Thursday, November 28, 2013

Five recent sales

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

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

Joaquina, oil on card, 14 x 12 cm  SOLD

Warehouses on Jane Street, Leith, oil on card, 9/ 12.5 cm  SOLD

Praia Mole from above, oil on card, 16 x 12.5 cm  SOLD

Five recent sales here in Florianopolis. Please contact me if you are interested in any of the works on this site.

Monday, November 18, 2013

In rememberance of Clancy

In rememberance of Clancy, oil on card, 16 x 16.5 cm

Not dissimilar to other flower pictures: I shall experiment more with the backgrounds in future.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mafra, Santa Catarina


 A distant farm, oil on card, 16 x 12.5 cm

 A view of Mafra, oil on card, 14 x 12.5 cm

 Mafra, simple houses, oil on card, 14 x 14 cm

Mafra, man with a back pack, oil on card, 18 x 16 cm

Mafra is a smallish city in the North of Santa Catarina which merges with its neighbour Rio Negrinho across the river. Its inhabitants are largely Polish and Ukrainian in ethnic origin and there are various very Eastern-European looking wooden buildings there, a big Ukrainian church and blond people. 

It`s prettily sited on a series of wooded hills, which are where I did most of my work. I could, I think, have spent a few more days here quite happily, although the food was dismal and costly (though don`t they say, "bad food is always expensive" ?): I had a particularly vile hot dog (what Brazil has done to the hot dog would cause nervous breakdowns in Frankfurt) and a foul Burrito. But the town seems orderly and prosperous and has none of the squalor that mars so much of Brazil.

I had originally intended to return to Florianopolis via Lages, but felt that this would, without a night`s rest somewhere, ìnvolve far too much driving in  one day.  I regret now that I didn`t consider this properly when planning, and added another day or two to my itinerary, as I was therefore forced to return via the route I came: via the tedious expanse of Teutonic suburb towns that stretches from Joinville to Brusque to Blumenau and Jaranagua. And the area between Lages and Mafra remains, for me, still somewhat unexplored.


 The pictures are mostly quite good, if occasionally generic in composition (especially the first and third). I am working on a larger scale these days, and  am feeling very confident.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Saco Grande, a white house

Saco Grande, a white house, 13.7 x 12.7 cm

Painted on a pretty road running behind Floripa shopping.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The road to Itacorubi

The road to Itacorubi, oil on card, 12.5 x 12 cm

A very pleasant day for painting.


I have bought tickets to Minas Gerais, where I shall pass Christmas, and Salvador, where I will spend some days in late January.

Preparations for a journey to Mafra

Unpainted pochades: it is fun to have a range of sizes and shapes

Another of Brazil`s innumerable public holidays (I count fifteen annually) is approaching on Friday: Proclamation of the Republic, and given the atrocious standards of political  leadership in this country this really should be a day of collective national shame, better  commemorated by mourning and self-flagellation than the usual parades by Brazil`s  hilarious military, who have only been tested in modern times by campaigns against other Brazilian citizens and with relief work in perilous Haiti and bits of Brazil.

But that is by the by- I shall shall pass my weekend making make another little trip into Santa Catarina: this time to Mafra. My idea is to  take fast coastal 101 and cutting in west after Joinville along BR301.

I`ll sleep there, then drive south via Itaipolis and picking up BR290, passing trough São Cristóvão do Sul and possibly sleeping another night near Lages, before returning on the BR201 to Floripa.


If you wish to join me for refreshments somewhere along the way, drop me a line.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A street in Biguaçu- dogs and children

A street in Biguaçu- dogs and children, oil on card, 22 x 18 cm

I`m going to push up in scale over the next few days. 

I`m interested in capturing something of the life of the streets here: shamelessly pinching some ideas from Lowry.

Working class neighbourhoods are best for this: you can see people doing all sorts of things their streets- flying kites, playing ball games, riding bikes, drinking, selling things, and just hanging around. 

The middle-class zones, with their tight-lipped condominiums and security cameras might be neat and tidy but they must be a lot less fun to grow up in.


Saturday, November 2, 2013

New York V: above Queens; evaluation

Above 43rd St., Queens, the back yards, oil on card, 13 x 12 cm

 There is something of Eardley here.

Above 43rd St., Queens, looking North-West, oil on card, 14 x 13 cm

Above 43rd St., Queens, N.Y., looking down, oil on card, 12 x 12 cm

These three paintings were executed from the roof of my lodgings.

 If I regret anything about the US trip, it is that I did not paint anything close up, intimately.

 All painters have their distances: Lucien Freud or Chardin work much closer to his subject than, say, Turner does. And different cities condition different distances, so that panoramic views are a more likely response to Rio than perhaps to Camden. But I think if i were to revisit, I would try to get closer to my motifs, at least sometimes.


The trip was, I think the most successful of my longer painting trips so far. The weather was magnificent, the light perfect and  the city is easy to understand and it is dramatic. The decision to focus on Queens, a rough 4 mile radius from my lodgings was wise, allowing me to explore without getting bored. 

I came to love Queens: it is ordinary but then quite beguiling at the same time, with an incredible mixture of unpretentious people from all over. I didn`t find any architectural marvels there- it is strange to me how few Churches there are- but there is a huge amount of good solid ordinary building, both blocks and townhouses -the sort that is so woefully lacking in Brazil- all laid out on an elegant grid, sloping easily down to the river, punctuated by small parks here and there.


Many thanks to James for putting me up on my first days in the USA and for helping me, and to Tatiane for bravely and brilliantly assuming the role of  photographers assistant.

Friday, November 1, 2013

New York IV: painting in Central Park and Hudson River Greenway

 Central Park Symphony, oil on card, 15 x 12 cm  SOLD

The parks in central New York are magnificent. I was there to catch the first changes of the Fall: fantastically coloured Sycamores. The weather was sunny but not scorching. Central Park is amazingly varied in terms of types of spaces. It isn`t quite as big as people say, if you know the London parks, but it is quite something nonetheless.

Central Park, New York, autumn, oil on card, 10 x 13 cm  NOT FOR SALE

I always love the freedom from precision in drawing that painting nature gives after I have been painting buildings.

Trees, Hudson River Greenway, N.Y., oil on card, 12.5 x 12.5 cm

There is a huge Bonnard influence in these pictures,  a direct result of visits to the Metropolitan Museum nearby.

Central Park N.Y., woman in a red dress, oil on card, 12 x 16 cm  NOT FOR SALE

 Five from Manhattan`s parks