Nicholas Garland

Susanna and the Elders, the woodcut pictured, shows me on the right and the painter Tim Behrens on the left, admiring a pretty waitress in a bar. We are being observed by some younger people. The paintings are still lifes made up of objects and postcards from my studio. Sometimes a still life may be composed partly by chance; for instance, the black cloth fell into that twisted shape accidentally, creating what looked like a little empty stage which I then dressed. Sometimes the objects are there for more personal reasons. I thought of the little monkey gazing at my baseball cap as a self-portrait. I like to paint things that I know well; that is why the ink bottle, the Mexican skull and the monkey appear more than once. I have painted the lion about ten times. Here are a couple of remarks about painting that I always bear in mind when I work:

“There are two ways to think about painting, how to do it and how not to do it: How to do it-with much drawing and little colour; how not to do it-with much colour and little drawing”- Vincent van Gogh

“You have to risk everything”- Pablo Picasso

An autumn note

“For many, the end of this uneasy year cannot come quickly enough”

An ordinary killing

Ian Cobain’s book uses the killing of Millar McAllister to paint a meticulous portrait of the Troubles

Greater—not wiser

John Mullan elucidates the genius of Charles Dickens