Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My latest song, a quiet piano ballad called After Tonight.

After tonight
you'll be these short lines.
After tonight
you'll be a memory.
After tonight
will come the rusty sunrise.
Yellow and light
like on the day I first saw you.

Crying inside,
you are my sunshine
even as I
prepare to leave you.
Morning in sight
perhaps one hundred heart beats.
After tonight
I'll be alone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Execution of King Charles I is now glazed and a new picture, half a broken heart, is now underpainted too in record time. Today is for framing and a new attempt at adapting my flatbed scanner for large format scanning. My next new painting idea will be on the theme of "Winter" and the good ideas are, quite usually, slow to come. When trying to free think imagery, some good eye food is necessary. Eye food consists of images recently seen. We might have our eyes open all day, but most images are ignored by the visual memory because it takes a little concentration to store them. Those temporarily stored images are sorted later, sometimes in dreams, and at least accessible by the subconscious. That temporary visual memory is the palette, the ingredients, used by the visual imagination so when searching for images it is important to nourish it, and ensure that it is filled with the right sort of food.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

After a busy few days the A.I. picture is now glazed. The sky was more blue grey than I had planned for and I have contemplated making this more violet, but the current colour does work well with the brown ropes and their lemon yellow glow. The flesh and the expression came out well enough. The glazing media were new formulations and used very glassy looking amber which were as beautiful as liquid glass when wet. Lavender oil was used too. I'm unsure whether lavender oil or spike oil (aspic oil, this is lavender oil but from the whole plant as opposed to just the flowers) is better. Dali recommends spike oil but the one reference I could find that compares the two stated that the old masters preferred lavender. Lavender smells nicer but both appear to be as viscous and slow to evaporate. Spike oil appears to be more fuming to the eyes. If all things were equal I would use lavender but if I suffer doubts I will trust Dali instead. Tomorrow I'm off to Chester to submit The Flute Player to the Grosvenor open exhibition. After that I'll have The Marlene Deitrich picture to overpaint with a new layer, and add the single and probably final layer to the execution of King Charles which I am worried about because the current sky in particular is very nice in colour already. I'll also need to improvise lots of dabs of bright white highlights on the rough sea. After that I'll continue the Sysiphus painting but that might leave me with one idle day before the Art Support meeting on Wednesday which I really should attend. I'll use that day for frame making and buying wood. Four new pictures are now sketched and transferred to panels: Madonna and child with cat, Bye bye little fishes (and thank you), Perseus and the screaming tree, somebody to love. The fish one gets priority because it has a deadline. Any music will have to wait a month or two.
A new poem. It is called Clementine.

Days turn into dust and rain
as you turn into sky.
Huddled, like a man of clay.
Water on my skin rolls by.

Ghosts and graves
in moonlight death.
Crucifixes,
far away.

Days turn into dust and rain.
Colour loses hue.
My world is fading blue to grey,
like memories of you.
I've just found Penalties as a BBC selected work for the One Love exhibition.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My two academy hopefuls have now been dropped off. Another painting week is over, and a productive one. Four paintings were worked on. The A.I. picture now has it's new dramatic sky, and three others have been underpainted. The first was The Execution of King Charles I, one of my most surreal looking images. In cobalt turquoise blue and contrasting rusty red this is a sad picture about the change, blood and death of the civil war monarch. The second was a picture of Marlene Dietrich as a mountain and her clothing a misty waterfall. The third is a tower of bees hit by a giant wave, this is about the impact of a devastating unexpected event. The third one will be painted a little differently from my usual style because the violent sea would benefit from violent knife painting, in contrast to the relatively delicate bees. With these four, I now have five pictures that are about 50% complete (the other being Sysiphus, rolling his rock under the setting sun as the gods look on and laugh).

Monday, April 02, 2007

Well more art completed since last time. My picture of Kate Bush as a winter tree is finished and a new idea of an intermediate glazing layer has been added to the A.I. picture. More glazing layers can make a picture smoother, this is undoubted, although in my experience only about 3 transparent layers are needed, and down to just 2 (one opaque) if care is taken and the subject not too tiny and fiddly. Here I've added a very thin glaze over the underpainting in the same colours and this has smoothed things considerably (my classics master Dali doesn't recommend this). I've also used a medium that included a solver, neither Dali or I recommend this for a glaze, but here is was appropriate and any bleeding (and instability) effects are minimised due the both the bulky subject and the insubstantiality of the layer. Tomorrow I'm off to London to drop off two hopefuls to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. I'm not optimistic about the outcome and the trip will be awkward, but if I waited another year just in case I paint something I'm actually pleased with then I might end up waiting forever.