Thursday 31 December 2015

31/12/2015 Thursday

A sleepless night of the sort that occurs when a painting starts  causing trouble but worked out what to do - begin again on a different canvas. There was another in the studio of the same shape, 5ft x 2. ish so I copied the layout and left out the satyr (that goes in last) and another thing grew. Dunno what it is. Happy though. though, la, sunsets??? How difficult can they be???? Insane. Really difficult not to get slushy.

Tomorrow not bad, have to give a lunch but the afternoon and evening will be clear - ditto the weekend, minus a visitor, a dinner, an apero. Anyway next week clear. Thinking behind the images not coherent but Im assuming it'll all clock into place sooner or later.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

30.12.2015 Weds

Voila! Holiday snaps... jellyfish were one of the few live things we saw in Cerebere except for the dog and an aggressive cat that followed me when I was trying to paint these things - near the diving centre, there were some fish too but too deep to see properly. Jellyfish roll around slowly on the surface and are quite fascinating.
These are acrylic on board and jolly difficult too, can't make acrylic work - too uncoperative.

Did some watercolours of the views too but have put them away before photographing as I dont think they'll ever be useful and I can't be arsed to find them again.
Jellyfish I can see being handy.

Today on the satyr, its OK, and the tumbling girl, its moving.

All not-very-satisfactory though.

Oh I did one sensible thing; wrote to the Sheffield Galleries where I had started my visual life and offered them a pic. Sent catalogues, forgot CV. Not holding breath.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

29/12/2015 Tuesday

finished - signed and dated - terrible photo but hey. Two more on the go, one from a vision in Cerebere of a centaur on the cliff-top taking photos, the other a long slow burning idea from Goya, based on modelling by Marie...'the old fool'.
Great to be back in the studio. Have a recurring fantasy that I will clean it out and replace my hardboard flooring which is now so old and damaged that the floorboards underneath may be being compromised. Next fallow time, when I've done the work for the August show, perhaps. Three pix done, blimey, only 37 to go

Friday 18 December 2015

18.12.2015 Friday

 On course... god knows where its going, but its moving anyway. And Leda finished.
Spending the weekend alone in Toulouse - had hoped to hang about the galleries and nick some ideas but the stuff on line is all closed or doing xmas fayres or something tarty. Nevertheless, hanging out in a big town will be stimulating. Perhaps.
Then on Monday away for a week on the coast. Plan to draw.
Today clear to try and pull the faux Tobais together.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

16th dec 2015

Wow. So much time gone. Been drawing - rather well, but nowadays I'm biased. Still startled at recognising my strengths - it'll pass but a little pleasure for the moment.

Have attacked the large Tobias-type picture and am in the strange position of having resolved it, but its not finished. Have palette knifed in the changes, they are clear, the composition and general structure is sorted. It just looks bad. Hmm.

Also fretting with the allegedly finished Leda, which fails at the last hurdle and I dont know why. And started a tumbling nude and its too sugary, these pinks and blues, where have they come from??

Am sleeping in the studio so they images are engraved on my retina. Hoping that they are getting resolved there.

Saturday 28 November 2015

28th Nov 2016

Back home!
The work on the go in the studio isnt as good as I remembered alas.
But Allenna here and Claudinne coming so Im not going to get stuck in yet.

Also have a debilhitating cold. I could work, of course - but I won't. Still riding the success of the DRAWN show. The last two days were packed and effective.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

18.11.2015 Weds

 Lianes studio chair... which evoked memories of this chair at the Art Hub Gallery.
 Had lunch with lovely Liane yesterday (here she is in the studio) and very good it was too. Shes a hard worker with a lovely mind :) Her Israeli dealers have introduced the idea of producing work that even an artist can afford, specifically the creator artist oneself, as a challenge to the overtly capitalistic model of the art market. Given that I'm flogging drawings at 50 quid, this was a fine resonance.
She'd just packed up a load of work to go to Berlin for a museum show - really enjoy her direction, dealing with monuments of the past and seriously tempted to buy one of her small (cheap) pieces. If I sell anymore drawings I will.
Its been good, having the opportunity to talk with artists. The ones that work at the Art Hub are good too though they all have part time jobs to fund their studios which dilutes the quality of the work. Thats my experience anyway, perhaps its not the same for others.
Nearly, nearly, time to go home and back to work...

Sunday 15 November 2015

16.11.2015 Monday

Opening was on Thursday and went astonishingly well - good turn out .

One fear was that the  large space would have a few folk wandering about and look daft. In the event Toms band, Bull, made a huge difference; people arrived and stayed and there was a strong sense of party. Helen staffed the bar - drinking was fairly slight, I thought - Daisy did the sales. Both good ruses.
Learnt a lot.

Put all the work out at a flat rate - £50 - and people were encouraged by Daisy to put up a red spot when they bought something and to take it with them when they left, when she would wrap it.
It was a bun fight!

Since then, however, I've been staffing the place and its been dreadfully dull. A handful of friends are due to come next week but this week I've had nothing but an oasis of nice couple with their dog yesterday who bought a catalogue.

Accordingly I've had a chance to look at the work and by and large I think its good. This is a definite improvement in my self-image:)

Can't wait to get back to the studio.

Saturday 7 November 2015

07 November 2015

In the UK preparing for expo... which actually means not doing anything till Tuesday and looking at other art in the meantime. The Giacometti at the NPG was amazingly dull for so great an artist. The drawing s from Venice show at the Ashmolean pretty lacklustre.

Liked this little Degas from the collection though so Im not all critical.
At the theatre - Farinella and the King, fantastic!! - the guy I'd been chatting to in the seat next to me caught this carnation when Farinelli threw them to the audience, presented it to me and said I must put it in my next painting. Here it is as a mnemonic.
Very homesick, very frightened of my show.. 

Wednesday 21 October 2015

22 Thursday Nov 2015

On course - studio as clean as its going to be ( I tell myself that cleaning it properly when I get back is the re-entry to the work -) Just got to pack some clothes and stuff and Im ready.
Many invites sent to the PV.
Will get some wine for the band today... and off tomorrow morning.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

20/10/2015 Tuesday

Done, innit; and I've just removed the photo of the one I'd thought to finish before leaving but it ain't going to happen and it makes me squirm.
Just hope its salvagable when I return.
So; tomorrow is clean palatte and brushes, get out the last of the PV invitations, cook dinner for guests; Thursday is cleaning and packing and farewells. Off Friday morning for a month.

Saturday 17 October 2015

17 Oct 2015 Sat

Re-done foot, fiddled a bit, def stopped now. Leda nearly finished, likewise angel one.
Got off nearly all the invites - got lift to London in place for Friday (door to door over 2 days, lovely) - have to do targeted FB  invites and some small number of invites before I go. Pacing myself nicely. Stomach hurts though:)
Really want to finish the 2 remaining pix because if I loose touch with them for the month Im away they will have to be junked. Alors, back to studio.

Saturday 10 October 2015

11 10 2015 Sunday

Finished this - or at least called a halt so it'll be dry to give Rushton on his birthday next weekend. (Based on Botticellis portrait of Aquinas)
All other pix going well. Brother-in-law being very obliging and I get to work as and when... got to spend some time getting the invites out for the deptford show and doing a fb group invitation which is an interuption Im not relishing. Then its London for a month. Buggerit have to finish the Tobias/angel one before I go or I'II loose it. Also need to repaint the pig one, cant stand one of the feet.

Thursday 24 September 2015

Monday 21 September 2015


Morning painting - break to go life drawing, chap called Alain - then back to painting which is nearly finished, but not yet. Hand wrong, feet wrong, pig face wrong and anyway needs dappling. Somehow.

Alain was modelling for the first time and was ill-at-ease and I found that I was scared. He is bald with a neanderthal build, the type that you avoid on the streets of south London.
Of course, he is charming, alert and interested and a very good model. Hope to have anothergo.

I'm in Grussion plage next week so will miss the session.
Musn't moan :)

Saturday 19 September 2015

19 09 2015

Painting going really well - have three on the go, in various degrees of completion.Such a pleasure. Have suspended doubt and anxiety for the immediate.
Think the August exhibition has been a a bit of a turning point.
Though of course I should be working on long drawings and not having this much fun. On the other hand, Ounouh wants 40 by next August, maybe.

Have been slightly derailed by the local political situation, where by some mysterious fluke I am numbered as the pivot in the current difficulties here; to whit, the mayor has lost his support and must resign and hold an election unless I (specifically, because of the number I respresent on the oppositions list) jump ship and join him. Bafling. Anyway, pressure has been applied - and on my friends, to 'talk' to me - made me very uncomfortable. Saying no to anyone who comes near me for anything now.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

16 09 2015

not much to show for a few days work.... junking a lot of stuff. Have started painting on over painted canvases, its terrifying, I've forgotten how to do it. Greatly disturbed by plans, other peoples; looming visits, mechanics of life. 

Saturday 12 September 2015

12 09 2015 Sat

Even been doing housework rather than face studio... but actually that means I'm getting ideas sorted. Current issue is to get l o n g drawings done, because of the shape of the gallery - have done 8 or so of which 2 are useful. One is def interesting. The other maybe.

Was reading Gombrich in Aspects of Form (which I see was issued by the ICA in 1951, bloody hell) His essay Meditations on a Hobby Horse caused me to think on't, mostly because he makes good use of the totem but never once mentions Dada, which to me is strange. Maybe Dada never touched his shore; maybe he didnt know that the French for hobby horse is dada. Maybe it just wasn't relevent to the point he was making (it wasn't, BTW)

Anyway on thinking realised that for me the basis lies in the wheel - the sign of light - ascends through a cross - the sign of many things but chiefly the begining of interaction - and arrives at the mystical head of a unicorn. Or anything really but I like the non-existence, sense of things lost, possiblity of discovery inherent in the unicorn. And the sexual symbol of the horn, natch.

Thats what l've been doing.

The one that works, so far, is taken from old photos of a goddess shot on a portable camera in the early days and developed in the woolwich photo shop, from a collection of greek/roman/egyptain sculptures found underwater and exhibited in the Grand Palais in Paris about a decade ago.
Due to some camera glitch, the goddess has two rings of green light over her face. Nice.

Theres not enough real info in the photo so I made most of it up, ending in  a mermaids fish-tail.

Its nice.

In the meantime the book is at the printers :) Started shaping up a guest list for the show and know what to do about the invitations. Got lots of time; precisely, 2 months.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

09 09 2015

Began work, as I thought in ernest yesterday; started at 9.00 and by 11.00  ws knackered. Again in the afternoon; but gave up in favour of a brisk walk and a bath. Still drawing, trying out ideas. ONE looked promising. I ferked it.
Dreams crowding in again.
Being awake is slightly hallucinagenic.
Today off to PecheLuna for a couple of days.

Saturday 5 September 2015

05 09 2015 Sat

.....most of the installation went off yesterday, looking rather good I thought at the time but that may just be relief at getting shot of it.

Now editing the catalogue which must be ready to be signed off tomorrow.

Bob likes it - found it moving. I don't see why nor do I know if this is a Good Thing. But too late to make changes now :)

When thats done - and Bob leaves, Monday - I have to knuckle down to the drawings I have in mind.

Monday 24 August 2015

24 08 2015 Monday

 F I N I S H E D
which is to say, Im not doing anymore.

Sunday 23 August 2015

23 08 2015 Sunday

All ready to go - cover of DRAWN, penultimate page, credits. Done done done - until the designer tells me its all wrong, for whatever reason. We'll see. I'm finished for the moment.
Now to studio for the rest of the installation. Head hurts and I'm miserable - anniversary of my fathers death, 13 years, and he aint here to see what I'm doing.

Saturday 22 August 2015

22 08 2015 Sat

Things good and not-so good. Bob in distress with a tongue infection picked up in the states so while he dosen't require much nursing he requires attention, which is distracting. Sleep, antibiotics and painkillers are doing their thing and hes on the mend. But no studio work for 2 days now.
However, the Drawn book is coagulating. Tomorrow I do the last of the art work, ready to post monday morning. That'll be the cover and the penultimate page.Roger has done a terrific job. I'm excited at the thought of it, whilst praying I haven't done anything stupid. Or not-done something essential.
Still packages to be make of notebooks but there's a week or slightly more in hand for that.
And young nephew Tom has volunteered his band to play at the opening :) Have to check with the gallery that thats OK but seriously hope so -  they are staying at New Cross for the a few months looking for gigs so couldn't be better.

Monday 17 August 2015

17 aug monday 2015

I fear the boredom is showing... carrying on with this is a huge effort. On the other hand, the images for the drawings for the paintings I aint doing are getting stronger.... Bob back tomorrow, his family off Weds.; friend overnighting, nephew about; end of the month? Not too far away. Just got to keep sane till then.

Friday 14 August 2015

14th August Friday 2015

More of the same - not as bored as I was as the shape of the intsallation gets more distinct and I can afford to be enthusiastic. And, perhaps more importantly, the end is nigh. Not a lot more to do.

The great big cheerful thang though, is the book. Roger the designer has started the work, got the idea completely and it will be lovely. Now I feel freed to consider the cover.

Sunday 9 August 2015

09 08 2015 - Sunday -

 last drawing books awaiting packaging...unless I decide to use more - and iffy waterolour. Desperate to paint. Know what to do. But must finish up first.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

05 08 2015 Tues

-Paul says 5 are sold :)

I am fighting for some time to clean the studio and get to grips with the installation, which is leaving ready to be installed at the end of this month. Very small time... though some can go later, perhaps. What a mess.

No word from Roger on the book. Fretting.

Monday 3 August 2015

o3 o8 2015, Monday

All my fears - terrors, even, - apparently ill-founded.

Drove off at 5.00am on the worst day for driving in the year but got to l'Isle-sur-Sorgue ahead of 11.00 when we were expected. Greeted enthusiastically. Ounouh charm personnified; his collegues Frederick and another (forgot name) ditto.

Speedily unpacked car and sent us off to breakfast.

When we got back - noonish - the show was hung. He'd chosen 10 out of the 20-odd we took and hung tham in amazing ways in relation to the other stuff - I was knocked out by it.

I'm with a ceramisist called Pierre Sgamma, whom I loved and a woman whose work I've seen before, she weaves plastic bags and makes beautiful shapes... can't remember her name (though I think shes been in the artists a suivre) and also Ounouhs whose work  is also wonderful. He trained in France, had a residency in Cardiff, studio in Lewisham - hes younger than me but we clearly have same processes.

Frederick and  Ounouh took us to a posh lunch - reserved table - and sent us off to our hotel in Cavillon, which by a happy accident (I took what was available on the busiest holiday day of the year) turned out to be lovely, just what we wanted. Rested and realised we were too tired to go back for the evening and the next day was also difficult. So said our goodbyes by text.

The deal is fantastic - must be shome mistake.
He sells the work and takes 40%. He thinks three are already sold.
He takes his 40% and uses it to buy my work. For his collection.

I said, how do you make a living??
He said that he does internal decor for the rich.

He offered advise on developing my ideas which was insightful and useful.

Still in some species of shock.

These sculptural ones are Ouonouhs and below is the gallery