Tuesday 31 December 2013

31 dec 2013 tuesday

Finished:) Brought it downstairs to hang to dry and Leroy, the dog I'm looking after, barked at it. 
Definitely a result.

Monday 30 December 2013

30th dec monday

bad and disorientating dreams; wrote this on waking, late -

The falling blood fragmented into rubies then morphed to lumps of dull plastic, reddish-blue
He drew on the crystal of my shattered chandelier
over my shoulder, he drew in thin indigo a bicycle with wheels of webs
then a hearse with hollow wheels.

hey ho, just the state to go drawing in. Then the model (s) (Atmo and/or Ceri) were late. Aileen went to see if they were coming and they were in the shower together so she stripped off and posed till Atmo turned up. Tired, bad dreams, slightly panicky disorientation. Haven't looked at the work yet.

Got back from drawing to various domestic panics and then Ryan with the news that his father had died this morning. The wretched painting playing in my head like a developing photo.

Saturday 28 December 2013

28th dec later

grinding on - and have started next, the double canvas london pic. knackered.

sat 28 dec 2013

still looks rough but on course now, l feel -

happy that Im getting so much done despite having xmas stuff and Bob around. Hes really making an effort to  free up my time and not to interrupt.

and yesterday on a whim I bought a scratch card and won 500 euros, five winning numbers of 100 each. This represents a deal of paint:)

Friday 27 December 2013

27th dec 2013 friday

bloody awful picture despite many hours of putting on and taking off paint.
I was trying to describe and understand a time when I was turned into a lion in the face of becoming an accident of medical happenstance - falling into the hands of doctors, who told me things I didn't know about my body.
Sitting on a bus by the hospital surrounded by people in a similar, rather hyper-real, state. The autumn air very clear.

 Next I dream the renaissance lion.

Find now that I have muzzled a beast with a hand ringed with a wedding ring and a wrist tied by time.

The is no lion-ness there except perhaps the  resignation of an animal unsure what to do. But there is an intelligence that belies that.

Bloody silly picture. Its the '70's haircut that's so horrible! Very tempted to take out the bus - isn't working pictorially, makes the whole too chalky - and use the curves to make an italian faux renaissance setting.The only thing I have liked in two days of work is the shift of the shoulders. May be able to build on that.

Monday 23 December 2013

23rd Dec, Monday 2013

Xmas is intruding so not a lot of painting getting done - though some - today was drawing with something  akin to a hangover. Was concentrating on not making a noise and by accident found l was moving charcoal under my finger very softly so that the marks l was making seemed to come directly from my fingertip. Fostering this notion l tried using oil pastels - not so good as too sticky - then tried to draw entirely from touch, sticky, smooth and slidey with graphite. Actually really hard when it got self-conscious, the temptation to press and darken for the sake of it was very forceful.
For one drawing picked up a pencil and drew - it was like being let out of school, joyful in the extreme -

Hard work. Felt all the time that something just out of reach was coming to greet me.
It didn't.

Marie was modeling and before the others arrived she started talking about the difference between eroticism and sexuality. Complicated and in french - Roger arrived and introduced Bataille into the debate so Thanatos and Eros conveniently rounded off the issues though there are things there I want to pursue. Not now. Off to clean up after last nights' party.

Monday 16 December 2013

16th dec monday

Woke from a dream of the lion, very clear - knew what was wrong with the picture and have totally screwed it:) Now realise that a. I don't know what lions look like and b. my dream was the renaissance lion, the lion of the Medici and very stylized.
Off to search for pictures of lions. No of none other than the Kokoscka postcard on my wall, which has  a human face. Did he think he was a lion, I wonder?

 Later, found this on he web - its cut to loose the body, sadly. OK called it a Tigerlion.Can't find any images of lions that are useful to me, shall stick with whats in my head. Have painted in favorite cardigan (gift if Jacqui) and green top both of which I was wearing at the moment of transformation, or at the time of acknowledgement of transformation. Really need to finish soon, Bob arrives wednesday and household stuff tomorrow morning. Afternoon should do it so no pressure then...

Mornings drawing went wellish, Atmo again. I was up and working early so already tired when I got to the group though made time for a coffee first, in the cafe with OB and Aileen, also Mike. Was shocked by the sound of my voice - been alone a long time, it seemed so loud!
Tried to summon as much ignorance as I could and used charcoal to be messy and inaccurate with. HATED the scratchiness - had to keep stopping, too loud, too loud. Result mixed. Like the  medium.

Sunday 15 December 2013

sunday 15th dec

ho hum. Painted in the hospital but need to think about that. Put in wedding ring and watch. Now must clothe the beast but cant think what in.Would like a reference to a bus also - was on the bus when I realised I'd become lion. Good fun though, enjoying it except that Im working standing at the easel and looking up and have the horrific neck pains and headaches that come with that pose.Creaking like a very old ship.
Tomorrow drawing, then can crack on. Just needs attention.

15 dec 2013 sunday

With all this free time, what happens? Yesterday largely squandered on friends, the day before on housework. The housework did reveal the Russell Hoban book, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz; haven't read it for many years and  re-read as I remember enjoying it. Still did though in these days of magical realism it seems a little slight - a gentle fairy story. No, better than that - and I was pleased by the power Hoban allows drawing and sculpture and indeed map-making. No use in my lion painting however. It did get a few hours attention yesterday under artificial light. Its working out OK, today I think human hand(s) get put in. Glasses? If its a self-portrait it should have them. Then the lion becomes a parody?

Wednesday 11 December 2013


Finished! -And out of studio, where Ive started on the self-portrait as lion. Wanted to recapture - and understand - the strange sensation of being me and not-me, sitting under a mane and being animal and incorruptible that l experienced during the medical  terrors recently. It was like a shield. Clothed in protective armour.
Picture is twice life size and imposing which (so far) has stopped it looking too daft. The cowardly lion form the W of O is there but it must be brave and fearless.
Tomorrow is Thursday, household day. Friday through to Weds good  to paint.

Framed - in a proper big frame - my Greenwich expo poster. Felt outrageously egocentric.

Tuesday 10 December 2013


...taken a lot out, wrapped it in white, will attack with lustre paint when dry. Much happier about it. Maybe the trick is not to hang on - something doesn't work, trash it and find another route to completion that is um, as yet unknown.
Woke early feeling v positive and thought that all I have to go on are visual clues, the thinkie stuff is inbetween times. Mostly before and after. Set about looking closely at things. Most helpful - not that its actually helped, but its given me a great deal of pleasure:)

Later; finished painting at 7.00 when I thought the thing was finished, (but of course unsure.) Watched it for a while; the refrain, find the key playing in my head. It sat there as I ate dinner, looked at mail and fb, then  took the dog out for a late walk. Sniggering at the Freudian overtones of The Key, what key, to what?
In the dark by the river, something glinted.... yup, there it was. Can't help laughing. Will take it to the town hall tomorrow, maybe its important. Certainly to someone. And will keep looking.

Ghesso'd 2 canvases, need more coats before I can start on the Twilight painting. Can however start on the Self portrait as Lion that sustained me during the medical exams recently. Tomorrow

Monday 9 December 2013

monday 9th dec 2013

I know I do moan but after this crappy day have just eaten a whole bar of chocolate and some haribo rabbits, so comparitively cheerful:)

90% of my time is spent preparing for the 10% that fleetingly goes well. It isnt good.

Monday so the morning drawing, Atmo modelling very well. Half way through the morning was struck by the thought that I was learning nothing and that my whole agenda about humans and their characteristics was jammed stuck. Not a helpful thought. Ploughed on with increasing despair; nothing even pretty. Thought maybe I was being caught up again with appearances and took a lot of trouble to overcome the tyranny of the surface pattern. Results at best mediocre.

Only interruption this afternoon was John M coming round to take my bank details to  pay me for the 15 little pictures he bought on Sunday. Perhaps I should spend some? Then I'd have an idea what its all for - yeah, right.
So went for a walk and it was good though my difficulties unresolved. Maybe I will hit the studio after dinner. The ex- Thetis picture is reaching watershed crise time, where it'll get scrapped off and junked if it doesn't start getting better soon. Should turn it to the wall and get on with the next but I can hear it sniggering...

Sunday 8 December 2013

Dec 8th Sunday

 Slowly, slowly... changed Achilles shield into a scallop shell, tethered the cherubs to Thetis. No doubt will know why some day. And in the meantime have found a picture of mine dated 1972, i.e. over 50 years ago. Don't seem to have moved along much. Sigh.

Friday 6 December 2013

6th dec 2013 friday

Doubt and indecision are seeping back into my life... got in a days work, minus interuptions. Coffee, lunch and preparing dinner. Fiddling, is all; on the former Thetis bringing Achilles armour which has been restructured so often that it has no relationship with the original.

Have started to gesso two large canvases, want to use notes from London for a huge pic that I suspect I must just DO and hang it all, the paracticalities and the expence. Two large canvas at 40 euros each (linen) for a pic that will be at best gloomy. Unsaleable and unstorable and not even started.

And the vellum I was stretching has dried wibbly and will have to be redone.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

4th decemeber 2013 weds

 Glory be, back in the studio! Mostly trying to clear up/ find out where things are, but have repainted this pic to my final satisfaction. Last finished in April, I think. Thoroughly like it.
Having a local show after christmas so pulling things together for that. Can exhibit some of the odd ones that aren't in series but are OK - no need to be coherent for the Casino in Alet les Bains:)
Below, vellum is being damped and stretched. Its a drum skin too damaged by being hit hard to repair. The drummers bleed, Im told - the skin is magic, can't wait to see where it leads and WANT MORE (it was a gift from Margaret who has a source)