Saturday, 30 October 2010

Firth of Clyde

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside,
Oh, I do like to be beside the sea....

Today found me with an hour to spend while I waited on my darling wife coming home on the ferry from her week's sojourn on Arran. The island was hardly discernable across the firth with dark clouds and mist and the sea between a brilliant shade of blue/purple and green:

Ink in small sketchbook, A6x2.

The tide was rapidly coming in and a strong breeze blowing: I found it exhilarating.

I also find rock-pools fascinating:

Ink and spit in small sketchbook, A6.

I can sea whole different worlds and great abstract shapes. Didn't find any crabs or whelks, or shrimps this time but I know they are lurking there waiting for high tide to liberate them.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lay-zee Boy

I took a few sketchpads and sketchbooks on holiday with me to Puerto Pollensa at the beginning of October along with watercolours, pastels and various other drawing implements, and apart from one day on the beach the only other time I pulled my little A6 sketchbook out was whiling the afternoon away at Club Pollenca cafe where I could order a constant stream of coffees and watch all the people - holiday-makers and locals - pass by.

Here's the first five:

Pencil in sketchbook, A6. #1

Pencil in sketchbook, A6. #2

Pencil in sketchbook, A6. #3

Pencil in sketchbook, A6. #4

Pencil in sketchbook, A6. #5

Each one is often jotted down after having only the merest glimpse, for example the little girl on her daddy's shoulders was "snapped" in my mind's eye when he stopped very briefly to read the menu outside the restaurant.

Don't these people realise they are being captured for posterity?

No wonder I have trouble sleeping at night!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Grace Hartigan

I'm not sure where the original idea sprung from but I found myself searching out the work of Grace Hartigan, one of the American Abstract Expressionists...but with a difference. Mostly her work is based on figures and some more abstract than others.

Grace apparently spent a lot of time searching for figurative and abstract meaning in her "inner" and "outer" world. This has great resonance for me:

"Mott Street", Oils on canvas, 198x182cm.

Another painting, "The Massacre" painted in 1952 also resonates strongly with me:

It reminds me of a much smaller acrylic painting I made in 2002 which I called "Spot The Ball":

Acrylics on board, 30x40cm.

But, while I am currently researching the work of Hartigan the real joy behind this blog was when I Googled her name and came up with a whole bunch of Graces' paintings I was also surprised and thrilled to find a link to Melinda's "Shamans" included (albeit on page 15!). But why should I be so surprised for what Melinda has created is as good as anything Grace has done.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Still Clinging On

I'm like a mountain-climber taking on the North Face of the Eiger, alone and without crampons or a safety rope, clawing my way up the ice-bound faces by my fingernails (sends a shivver down yer spine!!!) knowing there is a point when I CAN claim the top is mine but cannot see it through the shrouding mist and wind-blown snow, exhausted but still clinging on, talking to myself (and getting quite coherent answers back), telling myself "I can do this", but always fearful I will lose my footing and plumet to the depths (been there alreadys), lacking oxygen and only a cheeky little shiraz to keep me going, urged on by many ethereal voices (some telling me they have the exact spanner size I'm looking for), when a shaft of light breaks forth and with frost encrusted nasal hairs I find the strength to....More Next Week.

In the meantime I am back my holidays, had a week recovering from 10hour delayed flights (never going abroad again) and a bout of the flu (which I still haven't recovered from yet and tomorrow I'm flying solo for the first time with wee Harry since his Nanna has deserted me yet again for another holiday with her sister on Arran [so watch out pottery]...I'm sure Harry will survive, but will I?)

Back to the North Face: It's within my grasp, but still it eludes me...I'm almost there (I can feel it) but it requires a supreme effort.

I know I am getting closer:

Mixed Media on board, 42x61cm.

Half close your eyes and hopefully you will see what I mean.