Friday, October 19, 2012

Mork Calling Orson

And really that title is little to do with anything. Sorry I've not been blogging much these days. I've become more of a Facebooker but sometimes one needs to put down more than a brief idiom.

I've not painted much this year but have five or six paintings in progress. That will end the ones I had planned for definite competitions etc. plus a few for arts sake. It's ironic that the art's sake ones often turned out as good as the ones that I put a lot more time and thought and work into. Predictably, pictures like the Octopus Attacking a Lighthouse Before Being Assumpted into an Angel painting which I didn't much rate before I painted it, turned out rather well.

It's an idea from a few years ago at a time when I was painting lost of pictures about isolation and sexual frustration. I got bored with those so decided to paint the opposite thing.

Now I'm getting back into writing and have written a flash fiction entry for Salt Publishing, just for fun but I enjoyed the experience. I've finished reading Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton, a book that was only moderately good. It was very good at conveying an exact mood of frustrated anger at being romantically rejected when obsessed. The whole book suffered for being too embittered at times, and not brilliant in language, often repeating the same words and rambling. It reads as though the author was an embittered drunk at the time of writing but it's mastery is that fluidity, reading like one stream of feeling which is not easy to maintain for the length of a novel.

I'm working on a new short story about an artist whose works remain unseen, an author whose words are unread, a musician whose music is unheard, every frustration of mine of the last few days. In this way, it is like that story, but no bitterness here, only inspiration. I think I'll love this tale already.

It's been my busiest year ever. I've released The Love Symphony, composed and produced another pop album, Black and White (frustrated that I can't find a singer to sing it with me, but when I do it will be waiting, I won't become Orson Welles and wait forever for one project when I can write new things so easily). I've updated my game Flatspace IIk and released that, then in March painted over 200 watercolours for my poetry book 365 Universes (the poems are mediocre, but I'm pleased with the illustrations) and then published it, founding Pentangel Books. I've painted over 20 oil paintings, made the Bedlam cabinet (post below) and the elaborate God Being Killed frame (perhaps my best oil painting to date), entered about fifteen competitions and exhibited lots including at Crewe Hall, Jobling Gowler, and two solo exhibitions, given three radio interviews for the first time, organised a poetry night, illustrated all of William Blake's "Songs" at my first trade show (the Tyger pictured below), designed some fantastic objects including several (wonderful) brass and marble letter racks and a robot donation box, and lots more mundane stuff such as recording lots of sound effects and writing music for IndieSFX, and created a few music videos.

Yet I find I'm penniless and have no hope of owning a house or car, my art seems to be terminally and frustratingly unfashionable to juries so few people are seeing my work except in local shows I organise myself. I haven't sold any music all year which made me sad because I know how good some of it is (although Celestial Radio honours me by broadcasting some - thank you to Parveen). Still, at times it seems that the more I try the more the world seems to push back!

Fortunately I can easily overcome such difficulties with a mental switch. The rest of this year will be at least as productive, starting with the completion of my first novel, composing a new first movement for The Love Symphony and then writing all of The Death Symphony. I also have lots of oil paintings to complete, a major solo exhibition in Shrewsbury (my largest of the year and my first in that great town - poster below) and, well, lots more than a normal human could possibly achieve. Or me.

In preparation for future literary glory I've decided to attend the Cheshire Prize for Literature Awards ceremony.

I expect to win this, and then find a publisher to publish my novel... but if I don't I'll invent some other expectations. I like coming up with ideas.

Keep well. If you want to enter the Salt Publishing writing competition I had a go at, see their website

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