I’m looking at using projected images in c0njunction with static. Such fun and interesting to see how pieces look when illuminated. Close ups and scale adjustments. Lots to explore…]


 Sometimes, when you want everything to be clear, it just can’t be. Sometimes, that’s a good thing. Sometimes, looking at the sky, looking up is the best way. If you always look down, just look at what you be missing

Fly Over

Things I have learnt this weekend…

  • Sometimes (OK, most times) it is worthwhile to put a bit of effort into something if you want it to work out. I know, I know, it sounds completely obvious when I put it like that but I have come to realise that up until now, I have expected my art to just ‘happen’. I have always worked by sitting down in front of the paper/ canvas/ board/ whatever and painting or drawing whatever I felt like at that moment. So, a teapot,  some tomatoes, a person. Hence, my work until now have been mainly figurative and, while I like some of my stuff quite a lot, it hasn’t really lit me up from inside. The pieces I truly love have been either the life drawings and paintings i have done over the past few months in class or the memory/ archives collage and printed pieces I have been working on and showed at my first assessment hanging a couple of weeks ago. 
  • If you do put the effort in upfront, life gets better later on in the process. By which I mean, if you think of a concept, a question, an idea to explore and THEN put brush to board, you end up creating something a bit more interesting and original because you are communicating your (hopefully) intellectual thoughts as well as your visual references. Stop me if I’m starting to sound overly, well, arty, will you? 
  • On that basis, I can see why some say that there is no such thing as a truly original idea. The piece I have produced this weekend (block) while different for me, is born out of the ideas and approach Mondrian slaved over his entire career. It is a humble effort and I like it, but it is not original in that it was created in the shadow of Mondrian’s practice. I did not think of the grid. 
  • I understand the tenet that no idea is new , but I do not agree. I cannot agree. Firstly because it feels like giving up. Like resigning ourselves to a world of gradual progression rather than one illuminated by sudden flashes of brilliance. How boring. And secondly, because I cannot reconcile this belief with wonders such as Alexander McQueen, da Vinci, Cezanne, Vezelay (more on her to follow,love the woman) and of course Mondrian himself. Yes, most of us will not create something completely new, but a lucky, talented few will. Hurrah!
  • I am inherently messy and I hate tidying up. No surprise there then. Less said the better.
  • Doing this MA is an absolute trip. It’s as if I have been driving across the moors in the middle of a pea souper of a fog and the wind is starting to blow the mist away, slowly, lazily but steadily. Ideas are starting to come out of the gloom, take shape. My fog lights are on and working. Let’s just hope I stay on the road, eh?
  • Finally, a weekend away is lovely but I miss the madness that is my family too. I’m typing this en route to them. I can’t wait. Thank goodness.

Hope your weekend was as good for you as this one was/is for me. Surprise I store for tomorrow guys… this space. 



     So, I was reading about Mondrian on the train journey down here. How his life’s work was the distillation of the nature he saw around him into a flattened, rigorous, restrained, taut analysis – the grids we are so familiar with. Mondrian plays on my mind quite a lot. The ubiquity of his work : fridge magnets, posters, t shirts, mugs belies the focus that he applied to his work. I love his single mindedness. I would love to be so laser like – perhaps one day I will be, but not now. And that’s ok. 

    In the meantime, here is my little homage. I started with a sketch of the hillside in Brixham, all the houses, roofs, windows. I tried to simplify it while keeping true to the view. I used this sketch as the prep for an acrylic sketch, focussing on the blocks in the scene. I took some photos of lines and angles I saw in the scenery. Then I exorcised diagonals from the equation, just as Mondrian did. The two media were then merged using Adobe Mix and edited digitally. Final cropping done, here’s the finished piece, ready for printing. 

    A shadow of the master but I enjoyed trying a little of his technique. You like?


    Different strokes

    So, I am on a painting retreat. OH is very kindly looking after the boys while I spend a weekend away, equipped with paints, pastels, paper and, I hope, purpose. I even read an academic text on Mondrian and how he developed his style on the way down here. Want to see this week’s life class effort? I’m pleased with the colour mixing, I’m trying to keep it all light, fresh and relaxed. As soon as a get intense my pictures go down the tubes. Better to keep it chilled. Well, that’s my analysis. Clearly I haven’t quite absorbed the lingo of art academia quite yet. Which, I think, is a good thing. 



     To Life class… I mixed skin tones ok-ish !!!! Yay!



    make space for creativity…watching a videoed edition of the BBC documentary on the creative brain…there are some ideas here that I fully recognise such as avoid routines and/or do something else but nothing too tricky so that your mind can wander. I do this, I walk or try to think about quilt patterns or just try to lie still (this is my 3am technique). The final technique is to purposely change the order of events in a process, literally turn things upside down.

    In the past I was responsible for creative solutions in a large financial advisory business. I always, and I mean always, looked at problems from an alternative viewpoint. Now I know I’m quite boringly normal when it comes to dreative thinking and behaviour.  I don’t know whether to be happy (yay, I am naturally creative , yay) or annoyed (boo, I’m a statistic, I behave to pattern, boo).

    Whatever, here’s what I created as I watched the programme…mind duly wandering. Off to incorporate it in a collage I’m making for a friend.


    Cafe society 

    So, I finished a commission this week. I say that like its a normal occurrence don’t I? Except it’s not. This was my first painting commission. I’ve done digital pieces in the past but this was another level. 

    It’s a progression of sorts : it started when I made a  collage recently of our road. Have a look: 

    This idea of mixing paint and collage extended into a memory piece I’m working on. I showed it recently…

    And now I’ve used it with acrylics and my own digitally produced paper collage. Here’s the finished piece, Cafe, and a collection of work in progress shots. As you can see, it had a few incarnations! I’m pleased to say the recipient likes it which is what it’s all about. And I’ve got lots of ideas for the next one. Just wait.