Sunday 30 December 2018

30 12 2019

 Finished rabbit - Jess - and re-finished Famine. Been tweeking War.

Ark on mt Arak keeps nearly getting there...

Friday 28 December 2018

28 12 2018

Been happily pottering on - but just seen pix of the painting below and think it was rather better then. Have of course over-thought the whole damn thing. Hey ho. Clear day, apart from some shots necessary to get me into India; leaving in 10 days.

Thursday 27 December 2018

27 12 2018

Getting a surprising amount done - I'm not cooking or caring, merely have to stop and change and go out. Christmas as it should be.
Today is another matter, alas. Have to clean behind bookcases after the recent soaking. Damp and mould not good. But that'll give the pic time to dry and bit and tomorrow is fairly clear. Its all too pasty.

Monday 24 December 2018

24 12 2018

Been poddling doggedly on, between times... currently on the landing of Noahs Ark. Using drawings from various models to fix the corpses bestrewn on mount Ararat. At the end of a session a model will invariably lie down and go to sleep so I have many drawings of collapsed people.
Trouble started when I abandoned the drawings. After the thing was laid out, as it were, I started into the painting. Its a strange one, moving from definitive designs (ie copies) to free attack. Many animals emerged, drowned. Its all rather sad, I mean  really sad; touches me far more than it did ought.

Friday 21 December 2018

21 12 2018

...roofer fixed roof, allegedly - it has stopped raining so cant verify. Moss in gutter apparently the problem. Still cleaning out moldy papers.
Or I was. Took some days off to go to Aix-en-Province and see the Chagall expo. Bloody wonderful!!

Friday 14 December 2018

14 12 2018

All nearly finished but now of course finding the chief problem; cohesion...
I've attacked each pic  individually yet the four riders must stand together.

Going to clean brushes, studio, palette and have a rest.

* Server rejected the cropped version of Famine. Is there an algorithm that spots symbols?

Studio roof continues to leak, roofer continues to not come to fix it - its raining, after all. Mould on more drawings and papers. Fearful that the water has come on down into the study and frightened to check the bookcases.

The light is dreadful, its raining and grey. Cheerful enough, for all these moans.

Tuesday 11 December 2018

12 12 2018

Not quite the possibly-finished version but near as dammit... need to see it in daylight as was painting in the dark. Under lights, obviously. Jubilant though.
Setting up a problem and resolving it seems to be my raison d'etre.
Now for famine which so far is a disaster. Decided that to exclude humans was to dis the real horror of starvation that faces a load of the people on planet - to use a lion eating a badly drawn horse was not a decent response. On the other hand, the little scull-like faces, skinny arms, dead babies is too trite by far. (ooh just remembered - the second art prize of my life was a poster competition for Oxfam, and that's exactly what I did. Won a box of watercolours.)
Worked up some symbols, which I regard as self-eating.
One maze-like thing with no way out, one ouraborous, one erm other. Which I cant describe. Will insert when the painting is nearer that point.
Hard... where does illustration end and painting begin? When you are not in charge. When the dynamic of the system has overridden all other concerns. Haas to be done, in short.

11 12 2018


nearly finished....
finished -

and finished
Hurrah. Flogging a dead horse with Famine, its hhard - and I think death may be done. Wonderful having all this time :)

Wednesday 5 December 2018

05 12 2018

They are all coming along, indeed Death might be nearly finished. Took the trouble, finally, to check the Biblical references and Ive got the symbolism all mixed up, wrong colour horses, crown on the wrong rider, no scales, no swords etc etc. Fortunately I'm not a pedant.

Famine is a right mess.

Today is complicated; library day, plus locksmith calling for no 11 whose lock is non-functional plus have  to do some xmas shopping so the packages can be taken to and posted in England. Bit of distance probably a Good Thing.

Friday 30 November 2018

1 12 2018

I'm rather shocked that my avowed intentions - to celebrate my working methods rather than be embarrassed by them (something like that, its the mission statement at the top of the blog) is reeeely hard. I'm embarrassed. So the two paintings reproduced are very smal. They have grown since I took these photos so not as bad as they look - and also, here's a good bit of water damaged paper, the air must be full of fungus spores as they dry. Lets not go there either. A full day ahead :)

Thursday 29 November 2018

29 11 2018

Been at it.. Pestilence is coming good though rather scary. Can't imagine what its for - who is likely to want a painting of a naked person on a black horse with a syringe? Most threatening. Terrific painting though, IMHO.
Discovered on Monday when I went for some paper that my stash of large size paper has been soaked by water which has come through the roof (I think) Black mold and wetness. The best watercolour papers were elsewhere, phew, but the damage to the rest is awful. This stuff is expensive and I buy it when I find deals. So, washing lines across studio 2 and clothes pegs to hang them. I've made notebooks of some of them, cut down to manageable size; useful.
Mondays group was good, 13 plus artists, Geraldine modeling. No great shakes for me but general maintenance - Tuesday was in Carcassonne dealing with the Carte de Sejour, after which went to the emergency hospital to see TWM who was whipped in after a routine visit. Hes very sanguine. He may have 8 months of life left and says thats enough. Bizarrely, really enjoyed my visit. He talked a lot about his life and we sang songs. Weds and today in studio (ducking under washing line)

Thursday 22 November 2018

22 11 2018

Didnt wake up till 8am, with a clear idea in my head of what was going wrong. At work at 9.30 and managed to cause chaos, bashing away at Pestilence which had previously been rather good,sigh,  but establishing War, which though odd will do. As a base anyway.
Broke for coffee and returned, possibly a mistake.

Wednesday 21 November 2018

21 11 2018

Up just before 6.00am, did all that had to be done and got to work before 9.00. Productive (basis of Pestilence, the 3rd of the 4 riders...) actually rather scary - and began WAR but its crap. Of course by the time its time to stop for lunch I'm exhausted, hence mistakes.

Afternoon paperwork as ever. Depressing having to stop painting. Got some nice new brushes though (Lidl's cheap-as- chips and so worth a go) - wish Id got more, so lovey to have a biddable brush, all mine are chewed by rats apparently.

All the possible paperwork is nearly done, I think there's enough to get through the exam. If not, not.

Tuesday 20 November 2018

20 11 2018

Fairly decent mornings work. Started at 9.00 having run about doing householdy tasks and carried on to 11.00, coffee break, then back till lunch. Afternoon of course is paperwork, but THE END IS NEAR. And when it comes, I have several pix on the go that need concentrated attention. Some sillier than others.

Monday 19 November 2018

19 11 2018

Hiding from folk yesterday and unable to engage with anything that I may be snatched away from, tore up some remains of chinese paper that Ive carried around for years (from China town in Toronto). Glued to coloured paper and prepared for use at life drawing today.
Woke in the night thinking about it, how to approach it -  knew Marie was modelling, shes 8 months preggers and a good subject -
It was crap. Something must have been learnt but the results terrible and, AND, I have a flu-ey bone ache that HURTS.
Asprin and bed for me.Tomorrow can only be better.
Did a  load of paperwork and plan to finish it all this week, working afternoons. Fairly sure we'll be OK, the CdS won't be denied us.If it is, it'll be on a technicality that we will be able to address.The thought of going to live in post-Brexit UK - ugh, no joke.

Wednesday 14 November 2018

14 11 2018

Only work today was moving books and old arts magazines, mostly a gift from Kitaj. I was surprised to see Art Monthly from Dec/Jan 1986 because an article by Peter Fuller  on Kitaj is headlining... sat down to read it. Turned a couple of extra pages and there was an ad about me :)
In those days its wasn't cool to show in Bexhill - I LOVED it :)
Amazing how much I've forgotten.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

13 11 2018

 Drawings from yesterday where I went through the unusual condition of being seduced by the pleasure of the marks.

Not good, of course - but how relaxing just to do it, and for pleasure.

Joachim modeling, good group, easy to manage.

Managed studio work in the afternoon and a morning today, before the shit ht the fan. (=moving bookcases, dead rabbit, household bollox)

Tomorrow Limoux but maybe time tomorrow afto? Ha, I ain't holding my breath...

..........who is in charge here???

Death on a Pale horse continues OK, started Famine as a rapacious lion .
Found unfinished pic f St Patrick that I've gone back to, also begun portrait of dead rabbit...

Saturday 10 November 2018

10 11 2018 Sat

Barely set foot in the studio BUT have started on the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse - well, death anyway. Enjoying :) Just how pale is a pale horse? Too rushed today though, still paper working for the Carte de Sejour. Had a meeting yesterday with a functionary who should have made things easier but has complicated matters by some factor. Reaching the asr caring point. But better crack on.

Friday 2 November 2018

02 11 2018 Friday

 Got this far yesterday and the drawing is from Mondays batch - not that interesting, just trying the new camera phone really. Got this morning to work in, then its back to the daily grind. These days will pass, bien sur.

Tuesday 30 October 2018

30 10 2018

Light slowly dawning. Drawing yesterday -went well, nice people there, good model;sufficiently off centred by local stuff and loss of part of a tooth to take myself by surprise. This morning in studio - like what I'm doing, recovering a dull picture (one of the 6th xtinctions. Now shes drowning in plastic)
Still plenty of paperwork to do but think the backbone dealt with.

Saturday 20 October 2018

20 10 2018 sat

Sod all happening though moved some paintings around yesterday. Had nasty flu for a couple of days following the flu jab - always do, but its better than a three week stint. Now guests here and the carte de sejour deadline creeping ever closer. Getting web-site updated.

Friday 12 October 2018

12 10 2018

Not a stroke done - been paperworking for the Carte  de Sejour application, watching the chimney sweep and attending to Jim who has been trying to heal my fractured computer.
Stuff is happening inside me though, I can feel it gestating. Unnatural sense of ability in me, as if I know what I'm doing and am sure it will be done. Not smug though. Maybe its the steroids.

Sunday 7 October 2018

08 10 2018

Probably best not to dwell of the painting prize but one thing sticks and and that was my reaction. I thought i'd bounce up and make a speech but found my desire was to be as invisible as possible. Realised that that was because I felt the audience viscerally, variously hostile or indifferent. I copped their disappointment. PLUS the other winners are friends; the drawing prize, the graphics prize, the only person I didn't know was the photography winner. That sense of, its who you know; they are a gang; its a club; its not fair.

07 10 2018

I won the painting prize at Magire :) Here I am clutching it, flowers and  ready to defend my bottle of premier bulle. Can't help thinking what luck, though I persist in liking the work. One of the judges in chatting to me told me that the work wasn't easy; it demanded more attention than most people were prepared to give.

Friday 5 October 2018

05 10 2018 Friday

Off to hang the Magrie show. I LIKE the work I'm taking though will reserve judgement till its up.

Wednesday 3 October 2018

03 10 2018

Paperwork, guests, pressure, problems... almost off my  head. No chance of studio work for the foreseeable.

Friday 28 September 2018

29 09 2018

 Random shots of Yann in studio - and studio, blanked out for the light. Nice.

28 09 2018

Spent yesterday cleaning the studio and today Yann is taking the annual photos - which it turns out he hasnt done for about three years, explaining the paucity of images on my site. Need to tart that up.

Tuesday 25 September 2018

25 09 2018

Finished!!!! Another where a laborious struggle gets accidentally and rather casually jig-sawed together.  Can see obvious flaws but am too pleased to make changes.

Friday 21 September 2018

22 09 2018

The seagulls have to go - pity as they have shaped up well. Thats another pic. Rather panicked as Yann is coming to do the photos on the 28th so anything I want done must be finished by then. Today is with D and V who are visiting, at St Ferriol - can at least pause and consider there. In general, too much racket going on, in my head and around it.

Wednesday 19 September 2018

19 09 2018

 Finished! Or at least, Im done with fiddling; its enough. Used a drawing of the pregnant Marie to shape the figure, remembering St Paul, 'It will be a time of great distress...'
Just looked it up and its Matthew, (Mat 24:22) and I cant find a mention of the woe to the pregnant women thang though the prayer that it doesn't happen in the winter or on the sabbath is there - notwithstanding, the references don't matter. Except to me and I like the tongues of fire, the buried woman, the collapsing buildings. Vraiment apocalyptic.
When I finished it, just now, I actually sang to it.

But now... this is NOT finished and full of unsolved dilemas. Back to the grindstone.

Thursday 13 September 2018

13 09 2018

All going rather well. Time, good light.... Bob's away. Will snap new paintings anon.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

11 09 2018

 Here's an unfinished painting  and a finished saint.

End-of-world pic looks rather jolly, oddly.

Mad dreams. Saw the sun spots become detached and wash the landscape with back-lit neon colours, beautiful. They were projected onto mist.
I opened the front door - it was still misty  on the doorstep were a huddle of puffins, one in a girl-child's clothes. Deary me.

Once actually awake I found one of the little parrots had laid an egg on the floor of its cage. She is ignoring it and sitting mostly in the nesting box where hopefully there are more, fertilised, about to brighten the days.

Hey ho. Back to work.

Monday 10 September 2018

10 09 2018

Did three crappy drawings in Porto but they have a bit of mileage in them. This morning's drawing was Marie modeling, very well. Shes 6 months pregnant which makes for some lovely balances in her poses -  hope she'll pose when shes more gravid. Gravider?

Sunday 2 September 2018

03 09 2018

Been crackin on,Sts Pamin and Chad done - photos anon - now cleaned palette and brushes. Off to draw today, clean parrot cages and pack, going to Debs funeral tomorrow and then to Porto for a few days.

Thursday 30 August 2018

30 08 2018

Again no photos. Again, a decent days work - two saints nearly finished.
AND got a new trick :)
=The difficulty with the saints is the research which means ploughing through hundreds of unsuitable and miserable dead people. So I asked on Fb for friends saints before 1011 and now have several suitable and ready to go.

Monday 27 August 2018

28 08 2018

Just deleted the photos of yesterdays work - no matter, nothing is finished. But had a nearly full day in the studio, allelujia. Deletion by error, BTW. lala.

Monday 20 August 2018

20 08 2018 monday

Not a chance of any work for a week - getting a house ready for the renters. Putting off the clearing and cleaning work now by doing this.

Sophie, the daughter of Therese in whose name I made this mosaic, sent this photo -

Thursday 16 August 2018

16 08 2018 Thurs

Finished - or at any rate signed and dated - the 6th xtintion pic with reclining buddha. The arm still worries but thats its function - gauche, uncomfortable. Done.
The earthquakes continue sporadically. Had a decent morning yesterday. Today is household stuff so maybe sneak some time in this afto.
Trouble with camera so no pix.

Just had another go. No pix. La la

Saturday 11 August 2018

11 08 2018

 Finished St Encratia yesterday - pretty on account of spanish girls are - and close to completion on the 6th extinction pic with reclining buddha. Its laborious as I'm doing it piecemeal like stitching a quilt. Sooner rt later there will be time to pull it together.

Tuesday 7 August 2018

07 08 2018

Nothing moved on - too hot. The studio ain't dreadful but it ain't pleasant despite the open veluxes. So I've been in the study, relatively cool, doing paperwork. Hmm.
Some of the family gone, the remainers not a great distraction. I'm hoping that everything is developing in my head.
Got a lovely idea for a long thin watercolour....  for when it's cooler.

Saturday 4 August 2018

04 08 2018 Sat

Nearly there... going to knock back the reclining buddha with red, hopefully today. Family all out playing, mostly.
The gold leaf on which the figure reclines is in fact gold leaf,which suits my purposes perfectly. I was trying the show the solid gold-ness of the statue - and indeed that it was a statue - this is a short-hand solution. Also the gold leaf was a present from my papa who didn't use it in his work. He bought it as a response to the gold leaf I used years ago given to me by an artist friend who entered Berlin after the war and, er, found it. I'd used all that up (fantastic quality) and so Stafford gave me his which though a Good Thing is a shadow of the war booty.

Tuesday 31 July 2018

31 07 2018

 possibly finished - lacking helicopter and some facial issues - and St Ann, possibly with toothache, def finished. Started work on a pretty saint - all I know about her was that she didn't get martyred (the attempt failed) and that she was Spanish. Why not be pretty? Young women often are.
Interviews with Ariel are finished now, no idea when the results will be published. I suppose I will be told.

Tuesday 24 July 2018

24 07 2018

reasonable couple of days.... coming to a stop for guests. Again. Different ones.
Interview with Ariel carried on yesterday, not quite sure what hes up to - hes been through my sites and publications and now knows more about me than I can remember. He wants to come back again - I should find out how many words hes aiming at before we start having a regular slot. Its a bit weird.
Oh had a major and probably final fight with TC, whom I stopped work to skype with. Rather resented that and by the time I'd listened to his Brexit racist rant for the best part of an hour - having begged him to stop - I just pulled the plug. Sad. But hes become impossible. Possibly he's ill.

Sunday 22 July 2018

22 07 2018 sunday

 End-of-the-world cracking on, and there is a new head of St Anne mother of the BVM though I don't like it yet.

Since a reclining  Buddha has cropped up, wondering if the 'armless anguish in the crucifixes might be useful.
Probably not, but I liked the photos.

-I have a collection of crucifixes that have been interfered with, either showing signs of devotion or signs of magical interference. Back in the day, a poor person would use a bit of a crucifix to mend whatever part of them, the human, was damaged - don't know how it was administered. The practice was so widespread that before people had crucifixes of their own they would use the public wayside shrines which began to deteriorate accordingly. The church passed something that made this unlawful which shows just how big a problem this was...

Thursday 19 July 2018

20 07 2018

Hoping to get into studio today as guests leave this afternoon... slightly batty with my absence though have a clear sense of direction.
On Monday, Ariel came and interviewed me there for a 'portrait' in a book of people of the Aude. OLD people of the Aude :) He is back again this monday and I really should have changed something before then.

Thursday 12 July 2018

12 07 2018 Thurs

First of the volcanic extinctions under way, looks promising. All work will halt today though and unless Im lucky for the next few... guests for a week. Longer.
I can still plot.

Friday 6 July 2018

07 07 2018

Resting on laurels; guests gone, cleaning to do before next lot. A little time possible next week. Must clean congealed palette today...
dinner last night, discovered Peter D is a Mad Martin fan. Gave me the chance to formulate whats been happening vis-a-vis the 6thxtinction - its all quite coherent, surprisingly, given the tradition of Martin and of Dantes raft, etc - the paintings I've been using as source, as it happens.
Beginning to fret now as I start on the Fire part of the series. Rolling grey dust, vivid red fire lines, corpses like pompei.

Thursday 5 July 2018

05 07 2018 thursday

 Finished these two yesterday, grumpy saint pantagathus whose history currently escapes me, and a 6th xtinction which is 90 x 90 like the others in series and gives me enormous pleasure. Dead baby just works IMHO.

Probably on sugar rush, birthday yesterday, spoilt.

Which reminds me, found this lino cut done 30 years ago - on japanese tissue which I guess is why its in good nick. Remember doing it, in helpless panic at the thought of facing 40! Ha, what a child; now looking forward to the graces of being 70.

Monday 2 July 2018

02 07 2018 Monday

To drawing of Fabienne this morning... iffy at best. Towards the end of the 2 hour session found I was about to faint and had to leave and stand on the balcony until the miasma cleared. God knows what that was about.
Yesterdays painting good, many new canvases ready and several pix nearing completion. Well, two.

Friday 29 June 2018

29 06 2018 friday

 Iffy watercolours of the lake at puivert. One is better than it looks, one worse. Hmm.