No More Heroes

Anymore …

Whatever happened to all of our heroes … ?

All our Shakespearoes?

Buggered if I know.

We required them to be too pure perhaps, we grew up a bit too much perhaps … but then, perhaps, wisdom is not all it’s cracked up to be?

My tribe tell me that it matters who the the next “leader” is, Prime Minister is — this sclerotic absurd farce of an election for a tory leader … Rory’s our sort of toff shit.

I’m sorry. Seriously. Like I should give a shit?

I know I risk sounding like an old fart who doesn’t appre­ciate contem­porary pop music or something, and I don’t much it’s true, but … seriously …

Nye Bevan

These people built our world.

Problematic … well, derr … but they had vision … and they got shit done.

Compromised and very not PC and not terribly pro Europe either for that matter  but practical and focussed and hard-working and brave and unima­ginably strong … heroes basically

… sorry.

Change of Plan

painting bits
OK, wasn’t expecting that …

Life cannot be navigated without delusions … but shedding them can defin­itely aid flotation.

A separate website of my recent work is just not going to happen any time soon.
Images have been metaphor­ically propped against the walls of my online gallery for over a year and it’s still a bloody building site.
Just too busy actually painting. This is good.

So … move on.

Going back through my most recent notebook/sketchbook the same words and phrases, admon­i­tions and ideas crop up again and again (excluding the flat tires, the hangovers, the flies and the fear):
No colour, no prettiness, no sleight of hand, minimal, pure and abject, maximal, all-over, horror vacui, complexity, grain, dust, residue, precip­itate, scurf, flocculate, material, stuff, palimpsest, strata, trans­lucent, chemistry, atmospherics, organic, fractal, self-organ­ising, crystal­lising, algorithmic, non-determined, uncon­scious, repetition, ritual, process, alive, lost, found, in cycles, dreams, fairytales, collage, mosaic, grids, paradoxes and contra­dic­tions and lots and lots of time …
separ­ating judgement and choice from painting — in time and medium, sidestep the fear, trans­lation from digital to analogue, set the initial condi­tions and then run the simulation, place but no place, specific but out of time, constructed, no focus but focus on everything, no picture of, no open window but an image, an object for the mind, object, no narrative, no story, no drama, no personae, no view, not grand or gothic or romantic, mundane, not spiritual, absolutely no feelings beyond the feeling that everything deserves the attention …
Painting for the love of touching and moving mud and seeing it come alive and change and as a way of having a technology independent, electricity and mediation-free, data-dense method of recording as much of the process as possible …

So it’s all going here … it’s somewhere … somehow … for now … that’s the plan.
That better than a way?

Cornwall Boogie Woogie

cornwall boogie
click to enlarge

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.


click to enlarge

I think the hardest job I ever did, apart from a few excru­ci­ating teaching days, was in the stock rooms of a giant West End store, on the night shift.
It was relentless, physically demanding and left you utterly drained, mentally and physically exhausted.
You passed out rather than fell asleep just when the world was getting up and then as they settled down in front of their TV’s it started all over again.
In those days it was reasonably well paid and no-one monitored you on cctv.

But every night at about 12:30 the cleaners arrived. I think we were their third or forth job and there were many more to do before morning. They worked hard too.
And they ran.
They even managed to snatch breathless snippets of conver­sation with us in broken English.
In a grim way they were heroic.

In my on-going quest to discover in or bestow upon the most humble things some sort of “heroic” dignity, this is my Electrolux Janitor. Studio vacuum cleaner, still going after fifteen years of extremely hard work.

I joke but … it’s also kind of true — there’s so much we overlook, never mind what we unsee.


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Four hours travelling isn’t unusual and getting up at ten to five is a hell of a lot easier at this time of the year but still … oh well, peeps have to go where the jobs are.

Pretty it ain’t but it’s cheap and functional and indis­pensable. And millions just like it cry out in the dark every­where.

I was wondering just how mundane can the subject be, how plain the execution, before …

Fan fan

click to enlarge

I was absolutely certain that this had been done to death … after all, it’s only the summer flip side of the stove in the corner of the studio … but appar­ently not.
Had no interest in some designer, hipster, vintage thing — I have no idea who designed it, where or when. Which is probably unfair because somebody did, both, and I owe them both a little debt.
Shamed, I have just looked: it was made in China and I got it from B&Q about 10 years ago and it’s still going strong.
It might be ugly but I just wanted to pay a gentle homage to my rusty trusty fan.

And it helps to keep drawing when you’re strug­gling with something big and scary.


click to enlarge

There’s a struggle for civil rights in America where Black Codes are still lethally applied, people are drowning in the Mediter­ranean trying to escape from the hell we’ve made of their homelands, and “we” chose to let them, oh, and there’s an exist­ential election coming up at home … and I’m posting about putting up a portfolio of work on The Associ­ation of Illus­trators website … hmmm … have a powerful need to eat this month.