Saturday, March 31, 2007

Corn 23

Usually when a picture has taken so long I can begin to lose interest and concentrate less on some of the less central areas of the piece. So today I did the opposite..looking at some of the great paintings of the 'Masters' you see an attention to detail in every area of the picture. So today I applied myself 100% to the top most areas of the blue buildings on the left.I tried to avoid overlapping the dots as much as possible to the extent that the area covered is less, but the quality of image increased.

I am having a break now because my children and I are to watch the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who..a show I grew up with...

Friday, March 30, 2007

Corn 22 - Friday

I had to go out to a meeting today with head of buildings and maintenance from Derby City Council. to hang the children's exhibition I need a wooden baton fixing to the wall. The 'Orangery' is a grade 3 listed building so needs special permission...which I managed to get!I then joined Jan at an Easter Service for the children at my Daughter Annie's school.

I was able to get down to some drawing this afternoon..slow progress with the dark buildings..but they will soon be finished. I'm just under the 100 hour mark just now!!and I've still not reached the top of the page!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Corn 21 Thursday

Today I began to think I could see the end approaching with this picture...although actually a long way off, the finish is in sight..You will see that I've left out the centre piece to this will draw the whole thing together.Working on the very dark buildings to the left of the labour intensive and slow progress.

Today I paid my six monthly trip to the dentist..I used to be afraid of the place..but have come to pay no heed to the approaching appointment. Now I learn that I need a crown!..Please note my dear American readers that my teeth are all my own and my overbite is perfect!!

I also transported the three large 'Impressionist' Tree boards that I worked on with the children at school to be stored in the exhibition space on the Arboretum..the exhibition there starts on 9Th April. The venue is a Victorian built 'Orangery' which is beautiful and overlooks the main part of the park. Lots of photos will follow closer to the date.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Corn 20 - Wednesday

I spent six hours solid dotting the light blue area of the buildings to the left.This evening I've had the use of the daylight lamp again..this time Jan managed to find a screw fitting bulb whilst at an art shop now I can dispense with the 'contraption' I had yesterday. I've found it much easier to concentrate when it's dark now I have this eyes don't feel at all tired sitting down to write this.

I find the words of the 'Decadent' painters mixing with something Gaugin said about painting what you feel not what you see..I think I'm reacting against such a closely accurate drawing such as this one and want to just let loose once in a while. I'm also extremely aware that my residency which should begin next month will focus on a specific subject for a year..this will mean either introducing a symbolic,surreal element to my work or having two lots of work going at the same time. I'm sure it'll work out but I suppose I'm thinking out loud (albeit on the page).

I feel I should be reading other peoples Blogs more often. Don't you sometimes go through phases of reading every day then leaving it until guilt makes you return?..I find that despite not reading that often, I catch myself during the day thinking of someone I have read about as if I will see them later in the evening. You know, I'd love us to have matter transporters (like Star Trek)..then we could all meet up in some wonderful bar in ....oh ..say Paris and drink and talk..then all transport back to our own homes. ......I can dream!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Corn 19

I've worked on the narrow looking building In the centre of the page ..some intricate work here and I'm happy with it.The most tedious part will be the buildings on the left , most of which are in shadow.

I'm currently working with a 'Daylight' bulb in the evenings..This photo was taken by it's light. It's all been a bit comical really. I met a man at my exhibition who told me about a store in Derby which sold I went there on Sunday and bought's actually in the shape of a standard light bulb but is blue in colour.(I'd hoped to find an energy saving version..)..then I bought a cheap desk lamp. Aat home I eagerly tramped off upstairs to try it out only to find that the bulb has a bayonet fitting and the lamp has a screw socket.

It turns out that the bulb only comes with that fitting(in this town anyway)..and nobody sells bayonet desk lamps..So I've put the bulb in an old table lamp and tied it to my old Ikea lamp so that it can sit at an angle over my drawing...there's no shade so if I look up I get blinded..also my forehead gets hot from the proximity of the bulb and so I have to sit back often. I hope you feel free to laugh at my situation because that's exactly what I'm doing!....more tomorrow.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Corn 18+ A380

Back to work but still feeling tired..I guess this is due to me being so old!(LOL!Thanks DM!)..still..pressed on with 'Corn'. I am now half way through the picture and having completed nearly 80 hours it's shaping up to being the longest I've ever worked on one piece.

The morning was also exciting (for me at least) as the Airbus A380 made a low flypast. I live near to the Rolls Royce aero engine division which produces the mighty Trent Engines that power the largest airliner in the world.As a thank you to the people of Derby the A380 made a series of flypasts.My pathetic little photo doesn't do it was surprisingly quiet but one was aware of the huge amount of power available to the pilot, as it hung in the sky like an angelic metal eagle.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ripples - A time to relax.

I'm taking time out to relax today. After such a tense and stressful week I feel the need to take it easy. So I thought I'd post a video of my favourite band 'Genesis'. Taken from their 1976 album 'A Trick Of The Tail', it's a beautiful song called 'Ripples'. Blogger was unable to accomodate the embed request, so I've pasted the link here. I hope you like it..along with others, Genesis music would fearure in the 'Sound Track to my life' if there was one! Take a look..and I'll be back tomorrow with the latest on 'Corn'.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Corn 17 - Exhibitions end

The week came to an end with a flurry of visitors. Today I have probably had in excess of 500 people through the exhibition.Some were actually prepared to buy!The result was that we have managed to break even on the costs plus a little more!I was so worried that we would make a loss that I'm contemplating doing a few cartwheels later!So I'll write the next post from my hospital bed no doubt! I was greatly honoured to have an old friend Alison visit with her husband Mark and two children Freya and Josh. Making the journey down from York it was wonderful to see AL again.I was also visited by many other friends,Allan,Sheridan Honor,Brigid and others made what was an exhausting day very special.
I do however need to say a very special thank you to Kath (pictured here with me) who has given heaps of her own time to help and support me with this and past exhibitions. I'm sure you don't really know Kath the extent of what it means to have such a fantastic,warm,gorgeous,giving,sharing and friendly individual there with me. I know you'll hate this photograph (and I must admit it doesn't do you justice)..but I just wanted all my friends out there in BlogLand to know you were there!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Corn 16 - Exhibition day 5

Today went really well..I sold around 10 prints and spoke to about 70 people. I should also mention that there is a performance each night in the theatre with audience figures around 150 each the daily total seeing my pictures is around 200 +.

Other news: I have been told today that I will be able to move into the studio at the Derby Arboretum soon. I'm having a meeting next week to agree a lease and conditions. More on that as it develops!! It's actually the best news I've had in ages and should raise my public profile quite a bit.

Tomorrow is the last day of the exhibition and potentially the busiest. Please check back for the result.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Corn 15 - Exhibition day 4

Hello!..I'd firstly like to take this opportunity to welcome new readers if you're joining me tonight.Please take time to look into my archives and see what you've been missing!..then why not leave a comment on today's post...It was good to meet you today or over the past few days, please take time to return again and check on the development of my work.

Today was good. Sold three more pieces and had around 76 visitors to the exhibition...and the numbers should increase towards the weekend!. There were many favourable comments and I had the opportunity to meet some genuinely interested and knowledgeable people. Of note were a couple from Nottingham who struck me as being not only familiar with art and artists, but had an air of something deeply humbling ..peace, love and beauty.They were interested in my Little Nemo and the friendly Dragon. I was also able to work on and off on my current picture for around four hours.(see above)

If you exit the exhibition and turn left, you enter the Market Hall(pictured above)..a gloriously Victorian cast iron girded roof.A balcony houses many small stalls selling all manner of things .Below is a picture of one of the fruit stalls.Thursday is usually a quiet day in the market..but on it's busiest days there is hardly room to's such an atmospheric and friendly place! My Osnabruck Square picture is from a view leading into this building.

Leaving the Market hall and going back to the exhibition you come back under the clock tower of the Guildhall..this picture below is taken outside the door to the exhibition area which is on the right.

I hope to see many more people in the next two remaining days of the exhibition..please remember that my website has many pictures available to buy as prints..P&P is included in the price and I'll post to anywhere in the world! Thanks for reading..see you tomorrow

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Corn 14 - Exhibition day 3

Didn't sell any work today. Not many people called in (only 43)..Had neck ache...the sun shone..I ate Tuna sandwiches..fireman did a drill outside..spoke to an old work colleague..ate pineapple (not a whole one!)..watched sparrows in a tree..did some drawing..came home.

At least my friend Kath was able to help pass the time during the afternoon.I used to work with Kath in two of my previous social work jobs..she was my boss..but now she works for me!..not that I pay anything..well nothing..but I am very gratefull...and she is brilliant at talking to people..and brings pineapple to eat..

I hope it's better tommorow..more people will visit ..maybe someone will buy something..will have salmon sandwiches and lots of fruit..goodbye.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Corn 13 - Exhibition day 2

Day two..I spent the whole day up til 5:00pm talking to visitors to the exhibition..had around 60 people in.It's really interesting seeing which picture people are drawn to. 'Elephantine' is a popular attraction as are the aeroplanes. But one thing that has even at this early stage been confirmed is that most people like my surreal/fantasy pictures best! The people who like these cover all age groups..this Has pleased me so much because they are what i enjoy doing the most! I also managed to sell two prints and a greetings card. Sitting there also enabled me to demonstrate my I was able to work on 'Corn' for a good length of time!
This picture shows Jan relaxing with her book during a quiet spell. The area just outside the window is (if you refer to the photo of the Guildhall in the previous post) directly below the tower and is a major thoroughfare between the Market place and Market Hall..(photos another time)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Exhibiton day one

The imposing frontage of the Guildhall in Derby is the venue for exhibition and my 'home' for the next six days.
The foyer contains the exhibition space and is well lit and visible from the outside. Everyone entering the building sees my work. Currently there is a Gilbert and Sullivan Opera each evening till Saturday drawing in around 120 people each night..they get to see my work too!!

Jan did most of the work hanging the pictures..believe it or not she enjoys the process!The table in the top left of the picture is where I will sit demonstrating my work. The table in the foreground holds my prints,cards etc for sale.

And's me!It took us 2 1/2 hours to hang everything and get ready to receive visitors.When we did open it started snowing outside and people came in to keep dry.We had around 40 people visit during the afternoon. Lots of good conversation..but no sales.I'll keep you up to date with how it all go's!..Finally. Thank you to those reading this Blog as a result of seeing me today..please leave a comment ..Bye for now!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

To be honest...

It's a strange feeling hanging what amounts to almost a lifetimes work on the wall for people to pass judgement on. And believe me they do!..For the most part there are those who would complement and gush praise whilst turning a contemptuous nose against what they call 'Modern Art'. Then are those who stand and stare..they turn and glare and some who are very bold will actually ask me "Why?"...."What's the point?".....I tell you the truth dear reader that I would have a room full of my doubting critics than the fawning ignorant fools who think this is the 'only art' because it "looks like what it should".

True my work splits into two realms...there is the famous faces and aeroplanes and trains.Mere essays in the craft Tolkien might say...but then there is the 'other stuff'..things that bite deep into my heart and tell tales never imagined. Here are the very sinew of my being..strung out and looking every inch a pretty picture. But here is a fact..only last Tuesday I lay curled up in bed having packed my work away for the last time..determined that I would never do it's a curse I tell you...but here today I am striving yet again having faced total shame and admission that I was wrong, I am a fool unable to relate in a proper way to the one person I need need need.Now I am trying to get that shadow right..convey the deep shade in that shop window...get the sodding blue pen to work!I find it is impossible to ignore or turn away..I have every part of my being straining to create. I have only just begun in the big scheme of things..I dream and catch sight of the impossible and intend to go there..but a journey of a thousand of miles begins with but one step! dot..

And so as the pretty pictures are hung..I remember not the delicate purple of the fuzzy trees in the distance..but the doubt..the agony of knowing that I'll walk out of this a poor man in financial terms and tired to the bone with eyes that feel like withered peppercorns.Each picture is a pouring out and 100% concentration of eye hand and mind.

So when you see the grey haired fat bloke who sits in the midst of his work..he is not smiling because he is proud..he's smiling because you are ease the screaming and pain that hangs on the wall.

Am I mad?..I sure hope so because no sane person could do this!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Corn 12

The period just before I embark on an exhibition is becoming one of increased anxiety. Having only really done them for just over a year, I've come to realise that it is a time of intense emotion for me coupled with long hours sitting in a gallery answering the same questions and trying to make each answer sound fresh. It is this that makes the time draining and exciting in one breath.I love the debate that sometimes ensues as to what art is and why some people site my work as 'proper art' because it's figurative as opposed to abstract.All things I've talked about here before.
It is partly due to this anxiety that i have not written for a few days.I find it almost crippling to contemplate my track record in such instances which tells me I'll make a loss. This alongside the notion that this is my destiny and nothing will ever satisfy the need in me to create above this that I do.
Today i am almost numb to the prospect. Having been traumatised to almost total rejection of my calling, I can only try to consider each moment as it comes..fix my sight upon the job in hand and remember those of you who have given me so much encouragement. It's almost as if I'm not doing it purely for myself but for you too.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Corn 11....I'm back!

Eagle eyed readers of this Blog will notice that I've not posted since Monday. Well, I'll spare the details but a phone call from India and a letter from York have helped me regain my perspective and I'm back! I've resumed work on my picture and look forward to my exhibition next week. Hopefully I'll have photos of the pictures being hung and the venue on Monday evening.

Big thank you to Preeti and Al.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Corn 10

The week has begun with a 5 hour stint today..I've reached 40 hours in total and am now I estimate about 1/4 of the way through!Over the weekend I've been reading a book about the Symbolist and Decadent art movements of 1800's. The basic premise of these movements were to shy away from painting what is in front of you, but to paint what is inside you..your vision..and often using readily identified references..symbolise the deepest nature of your dreams and desires.I realise I'm being over simplistic in this description, but I have felt emboldened to develop the way I express myself in my work.
I am continually thinking of things I want to express, but always clouded by the need to actually sell some work.It seems people aren't interested in buying into my hopes and dreams...but they do like pictures of parks and aeroplanes.Next week will be interesting as I embark on my next solo exhibition.Be prepared dear reader as I will be venting my frustration right here!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Art immitates Life immitates Art

Walking up through Rykneld park the other morning I took this photograph. I don't know about you, but I prefer taking my pictures into the light.(I suppose because I was always taught to take photos with the sun at my back. I hate people telling me I 'can't do' something!!)
I am fascinated by the fact that my camera can do more than my eyes....when I look directly into this reaction is to close my eyes..but my camera adjusts itself..then I over-ride certain functions and make it take this picture. I therefore have the full glare of the sun, and the deep shadow of the tree. Usually an artist composes a scene that centers on the landscape and the components in it..however I figure that it is the light and the way it plays in that landscape that brings out our reaction to it.I put the two together and voila!. It's nothing special or unique.. it's what many artists have done since painting began...but it is the joy of actually working out what's happening when I look at something that brings discovery and's like I'm the first one to realise it. It never ceases to amaze me that there are so many parallels with Art and Life.............................

Friday, March 09, 2007

Corn 9

I seem to be unable to apply myself today..went into town this morning with Jan to look for something to wear for our friend's 45Th Birthday party tomorrow night. I didn't find anything I liked. I 'm on a bit of a downward spiral at the moment..I've had a cold for a couple of days and have felt rough..but have pressed ahead with my picture..I'm working on the figures to the right slowly filling in the should see some very bright colours in there soon as there is a newspaper kiosk in amongst the crowd (bright red!).
Incidentally..Thank you to all of you who post makes me enjoy the creative process so much more as it's almost interactive. I have some close friends who view my site but don't ever make comments!.come on guys..I'd love to hear from you..get involved !!!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Corn 8

I thought I'd post at this time of the day because a chance to get on the computer will be rare later on..Jan is still working strange hours..and won't be back until later tonight. I also have to go to my eldest son's parents evening..the card says my appointments with his teachers are spread out over half an should add at least an hour on top of that!!
Work on the picture has reached the intense stage where concentration is need to keep track of which area I'm working on. There are so many small areas now without recognisable shape...but to work for an hour or so and then stand back is very satisfying as the shapes mingle and you see a person!
I've now worked out after all this time, how to make the image really big when you click on it..the definition is not good, so you can't see each individual dot..but it gives you a better idea of the smaller areas of colour that go to make up the image!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Corn 7

I'm beginning to develop a little more depth by adding darker shades over to the left. Sadly there will be quite a large amount of dark stuff on the left side of the picture..but it will all balance out. by the way..does anyone know why it's called 'Corn'?

Country music references keep popping up (am I going mad?). I remember a famous female comedian once saying how Country music was so depressing.. whenever she plays a Country record..she plays it backwards..that way the singer comes back to life..his dog comes back, he gets his job back,his house back,his woman back and he gives up drinking!..a happy begining!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Corn 6

I am a frustrated man at the end of this day. Do you ever get those days when it seems that things conspire to thwart you attempts to do anything?..of course you do...we all do!For me I had 'Taxi Driver ' stamped on my forehead throughout the day..Jan to station for 8:50 this morning..Annie to school 9:00..(boys on 'Inset' day off) Will to post office..then to his friend's house 10:30..couple of hours drawing..boys in and out via town/friends/with friends/being called on by friends/..pick Annie up from school..visit newly opened playground..home to make tea..more friends of boys...serve tea..fetch Will from friend's house..pick up Jan from station 8pm..get home..sit down to write this!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Corn 5

Well...after that light hearted interlude..back to the serious stuff!I've worked on the shirt of the man to the right and the girls face behind the lady with sunglasses. As more figures are added, the definition becomes less exact. This is the quality I like at the moment.

Incidentally, I was none to kind to refer to going to see Jan's TV premier as 'Dull'..after I read it,I thought how I'd feel if I'd read it of one of my exhibitions. I am INCREDIBLY proud of what Jan has achieved after coming out of a secure well paid job to follow her dreams..I did enjoy the show and thought Jan was wonderful in it!

By the way..the photo in the previous post is of Spike Milligan (not me)..ex-goon, poet, comedian and deceased.

Puttu-Kadala man is here!

I received an email from Preeti with the command to do this NOW! I've just stopped work for my lunch and I love these things..and you can learn a lot about an individual and have a good laugh at the same time! here goes!

3 things you should know about the number '3'
1. The number of children I have.
2. The number of houses we've lived in since we got married.
3. The current number of exhibitions I have this year.

3 things that scare me
1. Spiders
2. Heights
3. Country Music

3 people who make me laugh

1. Paul Merton
2. All my children, but William in particular
3. Myself

3 things I love

1. Sunny mornings
2. Listening to music..preferably a new Cd by a favourite band!
3. Trees ..Maples,Oaks and Pines are my favourite.

3 things I hate

1. Dropping litter
2. Noisy eaters
3. Country music

3 things I don't understand

1. Why I'm suddenly 45 years old when 2 weeks ago I was 18!
2. Car mechanics
3. People who like country music

3 things on my desk

1. A banana skin
2. A photograph of my two boys from about 7 years ago
3. A 'Megadeth' CD

3 things I'm doing right now

1. Finishing my lunch break
2. Working on my latest picture
3. Remembering to pick Annie up from school.

3 things I want to do before I die

1. Write a novel
2. Drive an 'EType' Jaguar (it's a man thing!)
3. Own a 'Fender Stratocaster'or 'Gibson Les Paul'(in black) guitar.

3 things I can do

1. Knit/ use a sewing machine
2. Swim a long way underwater without breathing
3. A wide range of accents and silly voices.

3 Things you should never listen to

1. Someone who says "you can't do it"
2. An electric sander without earplugs
3. Country music

3 things I'd like to learn

1. To play the Cello/ piano
2. Speak a different language
3. How to play the perfect guitar lead break..

3 favourite foods

1. Anything Greek
2. Fish
3. Puttu-Kadala (apparently!) LOL!

3 people I'd like to tag

1. Tim (my Brother)
2. Henrik (Swedish photographer extraordnaire)
3. Devilmood (Porto's finest super-heroine)

Now I've done that I need to get back to work.!

Sunday, March 04, 2007 Artist's life is sometimes dull.

I've not done enough to warrant a post showing my picture today. We went off to IKEA to buy a few things, then I bought a new pair of trainers.

This evening we went to a premier of a TV serial called 'Sparks' which Jan appeared in for the first few minutes. It was good to meet the director and writer and see Jan up on the big screen. The makers now have to sell it to the TV companies.

Tune in tomorrow and see how my picture is coming on!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Corn 4

Friday, March 02, 2007

Corn 3

I love it when people question my reasons for doing what I do..I suppose deep down I have a need to prove myself and thus when somebody seems unable to grasp the concept of Hyperpointillism, it pushes me on to greater intensity and representation. I spent most of today working on the trousers to the right of the picture. If you will believe me..each and every dot is placed in its position ! It's still early and I have more time to work this evening...see you tomorrow!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Corn 2

I must say, I really get a big thrill out of adding to a picture like's as if I've thrown a pebble into a pond and the ripples are spreading out .
Ran my last art session at school today. We managed to complete the tree boards we started all those weeks ago. I'll post some snaps for you to see another time. Right now I'm feeling a little sad. When I left, no one said thank you or goodbye. I felt a little miffed.Still I suppose it could be because I'm going back after Easter to do some 'PPA Time' which means I'll be teaching a whole class on two afternoon a week. This is to enable the permanent teacher to get prep work, paper work and study time out of class. I'll have my hands full I think. I shall imagine myself as the artistic version of Jack Black in 'School Of Rock'!!!........"Let's Paint!"...however doesn't have the same ring as "Let's Rock!"...