Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Photograph or Painting?

Well, it's a photograph actually - from a collection of about 300 I have taken of walls over the last few months.

Sometimes people say to me that they don't understand the language of modern art as if it's some kind of 'secret squirrel club'. Well, I am not sure what there is a great deal to understand and, sometimes, I think that I must live in a parallel universe! This photograph could easily have been of a painting - so what is reality and what is abstract? Is it really so different from the monoprint below this post?

Friday, 23 January 2009

Last of the Monoprints

Untitled Monoprint
20cm x 20cm on paper

This is the last monoprint I produced from a series of about 20 which I made in the summer of 2007. It was produced by painting on glass and then transferring it to paper by a very simple printing method.

I enjoyed the diversion from my normal work (painting on canvas) but don't have any plans to repeat this in the near future. One of the problems I have is being able to theme my work. I flit from one idea to another and it therefore takes me a long time to get a body of work together for an exhibition. I am not one of those artists who can produce 20 pictures based on a theme and have to keep going back to an idea then adding to it - going around in repeated circles if you like. I don't seem able to work any other way.

At the moment I have no plans for an exhibition and I am enjoying the freedom from what can be intense pressure. I just figure I will be ready when I am ready. I enjoy my diversions and experimenting with new ideas - hence my recent 'ice' project. To me it's the only way to keep on learning. I would hate to look back over this year's work and feel I had not moved on. What do you think? How do you keep on growing?

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Blast From The Past

I took this photo of myself in 1986 at a time when I was living in the small historic town of Needham Market in Suffolk. It was a time when I knew I needed to move on in life and do something different - hence the gazing out of the window. I was working as a Tax Inspector at the time (makes me cringe just to think of it now!) and had been given a gentle warning by a senior manager who told me that 'this organisation does not need people who think'. I guess he was right!

Strangely enough it was not long after this that I was promoted and moved to live and work in Central London and the next 3 years were amongst the most hectic, stressful and rewarding periods of my life. My new job - working on departmental management policy - allowed for a certain amount of creativity and was very stretching for me. After a spell working at Tower Hill the office moved to the South Bank where I was able to take full advantage of the South Bank Centre and in particular the Hayward Gallery, The National Film Theatre and The Royal Festival Hall. I often spent my lunch break visiting exhibitions and wandering around the area.

I guess this is another 'alternative self-portrait'.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Ice, Ice Baby

Following my Ice Man post (below) Chris (Out Of Mind Abstracts) suggested that I might like to consider using paint in ice as an alternative to just freezing images in water. This immediately sounded like a really good idea and straight away I saw it as a challenge! Then, of course, I had to think long and hard about how to approach this. Not as easy as it sounds!

Anyway, after a week spent creating a block of ice that was frozen , re-frozen, added to and so on and so forth I ended up with a block of ice that took over 4 hours to melt! Over that time I took 305 photos - mainly close-ups. It will take me an age to sort through them but above is a small sample. It was a fun exercise to do and I learned a lot in the process.

It is always nice to get constructive suggestions so thanks to Chris for his idea. It certainly kept me busy this week and has given me much food for thought!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Bits of Me (Alternative Self-Portrait)

For some reason I was thinking about the fact that many artists do self-portraits and how much the idea does not appeal to me. Anyway, as a result of this short contemplation, I came up with the idea of assembling a few objects of mine which might, perhaps, say something about me but in a different way. So, in a way, this is my alternative self-portrait. The wooden box contains a number of items that I use on a regular basis - some daily. I wonder if I had done this 30 years ago how it might compare with now!

Friday, 9 January 2009


I spent a totally disproportionate amount of time on this very small painting and it underwent numerous changes (even for me) over a period of 8 months. I don't know why it frustrated me so much but it was after this that I decided I needed a long break from painting.

25cm x 25cm
Pigment and Acrylic

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Cabo de los Huertas Landscape

24cm x 30cm

I suppose this is about the nearest I get to doing landscapes. Cabo de los Huertas is about 6km from where I live and is a very rugged part of the coast. I usually go there about one day a week when it is sunny as I find it is a place where I can completely forget about the madness of the world in which we live and simply contemplate life, the universe and everything. I have spent most of my life living near the sea and I can't imagine not being able to to do so.


A few months ago I joined the social network group Facebook. There are some really good art groups and I have seen some really excellent work as well as having posted pictures of my own work - mainly photographs.

I was keen to see what the fuss about social networking is and was intrigued when several people sent me a message asking if I would like to be their 'friend'. It is impossible to see the person's profile before accepting but I thought there is little to be lost by doing so.

One of the artists that invited me to be a 'friend' , I discovered, had more than 2,500 'friends' already and I quickly realised I was just an addition to the number. Needless to say I have never heard from her again and she has shown no interest in my posts. Fortunately I have had some more productive experiences with a few other people.

So what have I learned? Well, my definition of what is a 'friend' seems to be rather old fashioned and out of date for some people but I think I will stick with it anyway.