Tuesday 30 August 2011

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

Saint Kevin and the Blackbird - Clive Hicks-Jenkins
Nothing has to be a particular colour any more than it has to observe external laws of perspective. Rather, a painting is a world apart with an internal logic created by the painter. It is one thing to know this, and to accept it in the work of earlier artists, but quite another to do it yourself. Such is the nature of education now that children routinely copy pictures by Van Gogh or Picasso, often painting a bit each then putting the pieces together in a wall-sized collage. The belief seems to be that they will thus acquire a shortcut to the methods and insights of those ground-breaking artists. On the contrary it's like putting down the answer to a mathematical problem with no idea why, except that someone more mathematical than you has told you the answer. Until you understand through repeated practice and experimentation how and why to break rules, even the unwritten ones, all you will be as an artist is a facile imitator.

Rex Hartley (from What is a Still Life in Clive Hicks-Jenkins)

Clive Hicks-Jenkins is one of my recent discoveries. I first came across his very interesting blog, then followed on to his website and finally bought the book about his life and work. The book contains 11 essays about various aspects of his work, including paintings, drawings, and book illustrations and is well worth reading.

I was particularly taken with what Rex Hartley had to say about the use of colour, which I've quoted above. As he says, "It is one thing to know [that colour in painting can have it's own internal logic] but quite another to do it yourself." I have to constantly remind myself of this.

Friday 26 August 2011

Shop News

Wee Scotland Shop (Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 ins)

Things are very quiet here, as you must have noticed. I'm doing a lot of reading and thinking as what passes for the summer goes by, but not much in the way of painting. I suppose a rest is a good thing and will no doubt prepare me for some kind of Great Leap Forward.

Meanwhile, I've learned that this painting has been chosen as the "Editor's Choice" in a national magazine (more on that in due course). As I thought this might be of interest to the Di Rollo Gallery where the painting is on display, I sent them an email. By return I learned that, coincidentally, the painting has sold.

Suddenly, the rain outside seemed to take on a rosy glow.

Monday 15 August 2011

New Citibase Show

This new show at Citibase by the Newcastle Artists Society opened on Friday. I have four works on display and it was quite rewarding to watch people at the private view spend some time looking closely at them:

Rooms & Mannequins (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 x 4 cm)

Paintings & Prints (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 x 4 cm)

Breakfast & T-Shirts (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 x 4 cm)

Rugs & Icons (Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 4 cm)

Look for me on the fourth floor staircase.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Starting up again

Edinburgh Churchyard (work in progress)

After a week of sitting on my laurels, last Friday I began another Edinburgh painting, only to have to leave it to go to a private view at the wonderful Art Noveau offices of Opus Art in Newcastle. And what an interesting evening that turned out to be! I'd been invited to the opening because April Jarocka had some of her lovely paintings of chocolate bars included in the show, but she hadn't told me she'd be there herself. What a delight, and a somewhat surreal one at that, to finally meet someone I've only known through emails and websites.

On Saturday, Pat and I went to Edinburgh again, this time for the private view of the Festival Exhibition at the Di Rollo Gallery. It was a good opening, with a decent flow of people in and out (including a science fiction fan I've somehow never managed meet in my 45 years of involvement in the field), but the weather turned inclement and I think that made the supply of people eventually dry up.

No sales on the day.

Pat and I decided to go for lunch in Stockbridge and then wander along Princes Street, but as the rain became heavier we were starting to feel not a little damp and uncomfortable. Back on the late afternoon train, we found the rain had been even heavier in Newcastle. I do so love a British summer.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Lights! Camera! Action!!

Today marks my first entry into the world of movie-making.

My partner Pat has been involved in the filming of a new movie, Song for Marion. Starring Vanessa Redgrave, Terence Stamp and Christopher Eccleston, the plot revolves around a community choir. As she's in a community choir herself, Pat was auditioned for a part in the film's choir and was accepted.

Since then it's been work, work, work and I've hardly seen her, but when you're a movie star, that's just the way it is.

And today I get to play the part of a member of the audience at the choir's performance. I'm getting into my character now .... but I won't let it change my life.