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

 

 

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.

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…

glasgow1
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

I blame Shakespeare…

IMG_7607

Have you noticed something with all the commentators and interviewees on the telly during this awful ‘lockdown’?  It struck me a few days back that nearly all these middle class people (and generally all those featured ‘at home’ are so) have virtually no original art on their walls.  In fact most seem to have some spectacularly awful stuff hanging in their homes.  It reminded me of something a Scandinavian gallerist said to me forty or so years back that whilst his clients in Sweden would spend a lot on a painting and little on the sofa in front of it, the British, he opined, went the other way (mind I guess Ikea was mostly operating at home back then?!) and so he was glad to be over there and not here and suggested I joined him if I wanted success as a painter…

And in turn I recall a British artist (I think it might have been Scully or Hodgkin) once saying that we were a literary nation not a visual one…and hence the remark about the Bard.  No matter…keep yer eyes peeled on the walls behind whichever ‘expert’ or interviewer pops up on screen – you’ll see what I mean!

Like quite a few other painters I know this ‘self isolation’ is just studio time by other means but I’m also glad that (for those of us hereabouts) the weather has been kind in these first few days (see above).  But I’m also very aware of the massive debt we owe to all those keeping the world going and to those much less fortunate in their accommodation arrangements (or worse still without any).  Making work keeps one sane methinks – and I am so grateful to be able to do it.

WG126
Wonky Geometry No. 126, 27 x 27 cm., 26th March 2020