Friday, 28 September 2012

Painting sedately

Without having a studio I am limited in my space to paint - a corner of my bedroom, effectively. This limits the size of what I can paint, and means I can't go as nuts with brush, spray, palette knife etc - no dripping or splashing: a calmer more sedate way of painting. Probably not a bad thing to experiment with: limits sometimes force you to do things differently, and that sometimes works. Here's my latest work (no titles I am happy with yet):

Friday, 14 September 2012

Some new stuff and nonsense

I haven't posted up much work recently. No particular reason, just not done it. I posted the flower painting the other day for my mum, but it isn't all I have done recently. I also completed the painting below, in oils. I guess it's a a kind of reversion to a style of work i was doing a year or two ago - less "abstract expressionist" and more "abstract landscape" if I've got to categorise it, inspired by the view from my window of my bedroom - where I am forced to work for the moment. Working in  a small space whilst trying to limit the mess I make restricts my normal style . Normally I dance around splashing things. In my bedroom i am sitting more sedately. Although I still have music playing and "jig" along. Also I wanted to give oils a go - I thought this might force me to be more careful on the spilling front.
Stone and clay (oil on canvas 65x54cm)

Also some other stuff on paper (below) that I did as a trial of some new paper called "laser" for the SAA. Interesting paper, only 80gsm, and feels like it is nothing special, but absolutely amazing how it works especially with oils. It absorbs and dries the paint very quickly. Don't ask me how. Probably magic of some sort.

Musician and muse  (ink on paper 21x30cm)

Vase of flowers ( (oil on paper 21x30cm)

Lac du Salagou  (watercolour on paper 21x30cm)

3 Cats  (ink on paper 21x30cm)

And last but not least some (a selection of) iPad pics. I am doing so many of these at the moment that there are too many to upload. Also not all of them are quite the same level of brilliance (my wife says). I am also working on a little "painting on your iPad" book. News of that when I've done some more work on it.
Moving Colours

3 Crocs

Tom tom

Howling at the moon

Designer cat

Cat on red stool
The last one is actually an iPhone pic.Drawing on an iPhone causes you to produce simpler images, less accurately! Also I guess it's supposed to be Earnie, the cutest cat in the world. (He spent many successful years at Cute School graduating with a starred first).

Sooner or later I'll upload these pics to my main website I guess. Maybe even today. Maybe not.  In the meantime  I should say - feedback always welcome: Although comments such as "this is crap you talentless worthless asshole" won't be published. Sorry about that. And I am likely to respond quite rudely. It's in my nature, see, can't help it. Sorry.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

September 11th

For most people today's date has a significance of some sort. Mostly it's 9/11 or occasionally the anniversary of the assassination of the democratically elected socialist Chilean leader Salvador Allende  during a CIA sponsored coup (Unless of course if you want to believe the CIA version that he committed suicide - with a gun in his back from 20 yards away).

For me it has always meant something else - the birthday of my mother, Joan Abse. My mother would have been 86 today, if not for the terrible car accident that took her life, over 7 years ago now. Anyway, here's some flowers for my mum. I hope she would have liked them.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Competitions and opens

I get regular updates from various organisations telling me about various artist opportunities.  These range from open exhibitions, residencies, competitions, publications to all sorts of interesting ideas. Some of these are from direct emails, others from a couple of useful websites: Transartists and the weirdly named (but incredibly useful) I send you this. Some of these are interesting and I enter: these include, for example, things I have mentioned earlier in this blog, such as the electric open which are currently showing some of my iPad works in Congleton, the art brownie project, or the Ganges 1900 festival. All these have something in common - they look like fun, and don't cost anything, or don't cost very much. I also received emails about various competitions or opens (often from idiots who don't know how to use their "bcc" box on their email programme) .Too many of these "opportunities" however seem to be just a way of getting money out of artists. For example I received an email today inviting me to submit my work to an open exhibition/competition. Works chosen get exhibited in a gallery in Florida, and the "winning" painting gets the artist a prize of 1,000€. The catch is the entry cost: 40€. Oh yes, and any works sold by the gallery attract a 30% commission. This isn't a huge amount, but if you enter a lot of competitions like this it can soon add up. I calculate that it would be quite easy to build up entry fees of well over 1,000€ a year. And given you're chances of winning a prize are pretty slim, that's money you are unlikely to see again - even if you're work is selected and exhibited. This particular exhibition/competition is being organised by a freelance curator in partnership with a gallery. I guess the fees go to him - he makes a few grand, and the gallery gets the commission. I presume in this case the prize money comes from the entries. You might argue that in this case, everyone wins. But the reality is that I would guess he's expecting 100+ entries, raising 4,000€ - a profit for him of some 3,000€. One artist gets 1,000€ and some others get their work shown in a small gallery in Florida. It's all pretty harmless I guess - but it does feel like the whole enterprise is being subsidised by artists - especially the losers - and to me this seems wrong. I don't mind competition/open organisers charging a small administration charge (£10-20 is common) which I guess helps to cover costs, but any more seems a short step from galleries charging artists to show their work.

Anyway, here's my picture I did in Ganges 1900: which was not only free, they also gave me lunch, an aperot and as much coffee as I wanted. Three cheers for Ganges!
Ganges 1900
Not my normal sort of thing. All in oils. I was supposed to go back on Sunday and do a second painting, but I wasn't very well, so that put paid to that unfortunately. However it's made me determined to paint this week, and I have started work today on stuff.