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 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.