Wednesday 31 October 2012

31st Oct 2012 weds

Finished this jolly thing yesterday and have nearly finished two slightly more sensible ones, dealing (probably) with the nature of making and being made - used life drawings that had been reached by obscuring the markmaking and followed the suggestions of the surface to make the rest. Standard surrealist practice, I guess. I like them so far. May finish today (have cold and am prone to falling asleep, but in bed at 9.00 last night and slept through till 6.00 so may be through that now.)

Monday 29 October 2012

Oct 29th Monday

Despite raucous weekend, got some studio time in - consider the above finished - did work on the notebook and the Ripley scroll. Plus a couple of other pix are shaping up.

Today being Monday went life drawing. Fabienne modelled (she is the model for the pic above) and I took carbon paper and a dead biro - drew blind, not making any marks, used the first carbon to examine and elaborate on the marks I'd got there and on the third paper,(= second carbon), was simply a marriage of the two. 

Explained this to Fabienne in the break as she could see me drawing but not having a product. She was interested in the process. As I was telling her about it I inwardly reflected on the hunger of the pencil to make marks - think this has been a topic for a while, the servant/master relationship only between tool and user - =considered the nature of the empty biro, the spent tool, the vacuous object etc. etc. Half way though the next drawing the dead biro, dead these many years and only kept for romantic association and as a book mark, dead as a dodo, decided to revive itself. Bloody annoying. And odd - weather is freezing, the MJC space heated by little electric fires.

Usual distractions. Pierre decided with Fabiennes permission to take photos - not a practice I approve of but she'd OK'd it - Julian was angry and  made it clear, tensions rise - the usual huffers and puffers and scratchers and shifters we out in force but I kept cool (ish). Think now its because Im coming down with a cold. Ears and head ringing, strange distances. Lala.

Did some life/carbon drawing into notebook. Hope that wasn't a mistake. Fear I will appear to be drawn to the gimcrack rather than the worthy.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Oct 25th Thurs

Spent last night with Agrippa, trying to find out the three types of melancholy. My sole source is his 3 Books of Occult Philosophy (pub. Chthonios, 1986) and is a facsimile of the 1651 English translation  so not an easy read - checked out the Saturn stuff - but no sign of  melancholy. Why did I think it was he who had influenced Durer, resulting in Melancholia being called Melancholia 1? No idea -
Loved Agrippa though, what a clever geezer. Resorted to Hanegraaf's Big Dic of Gnosis and Western Esotericism for more on him and have been charmed:)
Will ignore it all and just finish the painting - it is OK as it stands, once its dry enough to tweek. Have put in Durer's rainbow and turned his Saturn into a shooting star. It hangs by the death head - remembering that a shooting star was a sign that a soul had left purgatory and gone to heaven  (at any rate thats what we were told as children)
Slept late - gone 8.00 by the time I woke up, despite the dog licking me at 6.00 -  managed yet again to correct the Ripley Scroll and then mess about with the 4 pix on the go. Nothing wonderful. Tired now and have to get some housework done. People tonight and guests for weekend. Pause for reflection.
Oh and today's drawing.... planned to do tortoise but it hasn't come out today. Later, walk.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Oct 24th Weds 2012

Unusually good day... started early, dark, and began by correcting yesterdays Ripley scroll drawing - seems to be how I start each day now. Then to tweek yesterdays Melancholia, very loosely based on Durers pic of the same name which I must look up in Cornelius Aggrippa's work - it seems he identified 3 kinds of melancholy of which the first is useful, this being Durers theme. Nearly there but the deaths head is too not-good and its got to dry a bit before I can hit it again. (Unfortunately it looks like my mother which given her 6-month-ago death is,hmm, creepy.)
Able to structure a newly begun nude and on the strength of that to begin another - thence to a little cheery mythic anomaly head  before Kat arrived to measure up for some decorating work. In the meantime the 4 lunch guests either canceled or fell by the wayside, so I could carry on - after coffee and breakfast in the cafe du pont.

My neighbours have dropped off a basket of Lactarius Deterrimus mushrooms (or similar, not sure; have to blanche them before frying so they might be something else) Anyway before I clean and cook them they will be todays note-book drawing.

And I have the afternoon and evening clear!

Monday 22 October 2012

Oct 22cnd 2012

Not exactly back in harness - came back from visiting Arles (Nimes, Lodeve) to a weekend with Bob here and lots to do - now Monday so got to drawing. Great pleasure. Fabienne modeling, shes very good; and a large group of committed artists, Gill, Jean-Noel, Olle-B., Julius, Margaret, Sabine, Didier etc. Results still crap. I took pencils and poor quality woodchip and there's no doubt in my mind that  if I ever had a facility, I've murdered it. Which is good. Work like crazy to learn to draw and then forget all you know.

Drawing away thinking, why am I doing this? Are these notes for a painting? Its clear they are not an end in themselves. The process then, does it prepare me for something else? Sometimes I feel that different pencils have different needs, some have to have energy worked off them, some need coaxing and delicacy. Which may be taking anthropomorphism too far - I'm not doing it for the gratification of the equipment, please...

Been wondering whether to apply for a postgrad drawing course in England. I could use help and this particular trust specialize in drawing. They give bursaries. Tho a year in England might be too too horrid.
And they may not want me. They ask to see 10 drawings and 3 notebooks. My notebooks are a mess - shopping lists, poems, recipes, drawings, copies from galleries, half-witted doodlings - but there's time to do 'proper' notebooks, I guess. Thinking about failure (again) I realise I rather want to be evaluated. Who knows if I'm any good? Then I realised if they said I wasn't any good it would change nothing. What I really want is approval.

Like the notion of working towards something. Will probably try for it or at least will prepare the portfolio and books and see how I feel then.

Pressing on with the scroll. Its pretty dull at the moment. Just work.

In the meantime wrote a review of Theo van Rysselberghe at Lodeve (horrible) and been looking again at Durer, whom I love. Working on a version of Melancholia, in between scroll sessions.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Sat 13th Oct

Poddling on... started a nude from an indifferent drawing, saw the dog immediately and then, hmm, the Durer death head - enjoying it and when it gets difficult I go and work on the scroll, which is practically unworkable its so overworked. Think I need time out of the studio - which is as well, as I'm in Nimes and its environs next week.

Thursday 11 October 2012

11th Oct 2012

 Begining to look like white birds solve everything:) messy bit here cleared up with WB - and retouched the painting below to give the WB a face, at Jims suggestion - works better, though I regret it. Preferred the innuendo of the former but it takes the weight off the puzzle of her intensity, or something.
Have decided to call the next show Birds and Beasts and only include pix with B and B's in them. Solves selection issues, unifies the theme if not the style.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

9th oct Tuesday

...knackered, doing the scroll hurts my shoulders and working at the easel hurts my legs. Probably just need to rest but its so hard to get anything actually done -
So, the scroll is getting more manageable if not without difficulties - see *making a ripley scroll* blogspot - and Ive done a little painting which I like, though its cutesy, quelle horror. Its not meant to be. Its sexual and dangerous but it looks like a girl and a duck and a dog under the moon by the sea. Its about contracts, deals, compromises. Its on board and fits a huge frame (bought from Debs of Blossom stock) which will either redeem it or render it hopelessly winsome.
-To eat, to sleep. Easier tomorrow. I'm out of practice, is all.

Monday 8 October 2012

Mondy Oct 8th 2012

twelve artists at life drawing this morning:) - A new model, Natalie, a dancer from Spain. Excellent air of solid determination and good will exuding from the group. Even the noisy sighers kept it to a minimum. Took chinese ink painting kit, stone, sticks and all which required explanations and so forth but not intrusively, BAD work though - very bad - the light touch of grace has fled from me. I have a tremor too. Dunno when that arrived or if its permanent, but my Grandma and Father had it (as well as type 2 diabetes which 2 brothers now have, ho hum)
Afternoon copying the Ripley scroll in fear and trembling. Scaled it up and then remembered that actually Im crap at that, its better to freehand it. Lots of my freehanding spent on correcting 'errors' in the scroll - size of Hermes Trig., shape of him - before realising that it had to be done as real because it compensated for hanging from a height. No other reason for the distortion. Good reason for it. Found that out anyway.

Longing to get paint onto canvas. Got a free week, almost, intend to use it though will trick it out with the Ripley copy.
One thing, after the siesta dream of a diminishing dog under the oaks in Weybridge, struck me about 'gifts' - things immovable in ones nature - and faithfulness- so, the retention, the faithfulness, of the 'real' nature of ones abilities. You can mess about but there is a basic ability. This was helpful to the process today. Diminished the fear, somewhat. I surveyed my young life as an artist to see what these gifts consisted of and in that process remembered the moment when I chose to never drink or take drugs while painting. I was 17, had been thrilled with a picture painting after smoking dope and woke up to find it was crap. Never did it again. Nowadays I dont smoke dope but I do drink alcohol and if Ive had a glass of wine for dinner I dont return to the studio. Stupid!! I calculate mistakes and here is a method of obtaining them bona fides, as it were. Wheres that bottle....

Sunday 7 October 2012

deviation avenue

Since l've been back from England what energy there is has gone here;

Enjoyed the National Gallery - spent time with Titian-