Painters (and Drawing)
The sort of artist's I love come from widely different periods because the things I value most have little to do with movements and fashions. They tend mostly to be very sensual sorts of artists, and they are always poets with their art. These artists are all supreme masters of their skills (I admire that) but they also can let it go to a place where their inner vision is exposed, and reveals a mind and heart that follows its own path. If I had to chose just one favorite artist it would probably be Lautrec, but Schiele would give him a good run for his money. Leonardo would also be close to the lead. On any given day any one of these three could be chosen as first depending on my mood that day, and I would always admit that the others were a close second. But apart from these three, my list is a long one. I have a clear preference for mostly realists. I love these other artists for different reasons, but each of them inspires me. There could easily be many more here, like Vermeer, like Hals, like so many others, all wonderful, but I had to stop the list somewhere. So the list, while long, is a fraction the size it would be if I included every favorite of mine. I can't help it, I love wonderful art.
- Bellmer, Hans Polish 1902 - 1975 I love his drawings and surreal ambiguity of shapes.
- Bonnard, Pierre French 1867 - 1947 I love his sensuality of color, form, and paint.
- Bruegel, Pieter Netherlandish 1525 - 1569 I love his peasant subjects and their ability to enjoy life, and the artist's ability to observe and think, and reveal. It is pure poetry in his work.
- Caravaggio, Michelangelo Merisi da Italian 1571 - 1610 I love his gorgeous darks, rich colors,
and the life in his models eyes, as well as their naturalism.
- Cassat, Mary American 1844 - 1926 I love her pastels of mothers and children.
- Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon French 1699 - 1779 I love his amazing hierachy of lights, and the simple honesty of his portraits of himself and his wife.
- Constable, John British 1776 - 1837 I love him for his watercolors.
- Crivelli, Carlo Italian 1435 - 1495 I love the eccentric poetry and richness of the worlds he created.
- Dali, Salvador Spanish 1904 - 1989 More than his paintings, I love his wonderful drawings.
- Daumier, Honoré French 1808 - 1879 His drawings amaze and inspire me. I love their life and movement, his deep sense of rhythm.
- Degas, Edgar French 1834 - 1917 One of the greatest ever, a stupendous talent that excites admiration at every stroke.
- Delvaux, Paul Belgian 1897 - 1994 I love his nudes in silent streets with people who dare not speak.
- Durer, Albrecht German 1471 - 1528 Such an inspiration for his audacity, his abilities in so many fields, and especially his ability to do so much work at such a high level of creativity. I adore the raw honesty of his self portrait drawings as much as the arrogance of his self portrait paintings.
- Escher, M. C. Dutch 1898 - 1972 I love his mastery of line and tone with an imagination quite amazing.
- Estes, Richard American 1936 - present I love the poetry of his reflections. He wrote me a beautiful letter about how he works that reveals an honest soul. I have learned a great deal from his methodology.
- Fischl, Eric American 1948 - present I love the provocative ways he explores the undersurface of suburban normality and I love his beach paintings.
- Foujita, Tsuguharu Japanese 1886 - 1968 I love his nudes of Kiki against a white background.
- Fragonard, Jean-Honoré French 1732 - 1806 I adore his drawings of trees, the sensuality of his nudes, the surreal nature of so many of his landscapes.
- Freud, Lucian British 1922 - present I am not keen on his earlier work but the recent meaty and wonderfully honest nudes make him one of the greats.
- Gauguin, Paul French 1848 - 1903 There was a time when I considered him my greatest inspiration. His late paintings inspire me less now, but his early paintings really impress me with their gorgeous paint qualities in simple things like still life.
- Giorgione Italian 1477 - 1510 I love the sensuality and poetry of color and figure alike.
- Gorky, Arshile Armenian/American ?1904? - 1948 I love his color and composition. He was my master when I was 21. I even changed my name to Arshile for a time.
- Goya, Francisco Spanish 1746 - 1828 If he had done nothing other than paint the Nude Maja he would still rate as one of the greatest for me. Then there are the Black Paintings.
- Hokusai, Katushika Japanese 1760 - 1849 I love the elegance of his landscapes.
- Holbein, Hans German 1497 - 1543 If he never painted and just left his drawings I would still consider him one of the greatest artist's ever. I adore his drawings.
- Hopper, Edward American 1882 - 1967 Simply the perfect painter, what more can be said?
- Kitaj, R. B. American/British I love the psychology and sensuality of his work.
- Leonardo da Vinci Italian 1452 - 1519 My first master as a child, I have returned to him in recent years. It is impossible not to be inspired by the way he thinks and explores, quite aside from the beauty of his work. I think he is the first true modern artist.
- Michelangelo Italian 1475 - 1564 I love the color of his cleaned frescos and the movement of the altar wall.
- Miró, Joan Spanish 1893 - 1983 I can't help but love his lyrical color and line.
- Modigliani, Amadeo Italian 1884 - 1920 I love his paintings, I love his drawings, and I love the artist who follows his heart and just deals with the figure when it is least fashionable. His passion is my inspiration.
- Monet, Claude French 1840 - 1926 Just an eye, but what an eye!
- Namitjira, Albert Australian 1902 - 1959 I love the poetic innocence of his watercolors and the way they devloped over the years. A tragic man, but wonderful artwork.
- O'Keefe, Georgia American 1887 - 1986 I love her free spirit and independence of thought. I love the simplicity of the work, her feeling for form.
- Pearlstein, Phillip American 1924 - present I love the way he places the figure against the pattern of furniture and fabric. I love his color, and the large size of the watercolors.
- Pollock, Jackson American 1912 - 1956 I can stand for hours in front of Blue Poles just living in the rhythm of the paint marks.
- Rembrandt Dutch 1606 - 1669 Just a painter, but what a painter! I have learned how to put on paint from Rembrandt. I have seen about 60 of his paintings so far, there are some more I want to see and learn from.
- Rubens, Peter Paul Flemish 1577 - 1640 Rhythm, color, sensuality. I have learned about rhythm from Rubens.
- Schiele, Egon Austrian 1890 - 1918 I love his drawings and use of watercolor and guache. I especially love his drawings of nudes from his last year. You can see that he finally could love the figure for its own sake.
- Spencer, Stanley British 1891 - 1959 I think his best work is his nudes, portaits, and landscapes. I especially love the nudes of himself and Patricia Preece.
- Seurat, Georges-Pierre 1859 - 1891 It is his drawings I have learned the most from. I love their moodiness and use of darkness.
- Sisley, Alfred British/French 1839 - 1899 I love the simple honesty of his little paintings. No other Impressionist could put so much feeling into a sky. Over the years as I have seen more and more Impressionist paintings, the understated small Sisleys have gradually increased my respect for this most unpretentious and wonderful painter.
- Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri de French 1864 - 1901 For me he is the greatest. His ability to depict the human form with life and vitality is second to none. Leonardo was the only one who could draw horses as well. I love his color, his theatricality that heightens the raw realities. His art is my greatest inspiration.
- Turner, J. M. British 1775 - 1851 I love his movement, his rhythm, his atmosphere and moodiness.
- Van Eyck, Jan Netherlandish 1385 - 1441 I love his color and the simple honesty of his portraits. While a few others have equalled him, no one has ever surpassed his brilliance as a painter.
- Vincent Dutch 1853 - 1890 I love the honest passion of his soul. He proves that simple subjects are all an artist needs.
- Wyeth, Andrew American 1917 - present I love the earthiness of his colors and subjects.
- Yirawala Australian ?1897? - 1976 I fell under his spell when I was still a teenager. I still think he is the greatest of the traditional Aboriginal artist's.
My favorite of all sculptors is easily Rodin. If I had made a combined list of painters and sculptors I would have had to increase my list of my most favorite from 3 to 4 to include Rodin. I love his rhythm and movement and especially the expressive and brooding nature of his Balzac and The Burghers of Calais.
- De Andrea, John American 1941 - present. Most people seem to like his superrealist nudes, but I love most the figures that are colorless, the lack of color combined with the life casts I find endlessly fascinating.
- Degas, Edgar French 1834 - 1917 The accidental sculptor who was only ever studying the form of the figure and making such gorgeous sculptures without realizing it.
- Hansen, Duane American 1925 - 1996 I love the ordinariness of his subjects, the sense of life.
- Michelangelo Italian 1475 - 1564 I love the unfinished works, the suggestion of nihght, the searching for himself, the need to burst out of the stone.
- Mueck, Ron Australian/British 1958 - present I love the realism combined with contradictions brought about by scale.
- Rodin, Auguste French 1840 - 1917 I love the rhythm, the movement of form, the drama of real emotion in the Burghers, the vision, the methodology, the power.
These architects have something in common, they all have rhythmic movement of shapes, especially curves, and they all make buildings that are works of art, where the smallest details are crafted with passion. I think it is only recently that architecture can use technology to leap into the imagination. The only way that could be done in the past was mostly with impressive size. Now the materials themselves can soar and provoke without necessarily being gigantic.
- Alen, William van American 1883 - 1954. The designer of the Chrysler Building, the most beautiful skyscraper ever made.
- Foster, Norman British 1935 - present I love his shapes like the Gherkin or the Hearst building, and I think it is his artistic flair that has made Millau Viaduct so incredibly beautiful.
- Gaudi, Antoni Spanish 1852 - 1926 The others of these architects use the capabilities inherent in modern materials. I love that Gaudi did it all with the traditional and in his love of the curve put the human form into masonry and tiles.
- Hundertwasser Friedensreich Austrian 1928 - 2000 An artist and sculptor who spread his colorful art over everything he could get his hands on and almost by accident became an architect, blending color and curving shapes with almost traditional building shapes to make beautiful, and also very unique buildings.
- Gehry, Frank American 1929 - present I love the very things that are criticized, the functionless forms that are pure sculpture, the turning a building into a statement that starts a new sentence in an environment.
- Utzon, Jørn Danish 1918 - present. It is not possible to live in the city of his great masterpiece and not love the work of this great visionary with the shells that he designed of the Opera House. He is again at work on the building, fortunately making some changes.
I have to admit to a love for the sort of photographers who are more painterly in their photographic approach. Mostly they are landscapists or deal with the human form. My absolute favorites are Ansel Adams and William Mortensen. Mortensen was often far too melodramatic in his images, and often bizarre, but in his quieter moments his nudes have a plastic quality that I find stunning. His book "Pictorial Lighting" is possibly the best book on the subject for an artist to read (only available second hand). Unfortunately Ansel Adams took a dislike to Mortensen and systematically set out to destroy Mortensen's reputation as a photographer, referring to Mortensen as "the anti-christ" or "the devil", and actively tried to prevent his work entering public collections. It seems that as an enemy Adams was as thorough and determined as he was as a photographer. Mortensen's "crime" was to openly and publicly advocate a form of photography that was not as purist as Adams, and happily accepted extreme hand working of images, and used his own chemical and painting techniques to acheive a photographic image. Mortensen died an unhappy man due to the attacks of Adams. This story needs to be told, and Mortensen's work reviewed in an objective manner. He was a photographer that was always eccentric and following the beat of his own drum. He was the first photographer in Hollywood to use hand held cameras to directly record early film history, and his portrait photographs of Hollywood stars are amongst the most beautiful ever made.
- Abbott, Berenice American 1898 - 1991 I love her photographs of New York city.
- Adams, Ansel American 1902 - 1984 I think he was the greatest photographer ever, and by a wide margin better than all others. I love the crispness of his perfect tones, the patience to wait until the right moment no matter how long that takes. His photographs are perfect.
- Atget, Eugène French 1857 - 1927 I love his photographs of Paris shops.
- Bellmer, Hans Polish 1902 - 1975 I love the hand painting on the images.
- Brandt, Bill British 1904 - 1983 I love the landscapes and nudes.
- Kertész, André Hungarian 1894 - 1985 I love his compositions and artistry.
- Man Ray American/French 1890 - 1976 I love the portraits.
- Mapplethorpe, Robert American 1946 - 1989 I love his portraits.
- Mortensen, William American 1897 - 1965 I love his nudes, his Hollywood portraits, and his desire to do his own thing no matter what the establishment said.
- Porter, Eliot American 1901 - 1990 Porter's best work is his color photography of the natural world. I think of his work as a color equivalent of Ansel Adams, his photographs have that same beautiful composition of patterns that are both poetic and enchanting.
- Rainwater, Clarence American 1920 - present Clarence taught me photo-chemistry. He makes wonderful solarizations and photographic distortions.
- Steiglitz, Alfred American 1864 - 1946 I love his skies, his nudes, his photographs of Georgia.
- Weston, Edward American 1886 - 1958 Only Weston could make a capsicum magnificent. I love his portrait of Tina Modotti.
- White, Clarence American 1871 - 1925 I love his pictorialism.
I am going to cop out and include an entire group of printmakers on this list. That is the modern Japanese printmakers since the 1970's. I tend to think they are the best printmakers on the planet right now collectively. I love their skills, their sense of beauty. This list also contains some artist's from other lists, notably Rembrandt, Durer, Lautrec, Degas, and Estes. For each of them I love their prints for different reasons for which I love their paintings, and I love that they can astound me a second time around.
- Cassat, Mary American 1844 - 1926 I love her color aquatints, they are her most interesting work.
- Degas, Edgar French 1834 - 1917 Wonderful etcher, stunning monotypist. A continual inspiration
- Durer, Albrecht German 1471 - 1528 The best engraver ever, the best wood cut master.
- Escher, M. C. Dutch 1898 - 1972 A beautiful mind.
- Estes, Richard American 1936 - present I love the simplified palette of his screen prints.
- Freud, Lucian British 1922 - present Simple but poetic etchings.
- Goya, Francisco Spanish 1746 - 1828 Amazing aquatints, simply amazing. If I had to choose just one artwork to have, but everything was available to choose from, I could easily just choose a Goya bullfight print.
- Japanese printmakers since 1970 They are just brilliant.
- Lindsay, Norman Australian 1879 - 1969 His etchings are magically poetic.
- Menpes, Mortimer Australian/British Etcher 1855 - 1938 I love his simple but beautiful approach.
- Rembrandt Dutch 1606 - 1669 His use of drypoint and etched line was innovative and beautiful. The etchings vie with his paintings as some of the best art ever.
- Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri French 1864 - 1901 As far as I am concerned no other lithographer can match him. Wonderful.
My musical tastes follow my moods and the moods can last months at a time. Often it is just pop music from the 60's and 70's, but I also go through extended periods of listening to crooners, and sometimes it is opera that is my preference, sometimes techno, sometimes Renaissance music. It also depends on what is happening. There is nothing more beautiful than Nat King Cole while sharing a romantic dinner. The crooners generally are the perfect music for romantic times generally. It can be soft and dreamy music that suits soft and dreamy moments. On the other hand I love walking through Kings Cross late at night with all the party makers out in the street and the spruikers and bright neon signs flashing trashy invites with Suzi Quatro loud on the iPod. Long walks are suited to The Carpenters or Simon and Garfunkel. The city is suited to the soundtrack from Moulin Rouge. Disco, traditional Chinese music, and Rap are the only musical forms that I actually dislike. These are my favorites.
- Chilled Jazz
- Medieval Church music
- Pop from the 60's to the present
- Protest Era music
- Renaissance music
- Romantic Era orchestral music
- Smooth Jazz
- World Music
Musicals and Opera
I have been privileged to watch Topol performing in Fiddler On The Roof. He is a magical performer who can electrify the stage. Fiddler On The Roof is a marvellously made movie, but it is most suited to the stage, and Topol is perfect for the role. These are the best I have seen.
- Fiddler On The Roof
- La Boheme
- Les Miserable
If I were to write down all my favorites this would be a list with 200 names. These are a few who are particularly important to me.
- Alicia Keys
- Al Martino
- Bert Jansch
- Cat Stevens
- Cole Porter
- Dean Martin
- Gotan Project
- Janis Ian
- Janis Joplin
- Lena Horne
- Leo Sayer
- Louis Armstrong
- Maria Callas
- Michael Bublé
- Nat King Cole
- Ronnie Jordan
- Simon and Garfunkel
- Suzi Quatro
- The Carpenters
- The Beatles
- The Hollies
- The Mamas And The Papas
- Tony Bennett
- Vic Damone
Collections of music that have musical integrity are very special to me. I like to listen to an entire album as an artwork, although most aren't good enough to earn that respect, those that do have a sum greater than simply adding together the parts. These Albums I love a great deal, and are deeply meaningful to me. Abbey Road is my all time favorite, I am playing loud enough to raise the roof as I write this.
- Abbey Road 1969 I still remember the day it was released. Only the very fortunate who had ordered it months before got copies, it was sold out before the doors opened. I feigned sickness to stay in bed and listen to the album played on the radio. The station played only songs from Abbey Road all day. I loved it. Still do.
- Band On The Run 1974 Still the only one of Paul McCartney's albums independent of the Beatles that I like, but this one is incredible. Picasso's Last Words my favorite on the Album.
- Blast From Your Past 1975 I love the simple honesty of Early 1970. Ringo has a beautiful soul.
- Buddha Bar 1999 - 2007 Ten double CD's. I love this music.
- Cabaret 1972 I bought the album the day after seeing the Australian Premier of the movie.
- Chilled Out 2003 A sensational album, I listen to it at least weekly.
- Let It Be 1970 I love the live performance feeling.
- Moulin Rouge 2004 I love the operatic qualities.
- Music From The Renaissance 1994 I love this collection.
- Night Rains 1989 This is my favorite Janis Ian album. It was not long before this album came out that I met Janis Ian following her performance in Sydney. I watched her going out of her way to help a young woman who had stars in her eyes. I consequently have always had a huge respect for her as a human being. On the stage she was one of the most electrifying performers I have ever had the pleasure to watch.
- Now And Then 1973 I always loved this album and it brings memories of driving in a certain car I once owned.
- Songs In A Minor 2001 I love this music, especially the songs that are not in A minor.
- Stars 1974 Stars has always been a song that I relate to. I was introduced to the album by a friend who loved another of the songs, Jessie so much she changed her name to Jessie.
- St. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 The perfect album.
- Tea For The Tillerman 1970 I always loved this album, but when a very close friend gave me a copy it has always given me a special feeling to listen to this music.
- Voice In My Head 2005 Leo Sayer gave me my copy of his newest album when I painted his portrait. I love it, it is his best music to date but has suffered because he did it himself without the support of the music recording industry it has not sold as well as it might considering the quality of the music.
FILM AND TELEVISION
Moving images should be rights make the most powerful artistic statements yet it so rarely succeeds, perhaps because so much money is involved and the effort is that of so many people that it is almost a miracle when it does succeed. When it does, though, the result is marvellous to say the least. I tend to value the director above the actors and producers. I also tend to value visual effects more than other things and remember films with beautiful composition or contrast rather than great stories.
Action films bore me, where as developing characterization excites me. Some of the best fims I have ever seen are low budget black and white films from the 1950's. Bette Davis made some of the best. I have included on this list some favorite directors as well as films. Unfortunately I do not remember the names of many of the best films I have ever seen. I have to admit that powerful movies do give me tears.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey USA 1968 It receives my vote as the greatest movie ever made.
- Breakfast At Tiffany's USA 1961 Hepburn is magnificent, Moon River is sensational.
- Cabaret USA 1972 I love the many layers, the details of things in backgrounds, the music. I first saw it at its Australian Premiere which was held in Bundaberg due to the opening of a new Cinema. It made such an impact on me I bought the record the following day. But I went with some religiously conservative people who were shocked by the ideas in it and strongly disapproved of me liking the film.
- Ford I love his black and white films, the way he can take a simple story and craft it perfectly. I tend to prefer his ealier films, but The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is probably his best.
- Kubrick From Dr Strangelove to 2001: A Space Odyssey, I always enjoy his work.
- Manhattan USA 1979 This is a gorgeous movie, totally unforgettable, wonderful cinematography, wonderful music, and I love how Tracy becomes the only real grown-up in a world of children pretending to be adult. Woody Allen's best work.
- Les Enfants Du Paradis France 1945 The opening scene has to be the best opening scene in any movie ever and the whole film is endlessly fascinating.
- Life Is Beautiful Italy 1997 Such a wonderful movie that can make me cry.
- Love Story USA 1970 If being memorable is the mark of a great movie then this one rates. I have never forgotten first seeing it.
- Moulin Rouge Australian 2001 I love the color, the costumery, the editing, and the music. It is the only movie I know that really gives the feel of the Absinth hallucinatonary world that Lautrec inhabited.
- My Fair Lady USA 1964 It is a perfect musical, and Audrey Hepburn is one of the most beautiful women who has ever lived.
- On Golden Pond USA 1981 This what I like best in a film, characterization above all else and beautifully presented.
- Ravel's Brain Canada/France 2001 A surreal blend of interview with Ravel's friends and students, archival footage seamlessly intersperced with recreations that is tied together with music. Music that is quite marvellous. Ravel's music. It is a one in a million film.
- Roman Holiday USA 1953 It seems I am a sucker for romance on a Vespa.
- The Life Of Brian British 1979 What can I say? I always like to look on the bright side of life.
- Whats Up Doc? USA 1972 I love this kind of humor, I love the music, and I love Barbra Streisand
I love the way television created a video popular culture different from movies. I watch the History Channel more than anything and enjoy the way recreations bring to life historic events. Just this weekend I enjoyed a long documentary on the French Revolution. But this is my serious side. I have another side that loves comedies inspired by Mel Brooks and Monty Python, especially those shows where the absurdist element is significant.
- All Creatures Great And Small British 1978 - 1992
- Blackadder British 1983 - 1989
- Bottom British 1991 - 1995
- Family Guy USA 1999 - present.
- Fawlty Towers British 1975 - 1979
- F Troop USA 1965 - 1967
- Get Smart USA 1965 - 1970
- Green Acres USA 1965 - 1971
- Minder British 1979 - 1994
- Monty Python's Flying Circus British 1969 - 1974
- Only Fools And Horses British 1981 - 2003
- Red Dwarf British 1988 - 1999
- Roger Ramjet USA 1965 - ? (156 episodes)
- Rumpole Of The Bailey British 1975 - 1992
- SeaChange Australian 1998 - 2001
- Spaced British 1999 - 2001
- Star Trek: Enterprise USA 2001 - 2005
- The Ascent Of Man British 1973
- The Avengers British 1961 - 1969
- The Brittas Empire British 1991 - 1997
- The Prisoner British 1967 - 1968
- The Vicar Of Dibley British 1994 - 2007
- The Young Ones British 1982 - 1984
- Third Rock From The Sun USA 1996 - 2001
RADIO AND PODCASTS
Traditional radio broadcasts I rarely listen to these days, although in the past there were some things like The Goons with Spike Milligan that are still broadcast in Australia. Like over the air television, however, over the air radio simply no longer offers much that particularly interests me. Internet radio, however, has opened a new world that I love. I would listen to more if I had the time. I have around 50 Internet radio stations bookmarked in iTunes but there are only 3 that I listen to quite often.
- The Goon Show British 1951 - 1960 Still broadcast in Australia at 5:30am on ABC Radio National
I listen to podcasts more than I listen to Internet radio. I listen either on my iPod or in the studio on the stereo (Connecting the computer to my stereo is one of the best things I ever did. iTunes is so much better than all the alternatives) These are my favorite podcasts.
- Dr. Karl On Triple J
- New Scientist Podcast
- Science Talk (Scientific American)
- This Week In Tech (TWiT)
WRITERS AND BOOKS
- Clare, John British 1793 - 1864
- Henri, Adrian British 1932 - 2000
- Herrick, Robert British 1591 - 1674
- Hugo, Victor French 1802 - 1885
- Lawrence, D. H. British 1885 - 1930
- McGough, Roger British 1937 - present
- Neruda, Pablo Chilean 1904 - 1973
- Patten, Brian British 1946 - present
- Shakespeare, William British 1564 - 1616
- Shakespeare, William British 1564 - 1616
- Wilde, Oscar Irish 1854 - 1900
- Asimov, Isaac Russian/American 1920 - 1992 His story Nightfall is fabulous but it is Asimov's writings about himself and his working methods that have made a major contribution to my life.
- Heinlein, Robert American 1907 - 1988
- Vonnegut, Kurt American 1922 - 2007
So much of what is best that I have read has been in the form of essays in with other stuff, or articles in Scientific American or similar periodicals. That kind of material does not fit well into a list like this but needs to be acknowledged for its importance to me. The Encyclopedia Britannica and the Websters or Oxford Dictionary's, while not "books" in the sense of those on this list have been my close friends for many years. For years I read the Britannica as I ate my meals until I had read it all three times and was starting to get a feeling of repetition when reading. However I am constantly reaching for references, although Wikipedia, Project Gutenberg, and other online resources have become my starting point for research nowadays. Even so, I still love reference books of all kinds.
- A Fall Of Moondust Arthur C Clarke 1961
- All Creatures Great And Small James Herriot 1972
- A Manual Of Painting Materials Mark Gottsegen 1987
- Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini 1728
- Brave New World Aldous Huxley 1932
- Catch-22 Joseph Heller 1961
- Catcher In The Rye J. D. Salinger 1951
- Dune Frank Herbert 1965
- Flowers For Algernon Daniel Keyes 1966
- Friday Robert Heinlein 1982
- Hamlet William Shakespeare 1602
- Henry V William Shakespeare 1599
- Il Libro Dell'Arte Cennino d'Andrea Cennini 1437
- I Will Fear No Evil Robert Heinlein 1970
- King Lear William Shakespeare 1608
- Les Misérables Victor Hugo 1862
- Lives Of The Artist's Giorgio Vasari 1568
- Longitude Dava Sobel 1995
- Medieval And Renaissance Treatises On The Arts Of Painting Mrs M. P. Merrifield 1849
- Methuselah's Children Robert Heinlein 1958
- Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell 1949
- Notes Of A Dirty Old Man Charles Bukowski 1969
- On Divers Arts Theophilus 1125
- On Painting L. B. Alberti 1435
- On The Road Jack Kerouac 1951
- Portrait Of An Artist Laurie Lisle 1995
- Shanghai Baby Zhou Wei Hui 1999 (English translation 2001)
- Solaris Stanislaw Lem 1961
- Stranger In A Strange Land Robert Heinlein 1961
- Swimming To Cambodia Spalding Gray 1985
- The Adventure Of English Melvyn Bragg 2004
- The Agony And The Ecstacy Irving Stone 1961
- The Artist's Handbook Of Materials And Techniques 5th edition Ralph Mayer 1991
- The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy Douglas Adams 1979
- The Hobbit J. R. R. Tolkien 1937
- The March Of The Ten Thousand Xenophon c400BC
- The Materials Of The Artist Max Doerner 1921
- The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress Robert Heinlein 1966
- The Surgeon Of Crowthorne Simon Winchester 1998
- The Tree Of Man Patrick White 1955
- The Vivisector Patrick White 1968
- The Wind In The Willows Kenneth Grahame 1908
- Time Enough For Love Robert Heinlein 1973
- Treatise On Painting Leonardo da Vinci 1680
- Welcome To The Monkey House Kurt Vonnegut 1968
Absinth I love more than anything. Wines I prefer white as a general rule, especially fruity whites, and whites from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I prefer softer reds, especially French reds and definitely only the better quality reds.
- Absinth in Lime Juice
- Gin and Tonic
- Hot Chocolate
I love meaty flavors, sweet, and breads and pastries. I could easily eat a roast beef meal every day, but it rarely happens. I enjoy contemporary cuisine as a general rule
- Beer Battered Fish and Chips
- Bacon and Egg Pie
- Beef Stroganoff
- Black Forest Cake
- Bread, fresh out of the oven
- Caramello Chocolates
- Chow Mein, especially with crispy noodles
- Crème Brûlée
- Crème caramel
- Danish Pastries
- Devilled Sausages
- Hamburger, especially home made
- Lemon Chicken
- Lettuce Salad with my mother's old country dressing
- Massaman Curry
- Milk Chocolate, especially English or Swiss
- Portuguese Tarts
- Roast Beef with Roast Potatoes
- Rosella Jam
- Spaghetti, especially Scicilian flavors or Carbonara.
- Steamed pudding, especially with caramel sauce
- Sweet Potato
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Turkish Delight
I love technology that best delivers art and music in simple and elegant ways, nothing else is as important. Apple is the only company that consistently delivers on those things so I love Apple products.
- Macintosh computers
- Sony-Ericsson mobile camera-phones
- Wacom tablets
My parents wanted me to become an architect and put me in the office of an architect for a couple of days as "job experience". I would have been around 10 or 11 years old. In their innocence they could see no difference between builings other than that some are inhabited by animals and some by humans. Aesthetics is a poor second to practicality to them. The architect was the sort who designed the sort of cheap ticky tacky boxes that are common in suburbs. It took very little time to know that this had nothing to do with anything I would ever like doing. What they could not have realized is that I may well have responded favorably to an engineer. I love bridges and big engineering projects, but especially bridges and spaceships. These are some of my favorite engineering marvels.
- Gateway Arch USA 1965 This arch in St. Louis is stunning.
- Golden Gate Bridge USA 1937 The slender towers
painted orange against a deep blue sky are wonderfully dainty looking
for such a great distance to span.
- Millau Viaduct France 2004 When there is mist in the valley but the bridge is in the sunshine it is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.
- Saturn V Rocket USA 1967 - 1973 There is a Saturn V engine at the Power House Museum. I love standing under the nozzle and visualize that huge power that can lift so much metal and so many dreams into the sky.
- Space Shuttle USA 1981 - present. The sight of the Shuttle lifting off through giant clouds of smoke is something I feel privileged to be alive for. These Shuttle's are the little pioneer ships building the beginnings of a new world out there.
- Spirit and Opportunity. Mars 2004 - present. Each day I check the Rover's web site to see if there are any updates on their progress as they study the rocks and deal with the problems of survival on Mars. There will come a time soon when first one, then the other will fail. When that time comes it will be like the loss of a family member.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Australia 1932 It would be just another arch except that the designers made 4 grey granite towers at the ends shaped like the towers at the front of ancient Egyptian temples. The towers anchor the arch and make it an incredibly beautiful sight.
- Washington Monument USA 1884 So simple, and yet so beautiful. I even like the change in color of the marble part way up that marks the struggle to build it, because they ran out of money and it stood there a quarter made until more money could be raised to keep going many years later.
Sciences And History
This is my other great passion other than the arts. From my earliest memories I was trying to figure out how things were made and that is the common thread in my interests - how the universe is made, how humans came to exist in their current form, and how human social structures and thinking patterns emerged. It is the actual "how" rather than the "why" that I find exciting. In fact for me there is no need for a "why", it is enough to be able to exist and appreciate, or at least try to understand. I do not see any requirement for a purpose beyond "it simply is". These are the disciplines or areas of study which fascinate me most of all.
- Ancient History, especially from the Mediterranean basin.
- Evolution Not just the origin of the species but applying the reasoning to all human activities, and to natural systems generally.
- Neurology The structure of the brain and its electrical system fascinate me, especially as it affects vision and thinking processes.
- Physics, especially astro-physics and the fundamental structure of the universe.
The places I love the most of all the places I have been so far.
- Coast north of Cairns Mountains steeply rising out of the Coral Sea, a little piece of paradise.
- Coober Pedy A magic place in the desert where the people live underground.
- Evelyn Tablelands The highest of the tablelands where is is cool and wet and misty and the grass is always emerald green and the rainforest bottle green and the mountains tall and rugged.
- Kings Cross
Places To Dream Of Being There
If money was no object and I could choose the places I would most like to be.
- Aegean Islands, especially Santorini.
- Anywhere that is cold when in front of an open fire.
- In orbit, on the International Space Station
- New York, especially Park Avenue or Times Square.
- St. Petersberg
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- The Moon
- The Moons Of Jupiter
- The Moons Of Saturn
- The Nile, especially the places associated with the ancient Egyptians.
- Tierra Del Fuego