Sunday, April 25, 2010

Something for the Weekend-Ferry Across the Mersey.

I sit here this sedentary Sunday afternoon, on the eve of becoming a grandfather for the first time. Despite my predisposition to be a curmudgeonly old sod, if I'm honest, I never thought I'd feel old enough to be a grandparent. And yet as my daughter-Emma- lies in a labor ward on the other side of the world, I must admit to being beside myself with anxious excitement at the prospect. I can't wait to meet you little Quinn-I can't wait to see myself maybe a little wise in your eyes.
We shall be leaving for the UK in just a few days. Meanwhile, as Lani and I have been busily preparing for our trip, any effort in the studio has been at the behest of organizing my crap, and cleaning out every dusty nook and crannie. I did manage to complete 'the Triumvirate' piece however, which now has a new temporary home at the San Diego Art Institute. Its looking like an exciting showcase, and I'm pleased with how solid this collection is-I've great ambition for the project to culminate when we return.

For the moment however, I am content knowing that I'll be spending the time in between with my family, meeting my grandson, perhaps walking along the river Mersey with a steaming bag of fish and chips, or standing in front of 'when did you last see your Father' by Yeames at the Walker. Its been too long.

Which reminds me...I never liked Gerry and the Pacemakers version of Ferry across the Mersey, but my old ZTT stable mates Frankie goes to Hollywood did a nice dramatic retread in the 80's, which was on the B side for Relax.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 86-the Triumvirate.

Give or take a few more flourishes, I am near completion of Trinity-or the Triumvirate to rechristen it with its new, rather loftier title.I'm beside myself with how this piece has turned out-I think its my most accomplished painting to date.

I believe my cat-Pepper, would give a thumbs up too, if she had any. Instead she sits and watches me from the window sill, caught between the rush of fresh air and the heady toxins of the studio, peering from behind the curtain as I move from jar to palette to canvas and back again. I've yet to see if she has learned anything watching me-judging from the litter tray, I think not.

I'll leave it there with a short token video from the Belly Up event the other week, I make a blink and you'll miss me appearance at the 30 second mark and then again at around 1min 50, but its a lively little thing, which present company excepted, is easy on the eye.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Notes from an Easel-part 85-Perfumes and Mishaps

I love the smell of my studio in the mornings, the warm comforting aroma of turpentine and oils potent in the air-my own little inner sanctum of incense.
I'm never more happy than when I am working to scale, but by turns I am outgrowing the limited space of my studio.
One of my pieces-albeit unfinished-suffered some minor damage I discovered, punctured by an eyelet after I'd propped it against another canvas.


At this stage, I'm unsure if I can repair it with a patch, or if it warrants a repaint,nevertheless I've resolved that when we return from England, I want to look into the possibility of renting somewhere.

Meanwhile, I am going to be checking out the gallery space for the San Diego Art Institute exhibit, in readiness for drop off next week. Given that I leave for England in just over a week (volcanic eruptions willing) the hope is to have the Trinity piece, complete by then.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Head Candy-a blind man looking into the night sky

Exploring the dark alleyways, sometimes its all too easy to lose yourself rifling through the trash. As an artist, nestling in the shade of yourself, its a double edged sword you run the risk of impaling yourself on continually.The very act of it is diminished constantly by the need to make a living.
So,for a few days this week, I was in the foulest of moods-raging at the moon and the sun and the world like a demented blindman shaking his stick at the night sky.
It's the sitting for days, naval gazing in the suffocating seclusion of my studio, and I could well have done with the perspective of a walk in the open air. Instead I elected to stand in the fish bowl of a live painting event at the Belly Up. I daresay I played the artistic stereotype to a tee that night-prowling like a tiger before my easel-all furled brow and whiskey chasers.Afterwards, as I sat grimly in the car ride home, feeling merely like some anecdote on the night and bemoaning my lot and the fact that such events aren't exactly garnering sales, my ever wise and beautiful wife reminded me what a lucky S.O.B I really am.
With my head stuck so far up my arse that I could see my breakfast, I had completely neglected to consider the legions of people (mostly female and lovely) who had traveled out to see me, and watch every stroke. Or that the event was for charity-Save a Breast foundation, and that a room full of people had bought raffle tickets in the hopes to win my art. Or how happy it made my friends-the organizers that I be involved.
Or even the not too small matter that I got to eat a delicious meal in lovely company and dance with my equally lovely and delicious wife.
So thank you all-you are truly the lights in the black curtain of my sky.
Being an artist is somewhat like a religion, it can provide sanctuary, hope and solace, but can also be like a fog misguiding your every move.
Sometimes, I forget that its just enough to be who I am, where I am right now. Thats enough to ever hope for, and I do well to remember that.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Notes from an Easel-Part 83

This being Easter- working on this piece strikes me as incredibly a propos.
Meanwhile, the paint flows as easily as a fine Irish malt at a wake.
I can afford to be so flippant, rudely awakened today from a heavy food coma, by an earthquake that rolled the house like a tugboat on the Mersey, and rattled the corrugated awning like the sound of Thor lobbing thunder.
I fled to the garden, still dizzy from my sleep, damp with cold sweat and staring at Lani in frozen terror:wondering if this was indeed the-"BIG ONE".

'You get used to it'-people here will remark with a passive shrug, except I am gripped by horrible, irrational nightmares of the world beneath my feet falling away, and the ebon eternity beneath swallowing me up-no doubt Pat Robinsons voice echoing that my evil sigils assured my eternal damnation.

I need not have feared, my pinhead cat's lay motionless in a heap of blankets throughout.
Either they are in possession of an internal seismograph, or are content in the knowledge that come the end of days, only roaches and felines are likely to survive.

I fear the latter.