Sound and fuzzy…

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Here’s a rarity – a kind of semblance of recognisable imagery with this – the penultimate piece in the L’Histoire De L’Eau section of my Landscape & Memory series – The Vain Water-Poet.  Named in honour of John Taylor whose escapades fit well within the broader history of English eccentrics.  As always there is little that connects the picture with the event beyond the very loose form of the boat and the text but that is not really the intention as I’ve suggested before.

As it happens this image, most likely because it was the one up on the wall in the studio at the time, is featured in the visual advertising for Lucy Cox‘s enterprising series of podcast interviews – Painters Today where I am honoured to be the third artist in this endeavour  – connected to the Contemporary British Painting group and the excellent Priseman-Seabrook collection.  Whether anything I said over the course of a longish interview has any value is for others to judge but it might shed a little light on the activity I get up to and is recorded here.

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Getting a good morning start…

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I watched Picasso’s Last Stand the other evening…he never got up in the mornings they said.  Me I don’t sleep so well nowadays so now the days are longer I rather enjoy the early start.  As it happens too I’m now using a wall that gets the early morning sun.  Add in listening to A Rainbow In Curved Air (on my original vinyl copy) and it doesn’t get much better.  And it helps with the productivity – in the past two days I finished up three more of the L’Histoire De L’Eau gang.  Here’s Ditties For Her Majesty…referencing the first Elizabeth rather than the current one…

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Ten down in The Water…

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So you like to think you can extract yer digit when required…but then you go somewhere that makes you realise what a hopeless slowcoach you are.  Still here’s Priestly Acoreus, number ten in the water subset of my Landscape & Memory series. What with the first group of eighteen filed away, the eight others of this lot well advanced and fourteen of the eighteen of the final Rock lot underway not so shabby really (after all I only started this particular project a couple years back!).  But of course I had to go and spoil it by visiting the Picasso at Tate Modern…and crossing Millennium Bridge on a fine Spring late afternoon I reflected on how inadequate me and lets face it, most of us are compared to real genius!

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Knocked sideways…

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I’ve had quite a time of it recently…several bouts of mystery illness culminating in a nasty flu that still has something of a grip after a week…picked up ironically at our local A&E whilst I was waiting on a family member who was ill at the time!  Best to stay away from hospitals if you can it seems.  Today I’m feeling just a little more human, enough to review progress on the various projects I have on the go (regulars will know I keep far too many differing things in play than is sensible).  Here is the second batch of the L’Histoire De L’Eau pictures – part two of the Landscape & Memory trilogy based very loosely on Schama’s book.  Working with these is a curious process…whilst I have already chosen my eighteen texts some of the individual panels immediately suggest which one should accompany it but others much less so, to the point where some have to undergo drastic reworking to make them applicable.  And of course as each text is taken this gets harder so that eventually (at least with part one, Waldgeschitchen ) I am forced to write out each remaining one and shift them around the panels till I can make it work (or in one or two extreme cases replace them altogether).  I guess some might say – quite reasonably – this seems a cock-a-mamey way of going about things but its my way for better or worse.

Festivities…

IMG_0105in the past comprised a lot more activity and required a good deal more energy.  Nowadays the spaces I have over the festive season allow for greater reflection and the opportunity to catch up on the production of work – in this case Osiris Hailed from what is now – fanfare – L’Histoire de L’Eau – well I gave section one of Landscape and Memory a title in German so now why not French? So I’m now 7 into this second of three sections with 7 or 8 more on the go.  A big push post this holiday season & part two may be cracked.  But of course that leaves an awful lot of other bodies of work up in the air…so I guess I need to get back to full fitness and, crucially, get my work plan back in place…but that sounds ‘orribly like New Year resolutions – and I hate them!

Gratefully…

back at work…though I’m still not entirely well but good enough to give some attention to the various bodies of work I have on the go at present.  I’ve written before of how I’m pathologically incapable of focussing on one thing at a time.  And so I just looked back through these pages to see when I last mentioned the Water series.  These are following on from the Waldgeschitchen series and will comprise the second group of three such works that will make up my musings on Simon Schama’s Landscape & Memory.  It was way back in February – so at this rate of progress this project may outlast its creator!  Still over the past few hours I’ve completed the sixth of this second group of eighteen.

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So I’m trying to ‘put in the hours’ as one of my colleagues used to say to me when I was pressing him about spending more time teaching rather than making – and he was right there really is no substitute for being in the space and getting on with it if you want good outcomes.

It always intrigues me as to how others go about the disciplining of their practice, after all you read often about how, for example, Henry Moore, had a very defined studio routine and how legendary is the amount of time, say, Frank Auerbach spends in his room and it’s easy to see with some artists output that they must have been very focussed and hard working.  Then again we all know those who do rather little but it goes a very long way indeed…