Sunday, 31 May 2015

Rethinking drawing and painting

Drawing blog

New blog to rethink my drawing

Painting blog 

Ongoing blog based on the splendid OCA text by Ian Simpson

Saturday, 30 May 2015

What Hokusai said about age

Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) remarked that "All I have done before the age of 70 is not worth taking into account".

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) said something similar.  "Before I was 85, I was not sophisticated to make such work"  (this might not be exact quote)

Monday, 25 May 2015

PETER LOVATT aka Doctor Dance

I went to a show by Lovatt in Edinburgh last month.  He had the whole audience on their feet immediately, simple movements, a lot of fun. He promotes the importance of dance for mental and physical health .. and just for pleasure.

Here's a quote from his other website Doctor Dance: 

"Peter Lovatt is a Principal Lecturer and a Reader in the Psychology of Dance at the University of Hertfordshire.  Peter set up the Dance Psychology Lab in 2008 and since then his research has looked at the relationship between dance and thinking, dance and Parkinson’s disease, dance and confidence and the link between our hormonal and genetic make up and the way we dance."

Saturday, 23 May 2015


Saw a performance by the Candoco Dance Company at Tramway, Glasgow tonight.  Very informal, deceptively so, a group of dancers, different ages and levels of ability/disability, all very casually dressed, moving and interacting to familiar pop songs orchestrated by DJ at front of stage.
I enjoyed the music and the warmth of the people on stage,l and their direct relation to the audience.  Like much contemporary art, the audience created the meaning as well as the performers.  At the beginning the DJ played several tracks with a darkened stage, and I wondered if it was going to entirely audience-generated.  But no..  They were performing a piece,  The Show Must Go On 2,  by Jerome Bel a French choreographer of non-dance.  Today they were in public discussion at Tramway.  Unfortunately I could not go. 

Also made a quick visit to the Hidden Gardens, a site behind Tramway which was landscaped in 2003.  It looks so different now, everything has grown, a lovely mixture of planting, some wild flowers, some cultivated.  There are some links to the local Muslim community, and the mosque is just behind this site.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Laikipia drawings

A couple of drawings inspired by visit to Laikipia, Kenya at Christmas.  More to come.    On full size Somerset 300 gsm paper, size 760 x 560 mm. 

Here's another one - unfinished.  Not sure about the tree in the foreground but that is what I like. I like the movement of the horse although he is grazing.  You can see his energy.

Finished version
Unfinished version

#4 Internal roof structure of the lodge

#5 Early morning at the camp

Tuesday, 12 May 2015


Here is a reworking of a painting I did as exercise in OCA work.  Still a bit to do on it.

Here is one I have been struggling with for two years on and off, but finally nearly there.  A bit more to do on horse's head and forequarters, background and rider, but it is working better.Could go on for ever with this one. 

Monday, 4 May 2015

THEASTER GATES Crossing boundaries.

For more about this artist, click here to read the Observer Review article, 3rd. May 2015.

I like the sound of this man, he is down to earth and an activist who contributes to the community, by imaginatively converting disused and derelect buildings in Detroit into art spaces that can be used by everyone.  He is also a craftsman (ceramicist) and works with his dad, a roofer, to restore the spaces and to make new artwork, out of the tar used in the roofing, for examples.

My life drawing

Sketch in break

Short pose

Long pose

Through to Edinburgh for drop in Life-Class yesterday.  Long time no do this, not sure what approach to take.  I can draw horses but humans more difficult.  Why?  Focussed on tone, which is what I am doing at present. Enjoyed the class anyway.

Sunday, 3 May 2015


Moshekwa   2006  oil on canvas   1300 x 1100
Visited Dumas exhibition in London last week, of more in another post.  For now, I like her quote:

"Drawing is closer to whispering in someone's ear, while painting is more like the ear itself.  It contains all that has ever entered there.  It listens more than it speaks"

From my recent and very modest attempts at painting I understand something of this.  The paint has a different energy to the drawing, it has a life of its own.