Monday, October 29, 2012

Colours with red

An old favourite
This is of course based on an old printers lead type tray. The compartments were random with small brass pieces at the division intersections - it was a pleasant thing in its own right.
I took the bottom out and made a white canvas to fit in its place, then marked the squares through the tray. The seven columns on the right and the single column on the left were coloured variations on red. I then quietly filled in the remainder with suitable colours, and painted a shabby green frame to put around it. Even after the 15yrs that have passed since I made it, I find it very satisfying, I wish I still had it.
If you see it, let me know.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Big stuff

A change is as good as a rest

I am busy with garden alterations, soil retention schemes and large oak structures. Here I am framing up some heavy green oak timbers adjacent to the house on which to grow a climbing rose. To erect this sort of structure needs careful consideration else proportions can be ill judged and annoying for the years to come! This proportion applies to the size of the timbers and the size of the structure. Like a sculpture, it needs to be right.
Once decisions have been made and I have acquired the oak from the sawmill, carpentry is an enjoyable diversion. Sharp chisels, buttery oak and big squares along with the smell of new timber carry me along quietly.
Painting is not forgotten, it turns over slowly at the back of my mind, now and then I sit in the studio, I need no ideas at the moment for I am employed elsewhere in the garden.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Unsophisticated art

Art comes in many forms.

I am hunting around for renewed energy to begin work. Hunting around the secondhand bookshops in Lewes on a damp October day seemed a reasonable way to achieve the goal especially if coffee and late lunches were involved.
Apart from a Gothic painting and a Grammar of ornament my other purchase was an Architectural Press publication from 1951 by Babara Jones titled the unsophisticated ARTS. I share with you the drawing opposite the title page to give a flavour of the work. Chapters include Demountable Baroque - Roundabouts, Automata and Simulacra, Amusement arcades and Cranford Magna.
This is my country. More to one side than most, its common roots speak to us all like the smell of candy floss and toffee apples.
I say abandon smarty art - forget posh - 'give us kiss on the waltzer' and live again.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A trip to town

A trip to town

A change of trains at E. Croydon for the super overcrowded Thames Link to St Pancras International. We walked to Brittania Street to see the Franz West show at Gagosian. An open mind is a rare thing - I wanted to look afresh. As if I had not seen before, as a child would see, without the baggage of experience.
Coffee in a narrow shabby street cafe
Into the British Library - vast space - awesome central core of the 'kings collection' We browse manuscripts from the Beatle's 'Yesterday' to the Magna Carta. We want knowledge, we become hungry to learn - we want it all. I buy a paperback (CS Lewis)
Hunt for lunch - back road pub does me a good fishcake and salad with potato wedges, wine on the side - all London style.
Move on to the Museum of zoology in university street nr.  Euston station. One fantastic room of animals and bits of animals in jars and glass cases. Absolutely fascinating. Nearly all Latin text, no dumbing down - one could draw here.
Usual spinning head as we rattle homeward through West Croydon Station.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tinterotto 1518 - 1594

A study of the dynamic

In certain places Tintoretto is very well regarded, it is unfortunate the shadow of Titian dimmed his glory. I found a book on him last week and knowing I had neglected him, bought it.
He was the master of the dynamic diagonal, his compositions are so vigorous you swear the people move. I feel the need to track some down and copy them in order to read them better. I need to imbibe the man directly - living 80mins from the NG is a valuable thing, an international resource of the finest work.
I'm not sure one can calculate the benefits of copying or how it filters into new painting. Once it becomes a calculation a suffocation of his spirit takes place. I need to walk with him, share his vision and mimic his thinking.
High ideas for a provincial painter.
But as that other man of Tinterotto's age Sir Philip Sydney wrote, 'Who shoots at the midday sun, though he be sure he shall never hit the mark; yet as sure as he is he shall shoot higher than who aims but at a bush'

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Two old friends

Sad circumstances occasionally bring old works of mine back to me, and this is one of those. 'Tazza with fruit' harks back to the early '90s and was sold to a dear old man we knew and loved who is no longer with us. The picture has come back to me and is a poignant reminder of my old friend.
Twenty years ago I was struggling to paint in oils and would have set this up as a test of painting skills, and some parts of it are better than others. Life and painting are journey, my friend and his painting of mine testify of the past.
Both were eager explorations of life.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Talk and tour

How it happened - talk and tour

We have found lately that our Saturday open day becomes too busy to give people time for talking in any length about the new work which is a pity. To overcome this problem there are to be two occasions next week when I will be on hand to talk about the new work and answer any questions that arise.
The drawing above is compressed charcoal on card and proved to be a crucial stepping stone needed to resolve problems that occurred during the painting of one of the larger oils. Seeing how these studio drawings feed into the finished work are valuable insights into creative segments that make up the whole work.
Special Illustrated talks with light refreshments.     email me for a free ticket
Tuesday 9th at 2.00pm
Wednesday 10th at 7.30pm

Monday, October 1, 2012

October Show

The new show is ready!
pictures finished - labels made - hanging completed.
It is very satisfying to see a body of work displayed in one place, worth the effort of finishing, framing and presenting.
There are about forty new framed pieces along with many other works on view.
Phone me on 01342 311350 to fix a visit this week or next.
Otherwise SATURDAY is the day when it all happens with all the bells and whistles.
So Saturday October 6 between 10.00am and 6.00pm - do come, enjoy.