Friday, July 1, 2016

A visit to southern Peru: Puno; part two, in the neighbourhood


Puno, the end of a street, oil on card, 14 x 15 cm


Puno, man, dog, oil on card, 12 x 13.5 cm

These were all painted in the streets north-west of the Plaza de Armas, an area possessed of considerable mystery.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A visit to southern Peru: Puno; part one, from my hotel


Puno, the street below, oil on card, 18.5 x 14.5 cm

Puno is situated on the banks of Lake Titicaca, but despite the location is there is an old but not especially striking cathedral, but apart from that little of architectural distinction that I could find.

However, I found it rather agreeable, and it's one of my regrets on this trip that I didn't pass time in nearby Juliaca, Both are working cities, with dusty, brown, boxy architecture, and many people getting on with ordinary life: buying selling constructing- though Juliaca even more so- such places are very satisfactory to get on with painting. 

There'ss a a warren-like quality to the town: it reminded me of early photos of Manhattan pre-skycraper: a tight grid plan, few cars, many people, occasional poverty, buildings fighting for elbow room.

I found myself adopting styles of painting to accommodate this sensation: a coarse , angular, direct, unrefined, partly based on cartoons.


Two recently framed pochades


 Flowers in black,  oil on card, 18 x 22 cm, framed SOLD

Cambuquira , a view from the hotel terrace, oil on card, 14 x 14 cm , Framed  SOLD

Two paintings recently framed by the buyer. 


A visit to southern Peru: Cusco; part three: the new town


Cusco: narrow road downtown, oil on card, 10.5 x 14 cm

Cusco: buildings, oil on card, 10 x 12 cm

Cusco: shops downtown, oil on card, 13 x 12 cm


I'd wanted to work on the shops which are so striking, selling piles of pig cadavers or novel varieties of potatoes piled up high, or   children's shoes spread out on a blanket on the ground or car parts or bust up cellphones or old university thesis, but there were too many people to concentrate.

 It is impossible for me to work when people are watching. Almost all viewers are pleasant, but their presence transforms me into a street performer and this prevents me from working freely: I begin immediately to think of of what effect each change to the picture has on the viewers considerations. 

I wished I had taken my little Lumix  camera because the one on the mobile is poor, and it'd have been easy to take some nice snaps. There are some things for which the camera is unquestionably superior to painting, and that includes capturing street scenes.

Anyway, here are some, rather expressionist, paintings of the streets. The high perspective is especially reminiscent of Kirchner. With such painting the question is always about finish, knowing when to end. 


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A visit to southern Peru: Cusco; part two: looking out from the edges


Cusco: a view from north to south, oil on card, 13 x 14 cm

Cusco- Nueva Alta, oil on card, 14 x 16 cm

Cusco- Arcopata, oil on card, 12.5 x 15 cm

Cusco, the hills to the south, oil on card, 12 x 14 cm

Cucso- simple houses, oil on card, 15 x 13 cm

Cusco from near the tower, oil on card, 9.5 x 12.5 cm

Cusco- a development to the west of the town, oil on card, 11.5 x 14 cm

Now here are a set painted over my week in Cusco representing the city from various heights, or looking towards the hills on the outskirts. 

The city is dusty and very dry. It's quite tiring walking around, the altitude affects one, making one breathless, and giving slight nosebleeds  The effect of being nestled so in hills makes the place somewhat claustrophobic.


Monday, June 27, 2016

A visit to southern Peru: Cusco; part one: the old city


Cusco: a lane, oil on card, 12.5 x 11 cm

Cusco: entrance arch, oil on card, 11 x 15 cm

Cusco: the view from a hostel, oil on card, oil on card, 12.5 x 16 cm

Cusco: Cathedral, oil on card,  11 x 14 cm


The arrival was painful- a miserable arrival at a godless 5 am and freezing. They like to start early in Peru. Sadists. The taxi driver was blunt.

The city is charming, valley set, baroque heavy, solid, rising with increasing imperfection to the high mountains around. The hostel was cosy. I felt happy there. The people of the town are are different but not unfriendly. The city is full of surprises.

There is a long road lined with shops all small selling all manner of stuff. I plan to go there to do some work. The hills are steep and I like to climb them and see the town. The hills have handsome pine woods.

The easel is breaking up: I fix it sometimes. The paintings go confidently. I'm glad I came. I think, I am going to plan another trip very soon to another place like this, as this is what I should be doing.

I went by train to  Machu Picchu and it was stunning, if at the same time  one of those tourist sausage factory experiences. I reccomend it, but don`t bother taking the costly train as it ties you down. Hire some guy to drive you.


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Getting ready for Peru


The thing with the trips is not, I think, to load oneself down with obligation.  To say, for instance, I am in Paris, I must paint the Eiffel Tower..., regardless of whether or not one finds the tower an interesting subject. Such obligations have the counterproductive effect of denying any spontaneity to one`s artistic responses (though one might argue that spontaneity can only exist in the context of of obligations and that my position is paradoxical). Suffice to say, the main thing is to feel relaxed and talk about how one feels in the place, not about how one feels one ought to talk about the place...

I see this trip partly as an answer to Bolivia, which wasn`t as successful as I`d hoped, I`m not sure why but the pictures from Bolivia just don`t quite feel right. Maybe it`s because I always felt like an intruder there,  Anyway, I have very few expectations about Peru- in fact I know very little about it, and I suppose that is a good thing.