(Photograph: Alicia Canter)

Maggi Hambling, another sassy candidate for “ladette” along with Tracey Emin, is an English artist whose work I follow and whose approach to art and life is refreshingly direct.

Here’s her kind of epigrammatic wit from a piece in the Guardian:

Are you healthy?
Early every morning, at least. I do a couple of knee stretches in the park while hitting a tennis ball for Lux, my Tibetan terrier. At breakfast I take a mixture of 12 pills and capsules then hope for the best.

What exercise do you take?
Passionate (but on the whole rather static) tennis, once a week.

How do you relax?
On my bed with a large whisky and Coronation Street in an effort to keep in touch with reality.

Have you ever had therapy?
Once upon a time (in 1983) I visited a famous psychiatrist, on the insistence of an insane girlfriend. He didn’t speak for three months and I left. He was a very round person, and when I told him I’d had enough he shrank into a stick insect before my eyes. At age 60, I started therapy again in the hope of coping. My lady does reply now and again, and it helps, hugely.

How much sleep do you need?
Like most people, more than I get.

Is sex important to you?
Of course. Sadly, as a Scorpio, it’s inevitable. But as fellow Scorpion Picasso said: “Art and sex are the same thing,” so I’m always at it.

Do you worry about your weight?
Constantly. And with good reason.

Attitude to smoking?
Love it, love it, love it. Gave up at 10am on 10 October 2004. Now restrict it to funerals, weddings and other disasters.

How much do you drink?
Too much and not enough.

Attitude to drugs?
Cocaine best, but hangover worst.

Are you happy?
As a manic depressive, it’s either very “yes” or very “no”.

Have you ever spent a night in hospital?
A couple in casualty: once after a wasp sting, then after an oyster. I’ve given up both.

How do you feel about cosmetic surgery?
Don’t approve, but would love some.

I swear by…
Steak tartare at The Ivy.

(Photo: The Telegraph)