Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It was 25 years ago today...

25 years ago today, Jan and I got married. Today we headed back to the same hotel where we held our reception.The two photographs are taken almost exactly 25 years apart to the hour and in roughly the same place.
If you're a Facebook user, and want to see a few more wedding pics head on over to my site.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Jigsaw - 35

I've just about finished work on the key seen here.It's on one of those clips that we used to attach to our belt loops back in the 80's....which is when I bought it...I still keep my front door key on it with a couple of other keys, but for the purpose of this picture...I have only the key to my door!...You can also see the initial rough outline of a candle to my right.
Incidentally, I had an email the other day confirming that I have been chosen to exhibit as part of The Wirksworth Festival ,which I mentioned in last Thursday's post !!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wilbur and Boscastle.

Busy day...had to take a trip down to get my eyes tested today.I knew they had deteriorated since my last visit.So much so that I will now have to wear glasses for long sight too!! I've opted for 'Varifocals' so if you bump into me in Derby, I'll be the one with my arms out and walking like I'm trying to stamp on mice that keep running away.

Here's our lovely cat Wilbur...she was sitting on the windowsill trying to catch a moth that as just eluding her...I like the fact that she hadn't noticed she was standing next to a bird.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Jigsaw - 34

Well, obviously tonight we must extend our condolences towards the families and friends of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett who passed away today....will write more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jigsaw - 33

The lighting in this photo is not even, so you'll have to forgive the fact that the daylight has lightened the right of the picture. More work on the old jigsaw pieces today in between watching the tennis from Wimbledon. A few Weeks ago I applied to exhibit in the Wirksworth Festival, you might remember from the last two years (if you're one of my long time readers) that I've had two successful shows there. This year the committee that decides who to award exhibitions to, met last Saturday to make their selections....I still haven't heard anything yet. This is a prestigious event in the region's art calender and is the main event as far as I am concerned.Be sure you'll be amongst the first to know when I know!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jigsaw - 32

Two immediate things fought for my attention today...first on the list was my daughter's school sports day which bathed in gloriously hot sunshine was a joy to attend. The second was the first round match featuring Britain's Andy Murray at The All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon. Andy Murray is the current world's number 3 player and is the most hopeful chance we have to see a British men's champion since Fred Perry won it in 1937. As a tennis fan, it's as usual a roller coaster ride as we follow the fortunes of our favourite players.
I did manage some time on 'Jigsaw' as you can see...it's very labour intensive work at the moment with the temptation to ease up on the concentration...whilst the depth of concentration often slips a little when working on plane areas, I do try to keep in mind that if it's second class work, then if no one else sees it...I'll know it's there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Jigsaw - 31

It's a case of contrasts this week...I'm finding work hard at the moment.Without dwelling on negative things, the pressures of daily life take their priorities and require attention no matter how much I try to avoid them...

Here I'm showing that I've reached the widest limits of the picture.You can also see the pencil signature that I always add to my work in the bottom Left hand corner.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jigsaw - 30

Not done a great deal of work today, but I did do some....see if you can spot what it was...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jigsaw - 29

Thank you for the supportive comments yesterday...I'm afraid I do dip into the blues whenever I get knocked back...but that's me, I'm an emotional person and I feel things very deeply when ever they're to do with my work especially.I do take work seriously and give every bit of myself to it .Saying that, I spent much of the morning recovering from my self administered liquid therapy session last night!...to aid my recovery I watched the Jose Carrera film about Toulouse Lautrec : 'Moulin Rouge'.
I worked on the table and the sea gull's base today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jigsaw - 28

I was visited this morning by a very nice man who kindly went out of his way to see my artwork.I'm not sure what he thought of my work as he stayed for only a short while and didn't seem too interested. He did say that the gallery was booked up 12 months in advance and he also said that he didn't think I merited a solo exhibition but could probably be incorporated in a group showing. I'm not totally surprised really as my work is usually viewed as a bit of a gimmick or curiosity..not really serious art. This thought tends to haunt me most of the time and I do tend to ask myself if I'm not actually deluding myself thinking I can make a go of being an artist.
As you will know by now...I'm down today, but I should be back up tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jigsaw - 27

I'm quite enjoying working at the moment..I find these jigsaw pieces really challenging and that's what I like...a challenge. I've also been able to put in some good long hours yesterday and today which has given me the chance to get into a 'groove' as it were.....this is a rare luxury at the moment.

This evening I had a telephone call from the owner of a local gallery .He's very interested in seeing my work with the prospect of an exhibition early next year. He is visiting me tomorrow morning to view my work....I'll let you know how I get on tomorrow!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jigsaw - 26

Work has now progressed to the edge ...I'm constantly altering the darkness in between the jigsaw pieces. Worked a solid 7 hours dotting today!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Jigsaw - 25

The jigsaw...I spoke a little about it's metaphorical meaning the other day, but there's one thing more which isn't apparent from the picture. The actual jigsaw pieces are from one we bought one Christmas...we buy one every year..it's a tradition. But this one depicts a map of the British Isles...my home.The place where my life began and is....I think I spoke of wishing I could throw the jigsaw into the air and have it come down already assembled....I always thought that life would be easier and would make sense...but I guess if (using another metaphor) life were a piece of 'Flat-Pack' furniture , it would carry the notice ...needs some assembly.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jigsaw - 24

Another day on the jigsaw pieces..not much more to say .

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jigsaw - 23

Can you believe a days work has gone into these few jigsaw pieces?...well not a whole day, this morning I had a trip into town...recently I've bought a rather dapper summer Panama hat which is perfect for keeping the sun out of my eyes and protecting my progressively thinning scalp!...So I wanted to buy a linen jacket to complete the look ...I found exactly the thing I was looking for !...to make it even better, I bought it from a charity shop for very little money!...happy and dapper I am!...a proper English gent!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Jigsaw - 22

Why is it, that when you throw all your jigsaw pieces into the air, they don't land ready- assembled?...wouldn't it be good if they did?...but what would be the point?....it would be a waste of time buying the jigsaw in the first place....and you'd be deprived of those times when you sit down to 'do the sky' and someone joins in... a time of sharing and laughter...concentration and achievement.Then when you find one piece is missing, you turn the house upside down until you find it..

'doing ' a jigsaw means one usually starts with the edges...the boundaries...once established, the bits in between are added...there are always some parts that are easier because they have some distinguishing feature ...but then there are the boring bits...the sky..the sea...the baked beans...(remember that one?)

A jigsaw can be a few pieces or thousands (I had a 5000 piece one)..but only time, commitment and hopefully the help of others makes it much more than putting a picture together...

...the thing is, I think a jigsaw is a metaphor....what do you think?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Jigsaw - 21

Don't worry folks...I'm still working. My time is dependent on many things at the moment...Jan is working regular hours which means I am doing all of the school runs and cooking and to be honest, once the weekend arrived, I just wanted a rest. It was also time to celebrate my eldest son Sam's seventeenth birthday!

Today I worked on Boscastle the Seagull and progressed to what's on the table...but more of that tomorrow.I'm also purposefully leaving the cards till a later date , mainly because they carry a particular message which I don't want to reveal just yet!. But I can tell you that they will have their faces towards you the viewer...!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Jigsaw - 20

I've been working on 'Boscastle' the Seagull today, but the above photo doesn't show the work very well. So below I've included this close up view which gives you a better idea of the colours involved.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Jigsaw - 19

I seem to have spent the majority of the last couple of weeks completing the jacket here...now you can see I'm nearly finished.I keep adding in deeper shades and touches of red....I'm sure there's more to do on it especially when I put the background in and see what the contrast is like.

Now I'm going to start on the Seagull, which due to its lighter colour should be fairly quick to do.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

In Memory.

In memory of those who were murdered by the 'People's Army of China '
Tiannanmen Square Massacre 4th June 1989.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Jigsaw - 18

Isn't nature an incredibly suprising thing.As I write this, I'm also listening in on a television programme called 'Spring Watch'..The live programme shows updates on nesting birds,,how the chicks are fairing...and other species like Foxes, Squirrels,Stotes....anything wild really and it's a great programme to learn about the wilder side of the English countryside.
My Father was a member of the British Ornithological Society and through him I learned about birds and something about the ways of nature. I find it odd when chatting to people that they don't know even the most basic things about the life that surrounds them.I like to sit outside in the evening here and catch glimpses of the Swifts, migratory birds which always return to the same nest to lay their eggs an hatch their chicks...then at the end of the summer,they fly back to North Africa till next year. I like to watch the bats catching moths...there are foxes.....and there are the cats....and its the cats, or more specifically my cat that brought home the poignancy and brutality of nature to me today.
A year ago we welcomed two Manx breed kittens to live with us ...one of them (Tremble) was sadly run over and killed last Autumn.But Wilba has grown and is still alive, although it takes around 5 years for a Manx cat to reach adulthood, she recently became pregnant. We always intended to let her have one litter,keep one of the kittens then have her neutered. I knew she was due to give birth any day now as her girth increased and she waddled around the house.
This afternoon my eldest son Sam called me into his room to look at wilba as she was acting strangely.She was under his bed...as I crawled underneath I could see the unmistakable fluffy shape of a kitten...the same pattern as it's mum and no tail...but on closer inspection I was sad to see the kitten was not alive....Wilba was licking away frantically but there was nothing else I could do.The most shocking but logical thing I then witnessed was Wilba started to eat the kitten.Logical in that she had carried this kitten for so long and used up the energy giving birth, the only thing left was to recycle and regain some of the spent energy. I couldn't let her devour the little kitten entirely so took it from her...but I was shocked all the same.
Horrific I know, but amazing how instinct guided poor little Wilba...Incidentally, she is fine now about 5 hours after the event.She only had the one birth.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Jigsaw - 17

Annie was off today as there was teacher training at her school.So I've not been able to spend very much of my time working on Jigsaw.As per last week, I'm now working on the left sleeve in exactly the same way as the right one.you can see the blue which has already been applied trailing down over my shoulder.

This evening we went with a few friends to our local arts centre to see a Norwegian film called O.Horten. A beautiful , gentle life affirming movie with moments of bitter sweet beauty and surreal humour.Almost as good was the walk back home through the city which appeared almost deserted on what has been the hottest day of the year..