Sunday, August 30, 2015

One from the forest.


Canasvieiras, forest being cut down, oil on card, 18 x 18 cm    SOLD


It feels as if Summer has finally arrived. I score off the days until fly to New York: exactly thirty-one.

I feel extremely bored and frustrated here. I mis-planned the year. I should have organised a trip for late June to maintain my morale. But I was worried about money, and  felt that I should knuckle down to teaching. Perhaps I had also felt that the last trip wasn't a tremendous success, and  that more trips weren't really the answer my general condition of ennui. 

Well, rotting on this damn island certainly isn't either. 

Enough self-flagellation, I shall try to be more directed in 2016, and book the flights to Chile and Peru as soon as I am able.




Sidi Ifni, roofs, oil on card, 12.2 x 15.5 cm  SOLD

Glasgow, view from the Necropolis, oil on card, 13 x 18 cm  SOLD

My entries to the French Institute Prize were rejected. 

Let's see if my submission to the Society of Scottish Artists goes any better. I shall try with the two above, one from Morocco, the other from Glasgow.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Praia Mole, August 2015; Andrew Marr on Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint


Praia Mole, August 2015, oil on card,14 x 22 cm   SOLD

Today was a particularly lovely day at the seaside with a delicate, flickering light.


I enjoyed very much Andrew Marr's BBC programme about Winston Churchill as a painter (Andrew Marr on Churchill: Blood, Sweat and Oil Paint).

 The programme focussed, rightly, I think, on how painting helped Churchill to deal with stress and depression. It conveyed well the sense of escape that Churchill must have gained through concentrating on his craft, patiently working in Morocco or the South of France, and the energy with which he worked,

The art of painting is akin to cooking in that it offers many relatively simple activities, such as mixing colours, which are soothing and sensual. The actual manual skills involved in painting are generally slight, so that persons with disabilities- such as Marr, a stroke victim, can work successfully. Contrast this to writing, where concentration has to be almost absolute, and which is utterly a-sensual; or, playing a musical instrument, where manual skills must be honed through repeated exercises if the artist is not to alienate his audience.

There is often something odd about Churchill's work- particularly with regard to spatial descriptions and his acidic colours. It is curious how highly intelligent people often cannot paint well: despite considerable dedication and the advice of excellent teachers Churchill's pictures are often awkward, and now seem dated. I find them, nonetheless, very enjoyable- they are so self-evidently a product of genuine enthusiasm.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Canasvieiras: the woods


Forest, Canasvieiras, oil on card, 18 x 22 cm

A further scene from the woodland area- being harvested- up in Canasvieiras.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Canasvieiras, forest


Forest, Canasvieiras, oil on card, 22 x 18 cm

The tree trunks give off a lovely roseate light that contrasts eerily with the sense of destruction as the trees are felled.

It's a good place to work. It's quiet and melancholy, and when you paint there you have sombre thoughts.