Another Box!

No. 1

You know how it is…you finish one box and another comes right along. So here’s A Confusion Of Clouds. Forgive me if I already signalled their arrival – I started it back in January of this year…but only just revisited it. So who knows, after all its all pre and post COVID…

No. 22
Installation View – Days Like These

And also a plug…for Days Like These, now showing at the Malthouse, Town Mill Galleries, Mill Lane, Lyme Regis until 4th Nov. (daily 10 till 4) where I’m showing a few of my Paintings Standing Up.

Red Letter…& Bobby Moore…

Wonky Geometry No. 180, 27 x 27 cm. Ink & acrylic on decent paper, Oct. 2020

Goodness I hate this ‘new improved’ WordPress! How do you make something simple and straightforward so much more of a faf? Get Bojo’s Government in I guess… But I digress. It’s truly a ‘red letter day’ for me as I’ve finished my Wonky Geometry box set. Four boxes, 45 in each…180 in total.

Now here’s an idea. I’ve passed by the Artists Support Pledge idea for several reasons, not least that I’d likely not sell much or anything! But I’m now thinking I could donate a little more directly. So if anyone was interested they could message me and have one for £40…a Bobby Moore (score) for me and one for the pot (its possible to do that through their website). Somewhere on this site I’ve put up several of the series already…but I’ll add more this weekend.

The Storm

Along the sea-wall, a steady sloshing of the swell,

The waves not yet high, but even,

Coming closer and closer upon each other;

A fine fume of rain driving in from the sea,

Riddling the sand, like a wide spray of buckshot,

The wind from the sea and the wind from the mountain contending,

Flicking the foam from the whitecaps straight upward into the darkness

Thinking this one may have a metaphorical content at present.

Quote from Roethke poem of the same title…

Shameless additional plug…

I just donated my piece in this show to the cause…to get a book of the contributions made….and at the last time of looking it seems (with a little over a week to go) that it has only 22% left to raise. So why not head over to Kickstarter and pledge? There’s a range of goodies on offer and the book itself will be really interesting. This initiative from Andrew Bracey has already been a terrific success so please consider capping it with a contribution.

Anyone who has followed this blog for a while will know how I made my contribution…luckily well ahead of C19! But besides my work there’s plenty of others to tempt you!

Meanwhile back at my ‘day job’ I’m pushing on with part two of my epic journey around Leicestershire…the Charnwood Borough (with its strap line of Playground Of The Midlands…). Today I’ve signed off on Wymeswold (above) & Walton (below).

Overseas…

Portugese Sea, Acrylic on board, 57 x 77 cm. 2020

I thought at this time of appalling embarrassment to be British (through no fault of mine I should add) I ought to find some way of reminding myself that some of us at least remain committed Europeans. So this picture, one of my Lunar Pulls series, just completed might suffice. Named after, and drawing upon, words from the great Portugese poet Fernando Pessoa.

On another – happier – matter, I’m delighted to be part of Enough Is Definitely Enough where a large roster of artists have been marshalled by the estimable Andrew Bracey to celebrate the great Velásquez. There’s a crowdfunded to produce a catalogue – why not chip in and bag yourself a reward?

Bittersweet…

BeforePlay
Before Play, 30 x 24 inches, Oil & acrylic on canvas, 2020

As one ages excessive alcohol consumption requires practice; and so those of us who have endeavoured to cut back begin to realise that over indulgence on a more occasional basis leads ever more often to severe hangovers.  So it was yesterday.  The consequence being a severe drop off in productivity.  There’s a modest upside though.  The dulling of the brains prevents bravery and so a certain plodding ensues.  In this case plugging away at a canvas that has been through a serious amount of surgery.  But I’m none too disappointed with Before Play.  A tad ironic title (coming from a poem from the great Vasko Popa) but also referencing the endless pissing about this one has gone through.

Drudgery…

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Brum Infanta, 2020

For reasons that need not detain…it’s been hard going of late.  Hardly anyone mentions it but making work can be drudgery…at least for me.  Not least in these strangest of days – sort of post-lockdown but with many of us still testing the bounds – when motivation is hard to find.  I’m still pushing the Paintings Standing Up but also endeavouring to drag one or two pictures that stubbornly refused to ‘work’ first time around kicking and screaming into satisfactory conclusion.  Easier said than done.

Two things to trail…firstly Enough Is Definitely Enough curated by Andrew Bracey with a piece by myself opens at Pineapple Black in Middlesbrough on Friday 18th September 6 – 9pm alongside other private views at The Auxiliary and Platform A. The show then runs 24 September – 17 October 2020, 10am – 4pm, Thursday to Saturday.   Andrew is also running a fundraiser for a book of the show – why not subscribe?

Secondly my good friends Moira & Allan are running a show – Days Like These – in Lyme Regis this autumn with work by myself, my wife Sarah R Key & Stuart Reid as well as themselves- details here…with more to follow!

 

Only share…

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Only share…experiences with those you trust completely.  First trip out of the district since the self imposed ‘lockdown’ and some five plus months since the last time.  To dear old YSP with my chum Simon and it was a treat…not nearly as tricky or odd as might have been expected. Yes we were masked in the buildings (other than in the restaurant where we managed a nice table out on the verandah) but otherwise much as before.  Lets hope it stays that way (though despite a general consensus of government. media and – it must be said – much of the public cases seem inexorably to be creeping up again*).

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The legendary Simon at work…reflected in Vasconcelos’ work I’ll Be Your Mirror

What of the art then?  I enjoyed both offerings.  Joana Vasconcelos is big, bright, jazzy, post modernist internationalism with a good dose of feminism, local culture (Fado, Catholic symbolism etc. – she’s Portugese) whilst Brian Fell is rooted in modernism, an Abstract Expressionist cum New Generation vibe (I immediately thought of sculptors like David Smith and particularly Ibram Lassaw on the one hand and early abstract Caro, King and Witkin etc. on the other – though Brian is mostly in the more complex physical spaces of the earlier of these).   Both rewarding in their own ways; inevitably my personal interaction with Brian’s work more satisfying given our ages, cultural reference points and aesthetics.

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Brian Fell

So a good trip out…next week back to Derby for a further dose of 20c. modernism with Ronald Pope as well as a show by previous Vickers award winners.    As for the studio…

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Botanicals 1, Oil & acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8″

Botanicals…a group of small paintings with quite a history even by my tortuous machinations.  I’m fairly sure these started back in 2007 in the backwash from my bypass op. certainly there’s a number of clues in some of the forms.  They were fiddled with for a year or so before being bundled into the store cupboard at Harrington Mill until I left there in, I think 2014/5?  Back at the Chapel they went back into storage – and might have stayed there but for the ‘lockdown’.  But now they are being revised, reworked and put to bed.

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Botanicals 2, Oil & acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8″

  • My paper has a headline telling me that 67 cases have appeared in NZ implying that they are ‘failing’…meanwhile no mention (unless you search it out) that the UK recorded 1400 + that same day…)

Yes/no…

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Unfinished work!

Being involved with the Contemporary British Painting setup has been a delight.  Not least for the opportunities that it has afforded.  I owe it a vote of thanks and also that terrific painter Terry Greene for the introduction.

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And so we come to this…yes/no an initiative curated by Deb Covell, Paula MacArthur & Judith Tucker and built by Isaac Ashby.  With all the ‘lockdown’ craziness it is wonderful to be involved.  Check it out on the link above but I’ve put my bit and the fly through below.

 

 

 

Turn about…

Thurcaston
Thurcaston, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm., 2020

A complete volte face…back to my Playground of the Midlands series…and the lay off means having to put a very different ‘head’ on.  Back to working off of specific visual sources (that is referencing images crudely constructed from photos take on site). Working to resolve them whilst readjusting to using oils and as Thomas Nozkowski used to say keeping them open “so that everything is back in play”.

Sileby
Sileby, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm., 2020