his painting alongside the original at IWM London before it plays an important role in the Blind Veterans UK Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey next month (06/10). 

Matt spent almost 100 hours working on the artwork at the Blind Veterans UK Llandudno centre last month, using a technique that he first developed with one of the charity’s art and craft instructorseight years ago. 

He has gone on to paint hundreds of pictures and says that the art has given him “a new lease of life”.

Matt joined the army in 1993 serving with the 1st Battalion, Devonshire and Dorset regiment in Canada, Germany and Bosnia and, in 1995, tragically lost his sight after a motorcycle accident left him with a traumatic brain injury as well as paralysis down the right side of his body.

Matt’s paralysis has also meant that right-handed Matt has had to learn to paint with his weaker left hand as well as with his sight loss and, due to the nature of his sight loss, he will never be able to see his creation in its entirety even though it is completed.

Matt says: “I have half tunnel vision so when I’m working I can only see small sections of the painting like a head or an arm. I have to work my way around doing each bit on its own. It does mean that I can never see the whole finished work.” 
Matt Rhodes and Nick Caplin Outside IWM Low Res
Matt has been supported by Blind Veterans UK since 1996 and, as well as having art training, has also received equipment and training to allow him to continue to live independently at home.

He says: “I owe Blind Veterans UK so much. That is why I’m so pleased to be able to share this painting and honour the centenary of the charity.

“I would never have believed when I lost my sight that I would be able to paint but Blind Veterans UK show you what you can do rather than what you can’t. I paint almost every day now and I have Blind Veterans UK to thank for that.”
IWM London invited Matt to display his painting alongside the John Singer-Sargent original this week.

Will Fowlis, Visitor and Customer Engagement Team Leader, IWM London said: “It is fantastic to see how this painting, one of the most important works in IWM’s art collection, continues to inspire people today.

“It was an honour to welcome Matt to the museum today with his modern interpretation of this painting and to view it alongside the original. We wish Matt and Blind Veterans UK all the best with this project moving forward.”

Blind Veterans UK (formerly St Dunstan’s) was founded in 1915 and the charity’s initial purpose was to help and support soldiers blinded in World War I. But the organisation has gone on to support more than 35,000 blind veterans and their families, spanning World War II to recent conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan.

For 100 years, the charity has been providing vital free training, rehabilitation, equipment and emotional support to blind and vision impaired veterans no matter when they served or how they lost their sight.

Chief Executive of Blind Veterans UK, Major General (Rtd) Nick Caplin CB, said: “Matt’s achievement is fantastic. It’s brilliant to see the passion he has for his art and we are very proud that this painting celebrates the work of the charity in this, our centenary year.

“The Sargent original hanging in the Imperial War Museum is an iconic image of the First World War and it was from those fields that the first veterans the charity supported, emerged 100 years ago.

“Matt’s version captures the journey that our veterans undertake and brilliantly demonstrates the breadth of people we support. In the past year, more blind veterans have registered for our help than ever before in the charity’s history so even more veterans will be able to take this journey and discover a life beyond sight loss.”

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean WarLord Raglan, overall commander of the British forces, had intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery, a task well-suited to light cavalry. Due to miscommunication in the chain of command, the Light Brigade was instead sent on a frontal assault against a different artillery battery, one well-prepared with excellent fields of defensive fire.
Although the Light Brigade reached the battery under withering direct fire and scattered some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately. Thus, the assault ended with very high British casualties and no decisive gains.
The events are best remembered as the subject of the poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published just six weeks after the event, its lines emphasize the valour of the cavalry in bravely carrying out their orders, regardless of the obvious outcome. Blame for the miscommunication has remained controversial, as the original order itself was vague.

Half a league, half a league,
 Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
 Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
 Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
 Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
 All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
 Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
 Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
 Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
 Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
 All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
 Noble six hundred.