Thursday 28 February 2013

1st March Friday 2013

It was 24th Jan last year that the photographer Yann came to do the years crop (discovered this  by reading this blog; useful info as anything dated after that hasn't been photographed) This means that I'm averaging 60 paintings (approx) a year, which leads to questions of what are others painters norms? Feel pedestrian.

Did nothing yesterday except mess up Rushtons portrait. Plan to knock it about today, if the surface is OK to work on - so much oil now -  and then, hey, Ophelia and the Heron - don't know why its such work except that I don't expect to get anything out of it that I haven't already got from the initial marks, hmm -
expect I'II just be sorting pix for the photographer.

Later, can barely touch the thing. Millais  worked 'for up to 11 hours a day, six days a week, over a five-month period in 1851' and that was just on the riverbank. Really don't know if I'm lazy or if this is normal or if despair is tiptoeing up behind me; the perennial chant, whats it for, who cares, and - a new one- when I die the whole lot will be binned.

Rushton portrait finished though, perhaps.

Later still; two reasons why Ophelia is hard; one is that it frightens me, the drowning woman: and two, that the composition is dull. All the action happens between 2 vertical lines and the rest is meaningless. 

And the Rushton portrait isn't finished, I want another sitting.

Wednesday 27 February 2013

27th Feb 2013

Been idle. Idling. Pottering and playing. Cleaning a bit. Packaging the drawings and books for the next submission... trying to arrange the photographer to come and take the latest work - there are 60 new images or so since he last took it all this time last year so I'm productive if nothing else. Though some are very small.
Will be finishing JR's portrait this afternoon, hes coming to sit.

Later; sit he did though when he fell asleep it was time to quit. Worked on after he'd gone so its now a muddy mess. It'll be easy to finish Friday, I hope, as I'm dining with him and his on Fri night and would rather get shot of it.

Fiddled again with heron and Ophelia.  Will be able to paint it in one sudden burst, soon, perhaps, I hope.

Sunday 24 February 2013

Sunday 24th Deb 2013

 Its been wonderful finding those portfolios, though of course not that wonderful -:)- have been through them and chosen a short list and am feeling confident and capable - which has enabled me to complete these two aberrations, deviations, departures from whatever is my norm nowadays... the 4 egrets are spaces left white and painted around, I mean the canvas is plain (except for some mistakes) and the Mimosa Queen below and massively out of focus was a series of mistakes that I just kept.
Had a chat with Jim yesterday about the completion of a work. He says leave it the weekend and see if its done on Monday. For me that is a loss of contact with the work that would mean destroying and restarting, probably from scratch. If its out of my head without being finished, its stillborn.

Been photographing the drawing book I made of my fathers death, pretty harrowing. Seeing that great - in every sense - man being reduced to a function of the machines that carried his last human months is horrible. Im glad I did the drawings, at the time I felt there was little choice and Im glad I can look at them now. The book has been hidden for the last decade as too distressing.
-Just tried to upload a couple and lost contact with the server... best leave it that way:)

Friday 22 February 2013

22cnd feb 2013

Hardly managed a thing yesterday though think the 4 egrets is finished - might take a little damart glaze to it today - but in all essentials, done.
Have cheered up massively since Ive found the portfolios of GOOD drawings. Clearly last year I did a selection and packed the good ones away - three little portfolios, stuffed, all useful (at first sight, haven't been through them all) So the hundreds of drawings Ive been looking at are the throw away pile, phew. I was amazed that I could be so consistently bad, thought I was delusional when I remembered being better than that but, phew, I am.
Have to make selections soon.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

Feb 20th Wds

Got into the studio. Got offered a trip out and took it. Thats all.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Tuesday feb 19th 2013

Yet again I spoke too soon about my health and spent Sunday and Monday in bed. Been in studio today and managed about 20 mins of pointless dabbling. Can't focus. On  the plus side wandered into the bedroom adjacent to the studio, put on the electric blanket to read a book and fell asleep; slept like the dead for a couple of hours which has been good if disorientating. Will have to relax and allow that this is a fallow time. Try to get my energy back by stealth.
Drawing on Monday cancelled as others ill too -O-B and Aileen laid up -
Been going through drawings trying to find ones fit to submit to the drawing MA thing I'm hoping to apply for. Hundreds of them. I suppose that allowing for a minimum of one drawing a day, that's 365 a year - and I'm 62 - and though I filter and throw regularly, yes, there are hundreds if not thousands. Thing is that they are exercises, like doing scales. I keep them in case they are useful and sometimes they are though one can never tell. Very depressed to find they are nearly all rubbish.
Hey ho. Can't  do anything else so may as well stop moaning.

Saturday 16 February 2013

sat 16th feb 2013

out of focus, colour weird, but its finished. Now working on the ophelia/heron and the 4 egrets. Except Im thinking of doing housework and reading a book and answering my email and ....
cold slightly better, energy restored.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Thursday 14th Feb

---no work done as Zoey G has been here for three days. Today I'm lazing, or rather fretting. This is all about the production of a brochure to advertise my wares for the next two expos. Convinced of course that the work is without merit and finding it impossible to talk about. Been making Florentines; slabs of chocolate stuffed with raisins, nuts, seeds, honey, fruit peel. Feeling a lot better.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Sat 9th Feb 2013

Still not sure about this.... bottom right doesn't work but cant think what to do and all the fiddling has muddied the canvas. Bit I do like; whilst worrying about the scribbly bits put in more and  like the animal quality its given the kneeling figure has succeeded, surprisingly.
Interesting to make the actual subject, the calf, faint and small - the little beast is very appealing which is to the good. It must have some power after all.

Feeling the breath of Kitaj I spent last night going through his old catalogues and getting very nostalgic - poor chap, he was so sad most of the time. I remember sitting on the steps going down to the kitchen after I had varnished the floor, with the young researcher whose name escapes me - Kitaj arrived and she said, hello we are watching paint dry. He solemnly sat down on the stairs with us. I've heard of it, he said, but Ive never seen it done. This was too complicated a statement:) We sat together and looked downstairs in silence. Eventually he sighed and said: I do love you women. Then he rose and went back to the studio.

Friday 8 February 2013

Fri Feb 8th 2013

Woke up thinking, what is the point of reproducing doodles, scribbly personal stuff? Serious talk with self about the authenticity of the response to the nude, a transference between me and model leaving its trace. Which is not unintelligible.
Decided over (healthy) breakfast to change but once in the studio could see what the issues were and they weren't the nature of the marks, not all anyway. Fiddled and changed stuff. Think now its nearly done though hesitate to say so - that was quick

Will leave.

Had huge lunch. This notion of fuel is sound and I don't seem to be putting on weight. Its snowing so will leave after-lunch walk till later in the hope that it stops.

Need to get back to Heron and Ophelia but may just draw. 

Thursday 7 February 2013

7th Feb Thurs 2013

Happily hammering away, pausing for housework, visit to french friend, shopping - by dint of a 6.00 am start and a 7 pm stop, managed to cover a lot of canvas. Taking off more paint than Im putting on.

 Not asking any - many - questions, just waiting to see what'll happen.

For all this is a work-in-progress, bits are OK.

Knackered though.

Wednesday 6 February 2013

feb 6th Tues 2013

Meant to go on the afternoon bus to Limoux to buy linseed and turps and  planned to spend the morning drawing so it would be easy to leave. Filthy day; wet, windy cold. Decided not to go to Limoux and have been happily painting on the golden calf, its flowing and a pleasure. Referencing Kitaj in my head.Makes it feel possible to complete and not muddy.
In they olden days it was customary to illustrate biblical themes with studies done from life and that's what I'm doing - though the market has altered - Very very tempted to put a bar code stripe on the plinth of the calf. Resist, resist!

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Feb 5th Tuesday 2013

hot chocolate break while I try and get my thoughts into order. Stymied on the heron/ophelia painting because it already does what I want it to do as just a turpsy sketch; why go further? Except its not a painting [what is a painting, etc etc ]and I don't have enough info to develop it. The heron, for instance. I saw it, it made me gasp, I will never forget the shape of its head and bill and neck and bow but I didn't really clock the tail or wings, beyond the fact that there didn't seem to be any as it was gliding with its wings tucked in. Beautiful. So I looked it up and it seems that it was a great blue heron - the orange bill occurs briefly in the breeding season. And they don't exist in Europe, let alone in S France where I saw it, unmistakably.

The other painting I'm on is about the golden calf. Such a nice metaphor for that which is not other than material. (I'm avoiding the word spiritual here) Used it before in the painting  4 nudes, their angels and an idol which, possibly in retrospect, I see as a transference of desire. Thinking more, remembering Poussin - who was my bugbear at college - I've painted a sweet little golden calf and now I'm dotting the surround with copies of life drawings. 

Et voila? So what?

-press on and find out, I suppose.

Monday 4 February 2013

Monday Feb 4th 2013

Had a clever thought first thing. Large breakfast - banana and smoked meat and large coffee - followed by another breakfast of espresso and pastry, the large sort with creme and chocolate, in the cafe. Thought if I charged up with sugars and fats I'd maybe have some energy for the work and indeed, drawing was a doddle. Felt confident and capable and capably drew, enjoying the process and the marks I made.
Thought I wouldn't need to eat again for weeks but afterwards heard myself inviting Kat in for a boiled egg as we left the MJC. So, salad, boiled eggs, olives, frommage frais with strawberries.
Then sat down and drew the three postcards for the RCA Secret show, which had to go today to get there in time. No problem; capable, confident, neatly done. (Mothers sunglasses, fathers spectacles, my last glasses) Posted... walked to catch the twilight, downriver, lovely.
Havent set foot in the studio nor do I plan to - dinner then I think a DVD or something.
Happy to bed and deal with the new paintings tomorrow, with as little fuss as possible.
 Ferren, such a good model. Hope they're OK. Hes 83 now, seems more nimble and pliable than me. Hope theres something I can work with amongst them.

Later scanned some; still not evaluating.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Sunday 3rd Feb 2013

 Don't know whether to laugh or cry. Will turn to wall and move on.

Drawing tomorrow, rumours of a male model, possibly Ferren.

Need to get back to roots - find some solid drawing and work with it. Enough fanciful whatnot.

Friday 1 February 2013

Feb 1st Friday 2013

Not much to show for a couple of weeks intensive does have a sinister charm though and the others are shaping up as a result. Have to get a functioning camera soon, this little Fecos really isn't as bad as it looks:) It is inaccurate though - the Fecos are supposed to have every inch of flesh covered up. Though those that follow the band can wear what they like, they're just not Fecos (which is Occitan for carnivaliste.)
       Was I born pedantic??