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Posts tagged ‘Love’

Post 1002 | Kissing Norms win top spot for Saint Valentine’s

Exactly 6 years ago to the day, I posted my latest painted Norm interpretation of a world-renowned masterpiece: The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt. The original is one of art history’s most enduring images of love, passion and even, it is suggested, an enigmatic forced passion, although in my Norm version, there is nothing but pure and tender affection to be seen between these two loved-up Norms. Indeed, my Norm version of Klimt’s masterpiece proved almost as popular as original. With well over 10,000 views, this painting is by far the most admired of my Norm paintings to have been posted on The Daily Norm. What a perfect coincidence then that it should be this iconic image of love which makes the top of the Norm greatest hit list on this, St Valentine’s Day, in what is also a week of celebration for the Daily Norm’s reaching 1000 posts.

Klimt Norms FINAL

Klimt Norms (©Nicholas de Lacy-Brown 2012, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas)

So while I go all loved up and celebratory over this much loved and far-reaching image of Norm passion, as well as for all the Norm images that have gone before and since, what more can be said than to thank all the readers of The Daily Norm who have given this, and other Norm images their love over the last 6 years, and the masterful, enigmatic Klimt of course, whose original image lay the foundation for this interpretation. Valentine’s love can manifest in many different ways. So whether you’re snuggled up to a loved one, a friend, or just loving doing you’re favourite things this Valentine’s Day, be sure to feel the love and enjoy it. 

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2011-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Contemplating our First Anniversary

It’s hard to think that a year has already past since that blissful wedding day when I married my soulmate one year ago. That small but perfectly formed little Chelsea Wedding felt so emotionally momentous that I think I have been bouncing happily in its blissful wake ever since. Yet to think that it’s been a year is rather bizarre, not least when I consider that it feels as though I was only just finishing off the last dabs of gouache on my paintings commemorating our honeymoon. How time flies. But how happily tangible are the memories still.

Our magical day


It was in the contemplation of this anniversary that Dominik and I recently headed to Deiá, easily our favourite place on the island of Mallorca, and perhaps in the whole world. We knew that there could be no better way to celebrate a first year of marriage, and 7 years of being together. While my mother’s witty gift of toilet paper (and a little something extra) reminded that this is traditionally the “paper anniversary”, for us it was bubbles and sunshine all the way as we toasted our union in the stunningly floral grounds of the Hotel Residencia over two glasses of cava – one brut, the other rosé. In a way those two glasses appeared to represent something of our relationship and the keys to its success. Two people who are characteristically, externally different, but whose integral sameness binds us so strongly together. And all this in the most exquisite surroundings of the Teix Mountains and the Mediterranean sea. Magical.

Bubbles at the Residencia and dinner at Restaurante Nama


While the 15th June marks our wedding anniversary, the 16th June is the anniversary of our first date. But there is something so much more special now in celebrating an anniversary of marriage, than that day of first discovery. Because while our daily life may not have changed all that much as a result of the certificate we signed, the comfort and security and wholesome oneness it has brought us can never been replicated outside of marriage. One more year has passed and another coat of time’s varnish adds an extra veneer of strength to our union. Here’s to that.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved.

Valentine’s in Barcelona

We have always loved Barcelona, Dominik and I. For me it’s one of the most perfect cities on the earth. For where else can you find all of the cosmopolitan qualities of London or New York fused so easily with the seaside amiability which comes of being mounted next to the glistening Mediterranean sea, with all of the beach-life benefits that position entails. So when it came to celebrating Valentine’s this year, we decided to take the romantic, candlelit dinner concept a little further, expanding our celebration of love across a weekend city trip where we could show as much love for our surroundings as for each other.

For who could not love Barcelona, a city whose very streets are so elaborately decorated with modernista masterpieces that not a street goes by which does not call for its own round of photographic admiration. It is a place bursting with the colour of Gaudi’s mosaics, an intensity of kaleidoscopic light which results from Barcelona’s natural affinity with the sun, whatever the time of year. And it is a city which exudes creativity from its every facet, from shops and restaurants, characterised by a conceptual brand of cool which stands as ever on the brink of innovation, to endless galleries showcasing both the newest artists and the classic former residents, Miro and Picasso amongst them.


We benefit from a Mallorca location which makes a weekend to Barcelona a mere 30 minute flight away. This left us with plenty of time to enjoy the city to the full, from a miraculously warm February walk in the Park Güell, to our admiration of the architectural designs employed in both the undulating roof of the Mercado Santa Caterina, and the modernista details of the Palau de la Música Catalana nearby. We headed up the hill of Montjuic to admire the collection of the National Museum of Catalan art, and into the depths of the Gothic Quarter to share stares with the 13 geese of Santa Eulalia in the Medieval Cathedral courtyard. And as for Valentine’s? Well this was enjoyed across the weekend, from the exchange of a rose in our cosy hotel bedroom, to the enjoyment of a mouthwateringly good Fideuà seafood paella in the Sunny Port Vell.

What more can I say? Barcelona is a city of plenty, and the perfect venue for a weekend of love. I will allow my photos to fill in the details.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2016 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

New Horizons / Goodbye to Loved Ones

There is a very good reason why moving house is said to be one of, if not the most stressful experiences in a person’s average life: because it’s true. What looks on paper to be a simple event, with just a little effort and a few cardboard boxes thrown in, quickly becomes a herculean effort with as much cardboard and bubble wrap as would be required to encase your average skyscraper. Or so it was with my move that is, the second in just 12 months, across from one end of Palma de Mallorca to the other. The move marked a clear inconvenience, but for many reasons was both necessary and desirable. And it was with these many positives in mind that we maintained our resolve as we heaved suitcases full of books and paintings across the cobbled streets and many stairs which fill the centre of Palma.

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Almost 8 weeks after the moving process first began, we have finally began to settle in our new abode; a modern apartment which is reminiscent of our comfortable London home, except that here we benefit from a sizeable terrace and a wonderful view of palm trees and cypresses – one view you are sure not to get in Blighty. And now with the comfort of settling in finally upon us, the time to contemplate our new space and surroundings has also arrived, and in these first photos, I wanted to share with you some of my first shots, not within the new flat, but outside it. For as I awake in the morning, or gaze at a sunset upon the onset of the night, it is the views from this new home which enchant me… new views to get lost in; new horizons to explore.

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But the time of our acquaintance with a fresh start in a new home coincided with the time of the year when people tend to direct their minds backwards; to a past in which a loved one was by their side; to a time when a person’s presence made their lives very different. For in the world outside of our new home, Spain was marking its day of the dead, and in La Rambla, the sprawling flower market lining the entire central avenue of one of Palma’s principle boulevards, flower arrangements created to newly embellish the gravesides of lost love ones overflowed onto the pavements, so that down this road of some half a kilometre in length, it was like a single wave of bounteous colour had erupted across the ordinarily grey road.

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As with the cemeteries I love, the Day of the Dead is undoubtedly characterised by a sense of pathos and loss, but none can deny the beauty which accompanies this annual day of remembrance; when from the bleak monotony of sadness, colour erupts in a floral feast to mark a fresh adieu to lost loved ones.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Roots entwined: Our story illustrated

Two weeks ago I married my soul mate, and the man I am now lucky enough to call my husband, and on yesterday’s Daily Norm you were bombarded with photos of our ceremony. However, our marriage was a culmination of 6 years together, almost to the exact day of our first date in fact, on 16th June 2009, and from that moment onwards, I lived life as a man complete.

In celebration of our journey together since that first June date, I prepared for our wedding by drawing a little illustration of our adventures as a twosome. Inspired by the magical words of Louis de Bernieres in his stunning novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, which were read at our wedding, my illustration takes the form of a complex interlocked image of our adventures, each stemming from the routes which now bind us so firmly together.

Roots entwined (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Roots entwined (2015 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, pen on paper)

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. 
And when it subsides you have to make a decision. 
You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined
together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. 
Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is notexcitement,
it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.
That is just being in love, which any fool can do. 
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an artand a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and, when all the prettyblossoms have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two.

Louis de Bernieres, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

The day I married my soul mate

I knew I wanted to marry my soul mate Dominik almost from the first moment we met. It was within a few dates that I knew we were two inseparables, so alike in our tastes and ambitions, thoughts and feelings, that it was like finding myself all over again, and gaining the best friend, companion and lover a man could wish for. We marked our commitment very early only – it was within 6 months that we placed eternity rings around one another’s hands on a snowy night in Montmartre in Paris – but it took us a further 5.5 years to seal the deal.

Getting ready for the big moment, and with mother of the groom and my nephews…

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I suppose for us, the big step was engagement, and the marriage was only ever the cherry on the cake, or at least that was how it felt when we decided to opt on a completely secret, tiny ceremony two weeks ago, inviting only our most intimate family and very few friends, in order to keep our wedding small, both numerically and economically. For us it felt more administrative as we filled in the forms and gave our official notice. And when, in the days leading up to our wedding, people asked if we were nervous, I couldn’t understand why we were supposed to feel nerves, when on paper it all seemed so simple.

The magical moment, and stepping out into a confetti of peonies 

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That was until the wedding. In that moment, when joining hands before a Chelsea registrar, we looked into each other’s eyes, and placed the final wedding band on our fingers, suddenly it all became very, wonderfully real. The extent of our commitment, the magic of the moment, the utmost celebration of the most perfect union: the moment I married my soul mate. Now, looking back on those magical few minutes, my memories are flooded with the great surge of emotion I felt in that moment, the pride and the love, and the utmost and complete joy.

Photos, celebrations and a top-notch lunch

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So for anyone doubting whether the US decision of last week, which legalised gay marriage across all states, was the right one, let my experience cast those doubts asides. Gay marriage in the UK has enabled me to commit myself not to a boyfriend, nor a civil partner, but to a husband, in the eyes of the law and before my family and friends. It has enabled me to bind myself to my one true soul mate, and in doing so share the same right afforded to everyone around me, whatever their sexuality. The world is finally moving forwards, common sense is prevailing, and equal love is truly victorious.

Rounded off with an incredible cake (courtesy of

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All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved.

February in Paris – Part 2: Valentine’s in the City of Love

Paris is truly the City of Love. For even if you are not lucky enough to be strolling around the streets of the central arrondissements in the arms of a loved one, there is surely sufficient beauty in those Haussmann-conceived boulevards and palatial streets to fall in love with. And while I have been lucky enough to spend the last 5 years of visits to Paris in the company of my beloved, I also look back fondly upon my first experiences of the city: when young and very much single, I saw the historically rich and artistically abundant streets for the first time and fell head over heels in love – a personal relationship with Paris which has continued to this day.

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So spending this year’s Valentine’s Day in Paris certainly seemed appropriate. Yes, the city was wise enough to cash in on its reputation, such that every restaurant was reserved to the hilt with set menus costing triple the normal price, but putting this rather crass commercialisation aside, I could not think of no better place to spend the year’s most dedicated day of love. The city is one so perfectly attuned with its environment and its picture perfect urban planning that is as though the city is in love with itself, with the nature all around it and vice versa. At every street corner there is a new panorama to be admired and a new direct vista to some stunning iconic building, and with such harmonious town planning evident wherever you walk in Paris, you cannot help but feel satisfied, balanced and free to love.

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The photos which accompany this love song to Paris are something of a miscellaneous homage, taken over the Valentine’s weekend as we strolled and admired the city. From bridges to cafe’s, bull dogs to palaces, they are the archetypal vision of a picture perfect city which will seduce every visitor, and make even the most stalwart singleton feel love for the first time.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Sunday Supplement – The Heartbreak Diptych

In 2007, I suffered the angst of so many young people in the throws of their first romance: I suffered a horrible heartbreak. At the time, when a short but very intense relationship came to an unceremonious and unexpected end, I thought my world had been torn in two. I spent my days feeling breathless, unable to concentrate and with my stomach in turmoil, as though a little roller coaster ride was traversing the inner contours of my intestines. I would think about the failed romance endlessly, relentlessly engaging in a kind of obsessive postmortem: What went wrong? How could I change things? Was there really no hope for the future? And when, finally, exhausted by the onset of morning depressions and days spent in deep contemplation, I turned to my canvases and represented what I felt in paint.

What had started off as a portrait of my ex, in the bright colours of a Parisian bistro, soon became a tale of my own woe, as I completed the painting in shades of black, white and grey, with a portrait of myself sat melancholy and lonely on a Parisian bench. Appropriately, that self-portrait is represented in stark contrast to the colourful tones of the main portrait of my ex; an illustration of how, in this period of heartbreak, all of the colour and vitality of life had been drained out of me.

Heartbreak II: Paris in Hues of Gray (acrylic on canvas, 2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

Heartbreak II: Paris in Hues of Gray (acrylic on canvas, 2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown)

By coincidence, at the time I painted my tale heartbreak, my flatmate was also going through a heartbreak of her own. Almost torn apart emotionally by the strain of her failed romance with longterm South African sweetheart, my portrait of her illustrates, through surreal imagery and references to a dark and brooding South African landscape, the pain and torment she was feeling as she reflected on what the relationship had been, and the hole its passing had left in her very core.

Heartbreak I (2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Heartbreak I (2007 © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, acrylic on canvas)

Of course looking back on these two paintings now, it is hard to re-engage with those feelings which, at the time, seemed so deep; so central to all existence. With age and maturity, I am able to reflect on what was a mere romantic folly, and recognise that the despair I was feeling wasn’t at the loss of “love”, but at the shock of personal rejection. Yet at the time, the process of painting those emotions was extremely cathartic, and the canvases which resulted are probably two of my most interesting portraits painted to date.

Enjoy your Sunday.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.