Monday, 21 November 2011

Making an exhibition of myself


If you want to see a grown man reduced to a trembling squeak, here's your chance.

The show may contain some adult content, but absolutely no nuts at all.

Do please come along if you are able/desperate/easily pleased and I will attempt to entertain and inform you as to why I do what I do.

It's on Wed 30th Nov, 8pm.

The evening is a scratch event called ITCH where new ideas get trialled before an audience of KIND people who then give constructive feedback to the performers, as required.

I'll be doing a half hour spot to see what happens, and if it works there are plans for a full on performance in the New Year.

You have been warned.

The venue is the Wardrobe Theatre, situated over the White Bear in St Michael's Hill, Bristol.

Bring your own fruit....

Check it out:

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Art! Tsk!...part 2

Following on from the last rant about making paintings pay, here's the update:

(I should point out that this is not a self-help guide to making art pay, more an illustration of what I've chosen to do. Everyone has to find their own path, I'm just pointing out that there are more ways of doing this than you might think)

So, I've set up regular, paid, creative sessions within several Care Homes in my area.

It's such a simple idea, and it's a joy to do.

I take my paintings along, the residents react/discuss/evaluate and generally air their opinions of them.

This then acts as the key to unlocking their own stories (which are frequently amazing, and always fascinating) which in turn gives me the source material for any number of paintings.

I then set up modelling sessions and paint them from life.

Painting someone's portrait is a remarkable experience, (both detached and intimate at the same time,) and a great way to get to know someone,

 I know of no experience like it.

At the end of it, we have another painting to discuss, we've showcased another person's experience, I've learnt more about painting, people and life in general and we've had a blast doing it.

Oh, and I get paid to do it (did I mention that already?), I still own the painting, and I can sell prints off the back of it.

The point I'm making is that there are more ways to survive as an artist than waiting in line for some ego in a bow tie to allow you into their gallery and then treat you like scum whilst charging you a fortune for the privilege.

Ok, so far so good, but it's not going to get you to the wider audience.

For that, you're going to have to get out there and shake your tail feather.

However you do it, you'll do it better than anybody else for the simple reason that people are much more interested in artists than promoters.

Does anyone remember the name of Leonardo's agent? - quite...

So I'm going for broke and turning my last two years worth of paintings into a one man show involving big screen projection, live theatre audiences, music, film and me standing in a spotlight trying not to soil myself.

My first ever appearance is at the end of this month and I have no idea whether this will be a turning point in my career and a whole new way of taking painting to a larger audience, or the last act of a desperate man who will never work in this town again.

Details in the next posting...

Comfort zones are for sissies

Monday, 7 November 2011


I'm doing an OCN in Creative Provision in the Care System (doesn't that sound grown up...) and as part of the course we're required to come up with some sort of mask related piece as a statement of our own creative experience so far.

So, rather than go down the papier mache and feathers route, I thought I'd opt for the difficult, painful and altogether messy/stupid alternative.

For anyone who has yet to try making a plaster cast of their own face (I'm guessing some of you haven't got round to it yet?) I would add a note of caution:

You're going to have to trust other people.

A lot...

You'll see from the photo's that it involves a lot of gunge, blindness, claustrophobia, hot plaster exfoliation, trust in people who enjoy watching you suffer, unexpected hairloss, taking of advantage whilst unable to respond and Vaseline.

Lots of Vaseline ( important to get that bit right, see unexpected hairloss mentioned earlier)

Anyway, never mind the suffering, check out the result!

Remember that what you are looking at is a negative, concave image taken straight off my chops.

Weirdly, though, when you light it, it appears to protrude from the surface as a convex, 3d face which rotates as you move around it, just like a hologram.

How mad is that!

I'm expecting a tick v.good and a gold star for this one....

Why meerkat?  Make one yourself, show it to your friends, watch them as they bob up and down to get the 3d effect, observe startling similarity with amusing upright rat thingies - simples...