Saturday 31 July 2021

31 07 2021

 Watercolours... should be a nice pace. You wet and stretch the paper; let it dry. Use it, letting it dry where necessary. Cut off mount. Repeat. I feel this is a contemplative and soothing occupation. Which explains why I'm champing at the bit.

Anyway, this is the last of the immortality suit pictures, unless something occurs. Wonder if I can sell them to pharmaceuticals? 

Friday 30 July 2021

30 07 2021

 Sections for immortality suit...watercolours. Ponderin: worth printing onto fabric and making actual clothes??

Thursday 29 July 2021

29 07 2021

 drawing... what the faux jade immortality suit would have been made of (minus xrays) if I had got it together. Doing rather a nice large watercolour of same.

###It seems (I looked on line) that to make a jade suit would have typically taken TEN years :) Done well to junk that one then.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

28 07 2021

 Nope, no good. Cute idea far far too laborious. Even doing a doll sized one fills me with dread. That's off the agenda (and where oh where would I store it??)

Good day out in the countryside and Beaux Arts yesterday, I'm not getting something right I feel.

Caught up with the emails, nearly, and now to clean studio after abortive immortality suits... whatever next.

Its raining and cool.

Monday 26 July 2021

27 07 2021

 Immortality suit coming on but laboriously and I'm not sure its worth the effort. Cute idea, hey ho. Off to the Beaux Arts in Carcassonne today, maybe clear the mind.

26 07 2021

 Trying to make a jade immortality suit - without using jade, natch - beginning with the armature which is to be of Andree Bonnets x-rays. (Before she died she gave me her life-time collection.)

Staples no good so sticking with no-nails glue - perfect - and plaster board bandage which I like for the little motif that runs along it...

plan to make it small. Ish. I have seen one, can't remember where - America I think - and was struck by its littleness. Which is convenient.

May have to stuff the x-rays once they are in shape. Can't think with what. Will then panel with blister packs. Origamiesque, trying to get the nose in :)

Friday 23 July 2021

23 07 2021

 An agreeable day slowly pottering in big heat, nothing to show for it but clean brushes and an only slightly grubby palette. 

What with admin and stuff I cant see me back in harness until Weds so the rest of today I can finish the cleaning.

Thursday 22 July 2021

22 07 2021

 Funeral portrait of Gabrielle done - to join the other dead pets portraits in the dining room at no 11. 

Finished with Orpheus and herself.

Going through rock and associated drawings.

Time for a clear-up.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

21 07 2021

Fought to find that pink on Orpheus. Had to show the rose-red dawn and the beating blood and I was well pleased with it - until I realised all the other values had to be tweaked and then I started overworking and the dynamic of the thing was going, much like Eurydice herself indeed. So stopped.  Might re-do on another canvas. 

Bashed out the funeral portrait of our little  dead bird, but legs so wrong will have to change.

Brother-in-law arriving this morning, having driven all night... next few days will be filled. 


20 07 2021


Yesterdays biggest challenge was not letting the model see that I was drawing large rocks on top of her. Angelique is diabetic and had meds pumping into her so the rock thing could have looked a bit literal, that which she has to bear and is being crushed by...

as ever, ambivalent about it all. Hope to use her again and focus on her rather than my own directions, sigh.

Bernard is much iller , must be on chemo for the rest of his natural, and last night Loretta died after long chemo intervention. Which on the other hand caused her to live long enough to see her grand daughter. I suppose one just carries on until the time comes to join them. Choices???

Nearly done with Orpheus.

Monday 19 July 2021

19 07 2021

 Done more on this since the photo and now only want to big up light on Orpheus and darken the background of Eurydice - worried that I was channeling my inner Munch but I'm beginning to like it so don't care. 

In the meantime some ideas about developing the ancient rocks theme. Off to find model to impose them on.

Prickly eyes, breathless, lala. Might just go back to bed. Very hot here and the forecast is for hotter.

Friday 16 July 2021

16 07 2021

I'd say it's  moving along, except that through some daft oversight I've been using stand oil instead of my usual mix; so everything has to dry before I can crack on and then it'll have to have damart in the mix. sigh.

Cooking lunch and doing aperitif stuff as a result. Cooking as therapy. 


Thursday 15 July 2021

15 07 2021

 Ditched the hedgehog :) The re-death of Eurydice due to Orpheus's mis-management of the gaze is coming along nicely. 

Tuesday 13 July 2021

14 07 2021

 Lots wife finished - or abandoned, perhaps that's the same thing. It's Bastille day and a national holiday but will have time to attend to the pic with the hedgehog. 

13 07 2021

Cracking on with Lots wife - it's got better, haven't photographed the latest. Might even finish today. Pretty hideous, by and large. All the usual questions, why? For whom? With what end? But once you allow your unconscious full reign, these things happen. Accompanied by bad dreams. 

On the plus side, the composition is a marvel :)


Saturday 10 July 2021

11 07 2021

 Squared eyed from collecting covid-quotes - fascinating, depressing, eye-straining - returned to the easel. Lot and his escaping family is making progress. The picture that I'd intended to be Orpheus looking backwards has turning into someone holding a hedgehog. 

10 07 2021

 All scanned - and saved in several places in case I loose them. Decided as they are Survivors that there should be references to the Covid-19 on the back of each - eg, Boris in Jan 2020, 'the best thing would be to ignore it '- did a cursory search and there are loads of quotes on line. Just find the retrospective thang depressing and working on the computer hurts my eyes... no surprises. 

Thinking cigarette cards, that sort of collection. Only playing card size.

Should have left for England and rejoicing that I'm not :) All too restricted, difficult, fundamentally unnecessary.

So today, apart from greeting an old mate who is coming to lunch, I'm painting...

Thursday 8 July 2021

08 07 2021

 Found the stones mentioned by the Abbe, very like the Rennes ones but lesser marks. That I could find, anyway;  didn't have Gracie with me and though I scampered around like a mountain goat was periodically afraid for my limbs. 

There is a track to the campsite of La Valdieu hard left on the entrance and they are at the bottom of the track. After that its more horse trails which regrettably peter out - couldn't get to the hermitage as a result. Too far anyway. Kat and Margaret (who'd come to do some watercolouring) decided to drive me down the nearby road - but that was closed too. I can take a hint.

Need more than a hint now. All the gatherable info has been gathered and now I have to wait for the god to descend.

Turin Shroud????

Wednesday 7 July 2021

07 07 2021

 Slightly less panicky this morning though now more worried about the incipient glaucoma which I'm also being treated for. At least it doesn't involve knives.

Off to La Valdieu now, till tomorrow night. Expecting revelations.

Monday 5 July 2021

06 07 2021

Doubt and uncertainty are my handmaidens... not touched the  Survivors Souvenirs, overwhelmed by indecision. 

Went life drawing yesterday, a girl so young she had few feminine features. She played music throughout the 2 hour session, tinkly girly stuff which turned out to be from a Japanese film track. Rather good :) But its so long since I've worked fast, my hands ached and still do rather (though not badly) Anyway - I try not to be judgemental whilst working, if you are aiming to discover something unknown then censoring with the already known is not useful. ...There was no getting way from the fact that the results are crap.

Today is the ophthalmologist, an appointment I've waited three months for. Feels rather festive. Put on a frock.


Back from Ophthalmologist. Cataracts; they are operating on one eye in late August, the next early September. Other issues too, for which meds. Have dates for the ops., for an eco something, for a heart man and for an anaesthetist. In deep shock and trembling with terror. Visceral, I know these people mean me no harm and if I leave things they will deteriorate. But terrified.


Friday 2 July 2021

03 07 2021

Finished!! Thanks to my innumeracy didn't realise how near the end I was and now have a little leeway for the triage - and some rejections that might be playable.

Now the boring business of scanning begins. But only this morning. Lunch and the rest of the weekend are given, it seems, to celebrating my birthday.

Planning to return to La Valdieu on Weds for the night in an attempt to pick up the thinking before this Strangers project moved in on me. Such a strong pull; I blame Abbe Boudet. 


In the meantime; nice bit here from a review of a book on Seamus Heaney, about where ideas come from:

The idea that poems are less things you make and more things that occur to you is a venerable one, a version of 'inspiration' [-]  'That old-fashioned notion of poetry as a visitation has been a determining one for me', [Heaney] once said. Of course, like Eliot, he had to recognise that the conscious part of the mind did play some role in the making of a finished work, and so his essays repeatedly invoke a dualism between what's given and what's made, setting dark intuitive powers against the worked-out deliberations of craft.'

Wish I'd read this before I did the Saints book - so concise. (written by Seamus Perry in LRB 6th May)

02 07 2021

Yesterdays haul; issues of quality and erm so forth on hold until the set is done. Their relationship to each other becomes significant then; plus I may find out what I'm doing.