Saturday, January 22, 2011


Before I get back to La Vie en Rosé as I promised to do, here's a stage of the latest apple painting I started while procrastinating about La Vie

Multi-tasking is not really my thing but I pretend that it is in order to have valid reasons for procrastination. While one thing gets under way the other thing doesn't get done and the more things you start, the less you finish. True or false?

Anyway, the apple series will - come hell or high water and other distractions - get done this year and so will La Vie en Rosé. The current apple is, for art's sake, patiently enduring being suspended in front of a mirror above a mirrored surface. I began this painting last Monday and it's probably nearly finished, more or less.

Apple suspended, reflected, painted - NdA (work in progress) January 2011. Oil on canvas.


Saturday, January 15, 2011


Standing in the shower a couple of days ago I started to think about creation - not the Creation but simply making something that wasn't there before - like this, I suppose. First it was a thought...then words typed on a keyboard...inserted into drawing added.... uploaded to the internet...and finally: a Blog Post. Not worthy of the fancy name creation yet fitting the description of something which didn't exist before I caused it to exist.

Our articulated thoughts - however repetitious, witty, profound, perceptive, polished, crude, cliché, original or derivative, are our products and we are floating in an ocean of our own and other people's products. The books on our shelves, the CDs, DVDs, downloads, pictures, posters and objects we cherish demonstrate our need to be fed by the creations of those minds we choose to consort with, as well as our own urge to be creators. We feel that creativity is a state to be attained, nurtured, promoted, prized and rewarded. When we are not being creative we feel guilty, worthless, ordinary. We worship at the altar of the Great Creatives and aspire to be in their pantheon, or to knock them out of it, or to serve them.

But what if it all vanished suddenly? Not a single book on our shelves, nothing on our walls, blank pages in notebooks where there were poems, stories, sketches, ideas. Nothing on television, nothing on the internet, nothing in the cinema, theatre, club, gallery, museum, concert hall. Whoosh! All gone. Silence. 

So, standing in the shower, this is what I was thinking. Creation, as I experience it, comes out of nothingness. Silence. The absence of creations. 


Tuesday, January 04, 2011


That's where I was at Christmas. 

They say that Prague is a beautiful city and there is much to see. I'm sure this is true but the piercingly cold, wet, sleety, slippery, snowy, windy weather made it impossible for shivering chickens such as me and my sister to see anything much besides the foam on a cup of hot chocolate. I exaggerate: my sister is much braver and more of a sightseer than I am so I dragged along reluctantly to make sure I'd be there to pick her up if she slipped on the ice. That's how heroic I am. I know it's reprehensible but all I really wanted to do was to sit in a warm cafe or in the hotel room. 

Maybe some time, not in winter, I could go back and see all the interesting things I missed this time. Maybe in other seasons the people of Prague become more friendly and maybe they even smile or reply when you ask for directions. I've been to lots of cities and lots of countries and in some of those places I didn't speak the language but never, ever, have I encountered such ubiquitously unfriendly attitudes as in Prague - shopkeepers, tram conductors, ticket sellers, information people, passers-by, etc. etc. either did not respond or responded in a manner which can only be described as hostile. Very few people we came across spoke any language other than Czech - fair enough, but did they need to be so brusque and dismissive? Maybe some foreign tourists behave badly in Prague so the citizens have decided all foreigners are a nuisance. There were a few exceptions: the staff at our hotel and the taxi drivers booked to and from the airport. 

Anyway here are a few pictures I took in Prague. I wish you all whatever you most desire in your heart of hearts. Bonne Année, mes amis.