Tuesday, 16 April 2013


"Bird" No.1. Gouache & Acrylic Ink, by Peter Ray Billington.
This painting is my new pride and joy, although technically it's not mine. I bought it for my husband’s birthday, which just so happens to be today. Actually, to be precise, I commissioned it. Commissioning a painting makes me sound very grown-up and grand, when I am very clearly neither, so this is phrase that tickles me.

It’s called "Bird" No. 1, and it’s by a friend of mine, a rather splendid artist and all round decent dude who goes by the name of Pencilsqueezer (scroll down for a link to his website).

I gave him very few instructions, apart from: it’s going in the room where we listen to music, and I want it bright and beautiful. 

My husband unwrapped the surprise present before he went to work - and he was bowled over. He loves it. We're going to sit and listen to records tonight and just stare at it, if that's OK with you.

The computer I’m writing this on is in a different room, and I keep popping back in to look at the painting hanging on the wall in the sunlight. The colours are bursting off the canvas and it’s a stirring sight. Somehow it’s captured the joyous feeling you get from music that moves you, soothes you, fuels you, fools you, lifts you up, brings you down, and spins you all around.

It reminds me of something else, too. A moment when my life changed.

Much, much younger versions of my husband and me were in a rubbish wine bar. 

He kissed me and I didn’t know where I was any more. The world swirled away like an amazing CGI effect, only this was so long ago that CGI didn’t really exist so it would probably been done with plasticine. 

I came out of it blinking in the light like a mole, or an escaped kidnap victim. I was lost, but at the same time I was exactly where I wanted to be. 

I still feel the same. And that’s what I see when I look at this picture. Wrap it up, I'll take it.

Song is Sam & Dave - Wrap It Up

Pencilsqueezer (aka Peter Ray Billington), has a website called Dark Matters, where you can see more of his amazing artwork. He is available for commissions at extremely reasonable rates, and just think of this: a home without a Pencilsqueezer painting is not half as splendid as one with. Contact him through his website, here.


  1. Lovely stuff DG. I too have a 'Squeezer original, the only piece of art I have ever commissioned. It too hangs on my 'music room' wall and fills my heart with joy every time I look at it. It's called Sunburst Finish and a picture of it is on Peter's website. Every home should have one.

  2. Probably a daft question, but how big is that Pencilsqueezer pic?

    B Smith

    1. Approximately 50cm by 50cm. It's a thing of beauty!