Monday, July 31, 2017

Guarda do Embaú, sandbank


Guarda do Embaú, sandbank, oil on card, 18 x 20 cm


Wednesday, July 26, 2017



Southern Scotland

 I have decided to include the charming town of Melrose on my British trip: 

London- Berwick - Melrose -Alloa -Edinburgh- London

There is something mysterious about the Borders to me.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rocks, Guarda Do Embaú


Rocks, Guarda do Embaú, oil on card, 18 x 21 cm


Sunday, July 16, 2017

A drive to Urussanga and Anitapolis


 Woodland and fields, between Urussanga and Orleans
 oil on card, 16.5 x 14.5 cm

 Homestead, late afternoon, between Urussanga and Orleans
 oil on card, 18 x 16.5 cm

This, above, works well.

 Woodland, São Ludgero, oil on card, 15 x 18.3 cm

 Little house, near Anitapolis, oil on card. 15 x 18 cm 

I am attempting to create a style that is bolder and less ridden with equivocation. I feel that my mountain pictures are particularly prone to this fussiness. I think I am trying too hard. That may be because I am in awe of the subject, and therefore unable to respond with creative freedom. I need to find another approach. 

A fine painter of mountains is Bomberg: I must try to get a catalogue of his work.


I took the wrong road from Anitapolis north, going to Alfredo Wagner by the most tortuous and at times muddy track. The views were fantastic, but I nearly damaged my car, and it took forever. Thank God it wasn't raining. I should have taken the paved road to Rancho Queimado. When I realised my error I had already driven already for 15 minutes and  didn't imagine that the way ahead would become so difficult.

I'd intended to stay another night in the mountains but I came back, exhausted by that drive. There is little to do in the mountain towns at night. You just sit somewhere and read and eat hotdogs because there aren't any proper restaurants and wonder what the hell you are doing there. But I like that emptiness sometimes.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Guarda do Embaú


 Guarda do Embaú, red boat, oil on card, 17.5 x 18 cm

Guarda do Embaú, a view, oil on card,  17 x 18.5 cm

Here are two simple paintings from Guarda do Embaú.

 They were painted on the new easel: the new easel  doesn't provide the use of a surface to mix paints on. And, being less stable, it encourages the making of larger pictures because it is less easy to paint delicately using it. So now I mix the colours up in advance and apply them in broader areas, instead of mixing things up as I go along then apply them systematically.

In such ways do the  limitations of an artist's equipment serve to alter his artistic style- serendipitously so in my case, as I had been seeking a way to open and brighten the pictures  à la Fauvist Braque for some time.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

British Trip. late September


Both maps taken from the Cavellini School Room map of the British Isles

I'm pleased to say that I shall be going to the UK in September for just over two weeks- a trip which will include London. Berwick, Edinburgh and Alloa, near Stirling. I shell go painting in Greenwich, or opposite. It's  one of the few places in London that offers good views for painting.

Lothian, Fife, Berwick and around

I am especially pleased to get to know Berwick better as I have so often passed on the train and swooned at its wonderful location. And I shall enjoy visiting nearby Lindisfarne too.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A settlement near Palhoça; new easel


A settlement near Palhoça, oil on card, 16 x 18 cm

This was painted using the new easel- it's less sturdy than the old one, and it is a disadvantage not being able to lay the tubes of paint out so easily. It toppled over once, and the wind caught the picture.

I think I can deal with such challenges but I might have to find a way of painting more simply than previously, using fewer different colours or perhaps pre-selecting them prior to working.

Easel- at times wobbly


New easel


I've been using a half width French easel by Mabef for some time. 

Mabef easel

It's developed quite a few problems having broken in many parts. I've had to replace straps, closing latch and a leg that split. Part of the support for pictures has snapped off and part of the tray broke. Mabef should be ashamed of themselves for using cheapo fittings and materials and putting such shoddily made easels on the market.

In addition it was rather heavy, meaning that walking more than a few miles with it became tiring.

This is its replacement: a plastic workman's DIY box fixed onto a lightweight photographers easel. It's considerably lighter:

Home made easel

But there are disadvantages: it lacks the drawer of the French easel, which was useful to use as a support for a palette. Also, it holds the painting surface less firmly, so that when you are painting there is a slight spring from the support. I will have to adapt my technique to accommodate this.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bushwick Park, Brooklyn, New York


 Near Cooper Street, Brooklyn, oil on card, 17.5 x 15.2 cm

This, above, is  one of the best of the bunch.  The colours are fresh, harmonious and original. The picture was painted fast but isn't slapdash. 

It's pretty much what I worked to make: I recall that when I arrived I had this sense of irritation about how fussy my work had become and how I wanted to remove all its fiddly details and make something assured, elegant and fresh- on the  back of New York's architectural boldness.

I harboured the desire to create pictures with a similar confidence, giving the same satisfactions as such typography as this:

 Rockaway Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 12 x 14 cm

The grand terraces remind me of Glasgow.

 A view from Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 16.5 x 18 cm  SOLD

Looking down from the roof,  Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn
 oil on card, 17.5 x 15.5 cm

Painted from the rooftop (above), this is almost a remaking of a painting from Queens five years ago: this one large and more unruly. I think this sort of pictures chimes a lot stylisically and thematically with Joan Eardley.

A view from Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 16.5 x 18 cm


Williamsburg, New York City


Buildings near Marcy Avenue, Williamsburg, oil on card, 17.5 x 17 cm

 Myrtle and Dekalb, oil on card, 16 x 17 cm

I find this painting effective and even beautiful.


Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York


Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, oil on card, 17 x 18 cm

This was painted just south of Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn., the weather dismal. 

I love the ubiquitous deep red-brown-maroon colour seen in buildings in New York.