Thursday 28 December 2017

28 12 2017

Finished, pretty much. Tweaking to do - some omissions to be rectified. Taking today off to go to the neutral space that is  Carcassonne, clear my head.
Found a pro tem title and a decent introduction, I think. Reaching the stage where I WANT to see this in print, which is perhaps a good thing. Or not, of course. Certainly want shot of it.

Saturday 23 December 2017

23 12 2017

dribbling on... quitting when it gets hard. Getting back when I can. Seems to work as a technique.
But now its xmas, nearly, and mega sociable. Then on the 2cnd Jan the building work starts in the studio and I must prepare for that. Not overjoyed.

Friday 22 December 2017

22 12 2017

cracking on, getting at least some time every day. May have something ready to frighten designer with in the new year.
In the meantime, conversation (email) with Laine who is writing a piece about notebooks. I offered my installation from the Drawn by the Light of Burning Bridges show... then had to organise my thoughts about the thinking. (Its all embedded in this blog but couldn't be arsed to read it :) Besides, its always clearer in retrospect. Or more coherent)
That done, went out to an Indian music gig and took a notebook. After the trauma of killing the lifes collection I'd vowed never to use another but ... in the event.... and god! I enjoyed it. Nothing like an instant response to a sight.

Saturday 16 December 2017

16 12 2017

silence due to the fact that I'm working!! Or have been prevented from working and lying in a corner gnashing my teeth- getting plumbing in for next building work, cleaning houses for cooking dinners, dealing with current builder, managing etc etc .
But the cartoon book looks feasible.
Its all going rather well.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

05 december 2017

Back home and no sign of culture. Went to the Modigliani at Tate Britain and loathed it. All those wonderful pix I've known closely since I was a young artist, hermetically sealed under that thick non-reflective bullet proof and person excluding glass, ugh and thrice ugh. One of the pix I'd had next to my bed at boarding school pinned to the wall - couple of portraits, the nuns wouldn't have stood for a nude -  was slightly smaller than Id expected. That's about all I gleaned from the show except in future to avoid these things and just buy the catalogue. It was the same with the Cezanne. A minor fortune to get in to see some curators idea of an artists work without the ability to actually experience it.
Better go and do some work now instead of spleen-venting. Wasps all dead.

Saturday 25 November 2017

25 11 2017

Was rather pleased at the amount of pages Ive done; ha! Dreamed I was talking them through with a prospective designer and realised all I've done wrong. Will re-do (Type written words, no crappy handwriting, silhouette images on the notes pages...)
-But academic at the moment. Taking the Toulouse bus to Victoria tonight, 23 hours ugh feel stiff thinking of it - though I can use a long rest :)
Back in a week. Awash with culture, hopefully.

Thursday 23 November 2017

23 11 2017

Have actually started work on the book, which is to say on the 'family note' insertions. Have a clearer head about the whole thing.
Wasps diminished.
Bob back from England last night and was stung...

Sunday 19 November 2017

19 11 2017

Getting used to this idleness. Phillipe came round yesterday and suggests that the wasps are something else, who knows what. That they are hatching individually and from a wooden beam is not wasp-like, he says. Further info is that solitary wasps would attack one another but this lot are rather charmingly collaborative; that's my reading of their behavoir, based on one finding a route out and going back for the others.
This is Sunday and this afternoon I clean out the parrot cages so no work will get done.Have thought of a way to make the scan-and-store trick easier though - high stool, basically. My expectations seem to be plummeting.

Saturday 18 November 2017

18 11 2017

Did one page and binned it. Remembered that last year the target was one page a day and if I overstepped, much rejoicing. Will reinstate. Got someone coming to look at the beam where the wasps are hatching from - they have colonized a whole beam, do hope the roof won't fall in.

Wednesday 15 November 2017

15 11 2017

laid low with cold. Bed for the last two days. Its annoying because though fuzzy my mind has got notions. The body refuses to participate.

Sunday 12 November 2017

12 11 2017

 I know I said I wasn't taking anything personally, but look - a series of dots on graph paper might make for interesting developments.... 
This is the little skylight used in the past to access the roof -  never been able to open it so the wasps that head there get stuck.
I think there are less beasties. I keep the big skylight open and one window and leave off the heating. Bloody long haul though.

Am established in the almost wasp-free second studio where work has recommenced on the cartoon book.

Saturday 11 November 2017

11 11 2017

The unknown wasp....handsome chap.  yesterday talked with Toby Churton on Skype, who said call the exterminator (??) and proceeded to argue about insect life in the Bible; then Philippe Serpault - who dropped in and had previously worked with bees in Nicaragua - who recommended getting a 'bomb', the toxic thing the french let off in their houses to kill all insect life before going away for a fortnight.
I quite like them.... perhaps the fact I've been wearing black trousers and an ochre jumper since I got back makes them think I'm one of  them, because (so far) I've not been stung. I see no reason to kill them all.
On the other hand, doing no work. Very nearly organised to recommence the cartoon book in studio 2, but cold (open windows studio 1). Better just knuckle down, I guess.

Friday 10 November 2017

10 11 2017 Friday

Remembered this embroidery of wasps which I liked at the time - meant to sew more - but perhaps this is acting as a wasp magnet??
Windows open (rain yesterday meant I couldn't open the sky lights) got the hoover upstairs and am preparing to sweep up the corpses. Maybe find the nest. They are still flocking, dammit. Lucky I've trained myself not to take anything personally.

Wednesday 8 November 2017

08 11 2017

In the morning left the velux open and went to Quillan market; thought that might do the trick and closed up in the face of threatened rain. But then more appeared.... there is a mighty hatching going on  somewhere inside the studio. Floor crunchy with the dead and dying. Diligent search on google suggests my best bet is to spray the popular areas with WD40 and since its such a great smell and I happen to have some, will do that tonight and see if that improves things.
The second studio has humming bird moths darting about and making their mighty racket. I can get used to that if I have to.
My fresh ideas are fading, needless to say.

Tuesday 7 November 2017

07 10 2017

Back home, phew. Asthma terrible in Liverpool (good weather, much dust, no wind, pollution) No fun. London better, some fun. I was too long away though.

Had lots of good ideas, distance always useful, expected to be painting away today.

But the studio is full of wasps. Some sort of hatching in my absence. The settle in my hair and fizz about my face. Despite cold (its cold here) opened windows and shifted a bunch but there are more and not conducive to work.
Given up for the day.

Wednesday 25 October 2017

25th oct 2017

In the course of cleaning up, have found many diversions; yesterday was framing a drawing I did on monday and it looks like a direction to me. Off today to england so will check it fresh when I get back.
Got a ticket to the Warburg, lecture on Renaissance art, meeting up with Yuri; got tickets to The Barber of Seville which I'II go to after seeing the Cezanne portraits at the NPG;thence to a (hopefully) stimulating conference.

Saturday 21 October 2017

21 10 2017 sat

Application for NOA residency rejected... one less thing to worry about.
Studio blitz coming on well. Now able to create patches with equipment for some projects I've had in mind. Will be fit to work in when I get back from the UK.
All rather cheering.

Tuesday 17 October 2017

10 10 2017 Weds

Friends for the weekend that kind-of helped with ideas for the VSM book - at least helped with what I do NOT want to do - then stuff, stuff, stuff - today will also be lost to admin and domestix . As will tomorrow. Sooner or later I'II run out of excuses. Then I'm off to England.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

11 10 2017

Drawings... did some editing yesterday and liked these three. Still cleaning. Studio gradually grumbling back to life; bit like myself.

Monday 2 October 2017

02 10 2017 monday

Drawing Joachim today.... he does not use a deodorant and had cycled in in waterproofs. What with that and the usual background noises it was a multi-sensory experience and therefore rather iffy for the drawing. Which I haven't yet looked at. Saw it veering  to the dinky and reflected that at the arts at Magrie there were many artists who'd made pretty stuff and that didn't sell either - wonder why anyone bothers doing anything.
That said, I sold the Bishops Palace painting.
Pierre (?Dont know the rest) who bought it took he to his house and showed me his collection. He'd already got one of mine :) and the rest of his stuff was brill. I was knocked out. Like discovering Prince Charming really exists and really loves you.
Also got to invitations to exhibit, one near Maisailles, one at St Columb. Will see.

Sunday 1 October 2017

01 10 2017

Being at an arts fair counts as work, right, so I'm working... feels like it. Being upright and pleasant (in french) for three days is sure an effort. Terribly dispiriting too. There are 100 artists and the work is uniformly uniform.Even so, no-one is selling; no word of a single sale. Huge event and lots of music and so forth so its very popular, lots of visitors. No collectors, no critics, no debate. There has been a prize-giving  where prizes went to the artists who can make  pastels look like a photo, whilst avoiding the vulgarity of hyper-realism. That's a real art. Packing up today and (again) let this be a lesson to me...

Thursday 28 September 2017

28 09 2017

Studio getting done, I'm rather impressed with myself.... big cupboard moved and re-stacked, cleared enough space to make visiting cards for Magrie [cut up x-rays, wrote on then in correcting fluid, nice] Got the press release done for Magrie too. Also nice. Rome show still on cards.All good really, except I'm not painting. Hanging tomorrow, show weekend. Will take kindle and make it a holiday.

Friday 22 September 2017

22 09 2017 Friday

Watercoloured by the river this morning, loved it - the calm quiet of river sitting, the pleasure of slapping paint. Results iffy but maybe will work them up.
Rome show looks like it might have legs...
and have been writing application for artist in res that has caused me to consider my practice and life. Discover that I'm reconciled to death.

Wednesday 20 September 2017

20 09 2017 Weds

If  I didn't draw on a Monday I'd do no work at all. I did draw on Monday, Joachim, only 6ish others there and very intense and pleasurable it was too. Haven't had time to look at the results.
Got a card from a friend in Rome. We're talking tomorrow about a prospective show.

Friday 15 September 2017

15 09 2017

VERY impressed with myself. Have moved all portfolios to studio 1, where they simply block a corner of stored materials. Have moved the rack across a window in studio 1. Moved all pending stuff on the cartoon book to a large chest. Next is to clear over and under table so I can decant the wall unit and move it.
First, off to the cafe (in the rain) for coffee with Claudinne.

Monday 11 September 2017

11.10.2017 monday

Monday, drawing... and really like several of todays efforts. 10-odd artists, nicely focused. Model Joachim from Belgium, rather a superior and beautiful man.
Have halved one of the drugs I take and cut out another, the rest remain and probably because I'm thinking about it I feel frisky and fit. Plus Bobs away and I have no-one to please but myself, a dog, a tortoise, a rabbit and three parrots. They take a surprising amount of time daily.
The big project that is looming is the clearing of studio 2 to build the bathroom. Which means clearing studio 1 to get stuff into. Main problem is the rack of portfolios  and indeed the portfolios. How badly do I need x large portfolios of old work? Can't actually carry that many without help or I'd plonk them all in the winter bedroom pro tem. But I can't do the stairs with them.
Suspect that old work I don't reference should get swaddled in polythene and move to garage storage. That'll be a fun day.

Saturday 9 September 2017


Sleepless night, oh the blessings of insomnia. Decided yesterday to check drawings ( needed  to sort out selection for the Magrie show) and found in the first portfolio I opened some really good work. Hurrah. Selected and mounted some. Next portfolio was mixed, and thereafter crap. The best were banal and mostly the drawing was plain bad - not experimental failures, just bad drawing. Inauthentic response to model, in some sense or other. Ouch.
Thinking about it... the best were from 2014.  Bloody awful after.
Presumably the best went from the Depftord drawing expo., kept no records but lots went.
The significant thang is the downhill of the last three years and Im wondering if this is health related. Cant remember when I started on what meds and why but maybe should check.

09 09 2017 Sat

One of those dreams... went to clear my stuff out after doing a large painting on a church wall. Hard to see for the baptismal font (new style) and general church clutter in the way, pews, screen. Wondered why I'd sited it so badly. Then I saw it; had forgotten it and was amazed. It showed the back of a mans head wearing a renaissance cap, dark blue velvet, his long black hair showing under it, with his hand in front of him. He was conducting the fair man who faces the viewer, who is singing. So beautifully painted it seemed to move, full of movement, without being photo realistic. Metallic and luster paint, lots of copper tones.
A photographer came in from the local paper to take the snap. I was so proud of this picture. I said, I'm the artist. He said that I should stand there and be included, like they do. And I understood that he hadn't even looked at the picture. That no-one had seen it or was going to. The best thing I'd done in my life. No-one would see it.

Hey ho.

Sold 4 of the old food pix yesterday, I have many left but they are the ones that haven't sold over many years so not the most appealing then. The money isn't enough to pay my femme de manage's bill.

Hey ho.

But life is good. Dabbling in studio.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

05 08 2017 Tuesday

After last weeks drawing I was avid for yesterdays' - ha! Same model, more artists (10) but it didn't come together. Crap, actually. Moved into watercolour and a nice paper (Khandi fine) which was better but still crap. May work on them today...l suppose a predictable outcome would be the death of trying, lala, but scrabbling in the darkness has limited appeal.
Off to coffee, then a clear stretch in studio.

Sunday 3 September 2017

03 09 2017

While in the south got the email to say the NOA had rejected me... hardly unexpected but embarrassed that the family have to pick up the work. Another vow never to do this again, again.

Got the pix back from Oumouh, all straightforward. Have corrected some craqulure which he liked and I didn't. Ready to be humiliated at Magrie now. Really running out of the energy necessary for this bollox.

And ha!! The one drawing I liked from Monday lay on top of a pile on a table in the second studio. Under the jasmine, which was flowering, which dotted the drawing with whatever it is that falls from the flowers. Sticky smelly stuff. Nice, but it doesn't help.

Going to knock some space off the studio to make an extra bathroom. Maybe I should turn the studios into bedrooms and let them.

Tuesday 29 August 2017

29 08 2017 Tuesday

Drew yesterday; first time I've been able to do a two-hour session for a very long time. Good model, Clare from Puivert, and only 5 other artists, all focused and serious, so it went well. Im pleased with nearly all of my results though dont know why they've gone out of focus.
Today off to stay with cousins near Avignon and tomorrow will collect pix from time for the Magrie show.
Very nearly in a position where I can start work in the studio.... nearly.

Thursday 24 August 2017

24 08 2017

Rediscovered this photo of Sams taxi outside the Tate, with me and wonderful dog Kevin in it.
No idea how old it is, but it is very old. Ian did a degree in IT at Greenwich which ran the second IT course in the country... people were waiting to see if it was a flash-in-the-pan! He made my site, big and complex, when never an artist had one. Very classy except that hardly anyone used computers and no-one bought from them. And in the fullness of time and inexplicably, the site went awol - was lost to others who presumably bought it.

Lost the dog, lost the taxi, lost the site - still have the jacket though :)

Tuesday 15 August 2017

16 08 2017 Weds

Nada... got 4 Dutch artists staying here and they are about the place doing art as I scrabble about with armfuls of ironing and washing. Today another 2 arrive for chez Francois. Its far better  to be a rentier than an artist in terms of dosh but its pretty boring. Trying to resolve a couple of pictures in my sleep.
Bob away for a week from tomorrow which lightens the domestic load; maybe, perhaps, I'II do some work. On the other hand, got a few good books on the go.

Sunday 6 August 2017

06082017 Sunday

Yesterday in studio !! Fighting my way through cobwebs... (really)
Nothing accomplished, just re-connecting.
Actually I did manage to pack the pic for the NOA, marvellous piece of work. Found a red box with a perspex lid that took him pretty well, leaving him looking out of the clear side. If there are marks for packing, I'm in.

Thursday 3 August 2017

03 08 2017 Thurs

Heard yesterday I've been short-listed for the NOA which is on one hand encouraging and on the other, ha, been there before... this time the brothers-in-law have agreed to deliver the pic which will save a large pile of dosh. While I continue to not hold my breath, in a nervous anticipatory sort of way.

If you are one of the two people who sometimes see these postings, will you vote for me?

There's a site with the 500 shortlisted pix and they want 'the people' to make a choice by voting. So if I get enough votes, I get exhibited despite being rejected by the judges. It's up on facebook and friends have been helpful. I've insisted on saying that its not as bad as it looks and this wasn't meant to be a joke -when I dug it out of the garage I was amazed at how much better it was than the photo, on account of the irridescent paints which really don't reproduce well...

Thursday 27 July 2017

28 -7 -2017 Friday

Saw specialist - blah blah, trouble - but in the foyer was one of Karim's pix, which I snapped (above)  Made my day. What a treasure the difficult drug addled geezer was.... far better than I remembered.
I have today at Philippes, drawing.

Sunday 23 July 2017

24 07 2017 monday

Was thinking of renaming the blog the non-work diary or the work avoidance diary or somesuch, when I finished the mosaic in the garden which has been a huge amount of work. If I'd realised what I was doing I'd never have started, ha! How often.... but the memory of Therese kept me going. 
AND I've spent a day doing a watercolour, out at La Serpent. Torture but there's no doubt I'm getting better. Hoping that if I can master the vocabulary it'll provide a way of dealing with these stupendous landscapes. 
No drawing today - have to translate at the doctors for Bob. Family arrive after that. Seeing specialist on Thursday but have made a date for friday up in the hills...

Thursday 20 July 2017

21st July Friday

Mercifully, the art weekend show at Magrie has accepted me. I think I really would have quit if not. Am off to Oumaghs gallery in late August, staying over with my cousins, to collect the work which I'II show at Magrie.
Still no work done. Everytime I set out to get to the studio something else demands attention. Have booked a day-away to draw -  if the weather holds, I'II be in La Serpent and unavailable for distractions.
How has it come to this??

Saturday 15 July 2017

15 july 2017 saturday

Beginning to suspect that I've retired.

Back from London, where I saw some dear folks and did little else - saw La Traviata and Sibelius' 5th enacted - Grayson Perry at the Serpentine. Had to take a taxi there as I so can't walk. Terrifying, never felt so vulnerable.

The possible show in the crypt now looks a probable not-happening; the unveiling at the atheneum wont occur before November; I sniffed vaguely around for a show but my energy so low I really can't be arsed.

Currently, slowly, finishing the mosaic in the garden. Nearly there.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

28 06 2017 Weds

 Been messing about in the studio. Cant find how to crop the pix but I daresay they aint finished. Had previously thought the Joseph and brothers ws done but wanted to alter the inexplicable cat.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

27th june 2017 tues

Nearly made a days studio work but it's close to  6pm and still not there. Why not?
Well, firstly had to hit the phone and the computer to fix appointments and flight to London.
Look up insurance info for the lawyer who has decided to sue, finally.
Then it was 10 am and time to do a major shop - since I'm now going away Monday it seemed a good idea to get it done (=for Bob)
Then it was 12.00 and time to have coffee with Kat, Gert and Eliz before lunch with Bob. Then siesta.
After which Bob needed a hand with bits, I had to sew his jeans and my shorts, clean parrot cage, wash dog.
Now I'm going to  prepare dinner and maybe have a bath.
How the days zip past :)
Tomorrow allegedly clear.

Thursday 22 June 2017

23rd June Friday 2017

Dreaming about painting, does that count as work? If so, it was bad. I was forced to work in acrylic, nasty thin canvas, too flobby; painted a girl in a big white hat surrounded by flowers; thin paint, badly done. no structure or sense.
Actually got into the studio yesterday and could have cried if I'd had the energy. Its baking hot there, the orchids are happy but the work lying around is dreadful. Had thought to attack but ended up sleeping; too hot and I'm hurting.
Traded notes with Bernard when he was here - about  our expectations as young artists, what we were taught, what we'd believed about our legacies would be. Concluded that our lives were wasted but then there was no other way to live them...
In the meantime Peter G has had a glowing review in the Jackdaw. His trajectory is easily traced but not applicable to us, alas.

Reminded often of old Mr Otosky, who was so kind to me. Russian refugee way back when; still painting in Hampstead when I knew him. He taught me varnishes, managing stock room, studio practice. This incidentally, whenever I dropped in to say Hi. He reflected on a long life in art without bitterness and  indeed ended it on a note of triumph when he won one of the competitions with a surprising watercolour and plaster (on large paper) of the trojan horse. Rather confused the issue because after his death his son Geoff Orson thought he should be able to sell the studio full of work - something the artist had been unable to do. I put him in touch with some likely galleries but nothing came of it ( and this was in the day when galleries sold art to the public) Otosky was a colleague of Mark Gertler and that lot - no track record though.
Wonder what happened to all that work. I lost touch with the family.

Tuesday 20 June 2017

21 06 2017

Given up all pretense of work. Bar the odd conversation about art.

Wednesday 7 June 2017

08062017 Thursday

Yesterday , en plien air - watercolours, large and wet - St Ferriol, where friends have a large garden with stupendous views. I am getting better... I wouldn't exhibit them nor indeed show them to anyone, but I do feel more in charge of the material. Or its becoming more collaborative.

Off tonight by bus to Spain, Valladolid, where the cartoon book is to be examined. Nervous and excited, it'll be fun to see the 16 cyberneticians who are coming and see if the few ideas I have about direction are acceptable.

Tuesday 6 June 2017

06 06 2017

Managed to get some drawing in yesterday :) Our guest Claer was happy to come to the group session so I got to go too... good time had by all. Fabienne did a long pose which was a pleasure, almost 2 hours worth of attention and reaction. Product useless but feel slightly more connected with my craft. Though as my brother pointed out yesterday (on the phone), its more of a hobby on account of I'm not doing any work.
Abut to do the Magrie application on the basis that by September when the show starts I will have 20-odd paintings back from Avignon that I haven't seen for over a year and won't mind invigilating. Bob has volunteered to be there too. The show is now juried which may or may not mean the standard will improve.
Talking of juries I have a certificate from The Art Box folk  for being accepted by the Basel artweek artbox project. Gosh.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

30 05 2017

- and then it rained. Did some painting. Crap. sigh.

Sunday 28 May 2017

29 05 2017 Monday

Expo done and dusted for another year... delirious with joy at it being over, gave myself an indulgent day in the sun yesterday to celebrate. Bob has left for London, my coast is clear; this morning will be the mosaic duty, must finish the damn thing. Its constant reproach is wearing.
Then I have to seal up the old pix ready to go back to storage.
Two pictures await in the studio.

Saturday 27 May 2017

27 may 2017

Gallery sitting and bored stupid. Can't settle into a book as I get interrupted. Internet connection sporadic. Hate looking at the work though have cleaned and varnished some old stuff. Plus that - the varnish - keeps out a lot of voyeurs. I apologise for the smell and say its only toxic if you smell it for a long time. They scamper...

Good opening, Tom and Bull played. Enjoyed that.

Had a dream that a woman sang a song that told of her whole life DETACHED from the many strings that bind us - outside of society, culture, family and friends. It was a beautiful song, haunting and entire which of course I can't remember. But by luck today stumbled over a quote from Waugh (E) 's diary, 1926, which talks of the sense of it from another angle;

l suppose that the desire to merge one's individual destiny in forces outside oneself, which seems to me to be deeply rooted in most people and shows itself in social service and mysticism and in some manner in debauchery, it is really only a consciousness that this is already the real mechanism of life...

Oh la.

Sunday 21 May 2017

21 05 2017 sunday

Back, slightly baffled... cultural whatnot.
Saw friends, shows. Got asthma. Got expo, though details need work (crypt in Greenwich). Things like dates, PV, lighting need exploring with the boss man who also has to give his approval. Meeting in late June probably. Exhausted just thinking about it.
OFF currently occupying me. Band arriving Weds morning - beds ready for the 4 that are coming, they are leaving 2 in Paris.
Off for a walk to re-acclimatise myself.

Sunday 14 May 2017

14 05 2017

Finished, hurrah!! Not sure what it is but its done.
Started with some vague notions about the brothers' of Joseph after they'd put him in the well... the other stuff, dunno.
 Suspect this is the first painting this year.
Its awfully nice though. I'd quite like it on my wall, for a time anyway.

Off to blighty on Tuesday and have many things to do, not least hanging the show that opens pretty much when I get back. No going to think about that as there are 2 pix I could perhaps finish before leaving.

Friday 12 May 2017

12 05 2017 Friday

I suppose it is a given that nothing is easy.
Early walk this morning saw first a collared dove labouring in flight with a olive twig in its beak - nice - then a black and white cat up a high tree being attacked by a black and white magpie, feet first. Cat eventually jumped (higher than a bungalow) and hit the ground running.
Last night I took a slug of wine and spat out a live fly.
I love symbolic language!!
All day in studio today

Wednesday 10 May 2017

10 05 2017 Weds

Work ground to a halt... circumstances. Plus getting ready for the OFF> Did the photos and press release, waiting on the checking of the French translation. This afto will finish the hanging.
Got the pix from storage on Monday, unpacked, hideous dust. Barely able to function the next day. Hoping this afto will be easier.
Watercoloured yesterday on obligatory picnic with Bob, quite fun. I drew calix lilies and fish and a cat at Termes which was a lovely little place. Useless watercolour but might fit in as a study for a painting sometime.

Friday 5 May 2017

06 05 2017 Sat

Tried to take notes off this but it wont let me... not sure if I can open the article from here, probably not. But at least I can remember it's there; Mario Pasi on Hilma af Klint, esotericism and creativity. It examines - in no detail, alas - the relationship between some artists and a spiritual propensity expressed in mediumship. It's a very objective standpoint. I would prefer it began with artists themselves rather than the exhibitions by which they are validated. Nice to see the esoteric field continue to blossom into the arts though.

Hey ho off to paint... all spirits welcome :)

05 05 2017

Did some work :) Day cancelled due to iffy weather so was able to spend the entire day in the studio. Spent the morning cleaning the palette and sniffing about, then was able to trash two paintings and recommence. Quietly confident, knackered, very happy.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

03 05 2017

For a wonder, finished Rauls  drawings - barely if at all adequate - sent the essays and illustrations,to Mark though not yet the drawings to Raul . Lost my mobile, eventually found under drawings. About to embark on lawyers when friends could be that I'm much happier not painting. Ridiculously long time and I have to be implicit despite protests.
Dreams marvellous - poetic, rich images. Thanatos explicit however.

Monday 1 May 2017

02 05 2017 Tuesday

Abandoned yesterdays drawing to catch the morning sun, had a go at the mosaic - now coughing and still cold, it was v chilly. But the thing is less of a reproach now.
Raining, mercifully; time to finish the Raul project and deal with the metaforum essays. Lawyers too, perhaps.

Friday 28 April 2017

29 04 2017 Sat

EVERYONE gone - next not due till Weds (I think) Oh Airbnb man here but no problem except the day he goes, tomorrow, dear Gracie gets back and I must restore her house to order.
Got to Carca yesterday and spend an unreasonable amount of money on more mosaic tiles. Now  must wait for the weather to return to glory before approaching the wall; its freezing here. Which is quite a Good Thing since Raul is still awaiting 2 not-yet-done drawings and the lawyer needs stuff for the insurance debacle. They forged my signature, cheeky bastards! Quite reassuring, I was right that there was a double-entry-type scam going on.
Collected pic from the Toques et Clochers yesterday.
Haven't looked at it or the Monday drawings.
Today have to go to an Artistes a Suivre meeting.
So, yet again, no work done. Some work diary eh.

Monday 24 April 2017

24 04 2017

Guests still in residence. Having to internalise work, trying not to growl.
Mosaic ground to a halt due to lack of tiles - run out already. Bieke came and talked to me about it, most helpfully. On her advice have junked the studies which being on paper do not reflect the weight of the materials Im using. She also - I mean, also like me - is uneasy about the 'frame' and the colour of it but I'm still thinking... the problem I hadn't really considered is that this is garden ornamentation though naturally it has the other agenda, that of being Therese's memorial and (it turns out as I work) references my mother and other mothers in my life, Susan especially. Still has to look good.
Lala. On hold till weds when I can get to Carcassonne to buy more tesserae. Bob back then. Current guests go Friday, just in time for the next lot who are only overnighters. Yuri leaves tomorrow, alas. Airbnbers go today, another arrives tomorrow which means this afternoon is beds.  Off to draw this morning.

Saturday 22 April 2017

22 04 2017

Mosaic begun and presenting interesting problems, mostly physical. Worked on it all day yesterday (a pleasure) and woke with a back seized and unhappy. Hot shower later, think it'll do... have to really, there are at least two days worth of work there.
Maybe run out of tiles before then.
Raul wants more drawings, have sent some, need to do more. Beautiful weather scheduled to end in two days so can wait till then. They'll be on line.
Au boulot...

Monday 17 April 2017

17 04 2017 Monday

Been in Valencia ... so, the book is acceptable, needs some changes, all on course though. I'm going to get back to it after the Valladolid trip as some of the issues that have emerged about the interpretation of the VSM need thinking about. Most encouraged though. Raul very positive. Thinks its an important contribution. Also (phew) the Rome stuff went down well and it seems he will publish them so maybe I can get more residencies, that'd be good.

Now Richard and Ava have arrived and we have a hectic social life for a while so I have a lax period. Will start on the mosaic if the weather holds.

Friday 7 April 2017

08 04 2017 Saturday

Definitely on holiday.
Cleaning continues, slowly.

Struck this morning at the common theme of the last two books I read, freed from the need to read VSM related material. First was All Passion Spent, Vita Sackville-West, re-read because of the title; next was The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, which was lying around. They have a common theme - that of the fairy godfather.
In both books an elderly lady decides to cast of her masks and life on her own terms in solitude, is discovered by an unbelievably rich elderly gent with a younger side-kick, enveloped by costly gifts, offered deep reverence - and dies.
V S-W is copyrighted 1931 and  Barbery 2006. English and French, variously.
Is this a common theme in fiction that I've not noticed before?
If so (and I need to think about this) is the magician plus sprite a decent theme for the next pix?

Though have a handful on the go that need addressing first - and need to tidy the Roman project - then do the Therese tribute mosaic.

Thursday 6 April 2017

07 04 2017 Friday

Weird - and marvellously liberating - to be project-free :) Plan is to clean up properly today, dust down half finished paintings, give 'em a go...

06 04 2017 Thursday

- looks terribly slight, incomprehensible, badly drawn - but its done. The bones anyway. Fit state for Valencia in 6 days. Blimey, ahead of a deadline :)
Now to clean up the debris.

Saturday 1 April 2017

02 04 2017

-Like dragging myself through mud.
Figure I can finish in 8 or 10 more pages and maybe will just do that,  accepting that there'll have to be a lot or reworking. Want to take a complete story to Valencia in a fortnight for Rauls assessment.

Thursday 30 March 2017

30 03 2017

Set foot in the studio today to replenish the sugar bowl and clean the coffee machine.
Only the thought that the gaps in my thinking can be filled by tiresome long winded written explanations keeps me going - and defeats the object.
Tra la.
Taking tomorrow off to go to the seaside.

Monday 27 March 2017

28 03 2017 tues the event yesterday was only a 2 page day and I can't honestly say the future is looking straightforward; but for the dreams!!  Interesting that they have started. They occur usually at the end-tussle of a painting. This last was so elaborate that it woke me as I was laughing at it... pregnant twins, 2 gravid fish -  a harpist, the song, the Roman intervention - medieval symbolism, of all things.
Suppose that a new project will change me and the language in which I speak to myself.
 My happy gist; March/April and June are completion birth-dates. Since April is the Raul visit and June the Cybernetic one, this works for me. Nice to know I think I can do it :)

Sunday 26 March 2017

27 03 2017 Monday

Clear day dawning :) Except for a Skype call at 2.00.
Snapped this little meditation on motherhood as I was passing it this morning, because the shadows were so interesting. La. The flash chased those away.

Friday 24 March 2017

24 03 2017 Friday

Back - and indeed refreshed and restored. Ish.
Strange time dropping picture to Atheneum. Took the 53 to Whitehall and it was terribly slow - the weather, the traffic and the crazy man at The Elephant - started to fear that I would be late. Didn't have the number of the man nor the club. Galloped from the bus stop and was pulled up by armed men as I was charging across the changing of the guard (had the hood of my coat up, didn't hear them shouting)
At the club, bang on time, the secretary took the pic and showed me where it would hang. He wants a ceremony - an unveiling- then to give me lunch. I asked if my siblings could come and he said all the siblings I wanted could come, probably unaware of how many there are :)
So all good but I was distrait. Tres. Had a coffee and was so uneasy I lidded it and went to the train station, got an immediate train out of town. Whence I felt well and happy.

Not claiming that I'm psychic, but... well, I guess I am claiming a degree of psychoticness. Because shortly afterwards the nearby houses of parliament were attacked.
There was a nasty nastiness in the air, is all I'm saying.
Here's the entrance of the Atheneum. The portrait will hang behind those pillars,on the way to the lift, opposite a pic of TS Eliot. Couldn't be better; though there is still a committee sitting to arrange the site so nothing settled really.

Whilst in London saw the Hockney show and was sadly underwhelmed. He's great, of course, but all that emphasis on surface is tiring - I want a pretense at depth. His drawing of Kitaj is inadequate. Woefully. Take a Hockney drawing and compare and contrast with a Turner daub....

Didn't get to the Claude Cahill/Gillian Wearing show, distinguished so far by carrying the worst reviews I've ever read. Instead went to the Rubens at The Banqueting House of Whitehall which was a blast but not on account of Rubens; it has been restored 25 times (and stuck on hardboard in 1926) so its as blurred as my spectacles.                            
 Learnt a lot of new stuff.

Nicest thing I saw? This little beaut;
 Its the bottom of a gun made in 1530 by Muhammad, son of Hamza with an inscription reading (in arabic) that he was commanded to do so by Sultan Sulayman for the vanquishment of the unbeliever. Heaven knows how it ended up in Woolwich Arsenal.

Thursday 16 March 2017

16 03 2017 Thursday

Life constantly disturbed. Making small progress, but at least some.

Now today, find that on the one hand the committee  at the RA regret that... on the other hand, that arts committee at the atheneum want the portrait of Stafford.
So don't have to schlepp RA pix to London, but do have to schlepp one to the club.

Life persists in sending mixed signals.

I'm knackered. Pulled some chest muscle after buggering my back which means my breathing is worse than ever. Trouble getting into the studio. But hey, leaving for London on Saturday so doesn't matter. Back Thurs., hopefully restored, refreshed, re-energised.

Thursday 9 March 2017

09 03 2017 Thursday

Its thursday, general maintenance day... which is as well, don't think I could take another brick wall day like yesterday.
As a by-product have repainted two pix - the entry into Castelle Angello and The Nightingale - started another and cracked on with a begun one.

But its bad, the book. May have to redefine it into an arena I can understand and manage.

Monday 6 March 2017

07 03 2017 Tuesday

Yesterday was a four-page day, which inspired me to count the work done. 60 pages! The book is no where near completion and most of the 'done' pages will need re-drawing and certainly designing into a proper format - but it feels like an achievement.

Saturday 4 March 2017

05 03 2017

Gave up the unequal struggle and went to hear the explanation from the source - the Falcondale tapes. Now feel able to continue on the 'Staffie' from Chile.
Waiting for my brain to order itself, returned to an unfinished painting and beat it up. Great pleasure!

Friday 3 March 2017

04 03 2017 Sat

Bob back today and I haven't got as much done as I'd expected in his absence. But it carries on, little by little, day by day; feels slightly penitential as I near the end. Though I must think soon, where is the end? At what point does Big Data kick in? Will get to a more detailed explication of the model, set in its historical context, and take it to Raul at Easter. Then - depending on how I react to his remarks- to the June Valladolid meeting. Rien est facile.

In the meantime, have entered the NOA competition, despite my avowals. 20 quid up the spout. Cheaper than the RA at anyrate.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

01 03 2017 Weds

..and so it goes. Not surprising that it's a struggle - it's difficult and I'm writing it and drawing it. Researching and making judgements.
Did a page count yesterday and was pleased. I've forgotten what it was :(
Off to Quillan market to squander the morning.

Saturday 25 February 2017

25th Feb 2017 sat

It continues, rather well. The VSM book. Stil acres to cover and would still like to paint. Studio rather a lovely place at the moment, things moving fluently in various directions, feels like a safe place instead of a trap :)

Thursday 16 February 2017

17 02 2017

...Did 4 pages in one day! Cor. That was Tuesday. Weds went drawing in the afternoon to the deeply odd museum of automata. Bit of painting and that's the lot. My productivity is at a record low.

Saturday 11 February 2017

11 12 2017 Sat

Finished the WOSC stuff, trouble with scanner which Bob resolved; need to spend some time tiding on the machine but have had enough for the moment. Aiming to have a presentable package for Easter, when I see Raul.
Then need a deal more of the VSM book ready for Spain in June...
but getting antsy to paint and should a least allow myself that luxury, before I forget my job description :)
In the meantime, today is paperwork. After an afternoon spent in the bank, we have uncovered the fact that one insurer has been charging us twice for the same property. Need more info for the lawyer.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

08 02 2017 weds

Rather a nice time, quiet and undemanding. Managing a few hours a day of studio practice; knocking together the Sapienta stuff, mostly.
Finished the portrait yesterday. Want to varnish it before it goes at the end of May.
Girding my psychic loins in preparation for  mega drive on the VSM.

Thursday 2 February 2017

02 02 2017

...Been a while.
Back from Rome where the artist-in-res thing worked OK, I think.Was welcomed from the podium as the most estimable Vanilla B, a first for me :)  I have more stuff to pull together before handing it all over - probably at Easter, in Valencia.
Got me a publisher for the VSM book, or at least a contender. They are interested, at any rate. It has been approved by Allenna who had a few helpful facts to add - no criticism of the format or approach.
Found a gallery in the middle of Rome that may want to show me, friends of friends, but I really like the spot - like a hippy backwater in the shadow of a palace. Be happy to take the saints there though Rome is a worry, the pollution is catastrophic and most activities other than the most simple were beyond me. Will know more in March.
Got a sitting tomorrow but next week (when I'm unpacked and settled back in) is book and residency work.
Made notes to attack the next series - to add to the previous notes - I suppose one day I'II be painting again.

Thursday 12 January 2017

12 Jan 2017 Thursday

Been away.
Did some useful drawings for the next series, if I ever work again.
Wrote to an arts centre in Walton-on-Thames this morning to see if they'll take my saints and they replied :) They're fully booked till 2018 and think the space is too big. Have sent them info., dunno if its worth pursuing. Just nice to get a response from someone.
If fact was so thrilled I bought two raffle tickets to the RA summer show. Will so regret this.