Monday, 31 December 2012

Hello 2013

So New Year's Eve, you are here again and you have brought your friends gale force wind and torrential rain with you. I am hoping this means we can see out 2012 and the weather in one big party (or at least in a few glasses of wine).

This is probably not a very celebratory song for this time of year but it would be good if 2013 could live up to just a little bit of it. It seems more appropriate than ever at the moment as everything seems to be going a little bit pear-shaped but at the end of the day none of it really matters. Tonight is about patting yourself on the back, looking at your achievements, looking at the world's achievements and the best bits of 2012. Give your friends a hug and have a glass of wine on me. HAPPY 2013! It really is going to be a good one, I am sure of it.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Secret of Kells

So I hope everyone has had a good Christmas and is looking forward to 2013. That is assuming that a) you are not ten feet under water and b) you have not eaten so much that you can no longer move. I am worried I might have overdone the Christmas food as I had to buy a jumper 6 sizes larger than normal (I only over-ate for 2 days!) It is ok though, it was a sale item and a baggy fashion statement - at least that is what I am telling myself.........

What with the eating and the raining and the ho ho ho it is pretty obvious I haven't really done anything constructive in the last few days. I did get a new watch for my clock collection but that will get it's own individual post later, I think my family are fed up with me saying 'Have you seen my watch' (such an obsessive).

ANYWAY....this post is to promote a fabulous animated film I watched a couple of days ago. The story is a little bizarre but the animation is truly beautiful. It is about the Book of Kells (currently housed in Dublin, and yes, I have seen it in real life). The book is a marvel for it's time, full of colour, patterns and nature, as is the film, which might be why I like it. More importantly it has a cat in it called Panger Ban, now on my Christmas list for next year. If you are a fan of animated films you simply must check out The Secret of Kells.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

I guess I should

Home. Winter. Snow. Frost. Food. Crackers. Cranberry Sauce. Walks. Mulled wine. Crackling fire.

These are a few of my favourite things.

I have nothing else to say on the matter other than to wish you all Happy Holidays/ Seasons Greetings / Merry Christmas and an absolutely, show stopping, wondrous, fantastic, ridiculously thrilling start to 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Holidays/ Seasons Greetings / Merry Christmas if you like penguins:

Happy Holidays/ Seasons Greetings / Merry Christmas if you like Polar Bears:

Rumour has it it is going to be a year to remember! (Rumour has least that is what Adele told me)

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Rough Set

I am being slightly excessive this morning and writing all my posts before I head home for Christmas - the question is will I be patient and space them out or will I just look like I have nothing else to do and publish three in one day. If only I wasn't one of those written, posted, forget about it....TICK people. I don't like things hanging over me.

Well I will try and behave.

I think the painting below will be my last of 2012 and have I ended on a high? Not emotionally no, the last few paintings have not been satisfactory experiences as they all fly close to the bin. I tend to like them the next day but not at the time. I don't know where I have misplaced my judgement or my 'joie de vivre' but I won't worry for the moment. When 2013 comes and I am still frustrated, well then I might get an SLR and pretend I never painted in the first place.

I also realised I am rather fickle having proclaimed that Swept was so exciting I was going to keep it for myself! 3 days later and it is up for sale (let's hope I never have children!).

The process of creating a new painting is quite draining and there is the distraction of mulled wine at present so I am sure I just need a break. I am sure good food, family, friends, crackers and some bad TV will more than make me realise I want to be on my own again and get the paint box out!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Is that an elephant?

I am breathing a sigh of relief this morning because yesterday I managed to complete my website updates in time for the end of the world. I don't know about you but I couldn't face exploding and leaving the remnants of a incomplete website to float around in the ether, my conscious, I am sure, would leave me in purgatory. But it seems this morning that the world hasn't ended which is slightly disappointing, it means I might actually have to get on and tackle the rest of my to do list. Damn.....

Updating my website, this time, was interesting as I decided to make a fact sheet for each of my paintings that are up for sale (oh hooray, even more work to do each time I upload a new painting!) As I tend to make things up as I go along it was quite good to have to sit and re-evaluate each image analytically and try to think of something to say other than 'found paint, spilt on floor, mushed around, pretty, pretty!'

I think my favourite description was:

"A graphic interpretation of a beautiful heart-stopping sunset over Laguna Beach in California.  Sunlight ripples on the sand, silhouetted rocks in the sea, watery sunset in the background, burnished streaky clouds in the sky. I am in love". 

Tell it like it is. I am not into the school of thinking that makes art inaccessible 'the elephant is obviously a retrograde expression of the condition of human credibility in the modern era due to a mistrust of sociably accepted idioms, the purge of life as existential realism and philosophy on an otherwise base soul of the lowest degree.'

Hmm, ok....

Are you sure it isn't just an elephant?  

Monday, 17 December 2012

Fog filled and frost crisped.

Today is a relaxing, lazy lounge wear day but I have to wear skinny jeans, my favourite jeans are not so much holy as holey, in fact at the moment it feels like my life is full of holes. I need to buy a new pair but the January sales are round the corner and my architecture freelance clients are being slow to pay. At least when it all comes together it will look like a Christmas bonus and I can treat myself to some clothes. 2013. You ARE going to be a good year. In the meantime, with my gaffer taped shower, my clothes with holes, my empty fridge (I am away for Christmas and running down my food) I feel like a proper artist. My next stop is to fall hopelessly in unrequited love and post my ear as a token of devotion. I did wonder about doing this as a marketing ploy 'Dear Saatchi, here are some examples of work from my portfolio and my right ear lobe. Enjoy'.

On days when everything is getting a little bit frustrating you need nature to pull out all of the stops and show you something beautiful. England did this on Wednesday as I woke up to a fog filled, frost crisped, cold dusky morning. Thank you Fuji for sending me back my camera from the repair hospital the day before, I think I would have cried without a camera to snap away at this spectacle.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Let's play snap.

Having just refused to fall into writing a blog post everyday it seems slightly controversial to go ahead and do two posts at once. I actually have another post I could write as well but maybe I will save that for tomorrow otherwise the world really will end!

Sometimes I paint a picture. A picture that starts off well, goes through a raggedy stage, then with a burst of inspiration I pull it out of the bag. Sometimes, I paint a picture and it is a sedate affair, not much happens, end product is not too bad, and I feel relatively relaxed. Sometimes..... SOMETIMES I paint a picture.... starts well, goes through a raggedy stage, a slightly dodgy patch, a this isn't working, breathe, oh god, undo, undo, I AM SO ANGRY, look at this...... this THING, where is my Stanley knife, a match, some lighter fluid? WHERE IS THE BIN? I. AM. BE. YOND. FURIOUS. RIGHT. NOW!

Usually this painting is saved by a select friend, or my Mum getting a preview and telling me it is fine, what are you on about? It looks like all the others? Don't touch it and see how you feel in the morning. Above is one such painting. It is bizarrely (on deviantArt at least), one of my most popular images. One other painting that had the same effect and narrowly escaped being snapped in half is up on my wall in my bedroom and is mine for life. I love it now:

It looks like I may well be my own worst critic!

To blog or not to blog?

I have been looking at what makes a successful blog and I have come up with no useful conclusions. The more successful ones seem to blog everyday......... um, no. I don't think anyone is that interested except maybe my Mother (Hi Mum!) and I have time now - because architecture work is slow - but that won't last (I hope!). I did think, as the world is going to end that I could just blog everyday for the next 8 days, but surely I can find something better to do with my last days on Earth like eat my body weight in chocolate.

Regardless, redesigning my blog has made it ten times more popular than it was, now if I could just make it ten times, ten times, ten times more popular then we might be getting somewhere.

Oh well, maybe the world will end and then I can relax.  

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Seraphin De Senlis

There is nothing quite like realising your broadband is down but you are technically savvy enough to get your computer online through your mobile phone. It is a bit like realising after millions of yogalates sessions that you can finally sit in the lotus position (unsitting in the lotus position is more difficult by the way!).

Anyway, I am online, and it had to be today; I watched a film over the weekend (yes another one) about the fabulous artist Seraphin Louis also known as Seraphin De Senlis. It is quite an inspiring and slightly sad story but I love that woman's drive, passion and vision. I also have a few things in common with her - feeling better when I take a walk with nature, painting without anything on my feet, painting with singing and/or music with my canvas on the floor in the middle of the night. I hope my neighbours below me don't have to suffer as much as hers! Although I can identify with some aspects I am not going to draw too many comparisons as I don't have her pure talent, her instructions from God(!) and I certainly do not want to travel down her final road. I am pretty sure with my support network and my strong lack of religious fervour I am more than safe, my line is far wider than hers.

Seraphine De Senlis died today in 1942, so here is my memorial post. I am making it my mission to see some of her work in real life - apparently there is some on display in the Musee Maillol in Paris. No one ever needs an excuse to go to Paris........dear Eurostar........

Sunday, 9 December 2012

A Fan-tastic Mr Fox

On Friday in the court case of painting versus website updates versus film -painting won and Swept was created. Yesterday, film won, as did a very tasty toffee crunch chocolate orange -actually that may have lost as it no longer exists. I am hoping today that website updates will triumph, as I really need to knuckle down and do them but it is Sunday and I can feel a painting bubbling in my shoulders..... The joy of something or other.

Anyway, the film of note was Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox, partly for the animation and partly for the way Mr Anderson adapted the storyline. I love this film, but then I like Wes (we are on first name terms now), Life Aquatic is one of my top ten films and I am well aware it is not to everyone's taste having recommended it to 5 not overly enamoured people. For me, the mix of documentary, real life, imagination, and heartfelt deadpan emotions gets me every time. J'adore.

Fantastic Mr Fox is - a bizarre mix of animals, human lifestyles, children's story book, dead pan humour and beautifully animated. I want to be fantastic, but maybe not a fox. I wouldn't mind some chicken though.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


This......... is my kind of post. On the 30th of November I mentioned about the fact that I had 23 paintings to sell, by the end of the day it was back down to 19. I like having stock but I like selling paintings more. I have  boosted the number back up to 20 after an ill advised 'I want to paint a picture NOW' at 10.30pm yesterday resulting in a 4am bedtime. The danger of becoming nocturnal is very real (and I am rather tired).

This painting is based on a photograph I took after climbing the heady heights of Chino Canyon (Trouser Canyon!?!) on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, California.  A hike ensued, as well as the spotting of many trees. This tree is my favourite, with bells on. I also liked this painting straight off which makes a first, the last 6 or so paintings have been slow burners. You know what? I think I might still only have 19 paintings to sell.

This one.

Is mine.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Donnie Darko

I was in one of those moods last night where the only thing for it is to watch a slightly confusing dark film. My film of choice was Donnie Darko as I hadn't seen it since it came out in the cinema in 2001(!!! That long ago? Ouch). It also seemed appropriate as the film leads with Jack Gyllenhaal also of The Day After Tomorrow (Don't worry I am not going to turn this into a gushing about Jake Gyllenhaal blog (or am I? Mwahahaha)

Anyway, I am normally not allowed to watch time travel films as they make my brain burst, but I do love this film, it is full of rare gems....(plus it had a little bit of drawing in it, which makes watching it count as research)

Oh yes.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The day after tomorrow...

The worst thing about deciding to make changes with something is the amount of knock on effects it produces. 'Oh I will just change this, oh and that, oh dear now that doesn't work, nor that, where has that gone, what? Where has...? WHY DID I START DOING THIS!?'

I can't deny the fact that the blog looks a lot better and works a lot better and hopefully harder. I can't say I anticipated how much work altering it would involve so please bear with me through the glitches, the blank pages and the 'coming soons.'

I am sure I will get there in the end - maybe I'll finish the day after tomorrow....