Tidy…

Whenever I am close to completing something, or when something is hard to resolve I am tempted to do some tidying. Avoidance strategy ‘par excellence‘. So find something languishing in a plan chest and dust it off, find a frame knocking about the cellar and sort it out. This one is from the 1980’s though I can’t date it for certain it’s probably 1985. It resembles another work called Landscape Incident so it finally gets a title after thirty five years!

Another Incident, Oil pastel on paper, 51 x 70 cm. 1985

A few more towards ‘topping out’…

My last post suggested we were nearing completion…well if 27 of 35 is getting close then four more is closer still. Above we have (my vision !) of Mountsorrel, Rothley, Barrow upon Soar & Beeby. Luckily very few – maybe only one – of my regular observers will know any of these places!

Playground nears completion…

Cossington, 30 x 40 cm. Oil on canvas, Nov. 2020

I started Playground Of The Midlands rather a long time back*. Nothing that unusual as anyone who has followed this for some time will testify. But with these two this part of the larger project really is coming to a close. Of course there are some seven boroughs plus the city so, even with two completed, there are six to go…phew – will I get there? Who knows? But at the current rate of completions you’d be brave to predict success!

Queniborough, 30 x 40 cm. Oil on canvas, Nov. 2020
  • I just checked and the first From The Earth Wealth canvas was completed back in 2011.

How Lisa became George…by way of Stephen

So I’m a regular follower of Dave Whatt’s blog and enjoyed his recent post featuring his take on the world’s most famous painting. He suggested it looked rather like Stephen Smith, sometimes presenter on BBC’s Newsnight (although I haven’t seen him recently – I do hope he’s alright) but I felt I saw somebody else.

It took me a while but then it ‘clicked’ I thought of Selwyn Lloyd…(who he you may ask…check him out here). Now Dave has a nifty line in lovely linocuts but I’m hopeless at them – and besides ain’t got the right kit here. However I thought I might give it a try and paint a ‘version’ with Lloyd’s face (anything to avoid getting on with my other projects). So here’s my Selwyn inflected Mona Lisa…but goodness I reckon he’s become George Osborne…remember him uh!

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.