Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Five little monotypes

 A boat in Lagoa, with the first impression at the bottom.

 A street in Lagoa, with the first impression at the bottom.

A boat in Lagoa, second version, monotype 9. 3 x 5 cm

A street in Lagoa, first version, monotype 9. 3 x 5 cm

The ink surface was manipulated between impressionsms, so my use of the term is lax.

These were made some years ago in Lagoa, and I found them while arranging my books. They are a little smaller than credit cards.
I think I shall do more like this: they feel fresh.

Monday, January 7, 2013

12x12x12: postponed, Egypt

I`m putting 1x12x12 this aside. I need some days peace before travelling.

I`ve also decided to simplify my Egypt trip cutting out Aswan. I came to the conclusion that previous painting trips were marred because I tried to visit many different cities or towns, so the pictures became superficial, and I became tired.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A week in Serrana 3

 Serrana, earth, houses, oil on card,  14 x 12 cm

 Serrana, earth, houses in carrier

 Serrana, heavy weather, oil on card, 9 x 13 cm

Serrana, chaveiro, oil on card, 10.5 x 12 cm

The last grouping from my Serrana trip. The region around Serrana has a very dark red soil.

The last picture, of the Chaveiro, or locksmith, illustrates the sort of jerry-built buildings that are almost usual in parts of the town.

 Next trip: Egypt.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A week in Serrana 2


Serrana: a single tree, oil on card, 9.7 x 8.5 cm

Serrana: a distant factory, oil on card, 14 x 14 cm

Serrana, a distant factory in carrier with phone for scale

The second group from my days last week in Serrana.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Getting ready for 12x12x12

I`m going to paint 12 pictures in four days for this creative project: http://www.facebook.com/12in12x12

It`s primarily a musical project intended to inspire bands, but it`s open to other art forms too.

I`ll be using only black paint and the pictures will bear some relation to Chinese ink drawing. Illustrated above are the supports.

A week in Serrana 1

Serrana, Aveunue, in carrier

Serrana, Aveune, oil on card, 14 x 13 cm

Serrana, yard at the back of a hotel, il on card, 10.5 x 8.7 cm

Farmland, Serrana, oil on card, 14 x 12 cm

The first entry from a week in Serrana, S.P.
Serrana s a small town, set in rolling hills and containing a huge number of speakeasies- little bars using the front rooms of houses- and churches. Both are popular with the locals, as is driving battered cars up and down the streets playing country music at great volume.
The place is slummy, even by Brazilian standards, with junk lying here and there and a general atmosphere of squalour as soon as you get away from the central church square.

 Everyone there seems very content.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Annual Review: 2012: Flickr, Blogger, Facebook, Saachi, Deviantart, Art and Artists

Spines of pochade carriers


The year went reasonably well, with trips to Tunisia, Chile, the UK, Italy, and Pernambuco in Brazil.

These trips were all too short, and all too crammed, emphasising the necessity to allow passages of emptiness and to risk boredom during the trips. Boredom, or some form of mental  irritation is necessary for creativity.

My expectations of destinations were nearly always confounded. Probably the best place to paint was for me Valparaiso, but not for the Whistlerian, nautical inspiration I had expected, but for its crumbling stucco and steep hills. Italy was good but not as good as I had hoped, failing to surprise me, surprise being the essential ingredient of inspiration. But how can you plan surprises for yourself?

The next trips to come will be to Egypt, the UK, Bolivia  and perhaps Finland.

There were a about twenty sales altogether primarily through The Union Gallery, Edinburgh, and Rose Issa Projects, London.

I experimented with larger formats: this was not entirely successful and I will return to the smaller size, which is a little smaller than a postcard.

Disappointment and frustration are normal in the pursuit of the creative arts. This is either the disappointment of abject failure, or the slow mindlessness of mediocrity.

The former at least has the virtue of announcing their arrival boldly, the second is more common, less obvious, harder to combat. I`d say the good ones make up about 20 % , then there is a massive grey area of about 60% and another 20% of abject failures.

There`s no way of avoiding either of these, no pill, or technique. You can try to come up with broad creative theories but these have their limits. What is inspiring one day becomes tired and pointless on Friday. And so on..

So, like fishing, painting is largely a game of patience: regardless the weather.,you put in the time, and  hope something good comes of it eventually, and that someone else likes it. 


There are 612 followers, up from 545 last year. I make no special effort to find followers, though all pictures are shown in about ten groups.


This time last year there were 59 followers: now there are 70: not as many as I had hoped. But sites such as this necessarily have a very limited public.

 Also, there have been changes to Blogger which make it harder for people simply to "click" and receive the blog automatically.


I continue to show work here, and occasionally to sell work through this site. It is a very good site for artists to use: others image hosting sites are very specific in their publics, reaching groups of people with particular interests in art, painting or photography. Facebook sends the work into a wider network of people.


51 people watch me here: it`s not much of a site. It`s messy and thinks of itself as being very trendy and smart, when in fact it is simply messy and nerdy and teenage.


 I stopped posting here: it is a waste of time as it is entirely dominated by the sort of people for whom art is a career.

If you are going to seek a career, chose something in which there is a clear career structure with reasonably objective assessments of ability: the law, medicine or academia.

If you wish to make money then stay away from the creative spheres: sell toothpaste or car tyres, something for which there is a settled constant demand, which doesn`t require careful  storage or transportation, go out of fashion, become irrelevant at the say so of some lisping pantyhose in New Yorknecessitate interpretation or, worst of all, involve ego on such a massive scale.

Art and Architecture

I more or less stopped posting here as well: it didn`t seem to go anywhere


I started posting little reviews again, just for the hell of it.


I received a fair amount of encouragement and assistance, and must thank those who bought pictures and let me stay with them over the last year, and those who offered feedback, positive or otherwise.

Painting is often a fairly solitary business. Being  misanthropic, that is part of its appeal: nonetheless the expressed interest of others is always welcome.

Specifically, I thank Lise and Felix Colyer, Chris Anderson and my parents.

Urubici, boys playing football, detail.