Monday, 30 September 2013

A Cautionary Tale

The weekend just gone, was an art weekend. I finished the second coat on the hallway design so that is now done, painted a new picture and put primer on the table and chairs ready to receive the design I still haven't come up with. 

Now, primer.

Someone really should have spoken to me about primer before I used it, and before I realised you needed white spirit to remove it, and before I realised I didn't have any.

There is nothing like that moment when you are mindlessly washing your paint soaked brush under the tap, spreading out the bristles with your fingers to wash it off quicker.....getting paint over your hands and halfway up to your elbows. Oh, chortle, the mess I make. Starting to rinse off your hands, your arms, wondering why the paint is so oily, so sticky and rubbing it off doesn't seem to be working. Looking down at your white, slimy hands thinking 'Oh my God' why won't this come off, I need to, I need to, oh hell I can't touch anything. SOMEBODY HELP ME! 

You then proceed to..... 
  • desperately turn the tap off using the power of your just mind, 
  • do the elbow clap tearing of kitchen towel so you can vaguely wipe the goo away. 
  • Look in the cupboard for white spirit - no. 
  • Think about going to look in the garage for white spirit - it is late, the garage is creepy, there are spiders, - no.
  • Look at your hands again hoping somehow the problem has solved itself - damn.
  • Spend the next 40 minutes with make up pads and nail varnish remover slowly working away at de-sticky-fying your hands until they resemble cold grey pieces of a clammy nightmare. I believe Voldemort had hands like these. 
So next time, primer, I come armed with knowledge, a barrel of white spirit, and a boiler suit. 


Friday, 27 September 2013


So it might be time to blog about that film, the day after, the day after, the day after, the day after, tomorrow. Or should that be yesterday? Either way, it is safe to say I am a bit behind having said I would do it on Monday! Oops.

Ironically I wasn't actually much of a fan of the film in question (Modigliani), partly because it compounded my slight dislike of Picasso and it glazed over many artists I would have liked to have heard more about. It was also difficult not to come out of it a) slightly depressed, b) thinking artists are either callous, manipulative, crazy or stupid and c) that Modigliani was a nutter and/or a bit of a prat.

Regardless of the particular slant on Modigliani the film decided to portray (some say he drank, took drugs and misbehaved to easier hide the symptoms of Tuberculosis as being a drunkard was more acceptable than being a carrier of an infectious disease...) It was worth watching to gain a bit more of an insight into his short life, his battles with Picasso and his slightly traumatising love life. I remember copying some of his work when I was younger (yes, even I do occasionally draw people) but I knew absolutely nothing about him. I still don't really feel like I know him any better now, but then maybe that is what wikipedia is for.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Wham Bam, thank you Spam

I managed to find some inspiration last night in the form of a film and then this morning in the form of a new CD, but more about the CD in the next post, and the film a bit later.....

I appear to have slowly developed into a Bond villain over the last couple of weeks. I have an art email address that I use when responding to art gallery requests or clients, I don't use it often and almost no one knows it exists, I don't register with it, nothing. Over the last couple of weeks, spam has started to trickle into it, but only spam about Casinos, gambling and 'meeting' high class Asian women. Well, they have got me figured out haven't they!?!?!?!

It is strange the stuff/spam you can find on the internet. I decided to check out as they link to my blog occasionally although as they are renowned for 'referer spam' I shouldn't have done so. Never mind, apparently they offer to work out how much your domain name is worth, so out of curiosity I typed in and have subsequently decided to retire on the $8.95 they said it was worth.

Spam is infuriating, if I get one more email into my home account trying to persuade me to become a plumber........*shakes fist holding monkey wrench* oh damn, where did that come from?

Anyway about the film, although I don't feel like I can tag writing about it onto the end of this spam rant, it would be like spamming my own blog post. I will write about it tomorrow instead, or maybe the day after tomorrow.....

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sleeping on the Inside

I don't know what to blog about today. I could tell you that one of my photos - 'Rainbow Fields' has been 'featured' in a blog post written by someone else (featured in the loosest sense).

Rainbow Fields
I could also mention that someone linked to one of my earlier posts regarding the Saudi Arabian oil rig art scam and I think I saved them from being scammed themselves. (High five).........or maybe I should talk about the jumper I bought last week that is so furry on the inside that when I wear it it makes me feel like a teddy bear. On second thoughts writing about that would probably seem weird. Mentioning it is probably weird enough......

It is safe to say, things are happening at the moment, but nothing major - things are ticking over. The same goes for my film watching  I have seen some good things - the crazy hamster in 'Bolt', a good storyline with a predictable unpredictable ending in 'Side Effects' a film classic in 'The Graduate' and a lot of coincidences in 'Magnolia' but not enough inspiration in any of them for me to devote a whole post.

But I don't mind, sometimes just ticking over is enough, it is after all, a rest of sorts.....

Monday, 16 September 2013


I don't know where today has gone, but it has gone somewhere very quickly!? I am sure this hasn't been helped by the fact I am a little under the weather and consequently suffered an afternoon of "what did I come in here to do?"

On the plus side this weekend saw me complete the first coat of paint on my hallway design. It needs at least one more coat and then some magic 'tidying up'. Some of the painted so-called straight lines are so wobbly you would think I had never held a paintbrush before or I couldn't stop compulsively shimmying with excitement at what I was doing. My only consolation is that all the lines are wobbly so at least I was consistent. I have a trick up my sleeve that should solve the problem....I hope.

Irritatingly it is completely impossible to take a photo of the overall effect I have created, or at least to take a photo that even vaguely does the design justice. These 'tasters' are the best I can do, and to say my first friend came round to view the design today and the response was a resounding "wow".

Nuff said.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


I found a new band yesterday which is playing my 'tune of the moment.' I say 'found,' one of my friends recommended them to me. Not necessarily a band you want to listen to if you are feeling a bit down, uplifting isn't a word I would apply to Daughter's sound. The lead singers voice is amazing and as my friend said - a band who plays music that is 'miserable and enchanting.' Beat that for an emotional combo!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Strata 101

I was taking a look through some of my previous posts yesterday, trying to work out what I had managed to find to talk about in order to create 100 blog posts (now 101). I noticed on the 18th of August I said I was going to blog about one of my Grand Canyon inspired paintings and then seemingly totally forgot about it.

So here it is now, just about under a month too late so that makes it acceptable still, over a month is just rude.

Strata - 20" x 16" box canvas
This painting started out as a sunset over a marshland as I wanted to paint something that wasn't Grand Canyon orientated (unlike the previous 10 paintings). I then had one of my special, 'this painting is terrible moments' painted over the majority of it and then went to bed. (I was painting ridiculously late at night so going to bed was acceptable, I wasn't having a tantrum). I was a bit more inspired the next morning and the above painting slowly started to emerge. Grand Canyon-esque hill line, stripes of rock strata, sunset - all the usual protagonists came together to make a painting I was finally satisfied with.

Oh yes.

Seems like this will be the last painting for a while as I have moved onto giving my flat the artistic treatment so I can do some truly self indulgent art. It will be like a holiday. It has been 24 days since my last confession......with paint......


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Post 100 and counting

Wow. My 100th post! I am sure this deserves some kind of monumental celebration as I must admit I thought I would write about ten posts and then get bored. My staying power astounds me, considerably helped by the occasional comments left by you guys and the fact that I know this is read by at least 8 different people (and not just my Mum 8 times). I jest by the way, I get enough hits per day to give myself a pat on the back and inspire me to keep writing so thank you!

Anyway, down to business (in the loosest sense). I promised you some shots of my new lampshade so here it is. It is a rare gem of a purchase and made even better by the fact I had to assemble it myself - 40 minutes later and I had two of these ready to hang in my lounge and an ability to insert plastic petals into most situations in under a second. I am sure at some point this skill will become incredibly useful, one day maybe, maybe the day after tomorrow in fact. Boom, boom!

Monday, 9 September 2013

Shoulder Pad Purple

Having doubted my ability to find the time or the inclination to paint either the table or the hallway this past weekend turned out to be perfect. The house is tidy, I have filed my paperwork, filed my emails, sorted through my accounts, updated my calendar and I am on top of my work and that was just the world's most productive Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon and Sunday were left for relaxing and starting work on the hall.

The palette was chosen earlier in the week via a selection of tester pots from Homebase; Bizarrely named 'Shoulder Pad Purple', Kingfisher', 'Mojito' and wait for it, this next one is a true moment of pure unadulterated originality....'orange.' Orange? ORANGE? What kind of a paint name is that? -_-

But anyway, half the hallway (read: glorified corridor) is done, well the first coat of it at least and I AM EXCITED! It is going to look amazing. I will do an updated post with pictures and maybe a video as it is hard to show the space when it is finished. This may take another couple of weekends, at least, but I am hoping to do it quicker.....

Watch this space.

Friday, 6 September 2013


Everything must go, sale, sale, SALE, but it seems like most things are quite happy where they are. That said, two paintings have found a new home and I have had a bit of a reshuffle along the lines of a gallery rotation. I am enjoying the fact that when anyone comes over to my house at the moment they almost immediately have a rifle through my latest work. Apart from the fact that this makes me feel slightly like I live in a shop I am loving the active interest in my work.

I am having a painting break for a bit as I am officially burnt out. I fell into the abyss that is the Grand canyon and at the moment I can't seem to get out......I am not going to be creatively lazy though. I have bought two new unusual lampshades that need the obsessive photography treatment (you will understand when you see them) and I have finally bought a blank canvas in the form of a dining table and two chairs. I also have the design I want to do drawn out in the hall, tester pots purchased and I am ready to go.

On your marks.... wait I haven't thought this through properly......get set......I don't have any time.......