Thursday, 23 February 2012

Never mind...

Sometimes you just have to accept you've missed it by a living mile, and it's nobody's fault but your own.

I've spent 18hrs so far on this one and it's getting nowhere.

Sensibly, I put it away for several months and pretended it wasn't mine.

I had hoped that the Art Fairy might have visited and sorted it out, but no such luck.
On digging it out recently I discovered that all the old faults were still there, plus a few I hadn't seen before.

It's actually a useful lesson in not breaking your own rules; in this case trying to paint something I haven't seen with my own eyes.

Quite a Big Rule, that one...

It started with a photograph I found of a stunningly beautiful dancer, taken in 1898.

Her name was Cleo de Merode and she wowed them in some style, invented a new hairstyle, consorted with royalty, became the biggest star of the Paris stage and was photographed from here to Wednesday.

Later on,  I found a picture of her taken by Cecil Beaton in the early '60's when she was old,  forgotten and broke,  but still a star, still poised, elegant and beautiful.

It got me thinking about which point in our lives defines us.

Is the 'me' I think of the person I am today, yesterday, tomorrow?  Will I be a different 'me' in 30 years, or is the essence of oneself a constant?

I wanted to create an image that confronts that reflection, that contradiction, and she seemed perfect.

Ok so far, but all I had to go were some low res, tiny photographs I'd peeled off the net, and it shows.

The answer is to reconfigure the painting using a real model, in the here and now, and try to find a model with similar features but 50 years older for the reflected 'self'.

I'm off on Saturday to meet some lovely Burlesque ladies who I'm hoping will provide the answer to the young 'Cleo', and I'll wing it from there.

The moral of the tale is that you can't create this stuff in a bubble, tucked away in a studio, clinging onto your imac.

It has to be about real people, which means going out there and accosting strangers again.

Brace yourself Bristol, I'm back in the game...

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Ta daa

There we go.

Apologies for the crap photo's, but you get the rough idea.

Anyway, back in the saddle again so no excuses from here on in.

8hrs from start to finish and although it may not be the most meticulously nurtured piece I've ever done, it's probably a personal best in terms of slapping it on against the clock.

Right, off to watch Get Me a Big Fat Celebrity Essex Chef on Ice methinks.

Never mind the quality...

7.30 and going well.

A bored Madonna, a grumpy cherub and a cat.

There's a perfectly good reason for all of this, and when I've thought of it I'll let you know.

Nearly time for my Red Bull and amphetamine sandwich.

Pressing on...


Between the boiler man and clients, things have got off to a bit of a delayed start - 2.00pm to be precise.

Never mind, think what Biggles would have done...

This is it at 5.00pm.

All bets are still on

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Where's me jump leads?

I hate it when this happens.

The rather inconvenient fact of having to make a living has intruded, to the inevitable detriment of the Grand Scheme.

Equally inevitable is the fact that on returning to the easel I find the divine inspiration has disappeared over the horizon with it's arse on fire, leaving me staring at Big Blank Canvasses like a lobotomised amoeba that got out at the wrong stop.


Past experience has taught me that the only way through this soul sucking wilderness of failed dreams is through the time honoured discipline of ADS (Actually Doing Something).

Not thinking about it, not planning it, not researching the background to it, and almost certainly not writing about it on your blog, but GETTING ON WITH IT!!

So, I've dug out a small painting that I started several lifetimes ago and decided I'm going to get it finished, frame and all, by the end of tomorrow.

Can't stop, got to go....