Sunday, 31 March 2013

Let there be LIGHT

Painting, I think I used to do that once? It has been three weeks since I managed to get the brushes out and I think I may yet have another week to get through before I can find a decent amount of time to churn out another work. I am slightly getting to the point where the words 'stuff it' will issue from my mouth and I may just stay up late to do something, anything, maybe just get some paint on my hands or my feet for old times sake. The first one back after a month out had better be worth the wait....

In the meantime to make up for my own lack of work I thought I might as well head into London, as a birthday treat, and look at the work of others in the form of the Light Show at the Hayward Gallery.

WOW! It was more than worth the effort; works to make you think, interact with, change your perception and alter the way you see things. That is all I ever want from an art show. Some inspiration, some intelligence and something you haven't seen or experienced before. It was definitely one of the best specific art displays I have seen for a while and fun for everyone; There were children there enjoying, learning and interacting, even my gallery buddy enjoyed it and she won't mind me saying she is not really an art fan (she loves my work though (or at least she better say she does)). So if you have the time, or find yourself wandering along the South Bank (or wondering for that matter) this is a must see. The show runs for another month and is frequently busy so make sure you book tickets if time is tight.

Remember to look out for:

Bill Culbert
Carlos Cruz-Diez
Anthony McCall

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The Seven Steps of...

Who knew wrapping up and packaging a couple of paintings to post tomorrow would be so difficult. I meant to do it earlier at a civilised hour but somehow time ran away with me today so instead I am doing it now, at 1 o'clock in the morning. It is going well:

  1. I am running out of bubble wrap.
  2. I have no cardboard boxes that are a useful size.
  3. Whilst trying to parcel tape and manipulate a Limited Edition canvas print I got severe cramp in my foot.
  4. I managed to cut my thumb before I even started.
  5. There is mess everywhere and,
  6. I have a muscular twitch in my jaw from tearing tape with my teeth instead of using scissors.

Who decided it would be a good idea to try and become a self sufficient artist!?! I am certainly living the dream at the moment, or at least a dream, and unfortunately not currently one that involves a warm bed...I am not going to complain too much though as having to stay up late because I made a sale is no bad thing.

And lastly:

     7. I just broke a nail.

Well that is just the beginning of the end.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Would you like to touch my brain?

I read the best article today, one that can help me explain away my occasional moments of obscurity and my strange ability to periodically utter completely irrelevant 'gems' of information. (Trying saying that ten times quickly!)

It turns out that creative people may have a BIG PIECE OF THEIR BRAIN MISSING. Ok that is not entirely true. It seems that most people have a 'brain filter' that is used to filter out irrelevant external context so they can focus on the task at hand. This 'brain filter' is inhibited in creative people leaving the random thoughts to float in and out and supposedly provide solutions and inspiration from unlikely sources. I like to think this means, when I go for a walk and I can hear my brain going 'tra la la la la' that I am actually absorbing and sifting through a monumental amount of information intelligently and accurately, and not just being vacant.

Ooh is that a potato? Oh no it is just a stone......even better, I'll save that and put it in my soup for later....that will be souper man......

CREATIVE OK (not mental, creative)

You can check out the original article by clicking here and yes, I am printing it off to keep in my back pocket so that next time I cut my finger on a piece of toast (yes I really did do that yesterday) I can just say 'read this' and explain it all away.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

So Let Go

Normally I should have painted another picture by now. It has only been seven days since the last one but I hadn't realised how dependent I had become on regularly churning them out.

I am becoming more restless with every passing day.

It is just as well yoga saved me tonight and calmness is restored. It is strange to feel like I need to paint something when I have no inspiration. I have no idea bubbling away in the background just a nervous twitch to lay out a canvas and get the paint box out. Let's hope I never get to the point where I need paintings like I need my five-a-day or life may start to get complicated.

The next few days should be interesting, I have two days in which I might find an adequate window of opportunity in which to produce something, if I don't make those days, then I am not going to have another chance for at least a week if not more. That may hurt a little unless everything really does get easier with time....

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Oranges and Sunshine

Super Saturday hey? You were not so super - I would have liked Ireland, England and Scotland to have won in the 6 Nations today.

Ireland lost.

England were thrashed (ouch).

Scotland lost.

Oh goody.

Just as well I can lighten the mood by mentioning a depressing film I watched on Friday night - oh goody times 2. This is a slightly different film post from the norm. I have decided to include this film in my recommendations for its topic rather than its style, content, artistic values or whatever else I judge films worthy on. The film in question is called Oranges and Sunshine and is based on a true story. England was party to a disgraceful lack of judgement up until the 1970's, of taking or 'relocating' children from supposed slums or broken homes - and this could just be from homes of single parents or unmarried women because god forbid the scandal - and getting them adopted into wealthier homes for a 'better life'.  This 'better life' actually consisted of telling the children their parents were dead and promising them a life of relaxed comfort picking oranges for breakfast in the beautiful, scenic, sunny, idyll of Australia. Read: We will ship you off to Australia, take all of your possessions, put you in a Children's Home and then treat you as slaves, abuse you, beat you, strip you of everything; A lot of these schemes were run by charities and Churches which quite frankly is disgusting.

This happened to 130,000 children.

The United Kingdom and Australia have only recently apologised for this outrage in 2010.

This makes me so angry my blood is boiling, the inhumanity of humanity is utterly ridiculous.

Oranges and Sunshine is about one woman's mission to right some wrongs and expose the truth of this bizarre happening and it is worth watching just for that. Margaret Humpreys I salute you.

(Incidentally more information can be found on Wikipedia or on the Child Migrant Trust website mentioned in the film....)

Thursday, 14 March 2013

A Space Oddity

I finally managed to watch a film last night that was worth writing about, the last few things I have watched have fallen short (so short I can't remember most of them but then my short (boom, boom) term memory is notoriously atrocious). That said, sometimes you have to stop pretending you are intelligent and just watch some trash and be entertained.

I, for one, am completely addicted to Kung Fu Panda (1 and 2).

The film I watched yesterday, however, is a cult classic. It is 45 years old and it didn't show which is something in itself. I was also surprised by how many other films I could think of that had taken inspiration from this original. Any idea what it was? Are you ready? It was Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was clever and interesting enough, with the right balance of 'what is going on' and the odd hint or two. The main computer had a big enough role and a seriously creepy voice, throw in some classical music, some spinning spaceships and some coloured lights and a story that just about makes sense and you have yourself a winner. I can see how, in 1968, it must have been amazing and controversial, it still holds some of that now but at a slower pace - a lot of the cinematography is still beautiful. I can't believe how much it felt like I had seen it before - tantamount to how much of it has been reused, reworked and inspired.

Definitely a must see if you are a film buff otherwise I think you could take it or leave it. I still want to say take it though, it is a classic for a reason!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


This is completely irrelevant but someone came to my blog after searching for 'day after tomorrow cake.' I think that is just fantastic.

Can I have a slice?

I wasn't expecting to be able to do much posting or artwork this past week or for the next few weeks as I am too busy (for once) but it turns out I can no longer not paint having got back into the swing of doing it regularly. This last painting was unusual though - normally I paint how I am feeling but this time I painted what I needed. The coming together of a selection of projects, a few looming deadlines, the urge to watch the 6 nations even though I didn't really have time and the major requirement for sleep meant I was quite stressed on Saturday and restless (and tired).

Ideally I needed to go for a walk, or see something peaceful, maybe hug a tree or two but it was 8 o'clock in the evening and chilly. Painting always relaxes me but what to do.....I am uninspired.....oh well here goes nothing I am sure just splodging some paint around will help.

And help it did; I painted my own therapy, my own walk, my own sunset/sunrise to watch, my own focused bit of peace.....and relax......sigh


Monday, 4 March 2013

A Nice Niche for your Niece in Nice

Part of making a success of anything is trying to find a niche - seeing a need and filling a need. I think, after writing this blog, I have managed to find one:

The first step is to change my name to Seraphine de Senlis and then to sell some prints of her, sorry 'my' work. Since mentioning her here in a film recommendation a few weeks ago I have had quite a lot of internet hits from surfers trying to find out more about her work and buy prints. LOOK! LOOK! See the similarities in my work and hers, are you sure you wouldn't rather buy one of my prints instead? No? Oh well it was worth a try.

So Seraphine Louis, I had the same problem with finding out about you after I found out you existed, so in a tribute and to help you lost souls, here are my top Seraphine de Senlis resources:
  1. Art and Psychosis - her rise to fame.
  2. Good old Wikipedia (although it leaves a lot to be desired)
  3. A few pictures on the Palette Museum website....
  4. ...and a little bit of everything...
A short video of some of her work from the 2009 exhibition at the Musee Maillol in Paris:

..and, if you want to see some of her work in real life then there are currently exhibited works at:

Musée d’art de Sen­lis
Musee Maillol in Paris
Musée d’art naïf in Nice, 
Musée d’Art mod­erne Lille Métro­pole in Vil­leneuve d’Ascq

So come now Miss Louis - STOP STEALING MY THUNDER!!