Friday, 18 September 2020

18 09 2020

 Today is  clear, straight to work.... but no, I have a head full of other things. Chiefly the Russian conference which I did on Zoom over the last two days (different from the Cybersoc zoom) (Quite different)

I'm still artist-in-[virtual-]residence. What to do? All that was of interest - apart from the looming extinction and inability to deal with it - were the reflections of  screens in eyeglasses, leading to a recursive nightmare. 

Have agreed to write a paper and enact a session for CyberSoc which also needs thought. Or rather the thoughts need editing. Mind chaotic and hardly surprising.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

17 09 2020

 Not a foot set in studio yesterday... bopping about with Max in the morning ( v nice) and zooming with Russia and WOSC in the afternoon. Not got great hopes for today. Expecting electric/gas engineer for annual check and then more zooming with Russia. Treating this as a precursor for the residency which will presumably happen next year. 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

16 09 2020

This has moved on since I took the pic; now with added birds and hey ho an emerging monster. Its life sans humans - with new species and emerging monsters, seems to be my current theme.

But today, off to the Musee Petiet with Max, shopping and lunch before another zoom conference. This is the WOSC one and therefore regardable as a part of my residency with them. Am I still committed to time based work? Who knows??? But must start the process. Whatever it is.
 

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

15 09 2020

 Managed a fair old crack yesterday and have today clear until 6.00 as of now.... but the call of the hills is strong :) Think I will take a drawing book up Mont Marot.

Sunday, 13 September 2020

14 09 2020

 Conference good, provoking as always. Have accepted some sort of role as advisor, which is faintly bizarre. Today David arrives for Chez Francois and I'm doing lunch; we have a breakfast booked with Louise and Norbert; and I have Robins paperwork to finish. Fairly confident I can get some afternoon time in and the ideas are rattling. Think I know what to do with the current mess. Despite being away from the easel, its clear that a break is a Good Thing.

Melis link:

https://dartlifestyleblog.uk/blog/dart/our-third-voice-artist-vanilla-beer


13 09 2020

 Yesterdays conference, wonderful, marred by the news that Bernard has an inoperable cancer.

Going back to the conference today, hoping to think my way through this news, somehow -

and Meli has put her interview with me on line and I've forgotten the address.



Friday, 11 September 2020

12 09 2020

Finished. That is to say, cant be doing with more and it rather frightens me (in my dream it was growling at me). Below, in process..

 This weekend will be spent at an on-line conference, but with luck this will lead to new thoughts :) Could use them.

Thursday, 10 September 2020

10 09 2020

Changed a lot since these changes... 

 Usual moan about constant interruptions - though Bob has sweetly taken on the mantle of todays housework and cooking. And gone out. Its the frustration at the end of a pic that does it, needs more concentration than I can muster. Perhaps I should get drunk occasionally, too tight.

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

09 09 2020

Monday and Tuesday spent in near despair on computer - two computers and a mobile - trying to Get Things Done. How do people live with these things, day after day? I can do an hour or two but after that - anything that could go wrong, did; to the extent it became quite funny. The final outcome then couldn't be sent because the recipient - the bank, who needed the info to open Robins account - didn't work. Bounced back, not there.  I couldn't print, of course and etc. 
Did it all eventually. Put in envelope. Delivered by hand. Could have illuminated the whole thing on vellum quicker.
And my web site is down and the hosters have been paid for it. Dave McG took up the cause, bless him, and has opened it in another something, so some of it is there.

Then the huge excitement. Farting around on line realised my Fb stuff was dull and changed a picture, below, which promptly sold, see above! Most good news. Martin P may becoming from Switzerland to collect...

They clearly have a dog who resembles the little beast of the painting but its still a sale. And it is startlingly like.
 

Sunday, 6 September 2020

07 09 2020


 Nearly done with this, thinking of calling it Chronos Thinking About Pudding - but I'd have to spend hours explaining it to people, bah. Will be able to finish today unless I fuck up. Taking Bob for bloods but after that, the day is mine.

Thursday, 3 September 2020

03 09 2020

 Pretty crap drawings at Caune Minervois, I think ( haven't looked, actually) and today's drawing at Limoux with Philippe didn't really happen but was fun and a good learning thang. Have to start buying Le Monde Diplomatique - once a month with no propaganda and great way to get better French, he says. Place in chaos, radiators and walls being addressed so dust and nothing where it should be. Who cares. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

31 08 2020


 It's possible I really am going mad... but can make changes. There are two others on the go. However today we drive to Belpeche to see Richard and Alison and tomorrow I go for 2 days to Carne-Minervois to draw with Kat. Thursday am spending the morning in the mountains with Philippe. So should get to studio on Friday with raw material if nothing else; just hope I don't loose contact with what I'm doing while I'm off. 

Saturday, 29 August 2020

30 08 2020

 Haven't photographed yesterdays work but its cracking on - managed a pretty full day, starting early and ignoring any other responsibilities. Having brother-in-law here helpful in that respect. Off to market now and will prepare lunch - maybe get some more painting in today too. 

Friday, 28 August 2020

28 08 2020

slow grind - but it'll come, palette too muddy and needs to dry off a bit. Fortunately have four other canvases prepared, bought after yesterdays hospital visit..

 sold a pic from 2003 yesterday, the butterfly/war series. Never liked them. They were soooo hard to do (I took the faces from real dead people photographed in Le Figaro.) Had to stop. Same punter is after a painting of a chalice and hasn't realised that it contains 2 portraits, my dead father, my dead brother. Told her but she doesn't seem to mind - as she didn't realise the butterflies were about war. Can I bear to part with it to someone who knew neither Stafford nor Simon? Is this what it means to let go? Let her have the butterflies cheapish but quoted full price for the chalice. She's still interested.

Thursday, 27 August 2020

27 08 2020


  Bleeding tasteful innit. Turned to the wall. Currently on landscape with Pogo jumpers. Actually about to stop - work finished on roof and in studios and today is devoted to cleaning, hurrah.

Monday, 24 August 2020

25 08 2020

Still haven't got round to photographing the elk/eagle pic which is trotting along nicely, but did dig out the chalices after photographing the relics. Do like them. Must be years old, what, 15? - as I was working in Ediths atelier. Been trying to work out instagram to put them there but god knows how to do it. Should sit on a machine and take instruction but life is short. 

Suppose that this is the new shape of life, getting photos up of the artwork. What else? 

 Phil is somewhat ill and has taken to his bed (just a bug and not that one, we think) So I have a clear day.

24 08 2020

 Not taken photos of the elk/eagle stuff yet, mostly because I flattened battery photographing the relic series of way-back-when. Thought they resonated with the saint series and I may have a point. When battery has recovered will also snap chalices... might make a sweet collection ensemble.

People working in other studio. Bob appeased with work done to get Phil into system. Time (temp) my own.


Sunday, 23 August 2020

23 08 2020

 Going steadily mad. Got in two hours yesterday and can't see when I will get any other time for the foreseeable. 

Friday, 21 August 2020

21 08 2020

 No chance of work. Have varnished the sold painting (from the war series of 2003) and been heroically working on household management, various. Only got one image in my head that I want to explore so not too tragic.

Plasterers etc in studios. Very hot, I'm sorry for them.

Had a challenging day, ha, yesterday when the brits tuned down my application to be excused jury service. I got off on appeal but was scared by it. On the big plus side, all the deeds on my fathers cottage have turned up (-long story) so we can sell it within the family. Looming dosh = possible project. 


Tuesday, 18 August 2020

18 08 2020

Open studio went OK, got some art conversations from the handful of artists that came (useful-) and no-one was nasty.

Studio currently unusable -- new skylight being fitted in bathroom and work conducted from from work-space. Currently in the study underneath and the noise of things being hurled onto the floor is terrifying, keep expecting the ceiling to collapse. 


 

Sunday, 16 August 2020

16 08 2020

 Finished! Occupied now with open studio which went well, people were nice to me - some tidying to do, then to clean brushes and await developments.

Thursday, 13 August 2020

13 08 2020

 Annette has taken delivery of the 10 paintings and likes them - sent sweet photo, above - so that's all done :) But no more commissions, not never, I know I've said it before but now I'm too old and and and. Lovely woman though. 


Miraculously - can think of no other word - was woken last night by a shooting star. I'd fallen asleep watching the lightening flashes over the mountains and woke at just after 4.00 am v suddenly, to see a star come into being, fall down the sky and disappear. Stunning. I was star-struck. So I got dressed and went out and walked around the town to discover that the new mayor has left the street lights on all night, bah,  the ambient lighting was v strong. I could have done one of two walks where I knew there were no street lights but they have travellers camped on both routes and they have dogs; I didn't fancy it.

Went back to bed and watched the dawn arrive.... knackered for most of today.

Worked on the Lady with Parrot; the other two are from the garage where the little expo is looking quite sweet. Took Andy and Louise to see it - they were nice and asked the right stuff.

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

12 08 2020



Lady and Parrot seems unphotographable - many sheens and skims of colour - I'm rather pleased with it though it may not be finished. Off to Quillan to do Ians photo to replace his lost carte vitale - who knows when the studio will be available to me, sigh.
Today there are cool breezes, hurrah and long may they last - 

Yesterday said goodbye to Bruno with a sense of tristesse;  he is friend we value highly. He comes of a political family (Jack Lang is his cousin) and is always happy to discourse on current affairs... he spoke to many of the young french in bars here and was dismayed by the number of paranoid conspiracy covid theories that are abounding. Personally l find them highly entertaining but I'm trained in esotericism (MA Exeter, since you ask) 


11 08 2020

Im updating the Lady with Parrot thang. Good fun. Channeling my inner Chris Ofili.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

09 08 2020

 Loads of fiddling to do but why bother - its where it needs to be. 

Dawning on me that this continual working in isolation is not necessarily a Good Thing. Getting tempted to open the gallery/garage on Sundays and see if that can help - seeing peoples responses. Will ponder ont.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

06 08 2020




nearly done - having trouble with the blue that used to be called electric. And with the muddy colours. 
Another joyful celebration of life, not. Sigh.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

04 08 2020

Yet another waiting to be painted out - getting desperate here. Was to go drawing with Claudine this morning but weather iffy - now Thurs. Builders due any min. Think I'II just barricade myself in.

Monday, 3 August 2020

03 08 2020

Nothing. Furthermore, workpersons arriving to fix roof of cage of stairs. So no possibility of work. Arranged to go drawing tomorrow morning but today... lalala.

Friday, 31 July 2020

Thursday, 30 July 2020

30 07 2020

A continuation, there are two like this is storage already... why??? The rest I've photographed and deleted. It's like an oven in the studio though not unpleasant with the skylights and windows open. Things fly in and out... if I had the kit I'd probably make a movie of their flight paths.

Ariels piece has been published - this link might work - he wrote it so long ago I don't recognise any of it. Though haven't read it yet... chapter v p.32 is me.



Sunday, 26 July 2020

26 07 2020

Did some walking to clear the mind and assess the plot so far.... it seems I have been focusing on a figure with  their totemic animal. On reflection, two figures would extend that - their relationship plus totem. In the course of the continual painting out, rather a nice skull had emerged. BUT I am determined to steer clear of death and its constant humm. ...
which lead me to the couple on the Etruscan tomb, the husband and wife - can't remember where I've seen it and its jumbled in my head with the work Henry Moore did on it - used that as a start. Asked Bob what my family totem was and he said Owl, which it isn't IMHO but it sat nicely on the painting. So off we go... like it so far.
Can't work today, lunchtime date. Maybe this evening.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

25 07 2020

Feeling like Penelope, painting out what I've done the day before...

Friday, 24 July 2020

24 07 2020

Taking a few steps back, roughly to where I thought I knew what I was doing even though I didn't and don't... what else to do? Tweaking, in short.
Bloody hot. Not unpleasant in the studio with windows and skylights open provided I don't move very much.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

23 07 2020

Yesterday; got to paint all late morning, early afternoon. Rest of the day spent painting everything out. I'm doodling and whilst it is fun it is far too self-indulgent, even for me. Off for a walk.

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

21 07 2020

Took yesterday off, is hot and it seemed a good idea - it was, dear mates and a swimming pool - today have various family stuff to do but with luck will be able to hit the studio before noon. Want to start next canvas.

Friday, 17 July 2020

17 07 2020

Beaux Arts a failure - dreadful show by a photographer - but the usual stock, which at least indicates that oil painting comes from a long tradition, the values of which have barely altered in ??? years.
Cheerful, despite it all! Got to spend today on household bollox, alas.

Thursday, 16 July 2020

16 07 2020

 done... Im off to Carcassonne to the beaux arts to see some real art.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

15 07 2020

Whilst labouring away on the 3 goddesses (finished, now) and the badger and the two small deer shapersons, this snuck through. Really like it for reasons I don't understand. Will keep it around to see what can be learnt...

Monday, 13 July 2020

13 07 2020

 ugh ugh and ugh - plus 2 more that arent coming together either. sigh.


Friday, 10 July 2020

10 07 2020

Last nights quiet dinner turned out to be a surprise party. Delicate with shock today -

Thursday, 9 July 2020

09 07 2020

Decent mornings work, sense of stuff  getting sorted. Got a few hours- well, one - before tonights dinner. Which Im looking forward to, its a birthday gift from a friend and possibly the last of this birthday.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

08 07 2020

Yesterday spent making and eating lunch, then recovering; the day before more of the same,ish. Cant remember. Anyway back to studio this am and messed two paintings up, thinking of junking, got one hour in hand now and then its the evening apero to prepare for. Tomorrow to Fiscale to pay bills. THEN studio :)
-lalalala

Friday, 3 July 2020

03 07 2020

First draft - much better than it looks. First of a series of Figures in a Landscape - been mapping out the next which is already littered with death-n-destruction references. Too much to hope for a pleasant happy series but WILL TRY HARDER

Thursday, 2 July 2020

02 07 2020

Thinking about dreadful landscapes has caused me to begin a series of Figures in a Landscape.... which (no.1) I'm enjoying.
This is not it.
Enjoyed doing this too... things seem to be flowing again.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

01 07 2020

This is far more amusing that the watercolours I did yesterday from Max's place - what is the point?? I can only assume they will be used a basis for something else, later- preferably not just firelighters.

Miserable, breathless, undirected, bored, ratty, bla bla blah.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

29 06 2020

will turn to the wall and hope that something changes - perhaps when the paints settle. I've used a mix of too many types, chiefly the iridescent and the mat - too many tricks - I have the morning clear and will clean up, prime, reflect.
Also plan to make a thank you card to our outgoing mayor - Georges lost, alas - and cheer up about things as the book persists in selling. It'll go two or three days with nothing and then sell two or three... weird, no idea how it works.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

27 06 2020

Finishing a painting without another on the go is always a tristesse; there is a tendency to fiddle and cling. That's what I'm doing with the goddesses, though its a piss poor painting - as ever, there is the hope that a radical move might transform it.
Getting more interested in the awful landscape - complete with golden eagle.
I suppose one never stops learning but I'm 70 any minute and can't help thinking I must have learnt something by now.











my sweet niece, not long out of art school, has sent some work cast in latex which amazed me -  naturally I love it but its the latex, which I used a decade ago, that was the real surprise. Thought I was the only artist to use it. Perhaps its normal nowadays? Or a family trait??

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

24 06 2020

Spent the morning with Phillipe, who took me to a high place to draw. There was a golden eagle below us. Later, a vulture. He reckons that landscape is interesting as  a place between two other places and that's why it's hard and worth trying over.
Got back earlier than planned and set about Espe to draw but its soo hot by noon so gave up.
Afternoon I've been trying to finish the three goddesses. It may be done but it sure lacks lustre.
Id forgotten the enervating effects of summer.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

23.(5 )06 2020

Spent the morning in Carcassonne buying - helping to buy - paint for Pete which was great, chattering about techniques and experiences. Loved it. Lunched with him and Clare and that was great - then a friend came round to buy a painting! That was the greatest. To have this encouragement at this time is huge for me. As Umah used to say; its not a work of art till its sold.
3 goddesses getting done, little by little - out tomorrow drawing with Phillipe so hopping the change will refresh my thinking.

Monday, 22 June 2020

23 06 2020

Forgot photos but the three goddesses crack on, slowly. Having a break today to get to Carcassonne with Peter for materials. Only really need primer but might be tempted by deals...

today is the funeral of old chum, collaborator and friend, Barbara Gelb. Haven't been able to get there, no flights, 14 day lockdown even if I did get to London. Think my depression about her death is the failure to pay these last respects.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

20 06 2020




...its changed again since this last - always the fear of colouring in, but actually its like making the sonnet rhyme. End still a while off. Its Rhea, Demeter and Persephone BTW

Monday, 15 June 2020

16 06 2020

 done - or at least, can't stand it any more. Too much flailing of arms.
Cleaning and preparing now... though have a zoom lunch today which will eat into time. Looking forward to it, albeit with a soupcon of apprehension - its with colleagues of my father who I'm afraid may have criticisms of my book.

Friday, 12 June 2020

13 06 2020

I have measured out my life in blister packs
 Not been in studio. Now (supposedly) packing pictures to send to client having got her photos off. Though not yet the stick. Been farting about, re-organising study, toying with the idea of stripping the archive room, etc etc. No sense of urgency, for sure. Always happens after the photographer - stocktaking leads to an awareness of the gross futility.
Would like to finish a couple that are on the go though.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

09 06 2020

Here's dear Yann doing the work - hes so obliging, I was able to explain and prioritize the clients work so we can close that chapter, and sort this years rather meager output (38 pix) He did the crown too - the I have measured out my life in blister packs - which I'm looking forward to seeing... all with him at the mo for whatever adjustments he feels necessary.
Cold, pissing with rain, tired but cheerful.