jeudi 28 février 2013


Surface. oil on canvas. 60x46cm.

Merging. oil on canvas. 66x55cm.

Traces. oil on canvas. 160x120cm.

I have an exhibition approaching: the catalogue is being prepared. At some point someone will ask me to explain and I will want to say,want to excuse myself, to say that I am no good at talking about it. The work is what it is and there is no hidden meaning to be hinted at or discovered.

The French will say that one is inspired by: they know what they mean but I am not inspired, not moved to paint by something. What I do is what anyone might do. I paint. I might, in another life, plough.

Oh there is no doubt in my mind that this might be insufficient. That were I to embrace some doctrine, some ism, I might be assured of my direction and be able to promulgate my ideas but this would make for a safe passage and a certainty that would sit ill with me. So, I paint what I am and the paintings are what they are.

I follow my plough.

samedi 23 février 2013

Birthday portrait at sixty six.

February, not April, is the cruelest month.

 I read recently that the desire to flatter remains even in the self portrait though the pressure to make a likeness is less than when painting another. True or not there will be arguments for and against. I looked through my portraits over the years recently: flattery was absent.

jeudi 7 février 2013

February, bad back, introduction.

It's February and that seems to mean bad back days. So, continuing to work on this painting means incremental changes and the steady accretion of marks. Amid the pain is pleasure: I can only do this for a few minutes at a time but that does allow for a mad overpainting where to be sure one is not in control much of the time, and the steady touch, touch of the mark, before needing a nice lie down. In the meantime I can read what other people are thinking. There is Painting Perceptions to look at and I drop in on Sharon Knettels Painting from Life. Ilaria Rosselini Del Turco keeps me grounded and in addition I have been keeping an eye on Dean Melbourne - A PaintersBlog.
I am interested in the truth: I would like to quote from Martin Buber, where he told a story about Rabbi Zusya. who said " In the world to come I shall not be asked why were you not Moses?"I shall be asked "Why were you not Zusya?"
I am asking always why I am not me.