Swamped

lady

Just wandered out to get an image I needed of the sky and found the buddleja covered in butter­flies, including this beautiful Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui. I didn’t know they were migrants too. Along with the geese and the cuckoos and the robins and the starlings and the …

I’ve got a horrible feeling that if we ever did stop all freedom of movement we’d die of lonely silent hungry thirsty brain-dead BOREDOM.

Gunwalloe

flower
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I’m not sure what it is but there were lots of these beautiful little things on the cliffs above Church Cove.

nightshade
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Now that I can identify: Atropa Belladonna. I assume the berries are unripe, I’m sure they go black but the blue and red were incredibly intense.

dice
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Down at Gunwalloe Fishing Cove, an exposed seam of quartz is breaking down.

landscape
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Having dutifully applied my flying ointment (see above) I rode the air and looked down from a great height and saw … errr … or not. Scale independence.

dragon
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… found a dragon trapped inside a rock … sort of … if you tilt your head and squint a bit.

stone
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And in the graveyard of St Winwalo’s Church, the saddest of stories in a few terse lines. Life really does hang by a thread.

Sunny Safari

scarab
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One of a few Rose Chafers we saw patrolling the brambles, beautiful jewel-like scarabs (their vivid green produced struc­turally by left-circu­larly-polarised light rather than pigment, he said), Cetonia aurata, on the cliffs between Cape Cornwall and Sennen Cove.

gatekeeper
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There were clouds of butter­flies in the fields behind the cliffs but the only one who was vain enough to pose for long was a male Gatekeeper, Pyronia tithonus.

longhorns
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And a herd of magni­ficent time-slipped English Longhorns.

Cornwall Boogie Woogie

cornwall boogie
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The work I’m doing at the moment starts with a grid … well, no: it starts with an image which is then trans­lated into a grid … well, no: several independent grids … aye aye aye, whatever — I need my grid. It’s where I start.
And it’s not just a pretext — the grid has to work on its own, to dance and to tell tales, even if I’m the only one to hear them.

But this one tickled me more than most — getting better at this. Two days ago I was convinced I’d bitten off more than I could chew … and then …

I’m sure I’m a bit weird but I find this strangely rewarding and the making of it as much like a dance as I am comfortable with — so here’s my Cornwall Boogie Woogie, Piet.

Storm’s blowin’ in

storm
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Filling the sky in the south and east … can feel it coming — a heavy blast of hot humid air blowing before it. Appar­ently it’s not going to be too bad, just very wet but we’re a little exposed up here and they always makes us anxious. I suppose we could all do with the water but … and but — dribs and drabs would be so dull, damp and English
Leccy off in the studio this evening I think.

dipsacus
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Beauty and the Beast.
The dipsacus all over the farm are all doing their beauti­fully raggedy rising tide flowering at the moment.
But beware those thorns — they’re lethal.

The Year of the Fog

mollis
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This year will defin­itely go down as … winter, spring and summer — feels like half the year has been shrouded, occulted, drained and drowned in fog.
Here condensing in jewels, as is its wont, on an alche­milla mollis in the yard.

nast
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Is that a colour combo to die for or what? Furtive little nasturtium weaving its way through the herbs.

Naturphilosophie

As in everything being greater than the sum of its parts and insep­arably a part of everything else and in me coming to see what I am doing by doing it and only then … seeing.

bab
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OMG, that was a long hard slog: grand vistas glimpsed through skeins of fog, tortuous and terri­fying climbs and joyous striding across springy turf, laborious wading through sucking bogs, dazzled by glittering sunlight on ripples in the stream, fear of getting lost roaring like a storm and gentle relief at the sight of (ever) distant landmarks, and round and round and eventually …

A feeling of satisfied achievement rather than simple pleasure — made it … it’s done. And I’m back … on track.
The graft of rigor­ously inter­rog­ating what you see is compounded in a self portrait, you need a sort of enhanced inter­rog­ation of what you know too … and as always demanding — object­ively, emotionally and morally.

And you end up with just a shred of stuff, woven from the warp and weft of Indra’s Net; an emergent, contingent, ephemeral glimpse of one tiny fragment of the universe, now, from here inside.

It took three weeks just to gather the data I was then going to use as paint. Mind numbing: grinding, dissol­ution, sublim­ation, a little putre­faction, some projection and more grinding, analogous to the alchemy of preparing pigments from bugs and dirt and piss.

Prepare and practice, look and learn, explore and exper­ience, integrate and inter­n­alise and then just … go.
Let go.
The euphoric, anxious, dancing, crawling, flying, falling, layering, erasing, remix jazz of painting. Making it up as you go along.
On a high wire, across the abyss, alone in the dark in the spotlight of a cruel, crushing thunder hyper-critical superego pointing out every stumble, wrong-turn and cul-de-sac, moment of bad-faith, glib facility, pomposity and silliness.
You gotta see the glamour in what you do.

But I beat the bastard … again.
It is done. It is good. It works.
I imagine a machine imagining, dreaming of being, playing at being human.

As usual — equally drained and inspired.
So much to do. So little time.