Wednesday 24 April 2024

Whitby Coble

Whitby Coble
(acrylic on canvas board, 12 x 12 in)

For various reasons, mostly to do with the approach I first took to the composition and sourcing of the image, I put off finishing this painting, but now it’s done and I’m happy with it. 

The slightly different approach involved using a photograph that never entirely convinced me because the coble sat low in the water and didn't break the line of the quayside. To extract the information I needed to make the picture work, I tried working from a pen drawing of the photograph, ensuring the coble's superstructure bridged the top of the quay. This is the pen drawing:

(Fountain pen in square Pink Pig sketchbook)

Friday 19 April 2024

Tony Montague


Tony Montague at Durham Art Group
(Photo copyright Durham Art Group)

I learned today that my old friend, Tony Montague has died. He was a prolific and adventurous artist, freely offering advice and a helping hand. 

He and I had a joint show in Alnwick in 2012 and we went on several group painting weeks together. I last saw him in 2017 when he gave a demonstration at Gateshead Art Society.

He was a fine fellow and I'll miss him.

Wednesday 17 April 2024

It Was 20 Years Ago Today ...


I've always been interested in writing down thoughts and happenings as a way of reinforcing unreliable memory and interrogating some of my own assumptions. Over the years, I've kept a Diary, a Studio Journal, and this Blog.

My Diary began in May 1983 and I've been good at keeping it going over the years. There are gaps, inevitably, but looking back at entries now and again can be quite surprising. For instance, I recently found an entry from the 80s that detailed a meeting with a friend in a restaurant in Newcastle. I still have no idea why we were meeting (not enough detail, Diary!) but more surprisingly was the description of the restaurant because it no longer exists and without the Diary entry, it wouldn't exist for me now at all.

The Studio Journal has an even earlier start: June 1972. It's progress, however, has been patchy and uneven. Part of the problem is that some things get written up in the Diary which deserve equal space in the Journal and there are indeed times when I make the effort to copy entries from one to the other. The actual function of the Studio Journal has varied over the years, but i still think it's a worthwhile investment of time.

Before the appearance of Facebook, I wrote far more in this Blog. My first approach to blogging was from the perspective of fanzine publishing. In fact, I firmly intended to make this Blog a replacement for the fanzines I used to distribute to science fiction fans round the world, but it quickly became obvious that the intended audience hadn't taken to the idea and I gradually found myself drawn into the Blogosphere, a quite different concept from fanzine fandom

Facebook and other social media have, of course, dealt a body blow to blogging. A great number of Blogs are now moribund and, indeed, I let my activities here slide quite a bit. In 2017, I posted 425 blog posts here, a high point because in subsequent years the number declined to posts in the mid 40s. 

I'm now making the effort to revive Boogie Street; perhaps not to its former glory, but at least to something that presents something new fairly regularly. Here's to the next 20 years! And enjoy the celebratory cake (if 2018 doesn't mean it's a bit stale).

Sunday 7 April 2024

Coffee Shop Laptop

Coffee Shop Laptop
(Acrylic on canvas board, 8x8 in)

One of the great advantages of a mobile phone is that, if you always carry it with you, you always have a digital camera available. No need to lug around a heavy camera on the off-chance that you might need it. As a consequence, when I stopped for coffee and a sticky bun recently, I was able to photograph a couple of people sitting in a branch of Caffè Nero in Newcastle, and to do so in a surreptitious manner. This is one of them.

It's a simple picture but the composition is one of the classics - a triangle or pyramid - and I like the colour palette I've used. So I find I’m inordinately satisfied with it.