Sunday, December 25, 2011

SEASONAL GREETINGS

For some unknown reason, I haven't been able to upload a new post to my main Blaugustine blog (link at MORE below). If you too are unable to open it, please let me know in comments here.

Meanwhile, I want to wish everyone a happy Christmas - or whatever you may be celebrating - and a New Year that brings you all you wish for, and a little extra.



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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

ETERNAL RETURN

It took me almost the whole of December to make this very short video and what I've learned is that I want to go back to painting.

I started with a desire to express feelings of nostalgia, sadness and mystery about my Russian ancestry, my father and his relatives, known and unknown, and bewilderment about the impermanence of life and the tenacity of personality, of family resemblance, of faces fusing into other faces. 

I wanted to make a video that would be like a painting but with gentle movement taking place at various distances from the spectator. I built a kind of mini stage-set out of three cardboard boxes, one inside the other, with windows cut out of the back, roof and sides. I painted the inside of the boxes so that when lights were placed between them, you could see the colours of rooms behind rooms. On sheets of acetate I printed (digitally, through ink-jet printer) small photos of my Russian relatives, cut them out, then hung them on gold threads from wooden bars and from the ceilings of two front boxes. What I didn't take into consideration was that the camera and the naked eye are two altogether different species. The depth that my naked eye perceived was completely lost when the camcorder was pointed in the same direction. 

Here is the final version, after discarding about seven others. It's a compromise but I don't dislike it. I borrowed one of Alexander Vertinsky's songs for the soundtrack because he fits the mood so well and because my father liked him so much. I couldn't find a clip of his particular favourite, which started with (pardon my phonetics - I don't speak Russian but understand a few words): Ti sidish adinoke....(You sit alone, staring at the flames....) There are lots of Vertinsky songs on YouTube and if you like the nostalgic chansonnier style, look him up.


Here's the permalink from VIMEO (it's a bigger screen over there) if you can't see it below.

  
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A MOVING POEM

My blogging report card this month is shameful. I'm standing in the corner, dunce cap on my head, red-faced and staring at the floor.

Digressed again, off-piste again, 7ism resolutions postponed again. I don't have a valid excuse except that I really have been thinking a lot and trying to see where I'm at, as they say.

But I couldn't let November end without a modest ode to falling leaves and darker days and the melancholy of approaching winter. Another rough experimental animation, started yesterday afternoon and finished at about six o'clock this morning, without a break. 

I didn't choose the music beforehand but as soon as I watched the silent video I remembered Bachianas Brasileiras, by Heitor Villa-Lobos, sung by the extraordinary soprano Bidù Sayao. I've only used a short extract from Number 5 - if you've never heard the whole thing, it's definitely worth looking up. There are many recordings of it but Sayao's interpretation is my absolute favourite. 

This is the VIMEO permalink in case you don't see the video here. 

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Monday, November 14, 2011

AND ON THE SEVENTH DAY...

Today, the seventh day of my first 7ism work, herewith my report and results.

Decided to start with something small and insignificant so I chose to make an improved version of my stop-motion animation NOT a celebrity, the first rough cut of which I posted here last month. Since I declared then that I was definitely going to improve it, this seemed like a good way to test the 7ism movement's effectiveness. 

My usual approach is to declare that I am going to do something, then put whatever it is on the shelf (virtual or literal) with all the other things I have declared I am going to do in the immediate future. In my vocabulary, the word immediate is elastic and infinitely stretchable. Unfortunately, reality doesn't understand my vocabulary. Hence the pile-up of broken declarations, which 7ism is going to fix. I hope. 

I began at about 2:30 pm on Tuesday, November 8th. The first requirement was to devise a more efficient arrangement to hold the camcorder. A book I have (Get Started in Animation) includes a diagram for building a simple copy-stand with camera mount. While the plan is perfectly feasible, I didn't want to spend too much time on this so I opted for improvisation, my favourite modus operandi. 

An old portable easel was given a new function which you can see in the photos below. I pushed the normally vertical canvas-supporting arm into horizontal position, adjusted the legs to the needed height and tightened all the bolts. Then (here's the clever bit) I took one of those tiny tripods available in any camera shop, put its legs together flatly and taped it down firmly to one end of the easel's horizontal bar. The camcorder could then be screwed into the reclining mini- tripod, allowing the camera lens to point straight down. I attached a cable to connect camera to power socket and a Firewire to link my Mac to the camera (I'm using iStopMotion software). 




The above photos were taken in the downstairs study where I ended up making the third and final version, but I first set up the rig in my upstairs studio. By the time I was ready to shoot, daylight was gone and I had a lot of trouble positioning lamps even when using daylight bulbs. Version Two was a big headache (literally) for many reasons but I learned a useful lesson.

When something doesn't work because I haven't prepared well enough, my usual tendency is to keep nagging away at the faulty item until I've knocked it into some kind of unsatisfactory order, even though a much more effective solution would be to start from scratch. I went through my old routine in the second version and wasted several days painstakingly re-drawing frame after frame of a whole sequence because I'd filmed it too close and some of it was out of frame. The obvious answer was to re-shoot it. But no, I had to be the masochist.

However, because this was a 7ism project and I was committed to it, I then threw out all those files I had so obsessively been re-doing, re-uploading and... well, you don't want to know every twist and turn of that winding road....decided to do a third version. That's when I moved everything downstairs.

Finally here are the two versions of NOT a celebrity my seven days produced. The animation is still not even close to perfect but I'm satisfied with this particular project and pronounce 7ism a success in enabling me to finish something I probably would have abandoned. 

All comments/criticisms etc. are welcome.

THE FINAL VERSION OF NOT a celebrity is here on Vimeo and also on YouTube

THE SECOND VERSION is here on Vimeo and also on YouTube 
 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

NEW ART MOVEMENT BORN HERE AND NOW!

Heh. I've just created a new art movement.

So far I'm the only member. I don't mind if I remain the only member but in case anyone wants to join, here is the manifesto. If I, the founder, should fail to stick to it, then the movement will automatically self-destruct. Dissolve like sugar in hot coffee.

7ism MANIFESTO 

I hereby announce the birth of a new art movement. I name it 7ism.

The aim of 7ism is the creation of Complete and Wonderful artworks, in any medium, within the time frame of seven days, no less and no more, in a continuous procession of seven day periods, ad infinitum.

Complete = Finished to the best of the creator's ability.
Wonderful= Full of Wonder. Unexpected.
To Wonder= Not know. Reflect upon.

The reasonable objection that Wonderful artworks cannot always be created in seven days is not relevant because this movement does not pretend to address all art and all artists but only those multi-faceted, undisciplined ones who, like myself, find it very difficult to:

a) Finish within a reasonable time what I start .
b) Choose which of my many projects and interests to prioritise.
c) Avoid the frustration and guilt of accumulating un-achieved goals.

Setting short fixed time-frames will encourage sustained attention to one goal at a time, provide the satisfaction of seeing it achieved, and the motivation for moving on immediately to the next (perhaps similar, perhaps very different) seven-day goal.

Joining the 7ism movement requires members to note the day and time they will have to complete the first task they've chosen. 

I will embark on my first 7istic slice tomorrow and will report on my progress.

If you are joining, please say so below and on your blog if you have one, and in a week report on the results of your first 7ism experience. Heh!

 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

GOD vs MAMMON: the fight continues

I don't mention politics very often in this space but that isn't because I'm indifferent to the world outside my imitation ivory miniature tower. I am aware and I do care, a lot. But the feelings I have about the injustice, horror, hypocrisy, deceit, greed, selfishness, violence, insanity and stupidity of so much that the words 'politics' and 'economics' embrace are mainly inarticulate anger and outrage. All I can do is splutter incoherently or cry helplessly so I prefer to leave it up to more eloquent and knowledgeable others to write or speak about such things.

But what's happening right here in London in front of St.Paul's Cathedral, as part of the current global protests about Mammon's domination of almost anything you can think of, has made me want to say my little say. 

Whether or not you believe there is a God or a Mammon is irrelevant. For sure all the people camped on the steps of St. Paul's are not believers. But they are certainly convinced that they belong to a movement which is opposed to a dictatorship: the powerful dictatorship of money, and those who control it, over the lives of every person on this planet.

Today's Independent front page has the headline: God vs Mammon: Britain takes sides. Interestingly, the debate is now questioning what the church's role is, what being a Christian means and whether the clergy, especially those in high-ranking positions, should take a strong stand (against Mammon) or sit back and say nothing out of fear of rocking the church politics boat. So far, two clerics have bravely resigned in protest against the St.Paul's administration decision to seek a court injunction for evicting the protesters. There are many letters from clergy all over the country to newspaper editors, supporting the protesters and lamenting St.Paul's Cathedral authorities' attitude. Thus far the voice which should take the lead - that of Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury - has been deafeningly silent. 

Surely this is a golden opportunity for him to define what being a Christian means and what relevance Christianity has in this Mammon-led world? If speaking out in support of the protest will endanger his position in the church and cause shock waves to ripple through the halls of hierarchy, well, so be it. Such a courageous gesture would do more than hundreds of sermons and conferences to inspire those who have given up on Christianity for not being Christ-like enough. 

El Greco: Christ Drives Merchants from the Temple 

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Friday, October 28, 2011

AGGRAVATED AND ANIMATED

Another month has streaked by. Where have I been all this time?  Well, here's my first excuse:

Persuaded by dire warnings of ever more virulent types of flu waiting to attack us this winter if we are not vaccinated, I went obediently to get the shot. As soon as I walked out of the local health centre - I'm not making this up - my throat began to feel prickly. By the time I got home I was sniffling, sneezing and limbs ached. The doctors say a reaction may set in after twenty-four hours and will last only three or four days. I must have a speedier and more contrary immune system because my reaction was instantaneous, has lasted over a week and is still not quite okay. I may or may not now be resistant to the latest flu virus but I sure as hell am not getting shot in 2012. 

Second excuse: I was making a stop motion animation. Or rather trying to make a stop motion animation just because I said I was going to, didn't I? As everybody knows who has ever tried, animation, especially stop motion, is a slow, painstaking process requiring infinite patience and precise attention to detail. Well, I wanted to see instant results and so did my usual thing of cutting corners, lots of corners, and improvising - all the while sniffling, sneezing etc. 

I had already made the Naugustine paper puppet (see October 7th below) but her wire joints weren't holding so I had to re-do her and hinge her parts with needle and thread - excruciatingly fiddly! I wrote a short script and made the Doremy Faxman puppet, hinged in the same manner. Too impatient to build a proper copy stand and get proper lights, I set up the camcorder on a tripod above my desk but couldn't, of course, make the lens point straight down because the tripod legs were in the way. For lighting there was only my desk lamps, so there's a pinkish cast on everything and the dialogue, written by hand on the white backgrounds, is barely visible. And when I started moving the puppets, I didn't do it smoothly or slowly enough. I used iStopMotion Mac software (bought ages ago and never used until now so my version is already obsolete) to capture the frames and put them on my computer. Then began the editing process: tooth-grindingly, eye-wateringly, repetitive-strain-injuringly slow and tedious but being obsessive as well as undisciplined, I stayed up all night, several nights, then did it all again in iMovie, adding all sorts of effects in attempts to slow down the jerky action and improve readability, but then deleted it all after realising that the original simple rough cut was much better. Imported that rough version to Garage Band and added an improvised musical sound track - couldn't add speech because the action is too fast. 

So, here is the very very rough, very very fast fruit of all that impatient labour. I will do a smoother, more proficient version by and by, but have to say I am not entirely displeased with this amateurish first draft. Because the text flashes by too dimly and too quickly to be read, here is my script:

NOT A CELEBRITY 

Doremy Faxman (Hard-hitting Media person/interviewer):  So, Naugustine, why are you here?
Naugustine:  That is the question I ask myself every day.
Faxman: Come on! I asked you why you're on this show and you start waffling on about the meaning of life!
Naugustine: Sorry, I thought you meant...
Faxman: I know what you thought I meant. Just answer the question!
Naugustine: Well, I'm on this show because I'm not a celebrity and I thought it might...um...give me some...um...publicity.
Faxman: I'm afraid I have to terminate this interview, Naugustine.
Naugustine: But why? I haven't even started!
Faxman:  You've broken the rules of this show . NOT a CELEBRITY dot com does not permit non-celebrities to seek celebrity by appearing on this show.  This is Doremy Faxman saying goodnight non-celebrities, wherever you are! 

The video is on the main Blaugustine blog, on Vimeo, on YouTube and here:


Thursday, October 13, 2011

REVISITED PAINTINGS

About a year ago...or is it two years?...my Italian grand-nephew, when asked what he wanted for his birthday, made a rather unusual request for a young boy: a painting of my sister and me. He was thirteen only a few days ago and he and his father are coming from Rome to see me this weekend.

I started the painting...whenever that was...but wasn't happy with it and turned it to the wall for quite a while. I scraped out and re-started umpteen times until the canvas acquired a rough textured surface. Unable to procrastinate any longer, I have finally finished it. Probably it could still be re-worked but I'm going to leave it as is and hope Emanuel will like it.

I've called it Two Sisters in Time and inserted images of ourselves as children in the faceted background. Dividing a background into vertical strips of variegated colour is something I have found myself doing over and over again for a very long time, going way back to some of my earliest paintings as a teen-ager. It's not a conscious decision - it just happens. The feeling behind it, I think, is a desire to escape from realism into a more abstract dimension, but not entirely. 

Two Sisters in Time  Oil on canvas, 2010-2011 


Below is another painting using vertical facets but I allowed abstraction to dominate this one. It's from 1994 when I had a SPACE studio in Hackney - the first photo was taken there. I had the idiotic idea of using this unstretched painting as a coffee table covering, folding the edges down all around. Thus it remained until a few weeks ago when I suddenly decided that it deserved to be rescued from a utilitarian role and treated more like art. I had to cut off the damaged edges, so the canvas is somewhat smaller than its original version, but I think it's survived life as a tablecloth pretty well.

Hackney studio 1994

Music and Love  Oil on canvas, 1994 


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Friday, October 07, 2011

VISITORS AND A PUPPET SELF

It was my great pleasure to welcome Beth/cassandra and Jonathan to my home on several occasions during their séjour in London and a few of us UK blogger friends, including Dick/patteran pages, met for lunch at a pub in my neighbourhood on Sept.28th. Here are a few photos of that occasion, not including the camera-shy and the camera-phobic.

Beth and Jonathan chez moi.

Dick Jones chez moi.

At the pub.


You must visit Beth's blog to get the full flavour of London seen through her eyes. Jonathan's photos will also, I hope, appear on his site at some stage - it doesn't seem to be online at the moment. 

Enthralled by the clive hicks-jenkins maquettes and by his idea of having an online exhibition of some made by blogger friends, inspired by his example, I decided to try my hand at articulating paper figures. What emerged was a creature who is an amalgam of Natalie and Augustine, somewhat flattering both of them. I haven't got the hang of making smooth joints between the articulated parts yet so it's very rough but I like it anyway. I love the possibility of making Naugustine move and am considering doing some video animation experiments with her.



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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

CAN IT REALLY BE THE END OF SEPTEMBER ALREADY?

And I've been absent from blogging all this time! My excuse is that I was too busy making order in my messy studio to attend to blogging business. The truth, in a more analytical kind of way, is probably that anything which requires regular attendance in a disciplined manner over a long period usually brings out my delayed adolescent rebellion. Well, anyway, I really did spend a long time organising my studio, getting rid of stuff etc. and here are some pictures to prove it. 

For example, a couple of big paintings were cluttering up the floor space so I had the great idea of hanging them (with essential help from dear friend Nuala) on the sloping attic ceiling.

And in this corner cartoon Augustine and long-ago Natalie are questioning each other forever. On the floor is an unfinished abstract painting. On the cupboard door, some proofs of prints and a poster from the NdA exhibition at the Museum of the Book in The Hague, 1992. This is all meant to spur me to leave the past behind and get on with new creations. But will it work?
Above the tools, a painting of rocks I painted in Paraguay when dinosaurs were still roaming the earth.
And I found a practical use for one of my scarves (a Mondrian-ish one) as a curtain to hide ugly cables below some bookshelves in the living room.

To atone for my blogging absence (if anyone noticed!) here is the most wondrous version of a jazz classic, played Indian-style. You have to see as well as hear this to get the full flavour. Thanks to Dominic Rivron for this terrific link. 


Tomorrow is a special day: a few of us UK blogger-friends are getting together to celebrate the presence in London of Beth, the wonderful cassandra, and her husband Jonathan, the wonderful photographer. They've been here a week and are leaving, all too soon, in another few days. I hope I'll have some photos of this occasion to post.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

BORN FROM SCARVES

This African spirit emerged from digitally painting over one of my scarves photos. There may be more.


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EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY

Everything visible, no matter how familiar and ordinary, can suddenly seem miraculous when the eyes and consciousness home in and absorb a scene, drinking it in like a bee feasting on nectar. Astonishment - better expressed in French as emerveillement (making marvellous) is the key to creativity and maybe even to eternal youth. Forever amazed - that's my motto and goal. 

The movie option on my new camera gives me a perfect tool for recording random glimpses of activity that delight me by their rhythms and patterns. Here is a video-collage, combining the rain walkers in Trafalgar Square, a street performer below the National Gallery, and a magic instant in Salisbury Cathedral a few days ago.

I had a dental appointment in Salisbury last Thursday - why, you may well ask, make an hour and a half train journey to a dentist in another town when there are so many dentists in London? The reason is too boringly dentally technical to go into but anyway, I've never been to Salisbury. So, after my dentist appointment, I wandered through the charming town, ending up at the deservedly famous cathedral. Its serene majesty is enhanced by the tranquil bucolic surroundings in which it stands. The giant spire (123 metres/404 feet) is like an arrow straining to break free from the ground and zoom up to the stars.


Astonishing to me were the contemporary figures by Sean Henry unexpectedly scattered outside and inside the cathedral. This is a temporary event titled Conflux, a union of the sacred and the anonymous. I didn't know anything about his work and was impressed with it, although the shiny plasticky varnish that most of the sculptures are coated with is offputting. I took a few photos but there are better ones here.




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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

SCARFED

I love scarves. I was cleaning out a drawer and realised just how many I have, far too many, the picture is only a small selection. I buy them on impulse, seduced by some gorgeous colour, pattern or texture and then only ever wear the same three or four. I took the whole lot out and hung them on a clothesline, wondering what could be made out of them.

Ideas, anyone? The more unusual the better.

And below I am in Middle Eastern/ancient Egyptian mode.


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Thursday, August 18, 2011

CHAPELLE LAFITTE IMAGINED

I had trouble drawing the chapel built by Père Lafitte and Susan without some kind of model so after many false starts, I made a very rough cardboard structure loosely based on the idea of a hollow tree trunk. Of course I didn't go as far as working out how many plastic bottles and other junk would be needed to build such a thing but I thought it would be fairly small, more or less human-sized. 

Below is the cardboard idea and you can see how it developed in the illustration below which is now inserted at the end of installment 18 of La Vie en Rosé. There's another new image at the start of this episode as well. I hope to finish the rest of the missing illustrations pretty soon. 



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Sunday, August 14, 2011

TOO MANY WORDS

Not writing about the riots because thousands of words are being written and spoken about the situation and I don't have anything useful to add. Those who have said the most useful things are not politicians or pundits but people whose actions are better than words, people like Camila Batmanghelidh. Or like the man in the street who had served time in jail and told a reporter that instead of wasting money and time to lock young mayhem-makers in jail for a few months, they should be put to work clearing up the mess and making amends to the communities, and individuals they have damaged. And though I'm certainly not a Daily Telegraph reader, this article also hit some nails squarely on the head. 

I had no intention of making a word-painting and the image below evolved like this: first I covered a large sheet of paper with splashy abstract shapes of the gestural kind. Then I decided to do a splashy self-portrait over the top. Then I painted over it with a grid of heavy white brushstrokes. Then I wanted some abstract shapes to fill each rectangle of the grid. Then I saw that letters made the best shapes. Then the words emerged. 

Greenyellowbluered    Acrylic and ink on paper

The next picture is not relevant to anything and I regret falling into the cat-blogging trap once more but Pushkine (she is female) dropped in again and is just too photogenic to resist. 

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Sunday, August 07, 2011

BIRTHDAY

Here it is again, turning up regularly on the same day at the same time, midnight, every year. I wish that it would forget to turn up and then I could stay whatever age I was when it stopped coming round.

But since something must be done to mark this date and since it's all about identity, leaving one's handprint on the cave walls of time, I've gathered photos of a few of the self-portraits I painted over the years - many many years. They're arranged more or less chronologically but the actual dates are probably lost in prehistoric mists. I must say that seeing these portraits together makes me realise that I could be quite a good painter one day. Must get back on track. A renaissance is due. 

All the actual paintings are in colour. Apart from No.3 and 4, I still have these and they are for sale, if anyone's interested. By the way, in real life I don't have a long neck, unfortunately. 






























More recent ones, including the digital series, are here and here .

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Friday, August 05, 2011

GHOSTS

There's been a very lively response to Dave's post about ghosts, inviting poems on the subject. I've just added my own, here it is. I made a videopoem for it and have posted it to Vimeo as well as the main Blaugustine.

HYPNAGOGIA

They exist
just not here
not now
the way to see them
is to wait
for that moment
before sleep
when your eyes are closed
but you’re still conscious
I forgot what it’s called
never mind
that’s the moment.
a little window opens
as if you’re in a cave
looking out
to brilliant sunlight
and there they are
not pale zombies
but ordinary people
tiny figures moving about.
I saw them last night.
Some of them I recognised.


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Thursday, July 28, 2011

ABSTRACT versus FIGURATIVE? IS THAT THE QUESTION?

A demonstration 

Imagine that one day, as you're in the middle of painting yet another of the realistic pictures you're known for and are good at, you suddenly stop, put down your brush, and say:
Enough! I've had enough of this! Why must I go on endlessly depicting what I see? Music doesn't have to tell a story or imitate familiar sounds - why shouldn't I too break free from representation? 

So you take some blank canvases and papers and boards and paints and solvents and you start exploring ways of creating a visual art which doesn't describe or interpret known objects but is  its own reality. 
Immediately you become aware that certain options are open to you. Gradually, depending on your tastes, moods, influences and the random effects which the materials themselves provide, you choose to pursue one or more of those options. Having put aside the figurative content which previously dominated your attention, you now focus on process, invention and concept. 

Links below are to relevant works by some of the innumerable abstract painters who created personal styles out of some or all of these eight modes. The processes often fuse or overlap, but I found it useful to single them out.
1. STAINED
Free-flowing, transparent or dense, indeterminately-edged, ethereal. Bissier, Frankenthaler, Still

2. BUILT
with informal blocks of interlocked shapes, creating perspectiveless depth by colour and texture.
De Stael, Hodgkin, Diebenkorn

3. GESTURED
with brush, charcoal, fingers, etc. A spontaneous calligraphic means of creating form.
Kline, Blow, Hitchens

4. GEOMETRICIZED
Devising and obeying invented rules, proportions, concepts, hard-edged, rigorous. Mondrian, Nicholson, Malevich
5. PATTERNED
Over-all, edgeless, whether patiently drawn or made by controlling random processes. Pollock, Tobey  Davie
6. FIGMENTED
fragments of imagination and chance. Shapes invented or loosely based on remembered objects. Mirò, Gorky, Friedlaender
7. SCRIBBLED
Linear signs, perhaps words or hieroglyphs, on smooth or rough surfaces, coloured or plain. Klee, Twombly, Tàpies
8. FILLED
Large empty fields of intense colour, atmospheric, enveloping. Rothko, Olitski, Newman

That's my over-simplified but fairly accurate summing-up of some of the paths taken by any painter who sets out on a journey away from representation. 'Art for art's sake' makes sense when perceived as a desire to escape from the prison of the seen - or rather, the scene - in order to paint something other. How do you get to that otherness and still remain a painter? The eight processes shown above are possible ways to get there which have been explored and elaborated by most of the abstract and semi-abstract painters of our time.
However, they are not exclusive to modern times or to abstract art. If you isolate details from well-known figurative paintings of any period, it's very clear that those modes crop up everywhere and that they play a role in shaping the styles of individual artists, whatever their subject. What was new about some modern abstract art is that it made process become the master, the subject, rather than remaining merely technique, the servant. 

But ABSTRACT versus FIGURATIVE  is a false dichotomy. Great figurative art of any period never re-presents reality as we know it  so it's already abstraction. But it does offer startling new ways to see the familiar and, sometimes, shows us things that are completely unfamiliar.

The fragments I've selected merely show examples of the eight abstract modes in the handling of paint or the composition of these particular figurative paintings. I don't mean to imply that these artists' work can be categorised under such labels.
Links to the full pictures from which the details are taken:

1. Watteau
2. El Greco
3. John Singer Sargent
4. Vermeer
5. Klimt
6. Bruegel
7. Rembrandt
8. De La Tour


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Friday, July 22, 2011

LUCIEN FREUD IS DEAD

HEAVY-WEIGHT CHAMP LUCIAN FREUD R.I.P.

Last year I caught his exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and wrote about it on July 26th . I wasn't a big fan but I pay homage to his life-long dedication, his single-minded focus and his prodigious skill. There was something athletic, something of the spirit of the weight-lifter and body-builder in his work: those huge muscles developed through sheer will-power and obsessive exercise. Maybe I'm stretching the metaphor too far but it sums up the impressions of Lucian Freud's painting I gathered over the years. Freud and Francis Bacon were close friends and both of them, in their work, were deeply concerned with flesh. But in my view, Bacon was the greater painter because he dared to look beyond or behind matter and those glimpses, though terrifying, allowed his paintings to break through the density, the weight of matter, in startling ways. This is just my opinion of course and it may be completely skewed. 

Next post, I'm going to write about abstract art. Stay tuned for further skewed opinions. 

The weather in London today. 



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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

REAL CHAIRS, UNREAL CHAIRS.... PROCRASTINATING

Took the photo in a nice Camden teashop where the chairs have personalities. Painted this abstractified version while "resting" - ie avoiding finishing the last episode of La Vie en Rosé.

Why is it that when something needs to be done, other things seem so much more inviting?



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