Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Hanging of Judas Iscariot 2

Clouds, mountains, sea waves, cloth folds, trees, plants, all natural forms have a formula that once learned makes good approximations of those reproducible from the imagination. The formula for cumulo nimbus clouds is easy, they are spheres on spheres, smaller on larger and so on and so on down to infinity. Today I did my first mountains with as much ease.

The hormones painting is now finished and drying. Today I did the first of two days work on another small one I've shown on here before, The Hanging of Judas Iscariot. Both pictures are 254x356mm which is my favourite size. It's big enough for a masterpiece but small enough for painting to be fun and not a chore. I've got about four others of that size planned and drawn out, three others of medium (about twice that), and three really big ones. Every time the size doubles the work seems to quadruple. I need more pictures! More! I'm full of ideas but the planning takes so much time that I seem to be rushed every day. There's time enough for new paintings later.

My solo exhibition needs setting up and opening this week. On Friday I begin the main glazing layer of Perfection and Necroamoria. A painting that I want more time for, but it should be good enough to enter into the competition and worth the (actually quite considerable) train fare to drop it off in July.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Writing, Hormones, and MPs

I'm spending my days painting and writing poetry and my evenings writing prose, or trying to, learning to, studying how to. So far my writing is cold and logical, aptly descriptive but emotionless like my daily personality, but my poems like my art are loaded with feeling. Trying to bridge these two is my goal then. My experiments are taking place on a story about a leprechaun and a sheep, which I've written in synopsis, then expanded to a short draft and now expanded further. I will write it again in a different style.

In painting, the underpainting to Financial Circumstances is now complete, as is a very automated painting called Female God which I last worked on in November (I added an improvised landscape). Today I've been working on There's A Lot to be Said for Hormones which so far is as perfect in execution as I could hope for. My days are filled with work and painting then which is a perfect distraction. I wonder if my life is to be like this forever.

Our member of parliament Edward Timpson is to visit my exhibition next month which is a nice surprise. He seems like a nice chap, and I voted for him which is bound to help with rapport.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Financial Circumstances 1

A painting day but I decided to ignore my plan of starting work on The Apocalypse Of Finance, and instead chose to work on a few smaller works starting with the related Financial Circumstances which is about financial collapse. After that I might start on The Lightning Of Creation which should also take about two days to underpaint. Then I'll work on "Perfection" again and then start some glazing because I already have a large number of underpaintings to work on and it's high time I finished something.

It's nearly the end of May yet my 2009 gallery is looking rather sparse. That is an inevitable consequence of my plan to design in winter and paint in summer, a plan looking increasingly flawed because life energy comes with the long days as well as mere light to paint by. I'm finding it as tedious to paint now and not create, as I found it frustrating to create but not paint over the winter.

I can write the occasional poem while painting though and I've decided to win the national poetry competition this year which is a surprise for me, because I've only entered once before and I wasn't at all very good at writing poetry then, but my poems can vary in quality and just recently they seem to be much better than before. I've written two good ones so far. I've also decided not to publish my poems online from now on. Many competitions forbid it, and a future publisher might not like it either.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Tumour

Today was a light day before starting painting on a big picture tomorrow. I hesitate to paint such a big and arduous work because I'm very tired and actually worried that I might be ill with fatigue because I seem to be feeling weak and like sleeping all day. I've just booked the delivery van for my exhibition so all that is planned now and I can relax.

However another thing I've been doing is working on my novel. I am now convinced that the best way to write is to first come up with a rough synopsis, then add another "layer" by rewriting what happens in each chapter, then another by rewriting each chapter again as a series of statements about what happens in more detail, and so on. This means the whole novel can be written not from start to finish but from any point, each bit refined at any spare moment.

It's untitled so far but I'll call it The Tumour for now. I'm currently working on Chapter 4 which is very philosophical and have made a re-enforcement of my knowledge about the nature of knowledge and the universe; that, multi-dimensional and extant as the universe is it is uncertain too; in the past, future and in fundamental knowledge, including mathematics. Quantum mechanics is everywhere large and small, in philosophy, and in knowledge and every daily experience.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Today I have concluded that I am myself and my opposite at the same time. That makes me a natural surrealist. It is definitely true that I've noticed that for every argument and feeling I want to argue and feel the opposite too. Also when calm I want action, and when active I want calm. Today I think this is because I talk to and argue with myself too much. The vast majority of my conversations are with myself (as is this one). That has been the case for over a decade at least.

Perhaps in some way all surrealists are like that. Certainly the ability to perceive opposites instinctively is an essential requirement and I'm increasingly convinced that thinking in a surreal way cannot be learned, but is a product of a contrary nature. I suspect that I am highly social yet by circumstance remained anti-social and thus my metal spikes of emotional connectivity were bent inwards and point at me instead of at others.

Who knows how other surrealists thought. From what I've read it seems that I'm very like Bréton, was his schism caused by Great War trauma? I think like Dali too, was he a naturally social child but isolated by circumstance? Who can say.

If we could choose our lives, in full, before we were born... what choice would we make? Is life better when conformist or when different?

For an artist, different is better.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Perfection and Necroamoria 7

A strangely tiring day painting Perfection and Necroamoria. I normally paint in a opaque underpainting then a single glaze. I think it's most efficient way to paint, and I think that one glaze hue, one underpainting hue, and an imprimatura (wash) hue are the most colours that can be detected. In perfect circumstances the underpainting is very smooth and detailed but sometimes a second sub-glazing layer in underpainting colours is useful and that is what I'm working on now. I remain unhappy with the embracing octopus part though. That will ideally need another correction layer but time is against me.

Now I'll start a new drawing for I'll Be Here For You. I have decided to paint it properly.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Another poem written today, below. I'm trying to write a short story and it is good practise. I'm not much of a writer because I don't read but I am very analytical and can decipher; description, emotion, characters, speech, actions, scenes, thoughts. Each part of a story conveys a part of those and like a painting the fundamentals of writing are the same; the story and meaning is paramount, and the emotion, and the beauty of the language of secondary importance. As sad day, for me, spent working on Perfection and Necroamoria but I'm not very happy with it and have felt tired and empty all day. I'll try again tomorrow.

Never Be Far

Whether in the next room
or in the next country,
or in the next world,
or close to that star;
I'll love you and feel you
like a light bulb inside me.
If I pretend that you love me
you'll never be far.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I'll Be Here For You

I painted this in my Art Support group on Wednesday. I'm unsure whether to glaze this, or restart the painting using this as a study. The painting is called I'll Be Here For You and was inspired by comments that those words are often spoken but not enacted. I'll describe it more fully when it's finished.


I'm editing music soon, well hope to for Flatspace on iPhone. I like that poem I wrote yesterday. Almost exactly 24 hours earlier I wrote a related love poem about events almost exactly 8 months earlier called My Emma, Mine.

Like a light
to a blind man, seen
for the first time.

Colour from black and white.
Sun at night.

My mind on fire
and arms aglow.

This love,
this morning,
today, for the first time,
is hers,
is God's,
my Emma, mine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It is now 11:02 and I can report that Wednesday was astonishing.

On the Moon

I wrote a long poem about lovelessness that I haven't typed in yet but here's another small one.

On the Moon.

I'd like to die on the airless moon,
so grey and dead and cold and still.
And I will.

Mountain Top

The W. H. Auden documentaries as part of the poetry season on BBC4 have inspired me to write a few poems again. This was inspired by W. H. Auden's isolated later years in Oxford.

Mountain Top

Here, the air is clear.
I see everyone, their heads,
and lives below.
This height
where I reside alone.

I see love.
I see it.

My shadows reply to my great things,
and I smile, as I chatter
to the few from the crowd
that speak a casual line
at my cloud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Paedo Paranoia

A tiring day of working on a big underdrawing to Christ In The Garden of Gethsemane, and also preparing paintings for my forthcoming exhibition. But a worrying day, which is odd considering that this is the third day in a row I've had a love dream and awoke in bliss.

Two things play on my mind: a relationship conundrum (yet my dreams are at peace). The other thing was a casual insult on Thursday evening when a passer by shouted "peado!" at me.

Today there are few worse insults. At the time the event didn't affect me at all, in fact I was smiling and full of happiness after meeting Emma that night, but later this voice concerned me. My paranoia suspects that the instigator of the insult was a neighbour whom I avoid. His children, about my age, used to cast insults my way. Of course, the call might be a cry from a casual drunkard.

Fortunately my thoughts, my mind, my life, my "love life", and perhaps especially my sexuality, pathetic and empty though it is, is clearly displayed in my paintings, my poems, these words, and myself. I suspect that 99% of the population of the Earth don't understand my art, and perhaps the neighbour would think me yet more insane should he see it, but I don't care. I try to be the best person I can, and the best man, and the best artist. That is all.

The other thing on my mind can wait for another day. I might blog it. I might not.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Story Writing

Today I've tried to write a story. Or I use the term tried loosely because I managed it, sort of. Writing is not different from painting in that one can either start in detail and work slowly from beginning to end, or sketch out the whole thing roughly and then refine. The latter is quite unusual for writers.

Today I wrote the rough plot in a few distinct lines and plot twists. Then I wrote the story with about a paragraph or two for each of those twists. Now I am expanding and totally replacing those paragraphs again. This is more akin to a painting that beings roughly and with each layer becomes more finished, and doesn't seem to be the way most writing is done (although in the visual arts it is quite common, it's really the only way to sculpt, for example).

I have written before but years ago, and not like I am writing the story. Of course, I'm writing now but again this is a train of thought written in one babble. It is of no consequence where this blog entry goes because the information I'm trying to convey IS a babble of thought, but with a work of fiction it is different.

I have also noticed that most writing is prose or verse and rarely does prose have rhythm, and hardly ever rhymes. In my story so far there is a definite rhythm and even rhyme which makes the story rather pleasant to read, but it is not a "serious" story, but a fairytale, so perhaps some of the comic sense that comes from rhyming works better. I'll try and write more tomorrow, perhaps. I am undecided. It would be an ideal day to overpaint the embrace part on Perfection and Necroamoria, but I'm not sure. I have so many things I want to do. In many things in life it's better to choose anything than nothing and just as boredom is a lack of confidence brought on by a lack of direction, so listlessness is a lack of results brought on by a lack of direction. I need to decide.

Holiday Romance Dream

A long dream last night. It began with a Formula 1 racing crash, seen in slow motion. In the first few moments the driver's helmet shot off then a few seconds later the car spins and hits a telephone pole. The driver's head is repeatedly bashed against it causing serious injuries. In the hospital his head is bandaged. His mental health has been damaged as a result of the crash and says that he wants to kill his wife, the doctors his words off as a joke. A woman is there who blames money for his accident. She throws large amounts of U.S. dollars from the window of the hospital room into the car park below. I am there too and decide to leave. At the bottom of the stairs in the hospital lie large stacks of money. I pick up lots of hundreds, thousands and even piles of ten thousands. There are piles of millions too, but they are printed glossy leaflets that represent the chance to win a million dollars instead of having them, so I reject them. I go into the car park. The money is now in stacks but most of it consists of leaflets again, chances to win. I am conscious of two guards looking at me from a distant booth. I pick up one stack of hundreds and one of thousands. The guards smile and giggle to themselves at my actions but I feel superior because I know that I already have enough money in my pockets. I see a blue coach driving away and the side opens revealing the passengers. A woman with short blonde hair inside asks if I'm going with them. I decided I will, I run along side and I am pulled in by her. I sit next to her and put on a seat belt, there is some conversation with her about which hole to clip mine into. During the journey we get romantic on the coach with kisses and hugs, and lovely eye contact. I know that it will only be a short holiday romance. The woman and her female friend are both secretaries. The blonde woman shares my seat and sits in my lap with my arms around her waist. I see her friend testing my D.N.A. in a small kit and I because suspicious at why. It reveals I used to have black hair; my hair in the dream was grey. I said that she could have asked me that and didn't need to sneakily sample me. We approach our hotel destination and a joke was made by the blonde woman at the quality of the accommodation. I pointed to a nearby empty shop said as a joke that we should rent an empty shop and sleep in the window instead. For some reason the front of the coach had to be visited and the woman decided to go. The coach suddenly became a steam engine with convoluted dark passages and dangerous climbs. She made it to the front of the train to speak to the unsympathetic driver but on the way back faced a very difficult vertical climb up blackened iron obstacles to get back. I awoke at that point.

As in many dreams, there are elements in this dream from my experience of earlier days and in conversations I had last night before. On the whole the feeling was positive and enjoyable and I feel that some of the soul searching and recent chaos is over. It definitely seems that all things go through periods of stability and periods of chaos; economies, civilisations, atoms, our bodies, and our lives.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Iterations of Isolation 2

Iterations of Isolation is now underpainted. I came up with this idea about six months ago and it's one of my largest paintings to date. Over the past few days my thoughts and feelings, and concerns, and insecurities, and smiles, and nightly dreams have been dwelling on a friend who occupies a unique and special place in my heart and life. I also feel under pressure about arranging my art exhibition next month. I feel that, as in this painting, I'm making everything seem gigantic and of huge importance when it isn't.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Iterations of Isolation 1

I painted the first part of Iterations of Isolation today. I used a bit of clove leaf oil in the paint to retard the drying of the mars black which I find does dry too quickly, often too dry to blend by next day, proving that oil paints can dry fast. I tried twice to test the retardation powers but the test samples without clove oil seemed to stay wet even for several days so that was no use. So, I've broken a cardinal rule that all good artists know about and all break too; don't experiment your latest technique idea on your latest painting, test it first. Bye bye rule book.

The acrylic canvas was a joy to paint on which was a surprise because to touch the surface feels slick and the imprimatura application was blotchy and not very good at all. I got the canvas from a company called Point North, it's called AC11 and costs about £15 a metre. It's wonderful and easy to prime too. I'm thinking of buying more just in case the supply runs out.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane 1

Preparation work on another biblical allegory today, Christ In The Garden of Gethsemane, which is about a moment of psychological reckoning; a time to choose. Tomorrow I'll start painting Iterations of Isolation, a picture about how isolation can lead to fascist thoughts due to selfishness and lack of empathy. It's a large and sad painting which will be largely black and white. The notable thing about the technique is that it is to be painted on acrylic canvas which I prepared myself last year. I usually paint on M.D.F. panels. This underpainting may take five days.

Exhibition Plans

I've spent the day doing more planning for my first exhibition next month. The opening event time has been confirmed and invites designed and ordered. Next is letters to the press and transport arrangements for the hanging days.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Hanging of Judas Iscariot 1

Here is the underpainting to The Hanging Of Judas Iscariot. Venetian red, yellow ochre, a bit of nickel titanate yellow in the gold areas, black and white. I love venetian red more and more and it's rapidly becoming my red of choice. This painting proves just how intense this earth colour can be.

Chester and Quantum Theology

The Chester opening last night was too much, too crowded to socialise or even see the paintings. The exhibition though was excellent; perhaps the best I've seen in a couple of years because the judges are genuine art experts that give time to each piece, reward imagination, and select a real mix of paintings.

Yesterday and the day before I did the underpainting to a small allegorical paintings called The Hanging Of Judas Iscariot. My pictures often include Christian elements. Even at my most atheist I respect religion for the good that I think it, on balance, does to society. Belief in even a fictitious higher power is good for mental health, better than nihilism anyway. My beliefs are unique in that I believe in gods and no gods at the exact same time according to the quantum rules of mathematical matrix mechanics. I'd like to write more about quantum theology and the definitely uncertain impact of consciousness on the future and past.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello Earth

Hello Earth is now featured on a blog called Thanks for choosing my painting Nancy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Largely a day of rest before I start painting again tomorrow. I have had a go at that "Polymorph" modelling plastic though. It's difficult to model with because when pliable is very rubbery and tends to want to pull itself into a blob. It can be pulled apart though. Separate bits can be easily and firmly welded to one another, a good property to have. It also remains re-meltable at any point so can be used for temporary structures. When cool it is very tough but flexible, hard for me to snap if I tried. As a glue or repair material this would beat window putty hands down. A bowl of very hot water needs to be on hand to keep warming it up while modelling and slippery hands makes things difficult too. It's cheaper and tougher than polymer clay but harder to model with. I suspect that specialist equipment could make this a really good artist's modelling material. Some sort of heater is needed I think because it's difficult to keep it warm enough to be easy to handle. As such, even the supplied examples are blobs like mine and it's marketed more as a repair material than a modelling clay. I'm considering using it as a ground for painting, if I can melt it and pigment it.

Saturday, May 09, 2009


I did nothing today apart from go to the Grosvenor Museum in Chester to pick up a painting. I'm happy to say that "Two Roman Legionaries Discovering The God-King Albion Turned Into Stone" has been selected for the prestigious bi-annual exhibition there. I wasn't feeling great today after I upset my friend Emma by telling her exactly how brilliant I thought another woman was (a particularly insensitive move even by my standards) so my thoughts have been dwelling on her. I managed to mumble some replies to the impressed expert who handed my painting back, but I felt like I missed an opportunity to express my full knowledge and passion for painting. However, the truth can never be suppressed and I'm confident that a few potholes cannot stop the great iron ball of me from rolling towards something greater. Onward!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Urban Escape 5

Well the underpainting to "Perfection" is finished (it is, as expected, imperfect) and I also finished the moth-wing effect glazing on Urban Escape. That part is eye catching now and mostly automatic. I think every painting needs a few ingredients;

1. Something special and beautiful.
2. Something automatic; a part where the even artist doesn't know what it's about.
3. Something that shows flair.

But it should all be true to the message. Butterfly wings were exactly the texture for that "building".

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Perfection and Necroamoria 6

A frustrating day. My Mars Black dries too fast, often in the course of one day. It's the fastest drying colour I have and it's making blending impossible. The slightest bit of light paint over a dry dark area stays there like an unsightly smudge for all time. I've sent for some clove oil to slow it down. The smoothness of the surface is a problem too. When it's very smooth it can be hard to put down enough paint to adequately blend, and when I do it smears and slides a little too much. That is all down to the sanding I had to do to remove the old surface and prepare this new one. That smoothness also eliminated some of the underdrawing lines which also negatively affected the picture. I really need a consistent surface and have some ideas on how to get one. I could also do with doing a contour study before painting too. I did one for The Migraine Tree years ago and it worked but it is an extra echelon of preparation.

So far this picture has about half a million things I want to correct or repaint and I really wish I had a proper amount of time to spend on it, but the competition deadline is only about eight weeks away now, so I must rush and cut corners. The quality is inevitably suffering. The lessons will have to be learned for the next great painting; probably The Apocalypse of Finance, which is what I would have been painting now if this competition and the silk competition hadn't turned up. I really wish that these competitions were announced 6 months in advance! It's 6 weeks into my painting season and I've hardly painted anything I was planning to.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Perfection 5

A frustrating and tiring day painting green leaves and vines. I only managed to paint a little but spent all day on it and the results are average. I wrote a song while painting too, only to discover that I coped the tune from another by accident. Last night though, I came up for an idea for communication device to assist with relationship problems! I've ordered some components to build it. Designing a sculpture is one thing, but combining art with technology and you enter the domain of product design. When buying some of the components I spotted a type of plastic called Polymorph which is apparently like plasticine when warmed up with boiling water but sets solid at room temperatures. That sounds brilliant.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Perfection 4

I painted the female figure today which is the most crucial part because her face is a main focal point. Tiny faces about the size of a coin are always difficult to paint but I've painted a few and seem to be getting better at doing them. When my life is chronicled, people will stare at the size and detail of this painting and ask "How did he paint it in seven days???!" I discovered that I'll probably need to go to Chester on Saturday and I've got an appointment in Marbury Church on Sunday so I have to finish this by Friday. I am on track. One advantage of working until dusk every day is that I am too tired to do much or think about anything but rest. My stomach is finally settled today. The meditation of painting is good rest.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Perfection and Necrophilia 3

I've been working like crazy on Perfection and Necrophilia. It's about the love of art, the love of something dead, immortal love and divine love. I'm thinking that Necroamoria might be a better word in the title. The act of painting is tedious, tiring, straining and not at all fun but whenever I'm not doing it, I wish I was.

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Last night, a dream of many scenes. I was wearing cobalt blue high heels and gliding around a huge Marks and Spencers shop on them as though they were ice skates. I met Ken Dodd there, he was performing ramp tricks on a skateboard and I did the same tricks on my high heels. In another scene I saw a version of my painting of Claire Luce on a back wall of a television scene, but an alternative high quality painting. At first I thought that I might get in trouble for using the image, but then concluded that it was more likely that the original photo was out of copyright allowing both me and that other artist to use it. A tiny reproduction was in a near empty Meccano box. My brother and I were investigating a few Meccano boxes, although most contained only a few parts. We found up to eight quite old rechargeable batteries in there, four AA and some AAA. I wondered if they had any power left or if they needed recharging. I was interviewing Liza Minnelli and she was flirting a lot and talked of her relationship with Noel Gallagher. I made a comment about his children but she said with a laugh that he hadn't given her any and then Noel appeared and they had energetic sex in front of me.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Perfection and Necrophilia 2

Well I awoke feeling much better and given the bright sun, decided to paint. So, the first bit of Perfection and Necrophilia has been painted. I had to improvise the lighting on the bones so the modelling on the bottom part isn't quite correct. I should be able to invisibly guide (I won't say fix!) that though.

I painted over some of the gold and found it difficult to remove the paint from the surface. I think I slightly damaged the gold by trying to remove the tiniest of particles of paint. Now I'll rest and with luck I can have a normal day tomorrow.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Sick last night, and all day so no painting. I won't be well enough tomorrow either. This might be due to a mild case of food poisoning but I'm wondering if it could be my old irritable bowel syndrome, a spasm in the gut that was sufficiently severe to stop digestion, trap food in my stomach and cause the agonising pain and repeated vomiting I've experienced over the last 24 hours. My digestive system is my physical weakness and always the first thing to be affected by any illness.

Either way I am not happy at the moment and in fact very annoyed, angry, miserable, in pain and unable to work, unable to lie down, unable to sleep, unable to eat. I aim to do nothing tomorrow but try and recover. This is not good.