Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Doing my own thing

I have some plans to develop some new figure compositions
In order to find different arrangements of forms
I resort to the Masters.
My Rubens book cannot be found
Michelangelo is next
I draw and scribble his figures.
I find them unfamiliar, but this is good.
His figures are lively and full.
I look for balance and interaction
The trick is to superimpose my figures over his models
As Degas said, Copy the old masters while doing your own thing.

Monday, December 28, 2009

blind spot

The Three Towers
Having lived in Park Road for 18 months,
only this morning did I notice the obvious.
From the living room's three windows there are framed three towers.
Each tower is distinctive in form and purpose.
now having seen it - it ought to be painted.
but now it is obvious
I must code the obvious
and paint it as if - I have not 'seen' it
Each tower is distinctive in form and purpose.
From the living room's three windows there are framed three towers.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

after hours

Yesterday was a little tense
I wanted to establish some colour on this drawing
before I broke for Christmas.
All day it taunted me,
around 7.30 in the evening I felt ready.
with dishes of liquid oil I launched into the work
with the canvas flat on the table
I worked fast, very fast.

so far so good
I can rest easy tomorrow
Happy Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

found art

This piece of black moulded plastic lay in the snow.
on the side of the road.
an automotive part, thick with oil.
I returned to examine it, potential whispered to me
some oil has been cleaned off
as well as the oil it left on the back seat.
now promoted to the studio
it rests smugly

It will need to be mounted or framed to follow the contours
I need to work on the surface
we will get to know one another
before a decision is made
intimate washing of all the crevices
just me and the automotive part
we will work some magic

more later

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

first step

This canvas has been waiting
I drew this on it.
colour will be called for, and applied in a suitable way.
like a joust, a robust approach is required
it could be really good
on the other hand, very bad.

(see Nov 12)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Junta ii

I spent some time this afternoon pushing this image about.
Maintaining the sense of space along with my actual memory of being there,
and without resorting to painting realistic things took a number of attempts.
It is oil on ply, scrubbed, washed and lined.
Santa Junta is a railway station in Seville.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Junta i

While waiting in a Spanish Railway station I made a drawing,
not what was in my range of vision
for the space was too big.
I tried to encapsulate my experience of the space,
my drawing then was untrammelled by facts.

This morning I tried to lay the idea out in an oil wash
on a primed ply ground.
Here it is.
It is a beginning.
It is all I had time for,
but beginnings are good - another day will welcome it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

healing wings

A while ago I began some watercolours under the the general title of 'the healing wing' drawn from 'he shall rise with healing in his wings'.
To source some new drawings I retreated to a non place to draw.
it is the place in the film clip above
In my drawing book I wrote -

15 Nov 2009
under big trees in heavy wind
without possessions
under the power of the wind

not looking for revelation
only detachment from the domestic

lying in the dry leaves I drew healing wings
pages and pages of them

Those November watercolours failed
Today I found the drawings and began two paintings based on the text and the pages in the drawing book. Like the watercolours the paintings today are wrong
I have never painted such wings before
I will pursue them to see if they are paintable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

taking control

I considered this piece carefully.
my last reworking had made good changes
but still more were needed
it was dark and spiky
time to steer it on course
angles out - curves in
black and red out - Cerulean and pink in
take control
colour makes a difference

Friday, December 11, 2009

late night shopping

The piece was becoming a clever mess. I want more clarity.
I must define.
I cut the women out from the mash with a line.
White with an accidental dash of Prussian blue is spread around.
I am consoled
the image breathes again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

more picnic

A very engaging day, for when the constraints are thrown off one can begin to paint.
I have reworked that recent picnic with a boat.
I found a more than usual pleasure in the mixing and application of colour
and a creative freedom in my choices and re-choices
This will provide a useful base on which to work later.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Car

Car as such is an ancient word
Family is a concept as old as time itself.
Here I work on them both.
Painting for me is easier if I shut out expectancy and work naturally, this oil sketch was laid in some days ago and today I resolved some parts and painted out some other parts.
So far so good, where it points to, is as yet unclear.
When I need to know, I will know

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

fresh attack

While completing the watercolour started last week - I felt the picnics completed so far were off key.
Too permanent, too static and decadent. 
I want this picture of life more transient, more journey, so I hacked this draft together at speed after lunch.
By adding a shelter and a boat it changes the feel. 
This change will lift my interest and enthusiasm.
More where I want to be.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

keeping strong

With this sort of thing it so important to keep belief in the vision.
Watercolour is not a forgiving medium, but for clarity and dazzle it is fantastic.
One can never, never fumble or fudge - always putting your money where your mouth is.
Drawing on experience but with taking outrageous risks.
Sophisticated madness. 
I still have plenty left to do on Monday.

Friday, December 4, 2009

new watercolour

Here is a new test.
Having made the new composition on Thursday, I wondered how a coloured draft would look.
This watercolour is about 45cm square on some stretched Arches paper.
I knew today and tomorrow has only patches of time available for work so this would fit in well with this medium as it benefits from drying well between layers.
Over three sessions I have managed this much.
It is drawn in HB pencil and I made revisions to the figures as I worked, making heads smaller and adjusting bodies.
I modeled the figures and coloured the grass. Both the sky and the water will be dark and this will change everything.
This work is in distinct contrast to yesterday when attack was the order of the day.
I love such variation, I love watercolour like this when it is possible.
My moods and circumstance seem to govern that possibility.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

shoppers 05

It was time.
This morning my oil 'shopping' demanded my attention.
There are day for certain things:
yesterday I planted raspberries,
today I worked on shoppers.
I read Rilke and Donne.

it is not so much what their word are,
more the way access normality
and then arrange their selection to present super-normality.
I covet that super-normality for my work.
I have rearranged my selection as shown above.

 I will seek to explain this process in the near future
to be a little more informed
about paintings that are less obvious.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


A new compositional drawing for Picnic
I wanted the final work to be larger but at the same time more intense. To this end I have compressed the composition to the point of overcrowding. This moment of pleasure is now confined and this changes everything. It adds questions. The choice of colour will affect its meaning as well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

a smack on the nose

A day of 7 trillion interruptions has annoyed me a lot. In my annoyance I looked at yesterdays work, it was quiet. I was not quiet. I demand a vigorous response in what little opportunity I have left today.  I want to give whoever see my picture a smack on the nose!
Well it certainly picks up on the energy levels. This 40cm sq oil really delivers for it's size, I make no judgement yet, much to early.