Tuesday 30 December 2014

30th Dec 2014 Tues

God I'll be glad when this year is over.
Still not working; still afraid my life is wasted.
-When my mate Kat rings, saying that Philip C. is in her gallery with two of my pictures that hes found in a dustbin.

All true. Trace everything back to an error on the part of R and A = he was supposed to take them to store with the others in the garage, didnt pack them, they got junked later. Or something. Nothing else involved honest. How do I know, I churn out so much stuff (except for the last x months) and I entrust them to other people to deal with. God know what happens.

On the one hand, delighted to find I do care. On the other, sense of self-worth as an artist trashed totally.

Monday 15 December 2014


Great morning. X was horrid about Y and so enraged me that the energy of the work was great. Unless Im much mistaken  at least 10 of this mornings drawings were damn' good.
Funny, the energy of anger. Better than the sopiness of love...

Friday 12 December 2014


Not completely idle... been embroidering dead wasps. 

Tuesday 9 December 2014

9th december, tuesday,2014

--read a phrase about an 'inner critic' and thought, hmmm, thats whats suffocating me. Constant evaluation is essential in practicing work but outside of the activity its not obligatory.
Went happily drawing yesterday - Clare modelling, shes such a pleasure - thinking these thoughts.
Then stood way way back. If I'd seen them in a show what would I have thought?
And lo! There were half a dozen that I would have been captivated by. Albeit briefly.

Now going through some old paintings with that same head. I'm at a show - know nothing about the work or the artist - its a good way to view especially as I seem to be capable of forgetting things after they're done with a ruthless thoroughness. However; when I spot a flaw - as in, Why is that (insert ....) so (insert...) then I can recall the answer, the route that led to that solution.  But I don't know if its a success. Its only inevitable.

Inner critic still sitting on my face. Sigh. At least I can sit in the studio without asthma attack for a short while now.

Sunday 30 November 2014

30th Nov 2014 sunday

Ok Im getting it. The 'This Human Clay' series in ended and ended fluently on the Leaping Men pic - no more of that then. Within that series there are animals and I will seek them out and see what I thought I was up to, then try and develop it.
Maybe. Of course they're stacked in storage and I haven't kept proper records.
When Bob is here and working in the garage, I'll amble along and try and organise the work and certainly photograph it. Its very daunting; theres a lot.Should be done anyway if Im going to open that space to the public - in May? Probably.

Didnt prepare plates but will draw using carbons in the hope that that'll be transferable.

Feeling so much more positive since finding an artist I like (Ernesto Teccani) and (more likely) since having a decent meal and a good rest.

Saturday 29 November 2014

29/11/2014 sat

Dozy and half-witted; a sign that the art-brain is returning, perhaps. Or a cold is on the way. The rain is not bad (other parts of France are flooded horribly) This is comforting rain that makes it difficult to go anywhere and means that a day spent reading in the study is a guilt-free option.

              Or continuing to clean the studio out - no, not that -

My stone, the captivating stone, is making demands and I think this morning will be passed in Ediths studio, taking prints off it. 

And perhaps I will prepare some plates for etching. Been meaning to draw direct to the plate from life and might as well though theres a certain amount of arrogance involved in thinking that I can do an image without correction that is worthy of reproduction. On the plus side I have no acid and no idea where to get it, so the plates need never be used. Sabotage is my middle name :)

Animals and their role in our human lives beging to concern me and I note that they've been lurking in my paintings for a while. Maybe time to develop that; hey, etchings of rabbits!!!

Friday 28 November 2014

28 nov friday 2014

Isnt this wonderful??
First time for an age l've found a perfect drawing.
Its by Ernesto Treccani from 1950. Got a catalogue of his work, infuriatingly in Italian - a language in which I have a handful of words and no grammer. Each illustrated piece is a gem. He was still working in '88, I think - off to google him now.
Suspect my art-brain is seeping back. Have had some decent-ish notions.

Tuesday 25 November 2014

25th Nov 2014 Tues

 et voila! One of yesterdays - no, two. Patrice the model, walnut ink and 4B pencil the materials. On John Moores Uni writing paper (I have a stock for some reason, its nice quality china clay hot pressed)

Just finished painting the beam in the bathroom, lovely blue/green/grey, but realised I no longer have the physical strength to do this stuff. Perhaps its simply physical, the reason I'm not painting? Its very hard work after all.

Lala. A month till christmas. Must, sometime soon, get my head round the deptford expo.

Note; the walnut ink boiled without iron is growing mould...

Monday 24 November 2014

24.11.2014 monday morning

"I make one image - although 'make' is not the word, l let, perhaps, the image be 'made' emotionally in me and then apply to it what intellectual and critical forces l possess - let it breed another, let that image contradict the first, make, of the third image bred of the two together, a fourth and contradictory image, and let them all, within my imposed formal limits, conflict."

Dylan Thomas, making the most coherent sense of the process of making a painting l've ever read -though he also wrote that it looked 'preciously like nonsense'. (this from the LRB, 20th Nov., p.8) Interesting that he talks in terms of images. Stacks up well for me though 'conflict' isnt right. Contradictory and abrasive yes, but with an edge of longing. A possibility of being possesed.

Off to draw now, new model Patrice, as Ian says he'll either be good or just embarrassing.

Sunday 23 November 2014

sunday 23rd nov 2014

Less joy, more lassitude. Feel  slightly on the edge of a cold. Got taken up with a wonderful stone from the river. Getting all cooked out; cooking for the freezer now. Will paint some walls and beams soon.

Saturday 22 November 2014

22 nov sat 2014

Not painting is WONDERFUL. I'm not beset by anxieties; I'm not tortured by indecision; I'm not sleepless nor fretful.
I do hear the voices of my masters, the old painters who steer me, but I can cut that off.
The studio is getting packed up. I thought I was cleaning it but I'm packing up the not-finished, the partially concieved, the many many half-baked notions that clutter the place.

I fear I have two ideas that are simmering - one on how to use black paint, one on topological drawing - but they are so slight I can ignore them.

I'm cooking and reading and walking. These light autumn days are a pleasure.

Friday 21 November 2014

21st Nov 2014 Friday

Dont remember such a fallow time in my entire life except perhaps my 27th year.(Remember in my 28th being shocked and getting back to work.) It isn't just physical, that I'm physically not working - its mental. I'm not thinking about art, painting, installation, drawing, meaning - nothing. I'm fluttering about going oh look thats nice.
Its very pleasent. I sleep well, I waft happily about. Like something nasty has been cut out of me.
On the other hand it feels like my life has been wasted and nothing means anything - and that doesn't matter either.
---just fallow, I guess, like an over-ploughed field. Put it to clover until the spring.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

tuesday 18th Nove 2014

This from yesterday...today went to Carcassonne in search of art and the Beaux Art is closed. Though the good news is that they are showing Dufy in Feb.
Nice enough day, if thwarted. Walked through the door at home and saw immediately what was wrong with last picture. Will correct tomorrow. Like pulling a tooth, bloody pictures been on the go for an eon.

Monday 17 November 2014

17/11/2014 Monday

If it weren't for Mondays, I'd do no work at all.
Ian modelling today, all predictable but I made myself stand and use the declious walnut ink and some were ok. Realised that Im supersitious about drawing; if I dont look at what Im doing the results will be good (oh no I peeked) the last one of the day is always good as my inner critic is exhausted, etc etc. Its nonsense, all, just supersition.
Haven't looked at the reults yet (if I look to soon, they'll all be bad; oh dear me -)

Spent yesterday working with the Artistes a Suivre and what an interesting time that was. Knackering - 9.30 till 7.00pm - and salutory. High level of professional polish, catalogues, web-sites, sound tracks etc. Quality rare. Whimsicality  high.

I feel like a tinderbox waiting a spark. Embarrased that I can't self-ignite but I can't.

Thursday 13 November 2014

14/11/2014 Friday

Doing more painting in my dreams than in life. Last night asleep, decided to do a collage of paintings of favorite artists without reference to the originals (or reproductions -) Started with Rousseaus Tiger - with hysterical results. At the same time I was altering an abstract painting of Jonathons that he was doing in my studio, surruptisiously (?no spell check installed) and in a deal of fear in case he caught me or recognised what I was doing. Hmm. Concerns about plagerism abounding? Liked the Tiger though. Some art nouveau bits looking like tattoos were less successful - thats what woke me. Affronting my own good taste, sigh.

 The night before I dreampt a series of delicate drawings of Bob, showing the MS damage. They were rather good - one ear out, one eye out, half a brain missing in bits and then - a new thing - a hand that was amputated and replaced with a gold one, very lovely.

He continues to be depressed but mercifully is only writing every couple of days. Refuses to consider a return to the drug regime that made his life bearable.

Continuing to make the studio workable and today plan an edit of drawings. Hundreds lying around and I must start to take next years expo seriously.

Wednesday 12 November 2014



Don't think that this is as weird as the photo, the eye under the helmet isnt as pronounced as it looks here. Anyway, its finished. Quite like the comidic overtones, makes me smile.

 Today I'd planned to clean the studio and crack on but went to Quillan this morning and now am waiting for the chimney sweep. All this free time is shrivelling to a fortnight if Im lucky. Lala.

Monday 10 November 2014

10/11/2014 monday

Bunked off drawing this morning to shop for Chez Francois... shopping successful, got all we needed for not-too-much-money, hurrah. Then spent afternoon actually painting. Had sneaked into an expo at the MJC in the morning before the shopping trip - it was an expo from a nearby military museum of stuff from the 1914-18 european war. Was hugely drawn to a helmet with an eagle on top. Thought about it while shopping and when I was free went back with a drawing book. Many schoolchildren there and needed to kneel in front of the helmet to get the angle of it as it would sit on the head of a man, all difficult. But understood it was for the head of one of the Leaping Men. Perfectly enigmatic; a dead jewish painter leaping with a man (unknown) wearing the helmet of the ceremonial guard of the Kaiser. Visually perfect too.
First application of paint for - ??? Months - and not easy. Fear, hesitancy, inability to remember my physical skills.
Results not good.
Tomorrow they will be. I want this done for armistice day. 
Strange to be back in harness.
Knowing what to do, if not how to do it, is great.
Health very iffy. Blood pressure down to merely hypertension - Im so good and nothing seems to change levels despite pills and careful diet and no booze - so tonight had - gasp - a glass of wine with dinner. Now going to have another.First since 16th Oct - not even a month. Makes no difference and annoyingly have lost no weight at all, how is that?

Sunday 9 November 2014

sunday 9th Nov 2014

Best laid plans... decided to finish the outstanding household stuff so that I can paint with a clear horizon, as it were. Prosaically, this has amounted to doing the ironing, part-painting a beam in the bathroom, lots of cooking and washing up and an acknowlegement - yeah - that the studio is terrifying me.
Can't draw tomorrow as shopping for materials for Chez Francois.
Short of breath, tierd, dizzy. Ho hum.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

04 XI 2014

Took my walnut ink to drawing yesterday, it performed well - slightly viscous, will hold a mark, retaining its transparency. Made by many boilings, some old nails included, crushed the carapaces, filtered through funnels, coffee filter, finally paper coffee filter. Much better quality than the previous ink which was made of the green carapaces in spring.

 Bob still ever-present, plus now his (obliging) brother . Studio a forgotten land.
 Getting very short tempered and trying to remember that after sunday I have two weeks alone.
                 -If the blood pressure dosen't get me first.

Thursday 30 October 2014


Trip to the mountains mixed.... the house, the man (Jean-Pierre) the region, the animals, all wonderful. Acrylics fun but crap -l have no instinct for landscape. They may look better when I shed this cold, streaming and snorting after a cold night and yesterday trapped in the back of a car all day, hateful. My friends pissed off with me. Tomorrow brother in law arrives, everything ready. Now bed and asprin, with luck this will pass quickly.
 The floors - and walls - were marble. The floor stones polished by centuries of use

 From the terrace - not great weather -

Little deer -

Salamander that lives under the entrance

some of one of the kitchens

and below, Jean-Pierre.

It will be difficult NOT to make something out of all this, especially given the alchemical imagery that abounded ('Ma grand-mere est une sorcier')

Monday 27 October 2014


Drew (Frederik) for two hours, standing up (me, not her -) using oil pastels and large cartridge paper. It was joyful and fun and my energy was strong - reminded of my student days when it was all possible, when problems have solutions.
Then thought, problems still have solutions. There are solutions. Whats this need to get the RIGHT solution? A question answered honestly is resolved. The right question is the thing really and Im very good at those...

The change has been entirely brought about by medicine which has bought my blood pressure down to merely high levels. Feel light and airy and capable. Can't remember when I last felt this well, certainly a couple of years ago if not longer. Determined to hang on to this new personna:) (Little voice whisphers; spes pathetica)

Off tomorrow with Kat and Margaret to paint in the mountains. We overnight with a friend of Kats, who feeds us, lets us use his estate to wander and paint on. There are deer. Couldn't quite work out how to approach this - fond though I am of landscape - then remembered the box of acrylics that Harry had packed for me from Simons estate. Plus I have a bunch of canvas boards bought a while ago with another project in mind, with a couple of small canvases.

Haven't used acrylics since 1969. Didnt like them, never went back to them, took all my friends' oils as they changed over. Delighted to have a new challenge so simply arrived at.


 Hokusai, who at 75 added a postscript to the first printing of his “One Hundred Views of Mount Fuji”:
“From the time that I was 6 years old I had the mania of drawing the form of objects. As I came to be 50 I had published an infinity of designs; but all that I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth being counted. It is at the age of 73 that I have somewhat begun to understand the structure of true nature, of animals and grasses, and trees and birds, and fishes and insects; consequently at 80 years of age I shall have made still more progress; at 90 I hope to have penetrated into the mystery of things; at 100 years of age I should have reached decidedly a marvelous degree, and when I shall be 110, all that I do, every point and every line, shall be instinct with life — and I ask all those who shall live as long as I do to see if I have not kept my word.”
Hokusai died in 1849 in his late 80s, by all reports still far from satisfied with his work then in progress.

Monday 20 October 2014

20th 10 2014 Monday

No work done at all - skipped this mornings drawing session to go to the doctor. My general mardiness is rooted in dangerously high blood pressure. Given the fact of my brothers death not so long ago of fundamentally the same thing, Im taking the tablets. Which make me feel marvellous, so far - though its only 12 hours since Ive taken one so theres time for developments.
Been thinking. Will have to change my life a lot if I dont want a stroke - which I don't.

Friday 17 October 2014

17th Oct Friday 2014

Yesterday a lost cause with ringing head and exhaustion - did the domestics and the necessary and went to bed thinking I might die. Frightful night. This morning decided I was ill and made the mistake of checking my bloodpressure. Its huge, danger hypertension level according to the booklet that comes with the kit. Knowing this dosent make it easeier. Gone back to bed and will wait for it all to pass. Thinking no clearer, work still terrible.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

15th Oct 2014 weds

Can usually rely on a weds., its a clear day following a studio day following drawing day- but apart from a bit of uncertain fiddly painting I've only managed to clean the studio. A bit. The bit that was vital in order to carry on.
That aside, I've phoned Bob and Hilary in England (help me not to be locked into myself) walked in the sunshine (its hot), shopped, cooked, siesta'd (from which I woke with start at someone in my dream calling, ARTIE OLDIE) and now think I will bake a cake. Certainly will cook.
Tomorrow is domestic day which is as well. I just don't know how to proceed. Hopeless. I am not enjoying this. So whats it for?

Tuesday 14 October 2014

tues 14th Oct 2014

Drawing yesterday, decided that it wasnt worth the candle and to give up. I'd got white paper and a drawing pen thing - a relic of Simon - no chance of anything other than simple mark-making. I ended up cross-hatching, for ferks sake. Miserable.
Spent time in the afternoon on Skype with Toby C., who is a wise man nowadays and helped a great deal. We have a deal in common, being self-motivated, un valued and poor. Though I think Tobes is rather famous which I think would be nice.
When I looked again at the drawings they were still crap - ! - but honest enough. Rediscover the basics, I guess, though I'd rather not bother.
Suddenly able to paint this morning though not particularly well. This series, the inherited ones, are VANITAS. Maybe find a way to incorporate skulls. Certainly got the egg-timer things, whatertheycalled, sand glasses?
Phone call from the organisers of Aa S which was flattering - and a secret so probably not for blogging in case anyone is actually looking. Cheered me up.
And an afternoon with Philippe who says the way through this tristesse is to use the objects so that they continue being a part of the world and cease to be relics. Fair point.
...Up again against the probable fact that Im just not good enough. Does anyone ever get through that, except the natural born genius?

Wednesday 8 October 2014


" I see craftsmanship not as an ability to plan campaigns but being able to jump the right way in all the unguessable emergencies of writing. "
Denise Levertov; LRB 25.sept 2014 p 35

Monday 6 October 2014

06102014 Monday

Been not-able to set up the next pix - actually set up 2 but not enough interested in them to actually start painting. So thats OK; no queues of dealers waiting to take them away.
The last few days were spent setting up, sitting or taking down the Arthe group show at Magrie. Once a year Magrie (population 7) opens its garages and stuffs them full of art. Theres a catalogue and a brass band and prizes - no judging system - pays yer money (20e), joins in. Good principle though rather alarmingly it seems to be carte blanche for the indifferent and frilly to flaunt themselves. But then our group, despite the jumble sale appearance, was rather good. Kat won the graphics prize and rightly so.
To be honest I didnt really look at anyone elses work, was either busy or on my way out.
So this being Monday the group met this morning and there was a strong sense of solidarity. When I told Bob he said that was because we'd been away on a team building exercise [dear god.]

Ran a happy internal dialogue. Been thinking that Ive so successfully dissolved my facility that what remains is doodles, or what David Jones would call the self-expression of the young women, ahhhgh. I do hope he wouldnt hate me.
 Anyway as I was working I thought, what are the rules? And realised that the rules become evident. They are strict and unchangeable and not knowable until the mark is being made. This gave me great courage.

Then realised that any fluctuation in concentration means loosing the knowledge. So, for instance, a moments pause to think, oh thats a good bit, and the whole thing is lost. The rules are no longer clear. The link has to be re-made. The internal logic re activated.

This is why the work is patchy.

Certainly was patchy today. Maxsense was modelling and very well, mercifully he left his flutes at home. Im guessing someone had a word with him. He worked hard and kept - comparatively - still. His body is rather disproportionate, his legs seem too short for his bodys' length, which made the tempation to correct very difficult to resist.

But hey. Im taking it easy. Got too much work and no passion. It can all wait.

Wednesday 1 October 2014

1st Oct 2014

Finished! I'd like to say Im zipping through this series but the next is hard to even arrange - tierd, I think. Anyway, grant grandpapas humidor and Staffords last box of Coronas. Next is going to be complicated....

Monday 29 September 2014

29th Sept 2014

I reckon its finished but we'll see how the paint settles; was fiddling unnecessarily so have moved it to Bobs living room to dry. Its a bit too spooky. Its a bit jejunne. It may be plain daft. But it does all I want it to do.

Friday 26 September 2014

26 sept 2014

Been working well - may even have finished the death chalice one. Dreamed of turning it upside down and when I did the images of Stafford and Simon apeared either side. That did it. I didnt have a relationship with the thing, just found it fascinating, so its a good resolution. The thought of it has sustained me; to be precise, the heft of it. I like the shape and weight of it. Nice to carry. Anyway, Im in Avignon and the thought of it is sustaining (though Im v glad I dont have photos - its spell would surely loosen.)
Begun the cigars and humidor, thats shaping well.
Here in Avignon till Sunday, to meet with Dick Allen from Farnham days. Hes shown me his drawings today, dense complex surface-driven studies - most interesting - and hes given me one I particularly like, which is generous of him. Interesting talk. He is attracted by the idea of the odilisque which goes unquestioned as hes a chap. He hires a model, dresses and bejewells her, works in 4 hour stretches. Plus takes photos which he uses. Introduces her at expos.
He thinks he has to do 5,000 hours drawing to perfect his technique and he may be right, seems a lot of time at our age in life to repeat yourself. But little by little he changes and develops; don't think I could work at that pace, I search for great leaps and sulk if I dont get them.
Last night dreapt I'd drawn on the walls of the appartment we are staying in, with oil pastel, wax crayon and charcoal. Impossible to wash off or paint over. Such a relief to wake up and discover it wasnt so! Mostly it was of crowds of people, nicely done, plus one abstract section. In my dream our landlady ( a blues singer called Kat) liked the stuff but was only being polite.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

16 09 2014

This is finished. Nothing else is and the drawings (of Ryan) yesterday were dreadful. Need to do some serious thinking and soon, at that. But this projected series of nature mortes, featuring the treasure of my familys' dead, gives me comfort. The one here a pleasure and a relief to do - Staffords grandfathers pipe rack, made by him for his father, Staffords sherry decanter, the easel of his mother, given to him and thence to me on my 12th birthday. Exorcism.

Friday 12 September 2014

13 09 2014 Saturday

Bed at 9.00, wide awake at midnight :) Good time to look at the work and reassess. Its much better in the night.
Ive used too much oil, can't for the life of me think why. Will try and scrub it back with turps and hope it balances out without drying and crumbling.
Anxious to start the Chalice and Knife one today - tempted to write notes on the Decanter and Carving. Maybe.
Also today will try and get the sleep sorted into something sensible. I seem to be either always asleep or always awake; maybe attached to a virus and funny throat. Lalala.

12 092014 friday

 Ploughing on - the sense of the rythym of work is returning, soooooooo tiring! Trying (easily) not to think, just doing it.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

10 09 2014 Tuesday

Spent most of yesterday weeping in front of the crappy work. Ate a lot, slept well, today cracking on. Its still crappy though.

Monday 8 September 2014


Drawing! Kelly modelling. If I'd had time to think about it I'd have been fretful but as is now usual there is no time for anything. To the extent that when I left there was no chance to select equipment so I grabbed the cheap pads of coloured paper I'd bought for visiting kids and the Disney Princess oil pastels.
OOh I do love colour. The tyranny of line forgot. Results are very Jan Pienkovski -  dear man, Im not slagging him but appreances were all and that is what entices with colour. Slip-shod, slap-dash, ridiculous drawing but such fun...

Monday 25 August 2014

25th Aug 2014

Heres a cheerful drawing from the Camargue (- there are a few I like -) to ameliorate that Bieke has just told me that Marina Abramović told her that an artist has only one or two things to say in their lifetime - the rest is repetition.
You only have to look at the mature works of the great ones to know that this is simply not true.

Leaping Men still undergoing surgery. Mad dreams, as ever...

Friday 22 August 2014

23rd aug 2014

Got a whole day in the studio yesterday - gesso'd some canvases and attacked the Leaping Men, above. Much happier. Today to Carcassonne - the anniversary of Staffords death and I like to be alone to consider him and report back to him, in a sense. Theres a Max Ernst show on too...

Wednesday 20 August 2014


Cranking up to work... Bobs eye is recovered, he has friends arriving tomorrow that I dont feel obliged to look after.
Been fretting at the amount of treasure Ive inherited from my brother Simon and from my Papa - what does one do, I have no children nor friends to whom this stuff is meaningful to leave them to on my death. Talked to my brothers and we are in the same boat - can't sell stuff because its so special but its only special because of our associations which end with us.
Woke up this morning realising that I should paint them.
Met with Louise Beer last week of the Arts Hub gallery in Deptford - really enjoyed her (she's Clem Beer's daughter, I knew him in my printmaking days) Decided on an exhibition in September of next year. So I dont have to think about it till April, when Bob is driving to London - he can schlepp the work if it aint too bit.

Thursday 31 July 2014

31st JUly 2014

No change, no work done - I dream Im drowning and have to fight the panic of not knowing whether to float up or down when any direction is an unknown. No acknowlegement from the Hub Gallery of my images - should write and see if they got them but fear rejection.
Enervated all the time. Don't know if its better to work or not to. Both states undesirable, it seems.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

29th July 2014

Wow 20 plus days since activity:(
No wonder Im barking mad.
Drew on Monday though - very good fun except totally wiped out afterwards. Clare was the model. Work not good but the flow drove me immediately which was a relief.
Like riding a wave. Not that Ive ever ridden a wave, but.... hop on and follow the flow.

Today I hear Ive got through round one of the National Art Open expo. One the one hand this is good. On the other I now have to get the painting - currently in Greenwich - to Pullborough in a tight time frame and be prepared to collect it again if not selected.

Have texted Peter Clossick who according to the NOA website was in it two years ago - if hes in this year he lives near enough to me to help, perhaps. If not... dunno.

Been in the studio. Its horrendous. Turned everything in progress to the walls and looked at the complex and spacially aware spiderwebs.

Tuesday 8 July 2014


Bob in hospital with a detached retina, op tomorrow - one of my most haunting fears. He dosent seem too peturbed though he may not know what it all means and who will tell him? Not me, not yet.
Then a months recovery, with no movement. This may mean I get lots of time to paint - or totally none. We'll see.
Terrified for him.

Monday 7 July 2014

07 07 2014

Its a monday. Im in Esperaza. Alors; drawing. But OB is in hospital and I had to recieve the keys, open the shop and generally be him so I couldnt really focus. Haven't looked at the work - Ian modelling - and dont want to. The perenial cry of WHY is rampant again - though I have half an idea about falling men and got Ian on his back to model for that, with (I think) some sucess. But can't see me doing the painting, at least not for a while.
Cobwebs over the studio when I went there to get drawing materials.

Sunday 6 July 2014

London visit

Been in London, done no work but visited a lot of expos. Nearly a month, I see; not sure that I can do anything again, though probably will. Trashed the leaping men painting before going.

Here are two drawings by Gustav Metzger done in the 1950's which I loved - from the Tate Britain show on the nude. I met GM at a conference at Goldsmiths many years ago where he gave me a message for Kitaj. On passing it on, Kitaj looked blank and then roared with laughter; 'is that madman still alive??' he said.

GM needed a room and wanted to move into my house... if I'd seen his work may have taken him in:)

Did lots, very upset by my brothers death, finding everything hard. Now dear Ole-Bendik is in hospital with double pneumonia and heart stuff. 

In London also saw the Abramovitch at the Serpentine (boring and a tad pretentious) the Matisse cut-outs (fabulous - able to see how he applied his paint, how he cut, what changes he made), The RA Summer Show (Min has a large print in) Folk art at Tate Britian (piss poor) and stock shows everywhere. Dunno what Im looking for but expect to recognise it when I see it.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Monday 9 June 2014

9th June 2014

I like the structure and I like the components but it isnt hanging together. No time no time

Thursday 5 June 2014

more from Fabre collection

 -Bad few days. Brother Simon died.  Bob and I went to Montpelier which helped - took my mind away from Simon thoughts anyway.
There became enraged with the Musee Fabre, which apart from being a poor collection contains only 3 works by women, by 2 women. A M A Z I N G.

selection from Musee de Fabre Montpelier

 Lazy womans note taking... all images here and the next page random pleasures or whims

Tuesday 27 May 2014

may 27th 2014 Tuesday

On Kitaj, met on June 11th 1963 by Francis Partridge - ; really angered me and made me distrust anything the woman said about anyone.
   '... his closely furred face, so reminiscent of Van Gogh, crunched up with badger-like rebarbativeness and aggression. He is not a all a stupid man, however, and interesting though not entirely likeable.'
                    p.171. Frances Partridge, Hanging on: Diaries 1960 - 1963. Phoenix, London. 1998

So when one of the men in my painting became identifiable as Kitaj, I left him there. The other unknown, so far. After much shilly-shallying have painted in a trampoline and a view of Ljubljana. Don't know if either will remain. Don't know, don't know, anything... tomorrow off to go to Perpignon to seek art  with Margaret.

Yesterdays drawing so very piss poor that I'm going to have to consider if it's worth my while continuing this practice.

Saturday 24 May 2014

24th may 2014 sat

working early so falling asleep a lot - twice today, sit and fall into deep sleep - picture continues to give trouble. Painted in back ground, painted out background; perturbed that one of the figures is Kitaj. Cant get the elevated sense right. lalalala.

Thursday 22 May 2014

23rd may 2014 friday

Its a start - moved on a lot since then, just haven't snapped it yet. I think its called Au Fond du Temple and its about mens working relationships. But I may be wrong.

Wednesday 21 May 2014

22 May Thurs

Spent yesterday avoiding the studio and telling myself that the thinking needed tuning as I hung around... discovered that the linseed isn't dry, hung around some more... did some preparatory drawing, looked through old studies.... eventually before going out for the evening hit the oily canvases with charcoal which is rather good fun as it gets agreeably smeary.
Discovered, at any rate, what I do NOT want -
Today is running around, Thursday rituals of shopping, cleaning and leaning French, plus I'm out to lunch. So I have no expectations except that the image is getting resolved at some level.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

20th may 2014 tuesday

Back in the studio - at last - did a bit of watercolouring in Ljubliana which saved my life - I really cant go for long periods without this proces, dunno why or what it means. Bit of drawing in London. Yesterday back at the life group in Esperaza; Fabienne modelling, good team, all well with the world. Very depressed by the drawing though, thought I'd learnt something but it seems I just flounder about  and hope for the best and yesterday it wasnt good. Taking it slowly, calmly. Today shaped up two canvases to make a big one, intending to do the Leaping men or more probably Leaping Man, have thin-coated them with linseed on top of gesso.
Lost the morning talking on Skype to Toby C. - he was due here on Weds for a week but is too ill - very good to talk about the matters that we both enjoy, currently William Blake and matters esoteric.
Dispirited though. Sense of failure overwhelming. Looked at the videos that Richard will put on new site, of a private view in 1995 and an open studio in  96 - so much work, so seriously meant, so futile:) Wonder what I thought would happen??  Do I work in expectation of an outcome?

Thursday 8 May 2014

8th may 2014, Thursday

Been like an irritable zombie for an age - until, in fact, I bought a little pan of watercolours and some small pads of paper and knocked out some landscapes in Bled. No idea what I was doing - landscapes? Do I do landscapes? - but the hunger to act was desperate. No idea if they're any good but quite like them. And very much liked the change in me.
So today being in London I joined Peter Clossick to do some life drawing, took same kit (all I have) and it was catastrophic and Im an irritable zombie again :(
Model was called Robin; very good, an actor who understood poses. I think it was his confidence and assuredness that threw me. That and the others in Peters group who were without exception competent and in some cases bloody great. I reverted to childhood, did little messy things. Quite enjoyed it but fear I have cheated myself. On the other hand Im very tierd and not sure I have the energy for anything - breathing bad,fighting the lassitude is difficult.
Right now Im supposed to go to a gallery for a show of Peters - much like last night. Last night was at the Mall galleries and I was too shagged after getting in from Ljubliana. Think tonight is much the same though Im going to try to make the effort, silly not to. Have to get to Woolwich to buy some food so I'II see how I am when I gat there - plus there are those waiting for me in a pub -

Saturday 26 April 2014

26th April Sat 2014

The terror firmly in place - can hardly breathe. Fortunately had a singing lesson yesterday which got me through a bunch of gasping and taught me more techniques for managing. Ridiculous.
I'm not that insecure about the work, just looked at the photos and its respectable enough. The terror arises from that horror of being forced centre stage and shot at. Though no one gives a flying and anyway, who'd bother to attack?
-Aint rational though. Memory of having to take Kitaj's hand to bring him from the gallery office into the fray, he was so scared. Poor old boy. Assailed by many sad memories. 

Friday 18 April 2014

19th April 2014 Sat

Spent yesterday making posters for my show - cutting up old catalogues, sticking down images, writing in ink around the image- they look like a poor 6th form project and today I think I may not put them up. Not that it matters; Im approaching the people I want to come. I suppose the hope is that a passing stranger may find 6th form projects irresistable. Sigh.
In brief, the terror begins... The Terror is what Peter Clossick calls the solo show experience. Its not rational.
Absolutely no work being done though Im cleaning the studio in patches, going through old drawings, trying to find out where I am. 

Tuesday 8 April 2014

08 04 2014 Tuesday

Finally; a day in the studio:) Late start, early finish, long lunch and a coffee break but back in the space and generally trying to get it workable again. Half finished bits everywhere, messy.
Yesterdays drawing OK too, new model - Hugue - nice shape, not afraid to use it expressively, capable of holding a pose. Liked all my drawings. Think I really have turned a corner with drawing. Went out on Sunday to do some landscape and was pleased with those too.
Dont see them as an end in themselves though and uncertain where to take them. For the moment Im content to be relatively happy. After all those wasted years, doing the same stuff over and over, its a relief to feel Im coming to life.

Friday 4 April 2014

4th april 2014 friday

Health recovered tho asthmaticy, whatever ailed me last year is back. Gasp gasp.
Not been in studio but have hung show - well enough, thanks to R and A and the staff at the Casino who all had rather good ideas.
Have printed invites and am hand-writing them.
Have facebooked invites. Will email others and hand deliver locally.
No drawing, no painting, no fun. Sigh.

Saturday 29 March 2014

30 march sunday 2014

- been ill all week, wretched bug. Not that bad except for the first 24 hours where death seemed imminent. Now debilitated. Got up yesterday to go drawing; the team had planned a weekends pose, Friday evening, all Sat and Monday morning. Got to the space in the Centre Alibert in good time and felt fine as soon as I arrived but with an hour had to go. Pointless anyway. Model couldn't hold the pose for longer than 15 mins and didnt want to be there. I'd have been better off with a still life but simply went back to bed.

Having a deal of trouble with the Alet Casino expo. The works ready and I know where its all going, Ryan and Alecia are taking and hanging it with me so the hard bits are done. I can't get the invitations printed nor the posters.

Too wearisome to go into but its driven me into a black pit which is absurd. Yolandas notion of  'artistic sabotage' returns.

Again, ill before a show.

On the plus side, I liked the first drawing I did yesterday. Realised that my stated intent of destroying my facility has been a success. My pencil has become an independent commentator on my response to the model - like automatic drawing -  it kicks in as soon as I start, unselfconciously. Extremely pleased and feel that maybe now I have a direction to work in with this new power.  At the least I will spend more time drawing, perhaps exclude painting for the while.