Thursday, 31 January 2008

snouts in the trough

As everyone in any kind of business knows, this time of year is a bit light on the old cashflow.
Christmas debt, credit crunch, sub-prime shitters, whatever, choose your poison.
So with a lack of gold and a heavy heart, I have by turns been chained to the easel and the laptop all week trying to eleviate the fiscal freeze.
It would appear, that despite my best efforts to turn an honest coin, I am barking up the wrong cashpoint...............(if you'll forgive a mixed metaphor).

What I need is to do is get elected, or maybe become a peer.

I was bombarded with T.V. adverts throughout the festive period and into January.
What about ? make sure I got my self assesment tax form in on time.
No fucking wonder, with all those salaries to pay for the kids at Uni, and wives "working" for their M.P. husbands, they need to get their cash flow up !
I'd like to see what they declare as taxable income. Wankers.

Of course, if you are a member of the Upper House you just do a few introductions.
Facilitate a nice warm handshake between an arms dealer and the MOD procurement chappy, and Bob's your uncle, nice little tickle, Antigua here we come.
Instead of feathering his own nest that fucker ought to spend his time sorting out a good deal on body armour for the lads in Iraq and Afghanistan............or maybe a nice big order of top quality Union Jack's for the boxes they keep coming home in.

A particularly amusing line on Radio 5 yesterday came from a Labour MP trying to convince the listeners and the program host, that our Parliamentary representatives employ their wives because they work so hard, for such long hours that it's the only way to avoid marital breakdown.
So I suppose the poor Donkeys of the chattering classes all go home on time every night then do we ?

Pull the other one, it's got fucking bells on.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008


Been playing around with the appearance of the site, still not sure yet what I think. Let me know your thoughts.
Also, I have added a neat little thing called snapshots. If you roll over to the unmissables on the right, you'll get a box with the relevant blog in. Go to the bottom right of the box, click, and you'll be
If you think it's NOTcool, then feel free to disable it at the top right corner of the box.

Been to the studio all day, had a lovely natter with an old friend and a new one. The new one has commissioned a painting of herself.
She's gonna look fine, oh yes.

Also managed to finish a medium sized seascape, which is a sort of maybe/commission/sale.
All in all a full day.

Tough work

When I was a boy, this is how I thought Tuesdays would look......................

Monday, 28 January 2008

Laughing Boy

Picture the scene; Saturday morning, Herself and the Firstborn are away to the city on a mission to purchase shoes.
Me and the Lad have no plans. Speculatively, I offer him the possibility of sitting fairly still while I paint his portrait. Surprisingly he gives up the coveted role of Chief Watcher of the Cartoons, and agrees.

Actually, he's a pretty good subject, and the opportunity to catch up with each others news is really good. Amazing the things that go on in the village and on the school bus that I have no clue about. Weird how every time I spend a long time talking to him, his maturity seems to have leaped forward since the last long chat.
Sometimes I wonder if I sleep for months at a time. The pace of change seems so fast with both of them.

After three/four hours, including a lunch break of fishcake and chips from the village chippy, this was the result.
Overall it's a bit dark, and a bit blue, but I think it'll be ok with a little tickling up here and there.

The real pleasure was in the fact that he really loved it, and dragged his Mum up to the studio on Sunday to have a look.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

back to the future

So, having figured that I have taken my digital photography as far as I want to, the obvious and long pondered question has been; "What next ?".
After more than a year of deliberating and writing lists of pro's and con's, I have decided on a course of action.
The bit of kit in the picture is a monorail camera. The sort of thing that some toggy's in their forties and older, (including me), learned their trade using.
Oh yeah, by the way, this one is now mine.

I'm not going to get all dewy eyed here, this is not an easy bit of kit to handle. There are some issues with using big old fashioned cameras. From my standpoint however, they are the antidote to hosing your subject down with a Digital camera, ending up with 200 frames, then spending all evening hard wired into Photoshop to end up with ten images.

The way I see it, beautifully lit, silky, black and white portraiture is the way to go.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

New stuff

More than one or two creative things going on at the moment, and as usual when I'm under pressure, the painting is going well.

I always spend the first week or two of the new year plotting/planning/reading/more plotting.
This means when I eventually pick up the old palette, I'm gagging for it.

More than half the ideas on the list for this year will probably never get started, but I feel as though I need to start off with at least the illusion of some sort of plan !

I'm starting to get the feel of a new series of canvases. I'm not really sure if the thread that runs through them will be clothing, lighting, the Chaise or what. These things just evolve with time and productivity.

This piece feels like the first of a good run. We'll see.

Monday, 21 January 2008


Birthdays are funny things.

Last week I was having trouble remembering when the actual event was.
A couple of friends dropped in to see me on Thursday, and I was convinced that I had at least another week of being forty. I was wrong.

I suppose last year felt more significant in number terms, but I feel as though my attention has been distracted by work and domestic stuff for a couple of months, so being another year older has arrived in a rush.........almost unexpectedly.

It seems not so long ago that the only rational thoughts skipping between my ears on the anniversary of my birth were concerned with;
women/alcohol/geography/time of day/availability of taxis.
In actual fact, if I concentrate, those birthdays were more than twenty years ago. The impulses now go something like;
women/afternoon-nap/slippers/gin & that maturity or surrender ?

There are some advantages to getting on a bit though. As I write, the delicate aroma of the supermarket heat-at-home takeaway curry is drifting from the kitchen. The DVD choice has been made by the apprentice. Herself is flouncing decoratively around the kitchen, and the strangely calm and quiet Doppelganger of my evil teenage daughter is doing her homework !

As I said, funny thing Birthdays.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Is that the time already ?

Hello luvlies, HAPPY 2008 !

As for the event everything was cool.
(As usual, my meltdown didn't last long)

Pressies got bought........(Not on the interweb Ian, hope all your stuff arrived !).........journeys to visit family, went without mechanical or traffic mishap, Chrismas day was all about cooking/talking/eating/unwrapping. The kids were great, not too teenstrange and are reliable and great company.
Boxing Day was at the outlaws, and went well, we got back home on the 27th and have been eating chocolate, watching DVD's and having a chilled time since.

On to the start of a new year then ! Loads to do, lots of developments with creative stuff.
I submitted a couple of ideas to the curator of the big, posh annual exhibition held at Salthouse. One of them is a solo project and the other a very exciting collaboration with three other artists.
Thrillingly enough, the curator has gone for both of them...................Hussah !

In between travelling and stuff I have finished two canvases, sold a couple of others and are in negotiation over a third.

Anyway, loads of stuff going on, more details to are you all ?