Moving on …

Mary Fletcher reviewed my show at Redwing and I thought I needed to reply.

I live down here, out on the raggedy edge, in Penwith — witchy and wild, beautiful and hard and a long long way from any metro­polis.

Why would I try to evoke the atmospheric landscape, why would I want to wallow in expres­sionist, material, slippy sloppy slidey, sweeping, oily paint. It’s all too easy and all too hard — impossible. Been there. Got lost and lonely and felt the strength draining from my hand.
Sunrise can take your breath away, the thundering surf can inspire real awe, the hard undertow of riptide and granite batholith beneath your feet can unnerve you, one false step … the wind can scour and the wide skies drown you, beauty is real and terri­fying, so what can I do, say, about that? And why would I want to? There’s more to life than this.

shrooms

Be honest. Be simple. Be modest. How modest can you be?

I make things. Decor­ative panels to decorate. That’s all.
And that’s a lot. I am confident, skilled, still and hard. I know what I’m doing. I think.
And the subject matter is arbitrary. Stuff.
And not. Surreal in that it bubbles up, crystal­lises, makes real dream images.
Nothing, no-one is blank … we can’t pretend to be … we are moved by forces bigger, deeper than us. I deal with it, OK. I want to be blanker so I take what I’m given.
Then work.

lamassu

It can be grand in terms of culture but does anyone care that the Lamassus were the guardian spirits of Mesopotamia? That Reapers are hunting them down?

What do I think about our alien­ation from the natural world, “real” food, “authentic” poverty? How do I react to the fetish­ising of weapons, to the visceral fear and hatred of the dispos­sessed? How do I feel about the abuse of power and the immunity of privilege?
It’s complicated.
I am furious and raging and impotent and confused … glamour is glamour, power is power, the world as it is is all we have, and we are just what we are. I want to look it all in the face … and try to under­stand, not lash out and condemn — I know what I believe but who am I to judge?
The English are implacably binary: if it turns you on it’s porn, if not it’s erotica. If an image of heroism doesn’t inspire, conjure up, illicit heart pounding, wide eyed pride, what’s the point. If an image of fear and despair doesn’t unnerve you, disarm you, crush you a little, what’s it for. If an image of something powerful doesn’t give you a moment of swaggering, arrogant superi­ority, why bother? Good drugs make you feel good, no?
I am ambivalent. Implicated. Guilty. And sad. And angry and full of joy and fear like all of us.
And busy … making images.

Red Flag

Banksy does what Banksy does and does it brilliantly but I have no interest in easy scores, in polemic, lectures, stand-up … one-liners. All I ask, I suppose, is that you stop.
Stop and think. Question. Pause.

silly sisters

Every minute you spend with a painting, a work of art, is a minute you are not being bought, sold to, exploited, working for someone else … it’s a minute for you, your time. So precious.

hammock

And so I’m drawing like crazy. Searching for a theme, a guiding star.

I’m so unsure that I need a head of steam, can I do it, is there enough, does it make sense, is it strong and true, does anyone care? And so … getting there.

Smile - Ferry Crossing

So the plan is … a sketch a day … a theme will emerge. Ideas are already accreting: Doing, Women … we’ll see.

And then … today … I didn’t get to finish anything.

Except this …

Social Disease

party
Opening Party

Andy Warhol had “social disease” — he’d go to the opening of a toilet seat.

Me too.

Still haven’t quite come down. Been busy making prints and renov­ating my fixer-upper website but still grooving on the amazing support and encour­agement from all our friends last week.

I’ve only just noticed that everyone kept their coats on — it was that cold? And people are reading?

Thanks N … it was lovely.

Life is too short

flatforms-redwing-3
Prints

But it isn’t … and if we don’t do this shit it will be even more impov­er­ished.

Finally forced my way through the shitty waves and made it out to sea, put up a perfunctory gallery of pics from my Redwing show last week.

It’s not as though there aren’t more important things that I should be doing: like doing what I can to help our PPC Alana Bates and the whole fucking Labour Party win a fucking election.

Like supporting NCB and doing something to keep our home in one piece.

But life goes on.

And if you couldn’t come, you can get a feel for what it was like.

I had visions of a bit of any easy time once this was over.
7 hours a day, 7 days a week for 7 months has a sort of biblical ring to it and I was looking forward to a secular sabbath. Ho hum.

Now I need to make the prints and try to get some decent archive pics of the paintings … and then set to again.

Enjoy.

Show Time

Mackerel on a Plate
Mackerel on a Plate

Back in the saddle after quite some time …

Showing my new work, Flatforms, at the Redwing Gallery in Penzance.

Hero
Hero

Had a wonderful Opening on Friday … lovely to see so many people.

Ray Gun and Sphinx
It all began with Raygun and Sphinx

Must partic­u­larly thank Harry and Irene, Simon and Gillian, Steve and, of course, Nicole for so much help and support. Could not have done it at all without you all.

Prints
Prints

Show’s on till Thursday.

If you can make it, do pop in.

And it’s all for sale.

Copper and Pink Car Crash
Copper and Pink Car Crash

A new exper­ience for me to see it all up together.

And to answer questions and hear what people think.

New Stakhanov and The Annunciation
New Stakhanov and The Annun­ci­ation

So my studio’s empty … house isn’t big enough … and I’m almost as good as I hoped … and I just said that out loud.

A gallery full of “bobby dazzlers” as my Dad used to call them.

Sea Watch
Sea Watch

Sheesh … that’s a lot of work.

And still so much to do.

So … watch this space

Beltane Fire

dinner fire

Just the second BBQ of the year but on a very special evening as Spring turns to Summer. Clearing away a shed load of the detritus from the old year.

Spring lamb Kebabs to die for … a glorious feast culturally appro­priated from the wide fertile crescent and cooked on an American BBQ in a Cornish field … whatever … it was nommy.

fire

With the stars above our heads, in a beautiful clear sky, and the earth beneath our feet, faces burning in the heat of the flames and the wind in our hair … and, very much, life bursting, bustling, snuffling all around us.

We even carefully, hurriedly, anxiously, carried the burning embers inside to rekindle our home fire … and it caught.

Moving on.

 

Down South

this way

Something to do with that dazzling white paint I suppose — seducing the software — the skies are always unbelievably deep and intense behind the lantern at the Trinity House light­house on Lizard Point.

column

It’s just a guess but I’d bet almost anything that this granite finger is called Gull Rock … OMG, looking at the map it has a name name: Bumble Rock. Not sure about that. There are bona fide black-backed gulls just sitting there, owning it. Bumble? Teetering. Hmmm … Maybe. I’ll go with Gull.

n on high

And this week’s high point, half way to the moon, was high above Housel Bay …

cliff

Weird, no? Waving, not falling.

blossom

But in the steep little valleys around the Lizard, Spring has defin­itely vorsprunged.

Stormy Sunday

spangles

So, whatcha do on a blustery Sunday … not looking for a soaking but something a little more soothing …

crown

A gentle wander around Treng­wainton, looking for the elixir of life (slight of hand: go somewhere where you’re the youngest person by two decades at least — works every time) — a beautiful crown of croziers in a forest of tree ferns.

camelia

Camellias at their best … dodging between the squally showers … much more my sort of tea time.

legs

And lovely low, warm light exposing the trees up to lovely no good.

fungus

And fungus offering up plates of … hmmm … rot and decay … nom nom nom.

en-forcers

And enforcers on parade … you will be white! White is best. Whatever.

magnolia

And, of course … this being Penwith … magnolias to die for …

another magnolia

No … pink is good too.

For rhubarb too.

Just getting up to speed again

helford tree

Just an image dump again, really … So busy I’ve no time to think at the moment.

house

Ach … home. Stephen King not withstanding … ho hum … one day.

rinsey ape

The bay guarded by the sentinel ape …

croc

The headland itself defended by a granite crocodile … I’m not sure this is any better than those fields of tiny narciss­istic cairns but it does have the advantage of charm …

engine houses

It’s only when you inter­n­alise, embody those angles that the work-a-day reality even starts to go in … fuck.

cape choughs

Zawn Buzz, Porth Ledden, Cape Cornwall and choughs just before sunset … I ask for no more …