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.

Yes/no…

Manley:SITN5:mixedmediapaper27x27cm.:2020:.jpg
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.

yes:no sky flyer text.jpeg

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

Pest Control…

But first…Wonky Geo No. 158

WG158
Wonky Geometry No. 158, mixed media on paper, 27 x 27 cm., August 2020

So I’m casting around last evening for entertainment and chance upon theYouTube video of Andrew Graham-Dixon sashaying about Sotheby’s pimping their sale (a few days back)…actually rather more interesting and informative than might be imagined.  And this morning I briefly looked up the results. A goodly proportion of the lots went and most within their estimates.  However a Banksy nearly doubled its upper estimate figure going for £2,235,000.  This triptych of altered pre-existing paintings of seascapes references the on-going tragedy of migrants endeavouring to cross the Med.  Setting aside my profound antipathy for mega wealthy individuals (both vendors & purchasers) salving consciences in this way, the means employed – riffing on the altered readymade pioneered by Duchamp over a century ago – seem a bit tired and hackneyed.  Nonetheless to the credit of those concerned all proceeds will go towards building a new acute stroke unit and purchasing children’s rehabilitation equipment for BASR hospital in Bethlehem.  Better that than redistribution from billionaires (Oligarchs etc.) to mere millionaires (Gerhard, Tracey, Damien, Jeff etc.) …

 

AuctioneersFears
Auctioneers Fears (PSU No. 34), Oil & acrylic on reclaimed timber, c. 40 x 48 x 17 cm., August 2020

But what took my eye particularly was the attachment  of  a Pest Control Certificate of Authenticity to the work.  Why one wonders?  My hunch is that these three rather manky canvases were picked up in a local bazaar and might be subject to dry rot or other assorted mange…and if you’ve just podded out over £2 mil you probably don’t want to see it fall apart that quickly (though long time Banksy watchers might hazard the guess that’s precisely what he intends!).

It got me to thinking about my Paintings Standing Up (most recent example seen above), after all were one ever to sell then given the dubious sources of their materials perhaps they too should have such a certificate.  But who issues such things…Rentokill perhaps!

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

 

 

Just carrying on…

April&Silence
April And Silence, 45 x 61 cm., acrylic on canvas, 2020

Goodness – this strange time of ‘lockdown’ has seen something of a lack of productivity on the blogging front.  I very nearly let a month slip by without a post…not that there’s been any shortage of work going on.  On the contrary it’s been quite a busy time what with an absence of movement out of the studio.  And despite suggestions to the contrary I notice a marginal increase in COVID cases over this week rather being over shadowed by exhortations by the ‘powers that be’ that we all go shopping alongside a return to work. In any event I’m going nowhere until I’m personally sure the risk is significantly lessened so the painting likely to continue at a lick.  This picture draws on another poem (with its rather prescient title) by the great Tomas Transtromer.