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!