Saturday, February 27, 2010

A closer look - Quintadagio.

As promised, here are the principle characters in better resolution.For once I'm not feeling anxious about what to do next as I already have three very solid ideas, two of which are very complex black and white compositions. The third, which I will begin on Monday, is a colour picture which will be less complex and is smaller in size than recent pieces...AND it's not a 'nice tree' picture. You can (hopefully) see the beginning on Monday. It will give me time to make sure I have sketches well advanced for the next big piece.
In the mean time, I wish you all safety and peace from the various earthquakes, tsunami's, snow and storms we seem to experiencing.........bye for now!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quintadagio - Finished.

By Niall Young.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quintadagio - 75

I've not finished.In fact the reaction from me today is to turn my back on my work and go get a proper job.Underneath this 'Vulcanesque' exterior I'm a seething mass of anger. To spare you the details, I received an email that informed me that the Artists Residency I'd been offered for a few months this year have been dropped. I've not yet been given a reason, but I'm bitterly disappointed as it was the biggest break I've had so far...I guess the break will have to wait.

Above is the Starman...he now has completed buttons...I use the astrological symbol for 'Earth'...a cross within a circle. He is the earthbound selfish man who believes the universe centres around himself.
Here is the completed fox signature remains with pencil outline still in place...after all, this is still unfinished.You're going to have to wait till tomorrow for that.
PS..You know I won't turn my back on my work really. but there is a chance a large amount of alcohol may be drunk in the near future!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quintadagio - 74 - A trick of the tail...

Moving quickly towards the end now!...As you know, the final act in any of my compositions is to rub out the pencil outlining my signature...Apart from refining the grass areas, the foxes tail will be the final area of concentration tomorrow...then all being well you'll see the finished picture!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quintadagio - 73

Moving on with the final few days of work create the grassy effect I lay down a fairly random succession of dark vertical stripes which interlink.
I completely cover the area with the 'stripes' making sure not to obliterate the legs of the stool.

I then increase the density of dots in between the grassy stripes..the effect is pleasing enough, but not naturalistic...I usually have grass like this in my serves to cover up any feet which I'm not very proficient at drawing!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Quintadagio - 72's your self hating artist friend here. You might remember I wrote a couple of days ago about an incident at my Junior know, the one where I stood on a chair and did my gorilla impersonation to the whole class....and you might also recall that I wrote about being in touch with with four people whom I shared my first day at school with back in 1967?....well one of those lovely people Denise, actually wrote to me telling me she remembered me doing my gorilla impersonation!!!!!!I had over estimated my age as it was our first year in Junior education, that would make me around 7 years old!
That incident had been one of THE influential events and memories of my school days and because it was so long ago, I had begun to wonder if perhaps I'd imagined wonderful to have a witness!?
Today I pressed on with the grass ...progress is good and despite my original claim that I'd finish last week (school holidays put paid to that idea!), I still think I'm very close to the end this week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I have been awarded!

I been given an award! Julie kindly bestowed upon me the honourable title of Beautiful Blogger!If you've not visited Julie's blog ,then go here.

My job now is to pass this award onto three other bloggers I consider worthy of it.(I could name many more than the three here, but rules is rules!) So my awards got to:
3. Paulo Mendez' 'Postalguarelas'
Now the next job is to inform them!.....
Now for the next bit:
state three things about yourself.
1. I'm entranced by the French can can.
2.I have seen almost every episode of Doctor Who since 1963.(not on DVD but as they aired!)
3.I really do not like myself.

q1 where were you 3 years ago?
I was one year into my dream of being a full time artist!

q2what is on your to do list today?
Sort the dishwasher on some sketches of ideas I've Winter Olympics on TV

q3what 3 snacks do you enjoy?
Fresh fruit....cheese sandwich....toast

q4what 3 places have you lived?
Derby....Derby and err....Derby!

q5 what 3 things would you do if you were a billionaire?

Apart from investing for my family...I would create a funding trust to provide support for artists and developing projects artists...I'd donate to medical charities and I'd open my own Club/Gallery for Burlesque shows,dance, exhibitions and eating!

So there you go...thank you Julie, I enjoyed that. some day soon Iwill finish the 40 point task Preeti set me a few weeks ago (No I haven't forgot it Preeti...but it's a big task!)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Quintadagio - 71

My life as an artist is full of contradictions.I actually think we all have this in common, but it's often the case that we feel we're the only one. I mentioned that I use humour and knowledge as a disguise. Knowledge is easy, i love accumulating useless facts...try playing me at Trivial Pursuits ! For humour however, I have learned at an early age that people view you differently if you can make them laugh.
One day whilst sitting at my school desk I must have been about 9 years old in Miss Parr's class. I was making silly noises much to the amusement of classmates at my table, and launched into an impersonation of a gorilla. Miss Parr heard this and in an attempt to shame me said "would you like to come out in front of the class and share what you've just been doing?"...Much to my amazement, I said "Yes miss"...I stood on a chair at the front of the class and did my gorilla impersonation to the best of my ability. All eyes in the class were upon me and when they all laughed, it was like an electric shock...I felt alive was such a buzz.
I've never felt a need to become a stand up comedian...but tell a few jokes, make a few silly noises and sing a daft song, you become a different person...and this is easy to hide behind!..the contradiction is that i long for people to know the real artwork is a sort of roundabout way of revealing what is hidden.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Quintadagio - 70

I thought I might show you as has become tradition towards the end of a project a few close ups which give you some idea of the scale I'm working to. This is a large picture compared to previous fact it's a big as 'Jigsaw'.I've currently notched up around 220 hours with probably around 20 more to go..
I'm enjoying the coming together of the various areas of the's great seeing what I envisaged all those weeks ago come into being.It was back on 6Th October that I began this, and it's been a very prominent part of my day to day ever since.As readers of this blog will know, I'm always full of ideas and there are always one or two rough sketches for possible new pieces on the go. The is no exception now...I've had some recurring ideas for a few days now for two projects...of course if I'm to follow the current trend for lengthy complicated works, I have to think carefully before I commit to three of four months on one piece!

Of course at this stage my mind is concentrating on finishing this picture...I have no idea weather colour of black and white will work for my new ideas....all I know is that I have enough 'pretty tree ' pictures under my belt so I shall very likely be returning to my cast of characters for inspiration. That is unless one of my helpful muses steps out of the shadow and hits me with her hand bag of inspiration once again! and sends me off on something unthought of.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Quintadagio - 69

There is an event which happened to me when I was very young which has affected me ever since...well actually there were lots of 'events' which have gone into producing the man that sits here writing this. but the one thing that I'm thinking of just now is this. I must have been about 9 or 10 , and my Father worked for a company in Derby...the works would hold a Christmas party each year for employees children. My father took my brother Tim and I to one of these. We were slightly late, and there was a whole room of screaming children sat on chairs in lines facing a projector screen awaiting a showing of a 'Tom and Jerry' cartoon.
There were only two seats in the middle of a brother pushed past to sit down, but I didn't want to...I knew my Dad was going off for the afternoon leaving us at the party. I cried and protested but it was no good...I was lifted bodily and placed on the chair...I screamed wanting to be taken home, everyone stared at me...some laughed.... But my Dad had gone already. I did settle soon after, and from what I remember of the afternoon, I quite enjoyed myself. but there after, I have always reacted badly within myself to being forced into a position where I'm amongst strangers.
I have for years suffered from shyness and poor self esteem. I often feel that I'm intruding when I meet other people, and I often feel that they assume I'm not wanted.....I often feel as if I need to escape.I feel that this often accounts for the surprised looks of consternation I build into my's the feeling of discomfort I often have with my own self. But I have learned to cope in many ways...I use humour and knowledge as a disguise.
I think if we look deeply into ourselves, we are full of hang ups and confidence issues...that fact is we all have things within ourselves (known or unknown) that affect or hinder our conduct in the world. What helps us deal with those things is an honesty and insight into them.
I am trying to be open on these pages, I apologise if what I write makes you uncomfortable...I'm not fishing for sympathy. But what I'd like to share by doing this is in my original remit for writing this blog. I aim to share not only my work, but the person and the influences that have gone into producing it.
PS. The skull has a red clown's nose!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quintadagio - 68

The fourth and final garter is sporting a skull grinning back. I may add a red nose to it. This symbolises the final joke for the artist, because often it's only after one dies that any recognition is achieved.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quintadagio - 67

I love it when people ask me where my ideas for my work come from.Yesterday Jeanette very kindly said in the comments section that my ideas come from a "Wondrous place". Virtually all my inspiration (at least for my more surreal works) comes from my experiences and memories of my life.Significant events and people. I my mind, characters, events..feelings sit like chocolates in a box which is at the bottom of the sea. I like to gaze into the sea and hear the waves....I love to listen to music and I find that from time to time..certain 'chocolates' from the box float towards the surface...or near the surface...sometimes I 'dive' and look for a particular sweetie. Incidentally, I hope you don't mind me writing in metaphores like this...I find it easier to think in terms of images as opposed to words..this is something Jan cannot understand..I wonder, is it common ? Do you think in words or pictures?

I also find it amusing when (as happened not long ago whilst chatting to one of my son's friends) I'm asked if I 'do' drugs.I hereby state categorically here and now, that i have never used cannabis,speed ,LSD, Ecstasy or magic mushrooms or any other 'drug other than caffeine and alcohol. I used to smoke cigarettes for a few years but gave up as it is an irrationally stupid thing to do to your body and finances, and I do enjoy alcohol...sometimes in large amounts!!But I deplore the use of illegal substances having known around 7 people die as a result of heroin use, and others suffer irreversible mental health problems deriving from cannabis use. My mind is a freaky place sometimes and goodness only knows what hallucinogenics would do to it...i do not need that kind of rubbish in my life when I'm able to create the kind of works I already do!!..there is so much wrong with society because of the drug market causing crime , fear, pain and ill health.

Anyway, (going back to my original theme) I think it's true to say that amongst these chocolates are probably more staple and essential components.These might be characters and objects...there are various 'tastes' which predominate and are more prominent. But there are undertastes..complementary slights which add to the overall imame.Sometimes the 'meal' might be a heavy protein rich dish, of it might be a little snack....

Contained in my work are very personal and private aspects of my experience. Often given in symbolic code, I find it awkward to explain , but in a compelling sense, something that excites me to pin my most intimate memories on a wall for the public to see but not necessarily understand.Despite the fact that my more erotic and fetishistic pictures are popular, they also draw some derision from some observers who probably have me written off as just another dirty old man with a panty fetish. There are very real reasons and events in my life why I have particular preoccupations with things, and I am forever in search of the reasons and the events in my life that prompt such things. I use these things as a visual vocabulary of statement and musings. A little like composing a poem where the sound of a word is as more important to the overall meaning of the poem as the dictionary definition of that word.But each fascination has a back story...not always good and wholesome.I am after all a mixture of the the things that have happened to me.

I often hesitate to discus in public these things as I've lived in a world where ridicule and prejudice cloud and devalue a person's makeup if they are in anyway different to 'the Norm' whatever the hell that is!!, but if you want me to, I'll can be coaxed into being a little more unguarded..if not, I'll understand.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Quintadagio - 66 The order of the garter.

So you think you're familiar with my work?...he's a fun little task. If you've been following my artwork over the past few years, you'll know that I like to use certain symbols which i like to incorporate into my pictures. The girls in 'Quintadagio' are all wearing garters, each garter has a small motif. Below you'll see each one. Your mission (should you chose to accept it) is to guess what the garter of the fourth girl will have as it's motif.

The Black Widow

The Bumble Bee

The Butterfly

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Quintadagio - 65

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A sobering view's me! I love this photograph. there's a little story as to why I'm dressed in pink. Actually, I'm not dressed in pink...the photo is black and white, and as was the fashion of the time, the photographer would hand tint the images. My Mum and Dad were so proud of me being their first child, they had this photo taken...they had this one and a couple of smaller ones. however, when the pictures were returned to them, they discovered that the photographer had thought that I was a girl...hence the cute shade of pink I am seen wearing here.My parents had very little money and could not afford another there I stayed...they didn't mind...and neither did I. In fact..history tells us that gender specific colours are mainly a product of the 20th century..originally pink was a boy's colour....for the full article go here

I chose to contemplate this image after a drunken session on Facebook last night.I was having a conversation with Denise, Cathryn,Janet and Richard. We were all classmates on our first day at infant school.....this would be way back in 1966 I think. and it was Richard who I actually sat next to on my first day at school.How lovely that we should all be in contact all this time later.

It's a sobering thing to look deep into the eyes of the six month old far I've dreams and failures and disappointments.Here I am, and I am the sum of everything that has happened to me...why don't you search out a photo of yourself as a baby...look into your own eyes and see what your heart whispers...what would you say...?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quintadagio - 64

How ironic that since I spoke about the increased work time I've had this week, today saw me out and about being busy.Firstly I had to take my daughter to school, then take my eldest son to the dentists...which is 20 miles away..then I had to be back home to receive a hire car organised by the insurers of the car that crashed into ours earlier in the year.Then I had to be ready for the garage to pick up our stricken car for repairs...then I had to pick Annie up..etc. so I actually only spent around an hour working.
I've just worked on the grassy area beneath the fox. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quintadagio - 63

Here you can see the remaining areas awaiting my attention...this week I've managed to return to near normal working hours at last..although averaging around 4 hours per day is below what I aim at, it's good to spend some prolonged sessions working....and in doing so I've seen the picture grow much quicker (obvious statement I know!). I'm looking forward to finishing this one now!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quintadagio - 62

Well...I think this one is shaping up quite nicely is conceivably possible that I could be spending only another week and on this before it could be finished. the only possible spanner in the works is the looming prospect of it being school's half term holidays next week. I'm in no hurry now....

Have begun some tentative ideas for a new work...not sure at all yet...very early stages..more soon!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Quintadagio - 61

To add a little entertainment to my working day, I've been changing my profile picture and status updates on Facebook initially to match my mood, but as with many things, I seem to have taken a bit of a sideways journey which has now become an adventure. I originally assumed the guise of various comedians and added my status updates in the style of their act.However now, I am pretending that I have come into possession of a machine with which I hope to be able to transform myself back into 'me'...on the way I've been characters from British soap 'Eastenders' stars including Christopher Lee, Lon Chaney and currently Corporal Klinger from TV series MASH.

(Here's an interesting and honest bit!) I don't know about you, but I'm pretty fed up with myself ( don't tell me, you're pretty fed up with me too!)...I'm dissatisfied with who I am...or perhaps more exactly, what I look like. The ravages of time have exacted cruel battle upon me I think....I cringe when I look back at the fresh faced youngster I used to be. Now I don't want to return to who I was then, but hey!..don't we all want to lose a little weight ( I've lost 7lbs since New Year so far!!)..I used to have shoulder length curly Brown hair...three kids and a few bereavements later I've got very little hair, and what's left is well and truly grey.
But I am stuck with who I am...perhaps that's why as artists and authors, we seek to vicariously live out our dreams by way of our characters and stories, plotlines and compositions?What do you think?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Quintadagio - 60

Work resumes again..progress is made.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Paul Delvaux...Surrealizing the Nude'

Chrysis (1967)
Pompei (1970)

I've written of my love of the paintings by Paul Delvaux before, but recently I've been reading a book Jan gave me for Christmas. 'Surrealizing the Nude' looks at and examines the link between Delvaux's work , the classic painters and modernists in context of 'history painting' and 'surrealism' . I give my gratitude to a fellow Belgium blogger (where are you Claudine?) for bringing to my attention this often overlooked painter....and the similarities in inspiration and execution of subject theory between his and my work is quite interesting. Whilst Delvaux is in a league far outreaching any if all my ambitions, his repeated use of fetishistic objects and figures is in common with my own.
Anyone who takes the time to study the work of Delvaux will quickly notice that his paintings, although in many respects are 'naturalistic' actually employ aspects of history, memory, experience and expectation...weaved together with dreamlike incongruity, they point and lead the viewer into an experience of privileged voyeurism and trust. weather male or female, the viewer can appreciate desire and longing whilst making links between literary figures , historical events and places.
I like the above pictures because they cause in me a response towards reverie and desire...there are elements of history. present and the future...whilst nodding towards classical views of the nude, they include (if you look) certain instances of improbability and impossibility.
Wordy bit over...back to Cello Girls tomorrow.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Quintadagio - 59

Although not really a work day as such, I spent some time working on little details. Seeing their image cropped to this size gives you an idea of the overall texture of the work...just used your imagination a little and multiply by five, and you might have some idea of the finished piece.

Today I went in search of some new reading matter. I'm not a very fast reader, but I am a voracious reader. I've read a wide variety of writings, but I usually these days settle on stories that are about humanity and relationships..the tangled web of living...deep questions about life love and death. I count it a success if a book makes me cry or laugh...or hopefully both. But having finished my latest book I was stuck for what to read next. I asked on my Facebook page for suggestions. I was surprised to find myself considering two particular authors I previously had no knowledge or interest in. They were Anthony Trollope and P.G.Wodehouse. So having been into town to visit the charity bookshops, and the other main books shops, I came back with what I understand is the first 'collection of 'Jeeves' stories by Wodehouse. Surprisingly I couldn't find any Anthony Trollope, but will take advice from a fellow pointillist Christine Farmer who made the suggestion, then I'll be off to Amazon where there are loads of copies available.

If you have any suggestions of authors or books I would find satisfying, please drop me a line!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Quintadagio - 58

Progress from today's session...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Quintadagio - 57

Jeanette asked commenting on my post yesterday concerning weather I plan what I'm doing, or do I work it out as I go. Well, the honest answer is a mixture of the two. In the first instance, I wanted to return to the theme of 'The Cello Girl'. I'd just finished reading a book by Vikram Seth called 'An Equal Music' which dealt with a quintet of musicians. I wanted to feature my Starman character again so after some work in my sketchbook, I settled on the four cello girls and Starman arrangement you see here.
The lengthy process I go through in producing my work leaves plenty of time to contemplate developments to the composition. I had originally planned on a tree lined background, but by accident made the link between the quintet and the locomotive featured in the background which is called a 'Black 5'. I decided to base the background long after the figures had been in development....and as for the foxes and other animals, they were decided on only a few weeks ago.
As you can see, I have many recurring themes in my work, all are symbolic and have resonances or fetishistic significance....I find it incredibly satisfying to be able to call upon a wide range of components for my pictures almost like a casting director assembles the cast for a play by a repertory company.
As time goes by, different things assume varying degrees of significance to me, and so some items drop out of usage whilst others appear and reappear. So in once sense, each composition is meticulously planned and executed, but because of the timescale involved, a certain fluidity is achievable as change can be considered or developments made as I go. I hope this answers your question Jeanette?
If anyone else wants to know about any aspect of my work, please do not hesitate to ask !

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quintadagio - 57

My little riddle is taking shape now...please excuse the varying tones of the drawing...I really must endeavour to photograph it during daylight! You can see I've joined the top right hand corner with the bottom right hand's always a bit like completing the edges of a jigsaw...for me it's almost like linking up the components of a electrical circuit thus enabling the current to flow...For me however I can see the finished composition in my minds eye and I love the atmosphere it's transmitting.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Quintadagio - 56

We've now got a new PC, and today was the day to get it up and running. Thankfully it was not my brother in law offered his hugely more experienced abilities to set everything up including networking all the machines in our house so now everything works Wirelessly. the upshot of this meant that I stayed well and truly out of the way all day and got lots of work done! Pencil work aplenty and other's the close up of some of the work done today.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Quintadagio - 55

Spent today working on the crow and the badger and touching up the contrast on the fox far right...I should be able to work on the final part of the train and then the girls soon. I have looked at incorporating a hedgehog, but so far I'm undecided. But there will come a stage where things progress quickly.