Written musings on making art and the results. Life in the slow lane.
Images for sale, both unique artworks and limited editions.
The Pre-Dip or Foundation course was not seen by them as a necessary diagnostic for young aspiring artists and designers but as a course without parallel in other disciplines and which required investment over and above that for the diplomas and degrees it serviced, forcing a constant battle of justification in an area that was the foundation of Gropius’ model. With over 45 different design and fine art disciplines to be fed now, it is surely even more necessary today than when introduced by Itten originally in the Bauhaus, especially given how little teaching is now delivered in our Universities.
For now, I am like a Greek god maliciously deleting houses, whole roads and communities, removing data as preparation for adding new information. In a sense I am priming the canvas, making ready to create a new mythology. I am changing the meaning of the map from map into a piece of artwork.
No “Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir” and the only stately galleons were the rain squalls sailing majestically up the Channel as I walk the shingle shore. Closer to the water the smaller stones glistened like “diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, and cinnamon,”. There wasn’t a “dirty British coaster” in sight, the closest to a “gold moidores” is the bright yellow of the Transmanche ferry reversing its way out of Newhaven harbour.
Part of the beautiful displays are the cabinets containing items discovered in the cabins of individuals. Skeletons recovered so far allowed facial reconstruction to show images adding the faces of the dead to their belongings in the display cases. My partner found this disconcerting, but for me it brought the spiritual presence, the ghosts of these men from Henry 8th’s navy, into the room. Their spirits haunt this stunning museum, reminders everywhere of them in the initials, even names, carved into the recovered dishes. It is intensely moving.
The campaign started a year ago with a target of 1400 new ringers. Out of the eye of national media, but noted by local press with enthusiasm, the Ringing Remembers campaign has been a stunning success both for the organiser and for the individuals like me who took...
artists use what they see or find around them as a starting point. Whether it is a wheat field by Van Gogh, a grass field by Wyeth, a picnic table by Caulfield or an unmade bed by Emin, artists take from what they see or experience and transform it into a reflection of their own world, whether mental angst, romanticised observation, simple memory, or sensual moments revisited to share with and to entrance an audience.
golden glow suffuses the bedroom and lights the edges of the increasingly wind stripped trees outside. Here the autumn colours show briefly as the blustering sea winds eagerly wrap their breath around the branches and whirl the dyeing leaves away across garden fences. The golden light reflects off windows down into the garden, sometimes sending its beams like searchlights into the studio as if examining the work on the walls for itself.
I stand and watch the lights of a high-flying jet pass amongst the stars. Gradually some way behind it a contrail emerges, pink, in the growing light. As the light grows I can see the roses and sedum’s reds colouring the borders, and slowly the green returns to the dark grasses. The black silhouettes of the trees begin to show their green and orange of autumn leaves.
Obesity in men leads of a high percentage who cannot perform sexually anyway, who when they look down cannot see their own private parts for their stomachs, but obesity is already leading to a lower life expectancy across the UK. Earlier deaths through obesity linked diabetes are also leading to increased blindness and amputations.
It started, as most paintings do, with a walk. A regular cut down a ginnel (‘ginnel’ is Lancastrian, it’s known as a ‘twittern’ in Sussex speak, I’m told) on my walk into Seaford centre took me under a beautifully coloured buddleia. I took several photographs trying...
In previous pieces, such as the one on the Brexit Daisy, I have described the grid as a part of accidental politics. As I have been spending longer and longer submerged in the studio, surrounded by paint and pastels, smelling the aroma of both, scrabbling, scratching, brushing, scrubbing away at the layers I apply I have become more and more detached from the Urb, from the concerns of the Hive
The Call of Bells ---------------------- For centuries the bells have called through countless ringers’ hands To come to worship, prayer and song the people of these lands The bells fell silent one by one as ringers went to war They’d heard the call to go to fight the...
This week or so past I have been working on primed paper to produce a series of squares as a precursor to the painting that is now on the easel. There is a great deal more drawing to come as I work on breaking down the square, but drawings need to be interspersed with canvas to draw together what learning has taken place (if any).
It started with a ‘bucket list’. After twenty years travelling Europe, the US and Africa there are a few places I still want to visit – and no, I don’t need anymore suggestions, thanks… In the past I have visited over 30 countries, but there are places I still want to...
It’s monumental. In WW1 1400 of Britain’s bell ringers died. What more fitting way to remember them than to recruit 1400 new bell ringers and have a ’ring-in’ on November 11th on the anniversary of the War? Monumental ambition wants a national muffled set of rings in...
The ‘Teasel’ painting has come out appearing quite violent, and in my own mind I think of it as ‘War’, the disappearing grid reflecting the breakdown in the rules based international order that has seen Russia and China blatantly ignoring the rules of international behaviour to push forward their own power grabs knowing no-one wants to start a war to make them obey the rules.
I have been blessed that my cancer is ‘cured’, but I have another test on the 6th June, so the saga continues. Johns’ disease has not improved. We share a past, both having attended the same junior school in Wroughton, Wiltshire, and crossed paths again as students at Corsham, then Bath Academy of Art, in the glorious 1960’s. We didn’t know each other well, being on different programmes, but Facebook and cancer recently brought us electronically, if sporadically, together again.
the guys would wave and say hello as we mowed their lawns. On one very hot day, I was welcomed with a glass of cooling orange squash. I gulped it down only belated realising it had been diluted with Polish vodka rather than water
Life expectancy of my son’s generation may even be lower than that of mine because of their obesity and associated problems.
In recent years in the US, Australia and South Africa voices have been raised in favour of low carb diets as a way of reversing Type 2 without resort to drugs. Those voices, Atkins and Banting in Britain, Fettke in Australia, Tim Noakes in South Africa in particular, have been mocked and persecuted by proponents seemingly at the behest of food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies. Research have grants withdrawn, Universities punish their staff for speaking out, jobs disappear as attempts are made to silence the voices.
If you are a designer, you will enjoy Heatherwick’s spatial planning (I imaging the studio had much fun slicing toilet rolls in modelling) and the drama of the interiors. If you are in to art, then the exhibitions will be thought provoking and will leave you wanting to revisit.The building is a true cathedral devoted to art.
In arcadia dogs go.
Alex, in tune with his world, comments “one big wave would wash this clean”. He means houses too.
"Painting is washed up. Who will ever do anything better than that propeller? Tell me, can you do that?". Marcel Duchamp 1912 It started with Duchamp’s signature on a urinal. Making a point? Or just a comment on the art around him? Was it really saying this is great...
They were used in industry to tease out threads from wool for spinning. Using photographs and drawings I am teasing out ideas about expressing their structure through colour on both canvas, and if I can figure out a simple way of doing it, in 3D too. I have been...
Lanzarote is considered by many César Manrique’s most important work of art. His work and influence have marked the external aspect of the island. The natives say that he has “made” Lanzarote. His desire to live with the volcanic lava led him to build his own house in the Taro de Tahiche, now open as La Fundación César Manrique .
Painting like many other creative areas, is more than just a set of skills, much more. I gained a set of spiritual beliefs that I have tried to live by, and which have enriched my life immeasurably. Apart from anything else my visual training has provided eminently transferable skills I have used across a range of art and design disciplines.
The camera helps me in my visual playground. It is responsive and instantaneous, and so easy to dispose of unsatisfactory images. It is a strand of my art that I am weaving more and more into finished pieces. This day was particularly visually rich.
Yesterday the wind howled across the waves. Spume blew across the shingle and was carried through the air like partially deflated party balloons. Wind driven spray broke hard against the cliffs sending a fine mist of saltwater high into the air. Salt obscured my glasses as raindrops rattled on my hood like buckshot.
In this show the scale of the phtographic print becomes part of the thought provoking nature of the art. In some work it gives stature to the banal, allowing the banality to impose itself on the viewer. For others the scale making the works truly revelatory
The beauty of the country is showcased through the windows of this train, as are the local standards of service through the charm and courtesy of the staff. Design harks back to an age when grace and pleasure in travel were key ingredients of the experience, when comfort was more important than style alone
It has taken the year since the operations to fully recover, as much as I ever will fully recover. I’ve had my ‘three score and ten’ now. Probability says I have another decade at least. I intend it to be productive and positive. I paint, therefore I am.