Friday, 31 December 2010

Nazis on the internet -but on Art sites??? Shame on RedBubble.

It is illegal in most of Europe to deny the holocaust and to perpetrate and support nazis. In some countries (Germany at least) it is illegal to publish and use a swastika. America is not the same. For some reason they believe that the notion of 'free speech' should allow organisations such as the American Nazi Party to not only carry on existing and preaching hatred,  but to allow them to publish on the internet. Thankfully, this is not the case in France, and in the UK there have even been successful prosecutions of (well at least one) americans publishing their shit in the UK. So... what has this got to do with art? OK - I'll get to it:

You may have noticed from this blog or my facebook page or my website that I publish work on other websites, including the remarkably good easy to use website, RedBubble. In fact I regularly publicise my work on RedBubble via this blog and facebook. Well not any more. You can't buy my work via RedBubble any more, because I have decided that I don't want to sell my work and contribute to the profits of a company that allows people to sell racist crap. On RedBubble, despite hundreds of people protesting, you can buy T Shirts that are made by some sick american called 'HipsterHitler' who finds it amusing to laugh at the holocaust, belittle genocide and then profit from sales of T shirts that do this. "Amusing" T shirts include pictures of Hitler wearing T shirts (how ironic) saying "Death Camp for Cutie" or "Eastside Westside Genocide"... and more shit. These people claim (I quote) "Hipster Hitler is a comic that satirizes both hipster culture and the exploits of the Third Reich." Yeah great. And then makes T shirts and sells them for profit. Profiting from genocide. Not much different to manufacturing Zyklon B is it?

RedBubble won't stop selling their goods, and argues that it is protecting 'artists' who are victims of people calling them offensive. And then goes and censors comments people make who complain. They have some very strange hippy libertarian beliefs (one idiot told me I was being 'uncool'), which allows Nazis to proliferate. Do they not remember the message of Pastor Niemöller:?

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.


Thursday, 16 December 2010

Two new paintings

It's so cold in my studio I am painting wearing loads of clothes under my overalls plus a scarf and a hat. I was trying to paint with gloves on too, but couldn't undo the paint tubes. The dog wants to play all the time too, and the only water I've got to wash my brushes and my hands is icy cold. That's why I've been painting these two pictures side by side for over a week. I can't paint for too long, my hands would fall off. Also the paint takes ages to dry, and using spray paint (which I like to mix in with) is hard because they don't work well when so cold. But on the other hand I'm please with these two:
Bergerie - Chemin des Jasses
This one is called "Bergerie, Chemin des Jasses" - it's based on what I can partly see through my atelier's front door.
Rue de l'Eglise/Rue Droite
This is another Les Matelles piece. based on a view a see every day as I walk from home to the studio. Just past the church, I turn right at the T junction you see.

Unfortunately I now seem to have picked up a bug of some sort and feel like shite!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

With Compliments

NEW!!! Signed Limited Edition giclée print: 'With Compliments' :

Exclusive: Available only from Click here for details. Limited edition print based on Dannie Abse's poem 'With Compliments' dedicated to Joan Abse.

Dear, if I had a small legacy from Croesus
I would purchase – please do not argue –
that painting of gladioli by Soutine
you so admired. But in a waking fit
of realism I’ve bought
this bunch of robust-red,
radiantly alive upstanding gladioli
from The Corner Flower Stall instead.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Les Matelles

I am very lucky to live in the beautiful village of Les Matelles: it provides an inspiring landscape, very friendly neighbours, fantastic wine, and beautiful medieval stones.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

PRE-XMAS SALE!!!! 15% off my work @ RedBubble

15% off my work @ RedBubble - 15% sur mon travail à RedBubble!!: - Coupon Code: davidabse_is_on_sale_4526

This means (for example) over 3€ off the price of a calendar:
Previously 20,52€m now 17,45€

Or more off this T shirt - was 21,22€, now 18,04€

Or over 10€ off this poster (large size):

Click here to view the whole portfolio
Don't forget to use the Coupon Code: davidabse_is_on_sale_4526

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Friday, 22 October 2010

There is colour, there is light - there is no god but that's alright. Triptych.

Well I’ve been working on this for some time, and here it is – for what it’s worth. I kept changing my mind about this picture – Big Themes? Completely Abstract? More human? So I went the less abstract route in the end. Milo is actually the name of one of my cats, and he features in the centre panel. Buffy my dog is in the left hand panel, and my beautiful black cat Earnie is in the other. Anyway, acrylic and spraypaint (and a bit of crayon and ink) on canvas, three panels 50cm sq, so 150×50cm (plus badly fixed hinges).

Thursday, 21 October 2010

5 Gears in Reverse

Elvis Costello song: 5 Gears in Reverse

“If you don’t know by now
Nobody’s gonna tell you
If you don’t know by now
The shock will probably kill you”

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Lots of links

You know I said I'd put my work on a lot of different sites? Well the list is getting bigger:

1. - the original and the best!! 
2. Blogger: This blog
3. Facebook - Matelles-Art facebook page (click 'like')
4. ArtQuest - search for art...
5. t shirts etc
6. MySoti t shirts etc
7. RedBubble art and t shirts
8. ArtSpan - Art for sale
9. Lateral Arts - art for sale
10. - Art for sale again
11. - and again
12.  .... and again!
13. Flickr - photos.
14. Painters Online - More work, an interesting site
15. Art Wanted - Lots of old things here, some new stuff too (but uploading is too hard!)
16: ArtSlant - recent work
17. Painters Online - and some more!
18. Artisho - paintings for sale
19. ArtBreak - And again...
20. Bluecanvas - This is an interesting one - art for sale, but also a community thing 
21. Articite - French art website
22. d'art - another website
23. Celeste Network - Italian art network: Go here and vote for my work!
24. Art Takes Miami - and why not? Go here and give me 5 stars!
25. Art Cardiff - New York London Paris Munich ....
26. PicassoMio - English and Spanish site - art for sale
And: Follow garysocrates on Twitter

Mad isn't it?

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Sunshine in a bag (Clint Eastwood)

I ain't happy, feeling glad
I got sunshine in a back
I'm useless. but not for long
The future is coming on.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

With Compliments

Dear, if I had a small legacy from Croesus
I would purchase – please do not argue –
that painting of gladioli by Soutine
you so admired. But in a waking fit
of realism I’ve bought
this bunch of robust-red,
radiantly alive upstanding gladioli
from The Corner Flower Stall instead.

Dannie Abse


Sunday, 3 October 2010

Matelles-Art Services for Artists

Matelles-Art Services

Studio space for hire: approx 30sqm Monthly rental 300€

Fantastic location, in the medieval village of Les Matelles, just 10 km north of Montpellier

Rent Includes:

  • Lighting, water etc.
  • Studio Space
  • Access to Gallery Space (2 weeks pa included – dates to be agreed)
  • Direct access to giclée print service
  • Free Web space; advertising your work on the Matelles-Art website
  • Free access to Wi-fi

A complete package for artists: a spacious shared studio space with access to a purpose-built gallery to show your work (2  weeks pa include), the facility to have your work printed onto paper or canvas on a large format high-quality giclée printer, your own web page on the Matelles-Art site, and includes access to wi-fi.

The studio is also equipped with an office, a telephone line, a sink, plenty of electric points (including safety power-points for high-powered machinery), toilet and storage space.

Gallery for hire

A small purpose-built, well-lit gallery 20m sq. (14 linear metres) in the beautiful medieval village of Les Matelles, just 10km north of Montpellier.

Lighting is by individual halogen lamps on a fully adjustable overhead track lighting system.

Services included

  • Assistance with hanging
  • Staffed Tues – Sun 3-7pm (more by arrangement)
  • Facility for having Giclée Prints (posters, canvasses) produced on site. (See Giclée print price list)
  • Evening private view (6.30 - 8.30)
  • Email promotion to gallery's mailing list, and via Matelles-Art website.
  • 0% commission on sales
  • Listing on our website
  • Substantial storage facilities
  • A2 poster outside the gallery, stock of A4 posters for distribution
  • Wireless internet access
  • Telephone (incoming and local calls)
  • Hanging system throughout the gallery
  • Wine glasses for private view evenings
  • Cleaning service once a week

Hire charges 2010/11

First week: 300€

Subsequent weeks: 200€

Giclée Printing

High quality giclée printing onto paper or canvas

Paper sizes up to A2
Stretched canvas sizes up to 8F, 8M, 8P,  40x40cm

Service includes, scanning or photography of work, or use of digital files provided by artist.

Electronic adjustment for printing purposes in discussion with artist


Example Prices and options: (Actual sizes will depend on the size and proportions of your original artwork)

We use only high quality, fully archival paper, either by Epson or Hahnemühle.
Our canvas is smooth cotton natural white 315gsm. Our wooden stretchers are hand made of spruce in France.

Gloss Art Paper
Canvas  0P 18x12cm
Gloss Art Paper
Canvas  4P
Gloss Art Paper
Canvas  8P


Definition: Giclée (zhee-klay) - The French word "Giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word is derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt". The term  "Giclée print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The Giclée printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction.

Process: Giclée prints are created typically using professional 8-Colour to 12-Colour ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic markets, and of printing on a variety of media, including paper and canvas.

Advantages: Giclée prints are advantageous to artists who do not find it feasible to mass produce their work, but want to reproduce their art as needed, or on-demand. Once an image is digitally archived, additional reproductions can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost. The prohibitive up-front cost of mass production for an edition is eliminated. Archived files will not deteriorate in quality as negatives and film inherently do. Another tremendous advantage of Giclée printing is that digital images can be reproduced to almost any size and onto various media, giving the artist the ability to customize prints for a specific client.

Quality: The quality of the Giclée print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.

What’s good for you:

Producing giclée limited edition reproduction prints is a great way for artists to make their art more widely available at lower prices, and increasing their collector bases by offering affordable alternatives to more expensively priced originals. You can also sell your images as unsigned unlimited editions at even lower prices if you want to make them even more affordable, or you can sign and limit them in various ways in order to market them at different price points. Signing, numbering, adding small drawings in the margins, or whatever else you want to do to personalize or individualize your digital images all make them more attractive to buyers.

If you're printing limited editions, set edition sizes in advance. Once they're set, make them public and never change them. You don't have to print the entire run at once; one of the great advantages of giclée printing is that you only have to print as many prints as people order, thereby saving ink, paper, and storage costs.

With signed limited editions, document every print you sell. This is a great way to make buyers feel confident about what they're buying. Include a detailed original invoice or certificate of authenticity with each image-- not a photocopy-- with the print's title, paper type, printer type, ink type, date printed, edition size, and other particulars. Then sign and date it. Not only do buyers appreciate the documentation, but good documentation also tends to increase a work of art's value.

Saturday, 2 October 2010


Amazing how everything during the Ganges 1900 festival turns black and white.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Who am I? Artist's Statement

People keep asking me for an 'artists' statement'. This could be anything I guess, but this is what I've written:

I have been drawing as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a shop steward for years in the Pilkingtons' glassworks in St Helens, but after he retired he went to art school every day for 30 years. He died over 20 years ago, aged 99, still a communist, determined not to get a telegram from the queen.
He was and is my inspiration. I studied Art and design for four years in the UK and subsequently exhibited throughout the UK and elsewhere in the world. My work has appeared in exhibitions all over the world - in Japan, Poland, France as well as the UK. Last year a picture of mine featured in the BBC TV show The One Show.

For the last 30 years I have worked in the UK's charity sector, making a living for my family. 3 years ago we moved to France, and this year I have returned to full time painting, drawing and printmaking.
I live now with my family (plus a dog, 2 cats and 2 rabbits) in a small house in the beautiful medieval village of Les Matelles. I paint in my atelier and am looking to develop services for artists - studio space, gallery space, giclée printing - as well as doing my own work, and selling stuff at galleries and markets. I still have to pay the rent!
I am inspired by the local environment here: the village is beautiful, the area is dominated by the mountain of Pic Saint Loup, which fascinates me because of its shape, size, the colours it turns in different light, the different dramatic shapes it has from different angles. Pic Saint Loup is geologically fascinating – a sharp peak that rises out of the plain of the Hérault to the north of Montpellier. The mountain was featured in Jacques Rivettes’ 2009 film: 36 vues du Pic Saint-Loup.

To get reference material and inspiration I drive around and round the mountain in my little MG Midget (often accompanied by my black labrador Buffy) taking photographs and making sketches as preparatory work for my pictures. And then I paint in my atelier, where for the first time in my life I am well equipped and have plenty of space. 

Saturday, 25 September 2010

This is what it ended up as

But never fear, I saved the original drawing, and it's still available as a giclée print.

Friday, 17 September 2010

When is a painting finished?

This has cropped up twice this week, the most recently unexpected. The first time was after returning from the unpleasant experience of Cazilhac market I started a very big canvas - 185 cm tall, 110 cm wide. After a day of hacking away at the canvas, this is what I came up with:

I didn't think it was finished, but others (on redbubble especially) did. But I wasn't happy with the figure in the painting which looked to contrived, and sort of alien - and frankly it was unnerving.

So I kept on going at this painting and added various things, and took away others. Firstly I added a tree - like had been at the Cazilhac market - an enormous serpentine plane tree, with leaves everywhere breaking up the bright Mediterranean light.

I then decided it needed some life - some people and a dog. So I remembered some people I saw at the marketv - those that had stood out to me (not necessarily in a good way) and in they went. 

But I wanted to keep the abstract/expressionist feel to it, so kept on going the rest of the week. Adding more colours, shapes, contrasts, lines, textures. 

Anyway, this is what I finished today:

So was the extra work worth it?

So this afternoon I decided I wanted to start a new canvas. A bit smaller, but not small, 116cm x 81cm. After going to Ganges Market this morning I wanted to continue the market theme but build the new painting around the musicians playing in the cafe. Normally I sketch a composition onto paper first, but I had a strong image in my head, so i got out my pen and drew straight onto the canvas. 

This is what I drew:
I really like it. I'm very happy with the lines and the simplicity of the image and how it all fits together. But I can't leave canvas like this can I?

What do I do?

Friday, 3 September 2010

Things to do in France


Inspired by Les Matelles

Anglo-Welsh Artist exhibits in Les Matelles

David Abse moved to France over three years ago with his wife Kitty and his step-daughter Jemima. Originally moving to Ganges in the Cévennes, they have settled for nearly two years now in the beautiful medieval village of Les Matelles. “We feel very welcome here” says David “The Matellois are very friendly welcoming people, and we have really settled into the village”. So much so that earlier this year David took over the former Menuiserie on the corner of Chemin des Jasses and Ancien chemin du Triadou, to set up his new venture: Matelles-Art.

“I’ve been earning my living working with charities in the UK for the last 20-odd years” says David “But I never stopped painting, drawing and producing work. But now I am here in Les Matelles I am really inspired, and have been very productive”. David studied art and design for four years in the UK, and has exhibited throughout the UK and elsewhere in the world. “I’ve had pieces in exhibitions all over the place” says David “In Japan, Poland and the USA, as well as the UK. Now I’m able to show my work in France.”

From September 11th 2010 David’s new work is being exhibited at the Galerie Matelles-Art in Les Matelles. Much of David’s work is inspired by the local environment: particularly Pic Saint Loup, and the village of Les Matelles. “I love Pic Saint Loup” says David “I love the different colours and shapes it makes from different angles at different times of the day”. David drove around and round the mountain several times in his little MG Midget taking photographs and making sketches as preparatory work for his pictures. “And then I paint in the atelier. It’s great there, I am well equipped and have plenty of space”. David has converted the front of the atelier into a Gallery/Boutique – where David sells giclée prints of his work, hand-printed T shirts he has designed and original design clocks. But the shop is being cleared out now to exhibit his work. Paintings of all shapes and sizes are being exhibited, and as well as being able to buy the paintings, people are also able to buy smaller original giclée prints on canvas and paper of the artwork, produced by David himself. “I like the idea of being able to offer my work to a wide audience” says David “I’ve always produced screen prints and etchings, but getting together a printer so that I could do giclée prints is really exciting.” Giclée prints are produced on a high-quality large-format printer, by David himself, who ensures that the quality of each print meets his standards, printing with quality inks on top-standard canvas. Each print is signed by the artist.

The exhibition commences at Matelles-Art on September 11th – “My late mother’s birthday” David points out, “ She was an art historian, so I hope she would have liked my work”.  For those unable to get to the exhibition David’s work is also on-line at the Matelles-Art website at The exhibition runs until November 14th.  “After that we’ll be concentrating on selling things for Christmas” says David.

For further details contact:

David Abse,  Matelles-Art,  Ancien Chemin du Triadou, 34270 Les Matelles

04 67 58 93 57 • 06 98 56 66 24   •  •

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Listings, web presence

OK, my work is all over the web now! I'll attempt to make a list but this isn't, I think, complete:


2. Blogger: This blog

3. Facebook - Matelles-Art facebook page

4. ArtQuest - search for art...

5. t shirts etc

6. MySoti t shirts etc

7. RedBubble art and t shirts

8. ArtSpan - Art for sale

9. Lateral Arts - art for sale

10. - Art for sale again

11. - and again

12.  .... and again!

13. Flickr - photos.

But my favourite is this:

Art Scams

Yup - looks like it was a scam - not the first one I've received - watch out for the dodgy shows too where you pay thousands to exhibit one exhibition of suckers.. sorry, I mean artists. there appears to be some big ones out there.


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

New work, selling, preparing

So did i sell a piece of work today for 900$? It seems so but I am an untrusting soul, I won't believe it until the cheque's cleared by the bank - and THEN I'll send the painting: this one below:
Pic Saint Loup - Raptor

On tyhe other hand I did definitely sell a giclée print for 30€, which is nice, and yesterday sold a framed cat drawing for 30€ too.

So I've definitely made 60€ this week.

As for the picture on the left, at least the whole thing has caused me to reflect and to come up with a 'terms of sale' which makes it absolutely clear - no money, no picture.

Have also done some new work, which you can see at RedBubble .

Slightly different, but I'm pleased with it. Meanwhile I have to start preparing for the show, which starts at the end of next week...

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

RedBubble, Exhibition...

RedBubble is a fantastic site in terms of what it does - its ability to host so much artwork, and to sell it on to consumers. But some of the people on there in their groups are a little bit strange - it seems I upset someone there yesterday beyond any rational way I can comprehend. What the ...?

Anyway, I gave some new work up there, so here's a link: . This is one of a couple of pictures of Les Matelles which will feature in the exhibition, open to the public from September 11th. The date may have other resonances for you (especially if you are from New York or Chile), but for me it's my (late) mother's birthday. She would have been 84. Here's some stuff about my mother:

Anyway - here's the new poster for the exhibition. If anyone wants to know why it's in French (believe it or not someone did ask me this) it's because it's in France...

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

New works on line and other things

I had an entertaining moment (not) when in uploading some artwork earlier I temporarily disabled my whole website. Ooops. Everything ok now, and now new artworks on-line at As usual I have been updating stuff at RedBubble and getting some weird sort of enjoyment out of reading people's discussions and comments on various forums. If you look at RedBubble a lot you begin to realise that it's kind of cliquey, and there are groups of people who like to be in control of their RedBubble groups, and bestow their compliments and prizes to those artists they like best. Then some people get angry and argue. "Why was my painting not allowed in the 'Landscape Painting' group, when it's a landscape" one chap reasonably complained. "Ah, you see, it's a SEAscape, not a landscape" came the reply. "But that's a river" replied the artist "and behind the river is land" (He had a point). However he then went over the edge "If you don't accept this painting I'm never going to submit to this group again. I'm extremely upset and I now can't even LOOK at the painting." Hmmm. I'm beginning to wonder if he was actually taking the piss. You see, he's English and the Group is run by Americans and Aussies - and these particular people are VERY precious. Mind you, if he's not joking, so is he. They refused to let his work in (after an on-line meeting it seems) and laid down the law to anyone else who would dare submit a landscape with a BOAT in it, or even (shock, horror) a BUILDING. I do wonder why anyone would care. It's a great website because it works so well and allows you to showcase and sell your work, and it IS nice to get some sort of feedback. But really, it's not the be all and end all...

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Yeah, I added another one (make that 2)

Just like I said - take a look at

Also: Lateral Arts

And that link I gave before: Writers and Artists' is really good - entered my stuff in to other places too. We'll see what happens there.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Art on-line

My work is non line at facebook, RedBubble, MySoti, ArtWanted, another one I've temporarily forgotten, and not least, my own website at If you look up artists websites on google, you can see the incredible number of 'websites for artists' - some offering 'free' sites (some advertising) some asking for money to host your information. It's a complete mess for all artists, and for anyone looking to find an artist of their work.

My personal favourite is RedBubble, because it's free (they'll sell your work and take a cut), and because it's simple to use. Uploading your work is easy, and it looks good. MySoti is a pain because it is harder to upload (and really they're a T shirt site) and their ability to supply promptly is not good, artwanted want an annual fee AND it's hard to upload..

So I took a look at 'Writers and Artists' and found there's EVEN more than I thought. Look out for my next new website - might as well upload everywhere!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Matelles-Art blog

Hi, welcome to the Matelles-Art blog. Matelles-Art is a gallery, shop and atelier in the beautiful small medieval town of Les Matelles in the Hérault in the south of France - about 10 miles north of Montpellier.
Larger Map

I am doing this in English because it is too hard for me to write anything at length in french that makes sense. Also, I make sure the Matelles-Art Facebook page is always updated in french. In this blog I will explain what is happening with Matelles-Art, what new work is available, and any other news with regard to Matelles-art that I hope will inform and entertain. As a rule, you should know that latest works get updated pretty regularly at ,RedBubble. But I can't make announcements there, or anything else interesting. For the moment -just keep your diaries clear for September 10th, and re-visit this blog for more information.