Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Today I took down my first solo exhibition in my local theatre. My next painting to go on public display is "The Silkworm" in Macclesfield at a firm of solicitors, Jobling Gowler, who are organising an art competition. This year's theme was "silk" and future contsts are expected bi-annually.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Today I'm working on a painting for the annual competition held by my art group, the theme is Summer's Day (or is it Summer Days?) Either way it took a lot of thinking out. Ultimately the painting fits into my recent "rebirth" series which mimic the rebirth of my life, love, career and panwonderful existence!
This picture is called The Glorious Birth Of Summer but it is also about the death of winter. The painting is essentially a winter scene that is thawing.
A study was important for this painting because it is too fantastical to easily stage fully. The study is shown. I usually paint one, half size. For this I use the original drawing, scan it into the computer, print onto A4 tracing paper of good weight and then trace onto a cheap surface. One tip is to print the drawing in mirror image and then use a scribe to rub the wet printer ink directly onto the surface.
As you can see the detail is minimal. This is primarily a test of colouration and several adjustments were made during painting. The final picture will be about 60x40cm.
Friday, June 26, 2009
After the sponge I used a rag again which was much better. It's cotton sheeting, similar to a tea-towel so is lint free but to ensure it was dust free I had to stick masking tape all over it then peel it off. One of those sticky rollers used on clothing would work too I'm sure. The result looked much more even but the paint surface remains damaged. After that, while it was wet I revarnished with gloss varnish and brush. The area is dusty and the overlap between the old dry varnish and the new wet parts on the left is visible but I think this is the best it will get.
1. Leave it. The dust looks pretty awful and the varnish is very uneven but from a medium distance people don't notice that sort of thing and the varnishing needs to be seen in glancing light to even notice it.
2. When dry apply a new full coat of varnish. That will probably even out the surface but will do nothing about the dust.
3. Carefully try to remove the dust using cotton swabs like a picture restorer. It sounds easier than it is because this varnish turns very sticky and gluey when mixed with solvent. This risks damaging things more. I don't have experience of this. In situations like this I tend to want to try it to gain that experience even if the picture is ruined, because in the long term that knowledge is worth more than one picture. However this is for a competition and I've invested a lot of time into it. Also this whole damage was caused by trying things out when I should have left it.
4. Remove as much varnish as possible, paint over the damaged areas and revarnish. That is a good option if I had the time but I don't. The deadline for the competition is too close. Also this picture has gold leaf in it which might easily be damaged when removing the varnish. I did put an extra careful coat of varnish on the gold area.
I could repaint the picture. If I had time I would. This painting is a paragon of paintings because it's been plagued by disasters and trials and new experiences yet with each one I've tried a fix and started again. Many technical lessons have been learned.
Artistically it remains acceptable. Of course I would correct and change just about everything if I could! I'm not actually satisfied with any part of it as such and could saw this up and weep only a little bit, but the idea would be there even no matter how it was implemented, provided I could convey that to acceptable degree. The hardest part of this saga is that it was better before I messed with it. Perhaps this is fate and I am destined to win this contest with a picture I'm unhappy with. I find that often happens. Onward!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Yesterday's experiment with "Polymorph" only half worked. The epoxy resin stuck to the other plastic and in hot water "Polymorph" actually becomes more sticky and epoxy becomes more fluid too. They are stuck fast. On the plus side, when hot the transparent result actually looks just like ice, better than the epoxy alone would have looked. I also poured the left over liquid plastic onto glass and dripped acrylic inks into it and made a nice swirly pattern. I'm filled with ideas for using it.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
At 3pm I began work on a picture for my art group Art Support, and that picture too is all about rebirth. The official theme is Summer's Day.
Now I'm going to make a mould using Polymorph. I've mentioned on my blog before that it's a plastic that goes soft in hot water. I had the idea today of making a mould from it for epoxy resin. Once the resin is set the mould can be removed in a pan of hot water. I am moulding something simple, a wobbly peice of transparent plastic that when peered though would make things look like they are encased in ice.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Today I had a nice time seeing a friend who kindly helped me collect my paintings from Nantwich Museum. Her mandala artwork was inspirational. At three o'clock I felt tired, so tired I fell asleep and just about stayed tired all of the rest of the day up until now so I've done nothing creative, but the first half of the day was crammed full. I did manage to write a poem though about my tiredness.
It's true to say,
that I'm so sleepy.
I am awake,
but tired and weepy.
I seem to feel,
so old inside.
I can't explain,
but something died.
I'm not sad though,
more seeming lazy.
I'm thick and slow
and going crazy.
A rest tonight,
a new day for me.
Let sleep and food
and love restore me.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Today I've tried bits in the sequencer for forty five minutes then didn't like it and got tired and took a break, and I did that about five times today. In between I wandered about, thought, rested, played a few notes on my Yamaha SY-85 keyboard. I generally struggled. It's been ages since I wrote new music, I think it was last October or something and my mind has changed a LOT since then.
So why do it? Well if I'm going to ever write more then I'd better practise, that's the first point. I was tired of painting but I'm sure that after a few days like this I'll go back BUT perhaps I should push myself for a change. I do really feel the need to write new music simply because I've not done so in ages, and I generally and constantly have new music in my head. But today I couldn't translate that into actual notes. Finally I like my old music and want to do more to prove I can, even if only to myself.
The best I managed was a few notes about an hour ago. I might just be the start. I've noticed that switching between disciplines like this often takes a day. Perhaps by tomorrow night I'll have a first foothold into "The Music Box".
Friday, June 19, 2009
Last night I went to a show of student art at South Cheshire College with new friend Sue. It was a good night and I felt myself waking up more and becoming re-enthused with new ideas. Some apathy is important to keep standards high, but I like to think that I have retained a childlike curiosity and imagination. Curiosity is vital; when it dies so does youth, and enthusiasm, and vigour, and creativity.
Today began slowly. I had decided to finally select and hopefully paint and idea for the Art Support competition, the theme is Summer's Day. For a while I wanted to paint the sea and didn't know why. Eventually a rough scribble, albeit a very big one made me think of a sea made of land. The painting will be about the death of winter and the birth of something new and glorious because I feel like that, and one way or another my paintings only seem to work when they reflect how I'm feeling at the time.
At 4pm our M.P. Edward Timpson came to my exhibition in the Lyceum and I gave him a quick tour. He commented that people should strive to get in touch with their subconscious more and I agreed.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Today's shock though was that Pat Fletcher who was a member of our art group for a few months, a painter and an organiser of local events, has died in an accident while on holiday. There was a silent pause in the meeting today. My thoughts are with her family tonight.
Let me remember my dreams tonight.
Let me remember the sight.
Let me see from inside.
Bright and vivid.
Crisp and clear.
Let me hear the sounds I will hear.
Let me notice what I will see.
Let me feel the world I shall be.
In my dream I was a boy wearing white pumps. I decided to go swimming in the sea, which might have been a large swimming pool. A headmaster forbade me but I swam anyway. That's all I could remember. I think the headmaster represented my intellect and (so I was told last night before I slept) the water my emotions. The dream suggests that I had decided to do what I feel, and defy what I think for a change.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Now I'm stuck on what to do next. I look back at my work and think "inadequate!" and want to destroy it and start new with new ideas, new techniques, new everything. Perhaps a long poem for a change but that's difficult for me because of the unusual improvised rhythms I evolved into using, perhaps I could go back to basics and pick an iambic pentameter or whatever those "normal" poem rhythms are called.
Without a plan, nothing happens. So if I'm to write anything I'll have to set word or line limits. Things happen when a target is visible. To whit to do this week:
1. Make the frame for Perfection and Necroamoria.
2. Graphics for Flatspace iPhone.
3. Visit South Cheshire College for a student art evening.
4. Thirty monster sound effects.
5. Escort Edward Timpson around my art exhibition.
6. Go to Nantwich and collect my paintings.
7. Sequence the main instruments for the sequel to The Spiral Staircase.
8. Preparing the panel for Andrew's portrait and finalise the sketch.
9. etc. (after eight things one etc. is acceptable!)
Monday, June 15, 2009
Well I felt love,
that much is true.
In the beginning
you felt it too,
but it went wrong
I'm sad to say.
got in the way.
What was the problem?
What can we diagnose?
Well there were certain practicalities
like any part of life.
We found each other's life got in the way.
We had no time to be together close,
a time when "we" were "us".
The certain practicalities of love.
We both had sex.
What can we say.
Could have been better,
but was okay.
We had no time.
We worked all day.
We both had families
get in the way.
What was the problem?
What can we diagnose?
Well there were certain practicalities,
that's all that we can say.
We cared about more things than only us,
and there were bills and work and other things
to complicate the day.
We didn't have the time for love.
So now that's it,
and we're apart,
just like we had been
right from the start
for there were certain practicalities
that we could not conclude.
We found each other's life got in the way,
and in the evening hours we'll dream about
the love that came unglued,
and how were not together every day.
The candle light represents and eye and the darkness to the right is hiding away from it. The monolith is green at it's darkest, green being the saddest hue, and it touches the red black of the landscape for contrast. Thus, generally speaking the picture itself hides it's lower corner from the upper one. The door in the body will be lit to represent the light inside, visible if only it would be shown instead of concealed. I had hoped to underpaint most of it and avoid glazing the entire work but the underdrawing lines remain stubbornly visible.
Yesterday I wrote two songs too for an concept album about a relationship. It might be finished or it might not(!) but the beginning and end parts are done which are the most important bits. I want to try some music again because I'm growing tired of painting so I'll get back to my sequencer and re-activate my plans for the sequel to The Spiral Staircase. Committing to two to four weeks to write this is the most difficult bit but now that my only painting with a deadline is finished I can do what I want. Who can say whether music or painting is more important.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I hope to write and produce more music but finding the time is always a problem. Musically I have plans for more work including a sequel to The Spiral Staircase, a symphonic electronic work.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Meanwhile I've also finished Nine Ladies Weeping at the Death of a Phoenix today (detail shown), a painting that I've had in progress since December, having started it in April 2008. I painted the phoenix spontaneously today because the picture needed something in the middle that was casting the light. The original plan called for a flame made of surreal objects like the clouds in 31st Century Crucifixion, but in the end I painted a few curls in yellow white and it became a fascinating object to me. I couldn't quite work out what it was but I liked it. After some time I realised it was a dead phoenix, which is the perfect symbol for this painting which is all about the passing of stone age England and the possible redevelopment of the stone circle depicted.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Now I've got a few spare hours. I could be creative and begin plans for a new painting or I could be uncreative and make the frame for this one. My feelings cry "Frame! Frame!" so I might do the opposite to keep me on my toes!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
How many emails can I write,
in one night?
I might write four.
I could write more,
and make them long, so long,
and tell x about y
and stare into the eyes
of the dead screen,
then go to bed.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
A slow laborious day painting the greenery shown. Today I proved the difficulty of glazing transparent colours over tiny details, while glazing over medium sized areas like the flat "arm" part shown was simplicity itself. The details up close are nice here but the walls look very flat and plain. Three more days to go. I'm taking far too long on this painting. I think in future I'll try to paint more in the underpainting and if I can paint an object those opaque colours then I'll not bother glazing. At the moment I glaze everything, even flat skies.
Not much else done really. Tomorrow I'm back at my art group and I might try acrylics for a change, or some drawing. Something different and fun anyway. I've got to prepare for that and read more of my book on philosophy.
Monday, June 08, 2009
A happy day because it's the first where I had some spare time instead of having to paint solid until 7pm, and also because I have sunlight. On the downside today's first bright day has shown up lots of blotches and imperfections and flaws and dust and irrgularites. It must therefore be a brilliant painting or I wouldn't be so critical. This disaster might be serendipity in disguise because I could add another layer when painting the final sexy octopus part, later in the week.
Today I've been painting marble, the sort of sea-worn lump of white marble that can be put in your mouth and rolled around with your tongue for a bit before crushing its slightly peppermint chalk between your teeth! Yes! I've been painting a marble statue. I'm also learning exactly how Dali painted seemingly immeasurably complicated pictures like The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. It's not as diffcult as you think.
However, I had to get out of the house in the afternoon because I was going mad and feeling sad stuck immobile inside day after day so I went to the library and picked up a book on philosophy. It is about 51mm thick. If I want to write a book on philosophy I will at least need to read and understand everything about it, which might involve several metres of reading, and take years. After all of that reading I might decide not to write a book after all, who knows, but I want the title to be The Archelexus of Chaos, which is such a brilliant title that it already seems to be worth reading.
Tomorrow I will paint a blob of a man who is half artist and half rose. Ideally someone will read my book to me while I paint. I badly need a robotic companion. Do book-reading machines exist? They would be easy to build (computer->scanner->OCR->speech synthesizer) and essential for blind philosophers. If had the time I'd build that machine and make a million pounds. Enough money to pay someone to read a book to me. Oh the irony that by that stage it wouldn't be necessary.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
But callooh! callay! let's not wallow instead let's leap from the borogroves an into a warm azure sky, for the picture is on target and looks better than expected. With each passing second my skills are improving, my energy levels are being successfully combated to make these twelve hour days seem like mere trifles (yes! I turn days into trifles) and my proactive positive forces are more pro more active more posit and very live compared to this time last year. Woohoo!
Sorry no picture. I forgot to take one today. Four days to go, including a day at my art group Art Support which will be a day off from painting, ironically.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Your silence is glass clear.
I smile at what I hear.
The jokes we make to try to hide
our truth inside, our flaws and fears,
from hopes we love,
or want to.
From those we want to love
Then save yourself for sunrise, love.
Delay my mind from finding out.
I'll smile at silence heard,
and wait for verdant spring to shout.
Mine were less in number but still tiresome. In the wet and vaporously thin yellow-white glaze smoothed over the underpainting with the soft and ultradelicate touch of the fur from a cuddly baby chickling, I added some "marble veins" after looking at some marble to accustom myself to the look.
The painting might be going well but the psychology is notably haphazard. Yesterday I was struck with a depression and feelings of loneliness that naturally stem from being locked away every day. Last night I had five wonderful dreams which were the most lucid and beautiful I've ever experienced and the control and mastery I had in that pellucid explicit and hyperchromatic universe was quite enough to raise my spirits from insecure wreck to god-painter. Today was just fine and tonight, as the mood of this ramble indicates, is fineplus.
The downside to an art group that meets on Wednesdays is my very lack of weekends. Not that I ever did much at weekends, but still. Thus far in my extraordinary existence I've worked just about all day every day for 20 years and, when negative, consider that I've gained little but a frisson of insanity and Hegellian philosophical skills. Tonight though I am a hyperoptimist, and I expect two good pieces of news in the middle of next week. I don't know what or why, I just had an inkling about it at 6am.
Friday, June 05, 2009
I found it difficult to enter the slow monk-like mentality necessary for fine glazing, a trance like state of isolation and concentration. In some ways my earlier paintings had finer detail because I found it easier to enter that state, but they did take twice the time and the detail was more "tight" and not as accurate or realistic looking so I am making definite progress in painting quality. That said I'd like more time to paint more pictures. I'd rather sacrifice some quality to produce more work. Tick tick tick the clock of life goes and I have too many ideas to rest or stop or delay.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Tomorrow I start the final glazing layer to Perfection and Necroamoria. With luck it will be dry, framed and completed with ample time for delivery to The Museum of Modern Art in Wales before July the 6th. After that, new underpaintings for small and medium works, and perhaps, certainly eventually, the bigger Apocalypse of Finance which will take so much effort that I'm afraid of starting it!
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Things That Worked
-I planned the layout well beforehand. That saved lots of time and trouble. The fact that I number code my pictures helped too so that people who don't know which painting is which can still work out what goes where.
-My mum suggested taking a ladder and it proved to be vital for some of the out of reach areas.
-Our teams of two system worked well. I'm glad that I bought two cheap spirit levels just for the job and also glad that I put the screws in two bags.
-The delivery van was great. I used a company called Vanana who insure the load. The van arrived exactly on the dot of when I asked and the driver was as friendly and helpful as he could have been.
-A powered screwdriver did help prevent blisters.
-The exhibition walls consisted of 12mm M.D.F. wood panels. For those, 16mm screws were chosen to ensure they went right in and it was a good choice.
-A spike and hammer to start the screw saved lots of slips and wasted effort when screwing.
Things That Could Have Been Better
-I stapled the price and information cards on the wall. A powered stapler would have made it easier. As it stands, many of these cards are rather untidy and were marked by the stapler.
-I didn't tick out the paintings as they were loaded and unloaded, or even the night before when I set them out. As such, one painting (which it turns out I didn't even have any more) was missing and caused a temporary panic.
-Some frames were damaged by rough handling. It's amazing how many knocks and scrapes go unnoticed when handling heavy paintings at high speed. The slight feeling of rush perhaps contributed to this, and so a calmer and more logical way of laying out the paintings near the place to be hanged, or a fifth person acting as foreman might have helped.
It is the opening event tomorrow I'll make more notes after that.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Now now now! I'll be setting up my solo exhibition tomorrow with the launch the day after. This is all very exciting. I need to do lots of small jobs too including scanning some paintings and transferring some new drawing details to another picture but I'm feeling rather tired, chaotic, scribbly and emotional and I don't like it so I'll rest for a bit then seal myself away to calm down. With luck I can do those little jobs tonight.