Not another Robinson Crusoe joke, I've got The Easybeats song earworming me. More likely the it's classy cover by London (circa '77). And it is Friday. Not quite the same when you're working for yourself.
Apart from lunchtime drinking spo-dee-o-dee.
I'm sure there has been extremely mild to non-existent despair that this blog has remained up on bricks as it were, for the past two weeks.
My exhibition LOOKING AT YOU will run from Thursday 16th to Thursday 30th March. The Private View will be on Thursday 16th between 6-9pm.
I will post full details next week. It will be also listed as an Event on my sparkly new Facebook page. Invites will be sent out. Trumpets will be blown! The 21 paintings on display will come from the past 6 months’ work and are showcased on this website.
Intended blogging has been hampered due to unforeseen circumstances that did in a positive include a trip to Scotland. In February. Where the sea in Ayrshire gets up and walks heavily across the land. In between downpours I did manage to get to Edinburgh to see the Joan Eardley exhibition.
I think that anyone who has grown up I Scotland and is familiar with the arts will know of Eardley’s paintings. Born in Sussex in 1921, went to Glasgow Art school in 1940 and thereafter her work and life remained anchored in Scotland. Albeit two very different Scotlands.
Firstly, the children of the Glasgow’s east end tenements against graffiti scored walls, expressive and energetically painted in thick layers of impasto and collage. Very much the art of the street. Where she drew them, photographed them and cajoled them into her nearby studio to sit for her. Wonderful use of colour, vivid splashes of red in their cardigans, orange in their hair and deep blue against the murk of brickwork, doorways and window frames.
Secondly, the Sea and Landscapes of Catterline, a small remote village on the north-east coast. She worked out of a small cottage, taking her large boards, oil paints and easel down to the shore front, harnessing it with ropes to the ground against the wild winds. Again, the painting is bold and expressive, sweeps of colour representing the waves crashing and the clouds billowing. The rows of small cottages in all seasons, dark and foreboding in winter, bright and inviting in summer.
I first came across her work when I went Glasgow Art School from school. She has remained a great inspiration over the years and to see so much of her work – particularly through the context of the exhibition – focusing on these dual themes, was a great experience. She was a respected and successful painter that could have gone on to be one of Britain’s greatest contemporary artists but she died in 1963 from cancer, aged 42.
Portrait of the Artist and his Muse.
The launch of this website is a precursor to my exhibition of new paintings. It will take place in Walthamstow, London in early March. Full details will be posted soon.
My paintings on this site are currently available to purchase. If you are interested in doing so or have any other queries regarding my work, please get in touch directly through the contact page.
To make sure you are notified about the exhibition dates and get further updates on new paintings, print editions and blog waffle please subscribe here.
Behind the internet curtain, preparation has been going on for some time. Firstly, the paintings of course. I have been working on them fully, for the past six months. A few predate this. The last week and a half photographing, editing, cropping, loading and linking. Headscratching. It all went a bit TLD to the SEO, to the UDL & .XMLs, to the META and, excuse my acronyms, to the WTF to the O.FFS and the FFFF!!! This building site has been somewhat frustrating. At times it felt like the only thing I was in command of was a lump of wood. That I was banging nails into. With my head.
It turned out not too bad in the end. Which kind of scuppered the original idea I had for this first blog. And the fact that that it might have been just a little bit boring. Plan B was railing against the metaphorical maze of the Artist Statement and its hodgepodge of high-faluting artistic allusions and tangle-tale linguistic verbosity that made it about as readable as that. It's a hoary old rigmarole between the overtly analytical and the brusque it is what it is blah-blah-blah. But that was my tedious struggle (the angst!) and equally mind-numbing to recount. I can understand the natural curiosity of the viewer. It's usually quite interesting to know more. Hopefully, my untangled reader-friendly guide achieves that. If a picture can paint a thousand words, then why can't I . . . cut to the chase . . . artist statement: necessary. And therefore, no plan B. And no painting until it's done. Just watching it dry.
Plan C. This combined the drying paint technique, staring into space and thinking a bit. Probably too much of the former and none of the latter. Or maybe it was the fumes. I've come up with an, ahem, analogy. Or some kinda sort of ology . . .
I see this site as a gallery. And I'm assuming that if you got this far then conceivably you liked the artwork. That you've already been wandering around, hopefully oohing and aahing at the paintings. If you didn't, I doubt you'd want to read what I've written as well. And if you did like the paintings, don't let this put you off. It is my first blog and I'm finding my way. I think it's over here . . .
I hope you've had a nice time, seen some new art, provoked a few thoughts and leave feeling a bit enhanced, culturally. Very good, Bye then!
By the way, as you are leaving - can you take the bin out?
Would you be my binman/lady, refuse operative? The recycle bin please. It has the thoughts you've had as you were looking around [BLANK STARE] you've probably tried to forget them. But they are in there. If you could take it to the bin lorry outside. That's the internet. It goes around and around all day long (of course the glaring plot hole here is that you are already on the internet/bin lorry, but bear with me here). I know, it literally sounds like rubbish, but every foot through the door - and back out again - is another brick added to the site making it bigger and visibly brighter in the ever expanding town/city/countryscape of the www.
Without that it may a) languish as an empty and uncared for spooky old house on the edge of some godforsaken dismal and dreary wood. Populated by trolls naturally. Or b) a washed out coloured picture hanging off a wall at the back of a dark rain soaked alley in Shanghai.
Ploughing on then, regardless . . . You choose neither of these options. You are the bin, binperson and binlorry combined, trundling to the recycling centre. This is where I start to get to my fairly tenuous analogical point. You recycle any scraps of interest you have picked up and put them to good use. Thinking about the paintings: the colours, the words, the cats (it is the internet), dogs, robots, monkeys cowboys, devils and angels and all that they evoke. Or provoke as a positive/negative, love/hate reaction. Pass on your thoughts. To someone, somewhere that wants your recycled view of my world. They're out there! You might draw a picture to go with it. Write a letter of complaint. You can sing, dance, do anything. Laugh.
Of course you might have taken the food waste bin instead. Egg shells, banana skins and coffee grains. It's not even vegan! It's compost. All you've taken is decomposing mulch that you've quickly forgotten. But like a bad smell it lingers on. Beyond the recycling centre, in the landfill of lost thoughts. Where the rats, muckrakers and trolls live, eking out their existence scavenging amongst the detritus - like a womble if you will - pointing and laughing, sneering probably. Pissing their pants over this nonsense for sure.
Until next bin night/blog post . . . Thanks for recycling !