Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Vindolanda (Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 ins)

Although I managed to clear the stairs to the studio of snow a couple of days ago, I've not felt really keen on going down to paint. A combination of the bitter cold that's kept the snow on the ground despite there having been no further falls and a general malaise which always accompanies the end of a session of concentrated effort, in this case that for the Xmas paintings, has left me not a little dispirited.

As a consequence, I've spent my time over the past week or so simply drawing cartoons for The Cartoonist's Hat and surfing the web. To be honest, I think I'm on a cusp. My work may need to be shaken up a little. In a practical sense, I'm not sure I can go on filling up the house with the biggish paintings I've been making when the opportunities for displaying them are drying up.

Working on the cartoons has brought back to me that sense of enjoyment I always get working close up to a sheet of paper and I think perhaps a renewed effort to broaden my working methods might pay dividends.

Meanwhile, as I pondered these and other thoughts, I decided I should at least make a concerted attempt to get something done in the studio today. Hence this small painting which allowed me to tackle head on my bête noire, the landscape's ubiquitous green (perhaps that should be bête verte). I decided to simply not paint it green at all and for now at least, I think it works.

By the end of the afternoon my feet were frozen solid. I can heat up the air of the studio, but I can't do anything about the concrete floor.


Jean Spitzer said...

Extra socks?

Like the greenless landscape.

harry bell said...

Extra socks might well be the answer, Jean, although cold concrete is *very* cold. I suppose I'm reluctant to give up my now rather thin painting shoes.

Anonymous said...

There used to be (and I'm looking out to see if still are) 'space' insoles - made by Scholl, I think - that have the shiny material used for emergency blankets etc. It keeps your foot's heat inside the footwear and keeps cold out. I used to get them for winter & they're very effective.

Anonymous said...

I just did an outdoor market (-5C!) and stood on an old bit of carpet. laid over cardboard. Didn't work there but probably would indoors.

harry bell said...

Janet -- thanks, I'll look out for those insoles. They sound like they'd be pretty effective.

Ian -- perhaps I should have said that the concrete floor is carpeted (the room once held a full sized billiard table, hence the concrete floor). There's no cardboard under the carpet, but the carpet doesn't seem to reduce the chill that seeps into feet over an hour or two.