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