Saturday, 8 September 2012


Who's this?  He's one of the incarnations of the Super Lamb Banana - more affectionately known as the Banana Lamb.

I'll talk about him more in a little while, but first of all a little of my own art.

Yesterday was Dev's regular appointment at the RLUH - the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.  This always takes a whole morning, 90 per cent of which is spent sitting in waiting rooms waiting for test results to be completed and then waiting to see the specialist.

I nearly always sketch while I wait, but yesterday I spent most of my time reading my Kindle because my book was at an interesting part.  When I did decide to draw I only had time for one sketch.

This was done on my I-phone.  One of the advantages of sketching on the phone as compared with pen and paper or sketchbook is that  people are so used to seeing phone-nerds glued to their screen that they don't associate it with drawing.

At home I looked at the pen sketch I had drawn in my sketchbook the evening before to compare the styles.

I drew this quickly as we watched an episode from our DVD of the old (1980s) 'ALLO 'ALLO series - René's mother-in-law Fanny, always in bed, always bad-tempered and complaining ('Will nobody come to my assistance').  In spite of being so old, the series (like the old Dad's Army series) is still a firm favourite here.

I don't know how far the series has travelled, but I'm not sure how well the gentle British humour of the time would be understood internationally, though I understand the French loved it.

The story pokes affectionate fun at the British, French and Germans in a WW2 French town.  For me the cleverest aspect of the show is the way the three languages are 'spoken', even though everybody speaks English, and you know exactly who is speaking French or German.

As far as the sketches go, I prefer the hand-drawn version which is much freer and livelier.

So, back to the Banana Lamb.  In the large entrance area of the RLUH is a 'medical' version of the Lamb, and I took a snap of him as we were leaving.

Behind him is a long wall covered in a mosaic of Liverpool, and each small tile of the mosaic is sponsored by someone celebrating the life of a loved one they have lost.  There are tiles in there for my youngest brother, his daughter my niece, and some friends, all victims of cancer.

The original Banana Lamb, created specially for Liverpool by Taro Chiezo, a Japanese artist, is yellow - half lamb and half banana.  There was some controversy when the Banana Lamb first arrived in the city, but he and his many incarnations have become favourites and he is seen as a Liverpool 'icon'.

I lost my own photo of SLB, and this image is from the site, and I hope they will forgive me for copying him into my blog for you.  There are many images on the net if you are interested, both of the original and of the many smaller versions which are all painted in different ways, and appear in the most surprising places.

You will find lots of interesting images of the different versions on Google - but this is one subject where the Wikipedia entry is not much use at all.

Now I haven't dissected a Banana Lamb recently, so I'm not too sure on the body parts, but I think this may be the kidney.

And this may be the heart, but it seems to be in a strange place at the top of his leg.

At last the morning and the patient waiting are over, and it's time to go and have our 'little jolly' to help us forget the visit to the clinic. 

This time we went to Sudley House, one of the Liverpool Museums and originally home to George Holt, owner of the Blue Funnel shipping line, in the leafy and still rather 'posh' area of Liverpool called Mossley Hill.  

Highlights of the visit were the gardens and park, a big oil painting of Turners, an exhibition of early 1900s photos of Liverpool, some real historical dresses still there from the last exhibition, a Gainsborough portrait - and of course the café.

Gainsborough lady.  I don't think she's a very happy bunny.

So lucky to have all these places to visit so near to home.  

Very tired at the end of the day, but happy.



  1. I love your digital lady she is awesome!! That banana lamb is cool too!! That's such a great idea with the mosaics!! Wonderful way to commemorate a friend or family member!! Universally British humor is adored, at least it sure is here in Canada! One of my top favorite comedies is " Undertaking Betty!" Loved that movie!! Glad you are back creating more!!

    Hugs Giggles

  2. I Love the super lamb bananas!! Didn't know there was one at the hospital...It's fabulous. I'm very impressed with your ipad sketches and the idea you can draw or paint anywhere without drawing to much attention to yourself.

  3. Wow - I am amazed that you drew that on your phone... Fantastic! (And, that is the perfect solution for someone who is shy about drawing in public... Although, I'll have to join the 21st Century and get an i-phone first! Hee hee!)


  4. Wow, I learned a lot from reading your post today. I draw from the t.v. too, but only during old slow shows like Murder She Wrote. New t.v. shows go too fast.

    I like your phone drawing, you got the hang of it. And that banana lamb is absolutely awesome. I love it.

    Thank you for informing me about the 'kingfisher' poem. It is very beautiful and very complex.
    Have a great week.


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