Monday, April 30, 2012

Who's Who

Last week I had an e-mail from a Lynda Murray, who signed herself 'the Editor' of Who's Who in art. in which she offered me a free listing in her forthcoming 35th edition.
Of course my first thought was 'spoof' but after a little poking around it seemed not to be the case, after all, the books are available on Amazon, first published in 1927 and have an address in Wootton Bassett!
I have now received through the post a long form to fill in, and Lynda reminds me quite firmly that entry is on merit - so, best handwriting and no jokes!
watch this space . . . . . .

Thursday, April 26, 2012

doing deadlines

Dogged determination and the confidence displayed by these two Hero's of the galaxy is required when putting on an exhibition. They are my role models as I steam through the mass of finishing and preparations required for a show like this. With over fifty new pieces to present and a myriad of supporting tasks to attend to  -  the days evaporate quicker than usual.
The framer is finishing work for tomorrow, and one piece, 'the foyer' had a frame change this morning when the Ashworth & Thompson rep came up with a Fab new and very chrome moulding suggestion - just perfect!
Don't forget we are open for the next two weeks Monday to Saturday for anyone who can't make the main show day on May 5th - Phone to make an appointment as others have already done to book a slot that suits you.
New pieces below are in place and begin to look the part - the next two days look like a bundle of fun!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Learning backwards

Learning backwards
There is a real danger of the media, or one's familiarity with a media, preventing movement or growth because of that very habitual usage. My relationship with charcoal goes back a long way and it developed into an ability to render quite a high level of realism in a pleasing way, like this jazz player or this ballet dancer.
It can be quite difficult to stop this when one wants to do something quite different. So, at the end of this recent batch of painting and while figures were fresh in my thinking I did some experimental charcoal drawing of the figures as they appear now. This intentional invert of sequence was to encourage a shift in my love affair with charcoal by moving it to a new place. Can I persuade the beautiful, simple and ancient medium to render new things for me - I know it can - its my hand/mind co-ordination that needs a little push out of the rut it has grown too comfortable with.

Monday, April 23, 2012

made of clay

Figure model

Working direct from small drawings I find it helpful to make models like this. Air drying clay squeezed around wire gives me these useful forms that I can rotate and work from endlessly. The previous post of 'three women' incorporated developments from this model. Study the left hand figure to see the derivative.

It enables steps away from the real while reducing real to more real. Not a seen real but a 'felt' real.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dubuffet was right

Clay models work for me.
Make them and paint from them.
How easy is that.
Very easy, not easy.
First you draw then you paint.
Sounds easy, not.
Three figures all different.
Different women all the same.
Never the same. 
One cannot observe by looking.
Dubuffet was right about that. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

House painting

House Painting
We have lived in this house for four years now. 
Facing south where the ground falls away, I built a rounded terrace, somewhere I could sit outside for lunch on summer days.
While adjusting to a new studio, for my amusement, I painted a small gouache of the terrace along with the apple trees and the new steps. I tucked it in a drawer for a while. 
I've had it framed to show at the May 5 Show. Somehow the unimportant pieces have a way of lasting - there is something in the personal identification with our seemingly casual observations that are not at all casual - they are deep and abiding.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Under the green rock

On the 19 March I wrote a blog about Predella painting, a predella that had at last been finished after three years of adjusting and repainting. I have just repainted the again!
A rankling dissatisfaction was gnawing away at me - they had never been assembled which sort of proved my need to re-work them. So I picked them up, scribbled some ideas in biro on some old lined paper and then worked quickly on the previous panels with some freshly mixed oils.
Perhaps an hour passed - and now I am pleased. This really is it. Honest.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

a protracted birth

Again and again I return to this painting! This time the woman is repainted, shoulder, head, legs and dress all undergo serious revisions and improvements. Here and there final, final adjustments.
Now, at last its in the framers being fitted into a wide shiny grey frame - it will look fine.
See how bright it is, how strange while so familiar.
Tell me, where in the world and what time of day would you place this picture?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A nice book or two

While indulging in a little pleasure, namely examining the art section in Oxted's excellent little secondhand bookshop I came across two things.
1. A limited edition of Samuel Palmer's sketchbook. This was No146, and the publisher was Trianon Press For The William Blake Trust. I was more than a little wobbled, I returned 24hrs later to secure this wonderful little book. See all 79 pages in the British Museum original. I am so delighted to see the transfer of thought, to see his translation of that golden valley into the little pictorial jewels that he painted.
2. On my second visit I saw the Nicholson book above, curious, I checked the asking price, 250 was written inside in pencil. I asked."is this £2.50, £25.00 or £250? He replied with a sheepish grin, "£250.00, apparently rather rare now sir"  First Printed in 1986 and never reprinted it is a lovely book recording a lovely lady. Now I was rather pleased, for I bought a remaindered copy around 1992 for £16.00. Not bad, I hope my investment in the Palmer does as well - but the S/H book market is very fickle, and anyway, I'm not selling.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Two's company - or so the saying goes.
there is something about two
barely touching - together
a different same.

Still wet, they look back at me
from my hand
more like than like
more real than real

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Foyer: colour boost

Foyer - origin: late 18th cent. (denoting the center of attention or activity)
This interim stage is promising - with this much in place it is easier to judge new colour placements. I say easier, really its more difficult to place the last piece keeping it fresh and right without being stale and safe.
I'm playing this one up, so the title, the subject and the picture is the centre of attention!

Monday, April 2, 2012

botanic dream

A good many years ago as a young man I studied botany and the extraordinary diversity of creation remains as a memory bank of forms as well as those little used terms like whorls and bracts. In an idle moment I thought why not wheel the humble seed head out for all to see as a wonder of the natural world!
I have to confess I have become somewhat extravagant with the shapes and colours as I worked and grew the idea. Quite a nonsense on the face of it - but I am amused and will pursue the idea further and see the upright forms take on a variety of interpretations.