Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The lake from Ishbel's house

The lake from Ishbel's house, oil on card, 13.5 / 12 cm

The first of a little run of pictures from this beautiful house.

Many thanks to Ishbel for letting me work here, and for giving me lunch.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nocturne: in a new suburb

Nocturne: in a new suburb, oil on card, 12 / 8.7 cm

Welcome to the new Florianopolis: faceless blocks showing little imagination, with few green spaces, and little to delight. How do people remember which block is theirs?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Entrance to a salvage yard

Entrance to a salvage yard, oil on card, 14.5 / 12 cm   SOLD

Painted in São José, among a network of streets where dilapidation is the norm. There seem to be a huge number of businesses devoted to car tyres in these run-down areas, these interzones, where towns becomes highways.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Poplars, Rio Tavares

Poplars, Rio Tavares, oil on card, 12 / 14.5 cm

Quite hot: delightful to drive down these back roads, to sit painting in the car, listen to Bach and then have a wonderful Brasillian kilo lunch.

It doesn't get much better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Popular housing, Saco Grande

Popular housing, Saco Grande, oil on card, 14.2 / 12 cm

The dog decided to lie in the middle of the road: it disappeared when the drizzles came on.

A heavy day, pregnant with rain, lending that luminous light, which I perhaps haven't quite captured.

I am becoming more and more interested in the movements of people, making these poorer, car free places much more fun to work in.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Early evening

Early eveing, Lagoa, oil on card, 11.3 / 13.1 cm

Painted down in Lagoa

I tend to alternate between urban themes and nature. I fear obvious beauty...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A poor neighbourhood

A poor neighbourhood, oil on card, 11.7 / 14 cm   SOLD

Painted behind the Havan store, Sao Jose.

As far as painting goes, these poorer areas are considerably more interesting than middle-class condo-land. There's a variety of buildings, in a range of colours, some of which seem to be ever in a state of construction and addition and people can be seen to be doing things, their lives not shut away behind doors.

There can still be found in Brazil considerable areas of cities taken up by the sort of repair shops, little restaurants, pubs, and stores that are the subject of some of Atget's photo series. In Brazil these are always at least slightly askew and brightly coloured. I think it would be fascinating for a child to grow up in such an environment. I feel dismay when I see emerge the new Brasil of identikit shopping malls and insipid ready made condominiums.

I feel nervous painting in such neighbourhoods though, sensing a close potential for disorder (I feel much the same about Brixton in London) - although the people who approached me were pleasant (much as they have been to me when painting in Brixton too) one kindly advising me that I had left my car lights on. Some of that nervousness is present in the picture, I think.

Working from the car, observing, painting seems voyeuristic and impolite but it is safer and more comfortable: if I'd known someone in the neighbourhood to introduce me it would have been better.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Two more from near Santo Amaro de Imperatriz

 Carriers, with matches for scale: there is considerable perspective distortion here, but at least it gives an impression of scale.

Animals in a field, oil on card, 14.5 / 12.5 cm  SOLD

I drove out to the splendid countryside about 20 miles from Florianopolis.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Houses on the way the Joaquina beach; December Santa Catarina Road trip

Houses on the way the Joaquina beach, oil on card, 14.1 / 10.4 cm  SOLD

Painted some weeks ago: I don't know why, but I didn't feel great about it at the time, partly because I had some problems getting a decent photo.


I'm gearing myself up for a great December Santa Catarina road trip- from Florianopolis to the west and back. A week spend driving (very slowly as I dont like driving for much more than 200 miles a day), stopping here and there for painting and to streach my legs. Then all the way back.

I think to drive to Sao Miguel do Oeste via Lages, Curitibanos, Concordia  and Chapecó, and to return through São Lourenço, Caçador, Santa Cecilia, Rio do Sul and Timbo. But none of this is set in stone.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Campeche, oil on card, 14.5 / 11.5

Painted from the dunes: I almost stood on a huge li

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two Brazilians walk along the highway, a dog forages


Two Brazilians walk along the highway: a dog forages, oil on card, 12.5 / 14.5 cm  SOLD

A rather Nordic- specifically Norwegian- style: the dog came in part homage to Frédéric Glorieux, a French painter with an affection for animals.

Today was heavy and close, refusing to rain: you feel tired and hopeless on such days, wishing the air would clear. I watched an excellent film called "The Road".

I must sort some kind of plan for Christmas.It will be dismal to rot here. Perhaps I can drive somewhere?


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Timber yards off SC 401

Timber yards off SC 401, oil on card, 9.5 / 11 cm

A small painting: I love the intimacy and intensity that you can get when working small.

I like the play that comes when between painting great themes on a small scale: a sort of psychological game linked to miniaturisation, where the viewer has to "peer in".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nocturne: night walkers' song

Night-walkers' Song: oil on card, oil on card, 11.2 / 14 cm

The unpurged images of day recede;
The Emperor's drunken soldiery are abed;
Night resonance recedes, night walkers' song
After great cathedral gong;
A starlit or a moonlit dome disdains
All that man is,
All mere complexities,
The fury and the mire of human veins.

From Byzantium by William Butler Yeats 


Monday, November 7, 2011

Portait of a Russian Woman; free pictures

Portait of a Russian Woman, oil on canvas, 73 x 60 cm

One of six portraits that were painted in the same corner of a flat in Maida Vale, London, about ten years ago. At the time, my notion was to create a huge series (very Perec-ian, perhaps), featuring many different sitters: life, however, got in the way.

At the time I was into portraiture, having had the notion of making a career of it. But I discovered that I lacked dependable accuracy in drawing likenesses. I was especially poor at depicting women, partly because my painting style was so angular that they appeared, literally, hatchet-faced.

I am sending this one to France, along with a nbumber of other paintings. It's great to find homes for pictures which have been sitting in storage: paintings should be seen and enjoyed.

Ergo, should readers see things they like here or on Flickr- particularly larger things, and want them, please let me know and I will send them to you if you pay the postage, packing, and handling costs.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Builders Yards near the turn-off to Santa Antonio

Builders Yards near the turn-off to Santa Antonio, oil on card, 13.5 x 11.5 cm

Painted from the car- a beautifully sunny day, almost too hot for comfort.

I also drove around Ratones, an interesting, quiet area which looks ideal for painting- the road winds and undulating, there are few tourists, horses graze.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

São Paulo

From the Cinelândia Hotel, oil on card, 11.2 x11.6cm

Well, I spent most of last week visiting galleries in São Paolo, hoping to find someone to help show my work. Perhaps I got a lead, but I am not optomistic. I am not sure why it is so difficult here: my pictures are selling and are accessable. Perhaps it is simply that there isn't much of a market here, and this makes dealers nervous.

São Paolo is a loathesome place: a brutalised environment with no end of beggers and homeless people. It is highly polluted and I became ill there almost immediately.

However, there is a nice collection of paintings in the USP Muesum of Contemporary Art, itself located in a fine park. I liked seeing the calm Morandis and wonderful Pancetti.