And on…

with the Wonky Geo‘s…numbers 147 through 151.  By my reckoning 29 to make up the arbitrary 180 in the series (each box holds 45 comfortably and I’ve only four boxes of the required size).

Be glad to get these done and dusted now…

Wonky Geometry (cont.)

 

WG140
Wonky Geometry No. 140, 27 x 27 cm., oil, acrylic & pencil on paper, May 2020

It’s the series that keeps on giving…but I am bringing it to an end.  It was always going to be tough figuring it out.  But the fact of fitting 45 into each box (and only being four such) suggests 180 is it.  The pile of potential pieces keeps going so now some thought will have to go into what to do with the seventy or more pieces that will be ‘remaindered’!

WG145
Wonky Geometry No. 145, acrylic on paper, June 2020

 

 

Reasons to be cheerful…

IMG_1039
Tea and Polo, acrylic & watercolour on Saunders Waterford paper, 56 x 76 cm. 2020

at least I’m not spending cash during ‘lockdown’…rather revisiting and reworking stuff I’ve had kicking about the place.  For example there’s my large series of TFTLR that have been ‘repurposed’ (what a ghastly word!) as Paintings Standing Up.  I’m also unearthing the ‘failed’ pictures on paper from my earlier virus series and jollying them up to show a tad of insouciance in the face of the you know what…

Happy Day…

WG129
No. 129

The sun has made a welcome return and…ta da! I’ve filled Box Three of my Wonky Geometry series.  I’m happy about this on two counts – as not only does it mean only one to go (admittedly an arbitrary self-imposed diktat) but also it’s been (with five other items) on my annual targets for work production for the year.  Perhaps lockdown will see me complete all five this year (rather than has habitually been the case several being rolled over to the following year).  Then again maybe at some point we may be allowed out again!

WG135
No. 135 – ‘Tin Hat & feather’

 

The Map Room…

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Glasgow

inevitably it’s becoming a tad irritating being confined to barracks even if, as most of us are, artists are quite solitary.  So time to scrub about in the corners of projects forgotten or abandoned in some way.  So it is with the Rough Cartography.  An explanation (of sorts) for this one can be found here.  I’ve gathered the lot (well all those I bothered to take photos of) together in one place, fiddled with them digitally (who’d have imagined back in the 1970’s any of that malarkey would be possible) prepping them for a – yes a publication (something else that seemed damned difficult as well as expensive back then.

lands end

So The Map Room is in production now with a publication date set for early summer…betcha can’t wait!

In the Country of Lost Things…

Dancer's Air
Dancer’s Air, timber & acrylic, 2020

‘Lockdown’ is increasingly feeling like being inside of Auster‘s wonderful (and as it turns out prescient) novel.  And hereabouts I’m digging around in the tight spaces of those things either abandoned or discarded.  But every cloud etc.  So more Paintings Standing Up are mushrooming into life!

french toast
French Toast, Oil & acrylic on timber, 2020

Unknown Genre…

WG127
Wonky Geometry No. 127, 27 x 27 cm, Oil & acrylic on paper, 2020

I first came across Billy Jenkins as part of Burlesque, a band playing support to the Kursaal Flyers.  They were the most anarchic and surprising rock act I’d ever seen, and Billy was the focus of the most bizarre aspects of a fairly weird outfit!  Sadly neither of their albums could properly capture the live act.  But some years later I came across his early jazz recordings, the first I purchased wasUncommerciality vol. 1and I became an occasional follower though being both busy and out of London observed live performances were very few.  No matter…Billy’s work has always been brilliant, full of character and joy, sometimes more ‘difficult’ for some but never dull or unforgettable.  I’ve been catching up with the more recent stuff over the past few days including those episodes of The Billy Jenkins Listening Club I hadn’t got round to.  These ‘snapcasts’ are excellent giving both a flavour of the man and the music.  I also went online to pick up his most recent outing Ghost Music by BUYING IT.  I say this loudly as I’m firmly of the view that artists should be properly paid for their work!  I don’t know Billy personally of course but I’m pretty sure he’d like (or maybe it was his doing) that when I put the downloads into iTunes his album came up as ‘Unknown Genre’.  Magnificent!  I’m thinking my artwork (if it ever sees the light of day again, postviral) should be tagged with the same epithet!

WG124
Wonky Geometry No. 124, 27 x 27 cm, Oil & acrylic on paper, 2020

“He always maintained that you’ve got to be able to play straight to really play wonky”

Beowulf “Wulfie” Mayfield, discussing Billy Jenkins musical philosophy in Episode Six, Series Two of The Billy Jenkins Listening Club

Paintings Standing Up…

beetlebum
Beetlebum, wood offcuts & acrylic, 2020

The continuing ‘lockdown’ is probably sending a lot of us a tad nutty…certainly I’m bouncing around the studio playing with all sorts.  This includes my growing collection of Paintings Standing Up that developed out of an earlier series TFTLR (Tales From The Lumber Room).  These scrappy little constructions have been littering the studio for several years and over the past week or two I’ve dusted some off, given them some TLC and given them titles.  So there’s now a ‘body’ of work (well seven or eight) to put up online.  The first and second are here now…

stockadeboozing
Stockade Boozing,wood offcuts & acrylic, 2020

Home & away…

IMG_3380
Simon in a very sunny Bruges

These are tough times for sure.  However much one tells oneself that the studio is a fine place to ‘self isolate’ (see last post) there’s a need, fairly regularly, to get out and replenish the batteries.  I often do so with my pal Simon (see many previous posts!) either on one of our Leicestershire projects or visiting shows – often at hand or more occasionally far flung.  One of the latter several years back involved an almighty cock up whereby we planned to set out for the Louvre – Lens not realising it was a French public holiday!  Discovering it at the last moment we swerved away north to Bruges and back via Ostend.  This enabled us to take in MU:zee in the city.  Its a large rambling modern building that looks rather as if it may have been a department store (it was) and as I rambled around I was powerfully struck by several of the Belgian artists represented.  Chief among them is of course Ensor but there are fine works by Permeke, Brusselmans and more recent figures such as Jan Fabre and Wim Delvoye.  But what really got to me were works by the hitherto only vaguely remembered Léon Spilliaert.  His self portrait in particular seemed both haunting and haunted, a study in depression and insomnia.  It struck me as easily the equal if not possibly more harrowing than Munch’s The Scream.

Spilliaert-Zelfportret-met-spiegel-SM37-300-DK
Self-portrait in front of a mirror (1908), Léon Spilliaert. MuZee, Ostend. Photo: © Sabam Belgium 2016

So I had been limbering up for a visit to the show of his work currently holed up in the Royal Academy and thinking just my luck as it now seems certain that its run will end before the curfew lets up.  Luckily however the Academy have put up a video of the show – not a substitute of course – but something to help out.  It’s worth a look, not least if you are a painter now. Although notionally figurative many of his works are of equal interest to someone wedded to abstraction and his range is truly astonishing.  It’s a mystery to me that he’s not better known or better regarded – and given that he’s lucked out in London likely to remain so for many.  Check out the video so you’re not one of those…and we never did (as yet…?) make it to Louvre-Lens!