Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I covered three canvases today with complete and utter bollocks. One was previously a poor oil portrait, another was the start of another dull pomegranate painting and the other was virgin white. They all ended up with one thing in common. A waste of time and paint. On the positive side I bought some spray white gesso recently so it will be relatively easy to get them back to plain-ness.  Then I can start again. I am at kind of a creative zero at the moment. A broken rib, pain in my arm, pain in my knee, my dog dying, misadventures with cars, not enough money to live on, other shit health things. Yeah, that's right I was painting with a lot of black paint feeling like Jonny Nice Painter in the Fast Show:





Thursday, 21 November 2013

Pomegranates - Grenades

After talking with my best friend Jeremy the other day I decided to have a go at oil painting still lifes.  After all I haven't done any for two years when I painted loads of flowers in vases. This time I thought I'd go for fruit. Still the influence of Cézanne - as there should be.  These are two pomegranates which fell off a tree close to where we live. We tried eating a third one - but it wasn't nice. I love the name pomegranate - which comes from "apple seed" in latin. In France they are just called "grenades" - so no apples, just the seeds. And they are not named after hand-grenades - it's the other way around of course. Chucking one of these would make less of a mess. What a difference there would be in the world if all armies did was to throw fruit at each other. I can imagine soldiers running across battle-fields pointing bananas, dodging the pomegranates.

Oil on canvas 60x50cm

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Self Portraits

I am enjoying painting portraits - but there is a problem with subject matter, that I guess all painters have suffered over the years. Unless you find someone to sit still for you (or someone who is able to provide you with a usable photo) you have to resort to painting yourself. There is a fine tradition and history to this, so I guess it's ok.

I've painted myself before, years ago, and have posted this too, below. You will note that the main difference is hair. I used to have some.

Self Portrait 2013

Self Portrait 1984

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Pain in the a....

Arm, actually. I am recovering from an attack of severe arm pain. I have suffered for years from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Lateral Epicondylitis (Tennis Elbow). Initially I had lots of pain in my hands, but this dissipated and all I have to put up with generally is permanent tingling in my hands, and occasional not too severe arm pain. But this was something new - Medial Epicondylitis - Golf Elbow (somewhat ironic given my loathing of golf - I'm with Bernard Shaw on this one) which caused incredible pain in my elbow and ignited my other two afflictions  and caused me so much pain I wanted someone to amputate my right arm. After a course of very strong pain killers and anti-inflammatories as well as physiotherapy I am much better than I was - just a bit of pain creeping down my arm from my elbow, and an inability to lift anything or to grip too hard. But the good thing (for me) is that I've been able to paint - gentle oil painting, no big abstract expressionism with this arm. This painting started out as one person but ended up as another.

Man with hat
Oil on Canvas, 55x46cm

Friday, 18 October 2013

Here we go again

Here we go again100x100cm,  Acrylic on canvas
£1,000/1 200€/$1,500
Abstract painting in acrylic - not portrait in oils. I'm still painting more than one thing in more than one style at the same time. I like to mix things up. Maybe I'm mixed up... They are two very different processes - one very calm, one very energetic. Both involve different levels of thought and idea, different mental processes to lead to the final piece of work. It's good to sit calmly and paint - and then to leap about listening to Talking Heads. Stop making sense!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Portrait of a Gazelle, by Bigasso.

40x40cm Oil on Canvas
Carrying on my recent oil/portraiture, here's one I have completed of my son Marley. Not a perfect resemblance, but close. The digital reproduction here doesn't quite get the nuances of the original canvas - less texture. But I'm pleased with the painting on the whole. Getting the hang of using oils in a way I haven't really before, I think, and enjoying the manipulation of colour, paint and glazing.

By the way, if you don't get the reference in the blog title, you need to watch more episodes of "Thunderbirds".

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Cats and Gods

We live in Place de l'Eglise. For those of you with no French that's "Church Place". Our house is in a corner, next door to the boulangerie - which provides a far more useful social function than the church. It really does give us our daily bread. And croissants. The church is a simple old building, built probably originally about 600 years ago, but rebuilt several times since (with sympathy). One of its endearing features is its wonkiness - the front door doesn't line up with the middle of the roof, which doesn't line up quite right with the window etc. It's not a very busy church: there's the occasional wedding which clogs up the square, but probably it's used most by cats. Two of our cats - Milo and Earnie, joined by one of our neighbour's cats, Gus, enjoy running around inside, and a couple of times now have been locked in at night. Amusingly, the key is held by the atheist baker next door. Anyway, this explains my new painting below.

Cats and Gods
Oil on canvas, 40x40cm

Meanwhile, here's a recent Purple Cat I did for Tatiana and David, the bakers next door.

If you haven't taken a look at the Purple Cat website for a while, you should. There's always new things on there. Shortly the whole thing will also be available on as well as, and there will be a wide range of Purple Cat greetings cards available too.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Art Scams

This is actually something I wrote last year for a publication, but today I received an email which made me think I ought to stick this on line. Before the article let me tell you about today's email. The email that I received today was weird. It was from one of the New York scammers mentioned below.(Abraham Lubelski - 'The NY Arts Magazine' also 'Broadway Gallery' also '"Arts Fairs International also 'World Art Media' and some others)  I'd received the standard bullshit email saying how wonderful my work was and wouldn't I like to have my work in a gallery, in a magazine and representation ( for a fee), and I gave it one of my standard replies "Sorry. Abraham Lubelski's reputation goes before him. No thanks." Considering my less polite replies in the past, I thought this pretty harmless, but I received a personal reply. In it Abraham Lubelski insults my work "not too original and mostly self conscious and stylized" and insults the size of my wallet (!!). Apparently if I was a real artist I'd have more money and be happy to hand it over to him!

Anyway, there's loads on the internet about Abraham Lubelski's activities - search google for "abraham lubelski scam" and take a look at "Wet Canvas". Or just take a look at these links - which are just a small selection from the many that exist:

Anyway, here's the article

Art Scams

One of the down sides of being an artist and having an online presence is that you will inevitably at some point become the target of “art scammers” of one sort or another.  Scammers feed on artists’ egos, targeting our dreams that we hope we have been recognised by some foreign wealthy collector. Unsurprisingly, many of these emails seem to originate from an African country, but just as many – the more subtle ones – originate in the USA. Today, for example I have received the standard quota of three art scam emails. One of them has come via a well-known website that sells art online, from a person calling himself “Michael Pee” who wants to buy one of my works. It sounded like a scam email, but just to be sure I Googled the name – and sure enough, the name came up as one used on a regular basis by an art scammer.

This scam, one of the most common forms of scamming is carried out in the following way (as described by Kathleen McMahon on her excellent website):

“The scammer does everything they can to trick you into believing they want to buy items from you, a third party shipper is always involved, they often work or are moving to a foreign country, they send a check (often overnight to try and legitimize their scam) or even offer to pay via credit card (which will end up in a chargeback when the real person finds out their number has been stolen) and then pay MORE than the amount due and ask you to send the overpayment back to them, usually via Western Union which is then untraceable once its picked up. Very profitable activity if even only a few people fall victim.”

Another sort of scam comes from more respectable sounding people or organisations in the USA. These scams work in a different way, whilst at the same time appealing to artists’ weakness – their ego. In exchange for cash you are offered one or more of the following: artist “representation”, exhibition(s), publication in a “renowned” art book, publication on line, exhibiting opportunities throughout the world, access to collectors etc. 

There appear to be three main organisations carrying out these scams, one on the US west coast and two in New York. For around 1500€ (last time I checked) you’ll get “represented” by having your work appear on a website/in a book/in a gallery - or something. The west coast con-artist emails me on a regular basis asking me for hundreds of dollars to appear in one of their “internationally renowned” publications, and similarly I get regular emails from one of the New York scammers asking if I want to appear in their publication, or buy a year’s “expert” representation. A bit of research has led to a discovery that the scamming organisations actually take on unpaid interns and people working solely on commission to send out their nasty scamming emails for them – which explains why I keep getting emails from different people working for the same organisation.

But there is a third category of scam, which is much easier to fall for: the simple demand for money to exhibit your work – whether it be in a gallery or on-line. A scam? Well, put simply – remember that anyone who takes your money up front to show your work doesn’t care whether you sell anything or not, and have made no investment in your future or your work. There are plenty of websites that will show your work for nothing (although they will probably want commission if they sell anything), and if a gallery doesn’t want to show your work unless you pay them, I can only advise you to keep trying to find one that will. Good luck!

Meanwhile here’s some useful and interesting web links on the subjects covered:

Friday, 23 August 2013


If you saw this before, you might notice a change: I've been working on my mother's portrait, and am pleased with the changes I've made - though I still think I've caught my dad better. My wife says the problem is the photo of my mum - that although it's a great photo (it is) it's of her posing and not in a natural position. For me the biggest problem was the fact the photo is black and white. Anyway, I've re-posted the new picture today, 11th September, which would have been her 87th birthday. And only 11 days until my dad's birthday, when he'll be 90. To find out more about them click on the links I've put to on their names.

Dannie Abseoil on canvas46 x 33 cm

Joan Abse
oil on canvas

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Oil painting

I have decided to stop (for the moment at least) painting abstracts. I have not been getting the satisfaction from it that I should be. So I have picked up my oils and decided to revisit a type of painting I haven't done for years. I have had to re-learn as I go along long-forgotten processes - glazing, thick on thin etc. I started off just slapping paint on canvas, forgetting how to cope with the drying times, and as everything came back to me I have had to rescue what I started. I have been working, to start with, on portraits. The process is incredibly slow compared to painting with acrylics, and in over a week I have just about finished one painting - with two others on the go. I am really enjoying using oils - I had forgotten how much fun manouvreing the paint around is, and how layering glazes mixes colours so satisfyingly on the canvas. So anyway, here's my first effort: It's a painting of my dad, Dannie Abse using a recent photo as a reference.

It's "8P" - 46x33cm - and it may change a bit yet. Any feedback welcome.

Dannie Abse
66x33cm, oil on canvas

Monday, 5 August 2013

Summer dreams

I'm no big fan of Grease. That "Summer Lovin'" song drove me nuts it was at number one for so many weeks in 1978. I have a vivid memory of Bob Geldof ripping up a photo of Travolta and Newton-John on Top of the Pops when the Boomtown Rats finally claimed the number one spot with "Rat Trap". Those were the days. Now I'm painting in the heat with my shirt off, covering myself oils and acrylics to come up with this big (P100 in french style =  165x114 cm = 45x65 inches) abstract:
Summer Dreams
mixed media on canvas
It took several days, and several layers of paints of all different kinds to come up with this. The depth is kind of missing in the photo unless you blow it up and look closely. Feel free!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

And there goes another one...

I'm working on a big painting at the moment. P100 in french style =  165x114 cm = 45x65 inches. Which means I can work on smaller stuff at the same time - whilst waiting for paint to dry. On which subject it's weird at the moment because of the heat, which is encouraging me to combine and mix media. Everything is melting and liquify, but dries quicker on canvas. But oils still take ages to dry of course, which I can't get used to (I've only used them for about 30 years...). Anyway, here's a quick one on paper in acrylics,
Acrylic on Paper

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Wisdom of Cats

"I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior." - Hippolyte Taine
The Wisdom of Cats
Mixed Media on Canvas 60x72
So this is what happened to the "Street Life" canvas I was working on - much improved painting I think, and much improved title. If you want to know more about Hippolyte Taine look at this on Wikipedia:

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A couple of new ones

It is so hot painting, even with my shirt off and a fan blasting away at me. It also effects the texture and drying times of the paint. So here are two different paintings, using different mixed media. The first is a mix of acrylics, spray acrylic, pen acrylic, acrylic ink and acrylic paint on canvas. The second is on paper (for oils) and is painted with oils - paint and sticks plus a blob or two of acrylic.

Street Life
Acrylics on canvas

Difficult Fun
Mixed Media on paper
I'm not sure about the first - it may need more work. I kind of like the simplicity in one way, but in other ways it just doesn't look finished. I guess I'll have another look tomorrow. Now it's time to open a beer and cook dinner.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Saatchi - my work no longer on his site

Given his pro-Tory Thatcher-supporting history, I always felt a bit uncomfortable having my work on Saatchi's website, but then again, he's always promoted and supported art. Now though I think it's enough, and I have removed my work from his site. I have no wish to have my work associated with a man who (allegedly) physically abuses women. Just as I did with RedBubble when they took a stand defending apparent Nazi sympathisers. I am being slightly careful with my words because I can't afford to be sued, obviously. I'm a broke artists unlike millionaires Saatchi and co. He can't sue me for calling him a millionaire, can he? Can he sue me for calling him a fuckwit? Don't think so.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Moroccan adventure continues in Bordeaux

So off I went yesterday morning to Bordeaux. There was no train until 9am, and the last one back was due to leave at 5.30pm, so I was looking at a day of 7 hours on a train and 4 hours painting. Mad, but what the hell - why not? The journey was on an old French intercity train - similar to the ones in the UK, except in the Uk they're the best you can get. In France these really are the poor relations of the TGV. If this had been a TGV the journey would have been at least an hour less each way, but the journey was comfortable enough, via Carcassonne and Toulouse and a couple of other places I've never heard of. To my relief the train actually arrived slightly early, so I made it to the Boesner shop - venue for the concours (competition) with some time to spare - enough to eat a merguez sandwich and a glass of cold white wine - extremely desirable on the hottest day of the year so far - around 38ºc (that's just over 100ºf in old money). Some guy played music on an electric keyboard, singing along in amusing english and the event kicked off. There were about 20 contestants there, and we were each given a 1m square canvas (or a piece of paper as one person chose) plus a table, easel and a packet of basic paints (acrylics - since it's an acrylic painting competition), as well as a goody bag featuring a canvas art bag, various catalogues, some spray paints and a sketchbook. We had been forearmed with info, so knew to bring other materials - paint, brushes etc - that we needed. I plugged in my iPod and got painting. We all were obliged to stick to the theme  "Morocco", but that was pretty much where similarities ended. Having done a couple of concours before i was better prepared than I had been before, and pretty much knew what I was going to paint - and had some sketches with me I had done of symbols, shapes etc, and some colour notes. One or two other contestants worked similarly, but most I discovered were painting from photographs. Anyway, below are some photos of the concours, and you can see the variety of styles:

This guy used similar symbols to me - we'd both done the same internet research. His colours were based on the Moroccan flag. He was second to finish.

This woman painting below looked like she might not finish in time. There was only about 30 minutes left at this point.

This was the man next to me - he painted a garden picture - Not sure, but I guess a Moroccan garden.
This woman use a strange acrylic painting style - her work seemed to resemble a mix of charcoal and watercolour, but was all done in acrylic. I'm not sure why.
At first I thought this person's use of colour was interestiung - similar to mine, obviously(!). But the painting turned into a strange portrait of a man waving a sabre. Hmmm. A bit stereotypical, no?
I really like this painting - the doorway and walls and shadows are really well painted, and it's a great composition and use of colour. But she completely ruined the painting by painting the little boy at the centre of the image. I realised then it was entirely copied from a very good photograph. But where is her artistic license? The boy works in the photo because he's really there. In the painting it looks contrived (and not well painted).
This guy had a permanent entourage around him as he painted onto paper. Is he famous? I don't know.
I like the colours in this painting, but the subject matter is a bit clichéd and the donkey appears to be floating in space. Normally I would say that was a good thing, but in this case it just appears to be wrong.
I like the orange here, but...
Is this going to be the winner? Colours, composition, subject matter? She's got it all going here, plus an interesting style and use of brush strokes.
This woman looked like she might not finish, too. You can see the desert here, but not the fact that that it doubles for a woman's hair. Not sure. Nor was she I think, she seemed to be getting more pissed off as time went by.
This guy in his lab coat and glasses looked like he was a scientist, but he turned out to be a boat painter. A Moroccan port? I guess so.
Not sure I get this at all. A big "Boesner" sign on a garden trellis out in the middle of the desert.
Well executed reproduction of a photograph.
Even better executed reproduction of a photograph. But why paint a picture30x40 cm in the middle of a 1 metre square canvas? I don't get it.
This woman seems to have lost her artistic license. Instead of using the interesting castle as a basis for the composition, she faithfully reproduced a photograph, including the tourists who happened to get in the picture... Wha?
If this woman finished by 5pm it was a miracle. She took an hour to paint the blue pillar on the left hand side. Yes it's a very straight line. But yes, she did use masking tape. Not sure what the hell else is going on here. I will put links up to all the finished pieces when Boesner upload them.
This guy finished painting third. Interesting, but I have to say if it was me I would do more work on it - not sure the colours work.
I kind of liked this one - and this is my second choice for winner. Nice and moody hot colours, sufficient vagueness.

This woman finished 1st. Interesting abstract. She has a show on currently in Bordeaux and her other work looks similar to this - she's adapted her colours to meet the Moroccan theme. I think this is my tip for third place.

So last of course is my painting. Am not in a position to judge, but am reasonably happy with it. My wife says I better win, because she wants a holiday in Morocco. Me too, but I'd take one of the runner up spots which includes hundreds of euros worth of art materials. All these go on exhibit in Bordeaux now, and I gather the winners are announced some time in August. Wish me luck.

Moroccan Window 4
100x100cm, Acrylic on canvas

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Back on the road to Morocco

Like most people I don't always read the instructions. So when I painted that picture for the Morocco competition I guess I should have read the small print. It turns out there are two stages to this competition - on the plus side they really are giving out 3 holidays (for 2) to the best 3 paintings, and hundreds of euros worth of art materials to the next six placing. And the good news is I made it through to stage 2  - the last 45 - so have a 1 in 5 chance of winning something (not another bloody Blue Peter badge). The bad news is I've got to go to Bordeaux to take part - all the action takes place next Saturday. And ity's a long way - 400km. I've got to spend three and a half hours (each way) on a train from Narbonne to Bordeaux to take part in a four-hour painting competition. So that's 7 hours on a train, 110€ on train tickets, plus a taxi in Bordeaux and parking in Narbonne all day interspersed with four hours of painting in a giant art shop in Bordeaux. And I'll miss the vernissage for the vines/grapes/wine show that I delivered my picture for today. Damn. I hate missing free wine.

Anyway I've decided to go for it (what the hell) and am practicing and preparing for it - previous "paint on the day" competitions have been a disaster for me, so I want to be prepared. In that light I've been thinking about Morocco and have been working on themes that I can connect to. Some time in the past my ancestor Abses made their way from North Africa to Spain, so I guess I have some cultural links there. Which is interesting . I have researched and found some interesting old symbols I like, including a double-thumbed clenched fist with an eye in the middle, that is remarkably similar to Hunter S. Thompson's Gonzo logo (no thunderbolt, but you can't have everything), and I have been experimenting with a warmer, north African palette.

This is what I've got so far:

Moroccan colours
100x100cm Acrylic on Paper

Moroccan Window
100x100cm, Acrylic on canvas

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Dualism - The Ghost in The Machine

Déscartes believed that our mind was separate from our physical being, that our thoughts, emotions, ideas etc were created in a "mind" that was somehow separate from our body and our brain. He described this as "dualism". The idea originally developed in the 17th century was generally accepted by philosophers for 300 years. It wasn't until Gilbert Ryle dismissed the idea as "The Ghost within the Machine" - the mind within the body.

From Wikipedia:
Ryle's The Concept of Mind (1949) is a critique of the notion that the mind is distinct from the body, and a rejection of the theory that mental states are separable from physical states. In this book Ryle refers to the idea of a fundamental distinction between mind and matter as "the ghost in the machine." According to Ryle, the classical theory of mind, or "Cartesian rationalism", makes a basic "category-mistake", because it attempts to analyze the relation between "mind" and "body" as if they were terms of the same logical category. This confusion of logical categories may be seen in other theories of the relation between mind and matter. For example, the idealist theory of mind makes a basic category-mistake by attempting to reduce physical reality to the same status as mental reality, while the materialist theory of mind makes a basic category-mistake by attempting to reduce mental reality to the same status as physical reality of a special kind. It is, namely, a category mistake.
 Arthur Koestler then wrote a book taking Ryle's ideas: "The Ghost in the Machine". Again from Wikipedia:
The Ghost in the Machine is a non-fiction work in philosophical psychology written by Arthur Koestler and published in 1967. The title is a phrase coined by the Oxford philosopher Gilbert Ryle to describe the Cartesian dualist account of the mind–body relationship. Koestler shares with Ryle the view that the mind of a person is not an independent non-material entity, temporarily inhabiting and governing the body. One of the book's central concepts is that as the human brain evolved, it retained and built upon earlier, more primitive brain structures. The work attempts to explain humanity's tendency towards self-destruction in terms of brain structure, philosophies, and its overarching, cyclical political–historical dynamics, reaching the height of its potential in the nuclear arms arena.
But the concept of dualism has been widely exploited in art - by musicians, writers and artists. It is hard to equate thought/emotion/idea as the (mere?) product of a physical act. Some wires buzzing in your head. And as I have noted here and elsewhere, sometimes it can be hard to equate the fact there is only ONE mind in (working?) your body. And then there's the sub-conscious...

Anyway, here's the painting:

The Ghost in the Machine
Mixed media on canvas

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Sometimes you're not yourself, and you know it. Stress can cause you to feel odd, and to act in ways that don't feel like you - you can react irrationally, your emotions can leap all over the place - anger, sadness, irritation, exhaustion. Irrational - no obvious cause - absurd, inappropriate feelings and behaviour. But if that's not you, who is it? It can be damn confusing, unbalancing.

Painting - title: "Disequilibrium"
Disequilibrium -  100x100cm, mixed media on canvas

Sunday, 16 June 2013


There's a local competition/expo that I thought I'd enter while I was in the landscape painting mood, for paintings relating to wine and vines. Still going for another Blue Peter badge - whatever happens, in the worst case scenario I get an invite to the vernissage, which means a free drink and bite to eat. As for the vines in the painting, this is the good stuff. I plan on testing the rosé this afternoon.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

We're off on the road to Morocco

When I was a kid I loved watching those "Road" movies with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour. Not as much as I loved the Marx brothers, but I thought Bob Hope was great. No really, I did. But then I was only 5, and didn't know what an awful right wing git Bob Hope was - besides, my grandmother would always happily tell me: "He's Welsh you know. His mother was from Barry". Then Rolf Harris would come on the telly and she'd say "He's Welsh, you know, his mother comes from Merthyr", and then Shirley Bassey would come on... Anyway, you get the idea. Groucho Marx didn't have a mother from Barry or Merthyr, but he was a nice Jewish boy, so he was alright too. But none of this has got anything to do with my newest painting, as you can see below.

Moroccan Window
It's not Barry or even Porthcawl, but it looks like a nice beach.

Not my normal kind of thing I suppose,  but I thought I'd have a go at a competition being run by Boesner and Canson (art and paper suppliers here in France). They are offering 1000s of euros worth of art materials plus 3 holidays in Morocco. Mind you the last thing I won for any of my paintings was a Blue Peter badge. No, that wasn't recently, it was for a painting I did of a fire engine in about 1966.

I met Peter Purves once - at a punk gig in Leicester Square. No I don't know why he was there either. Lovely chap though: mother comes from from Llantwit Major. Or maybe not. Made that bit up. Everything else is true, obviously.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


My wife, the Old Nag, has long encouraged me to draw horses. I'm not a great lover of horses and have no interest in riding them after trying age 10, but I have met one or two that I like recently, and have drawn them. Particularly Gump, May and Geegee. The Old Nag thought I might be able to flog people drawings of their horses, so I did some last year: but she gave me such negative feedback I never even bothered to scan most of them. "They don't have the life and the character of the ones you did of May and Gump and Geegee": she said. Oh well...

However, recently my drawings were appreciated by horse aficionado and boss of the local Apaloosa ranch, Camille Auguste - so i decided to scan my drawings and put them up for sale on my website. There are a couple below, but you can see more at my website at the horses page: So if you're a pony fancier - take a look!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

All moved and painting again

Yes. All moved in to Bize-Minervois in our lovely new home. Where I have a studio space, and a view, and things. Lousy weather and no money, but you can't have everything. Last week I started painting again. Before that all I'd been doing were iPad pictures - mainly Purple Cat ones. Take a look at the website for the latest ones: . So I started painting. And stopped. It's hard starting painting again after a gap. What was I doing last? Why? Hmmm, back to painting standing up instead of sitting around. Yay! dancing around to music while painting. This is more like it. This is what we want! So I stopped and looked at other people's paintings who I like. Sometimes this can be inspirational. In this case it was Franz Kline that got me painting again: a man like me who likes strong black lines.

Franz Kline -  Mahoning, 1956. Oil and paper collage on canvas. 80 x 100 in. (203.2 x 254 cm)

But that's not all I like. So no imitation Franz Kline for me - I don't have the necessary self control (or the telephone directories). And I am back on the road I think. Black lines, colours, cats, birds, a head....Who knows what comes next?

David Abse - Cat and Bird, 2013. Acrylic on board 72x54cm.

David Abse - Head, 2013. Mixed media on wood, 80x60cm