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July 31, 2004

Radio Tenby

Thank you to the Tenby Crew for reminding me of the eighth law of painting:

No.8 Never paint anything with a tartan bow round its neck.

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July 30, 2004

The laws of painting, one to six

No.1 The second mark is always harder than the first.
No.2 The first mark is pretty tough.
No.3 Leave the painting for several months hidden in the racks
No.4 Burnt Umber will seriously affect your brushes
No.5 Donít let any Flake White get into the Alizarin Crimson
No.6 If it ainít working, donít give up, make it work or paint it out.

[nos. 8 to 30 will follow when I've worked out what the hell they are anyway]

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July 29, 2004

what what what?

But what, they cry, from the far eastern steppes of Kamchatka; pray tell us, they call, from as far west as Tenby; what are the laws 1 Ė 6?

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July 28, 2004

The laws of painting.

No.7: When a painting isnít working it will get worse before it gets better.

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July 27, 2004

the big joke

Ha, ha, ha, oh how we laugh.

Some say we are just here to keep the DNA moving on. That we are just here to mix up the codes in some big experiment.

And to enable us to mix up the genes as much as possible the DNA has us programmed to find the nearly unobtainable unbearably attractive.

Well, ha ha ha!

Mind you one of the side effects of this cruel programming is the creation of Art, by sensitive people unable to stand the unbearable attractiveness of the almost unobtainable.

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July 23, 2004

Little things in a big universe

Little things are needed, every now and then, to make us feel important in some way.

Otherwise the mind numbing awareness of our insignificance, in the universe as a whole, is visited upon us in varying degrees of intensity.

[we can discuss the universe as a whole at a later date]

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July 21, 2004

A need of painting

A need to get my hands on it,
to get my hands dirty,
to be in amongst the muck,
painting or drawing

The me of me making the marks.

Not quietly sitting
making soft controlled lines
with a sharp pencil point or
fine wiped clean brush
with a carefully prescribed colour.

But using big brushes,
black charcoal and
fingers and hands
rubbing in the paint or charcoal.

Connecting with the media.

Nothing between me
and the paint
with freedom to feel

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July 15, 2004

Once is not enough

I schlapp on the under-paint, the lights and darks describing the form, then apply the first colours. It looks good. It's tempting to leave it like that, dynamic, vital, vigorous even. But itís flat, it has no life. The brush strokes may be alive but the figure isnít.

So I do it again, all over again, looking again, looking harder, seeing more.

[Though I paint wet-on-wet while painting, I wait for the paint to dry before each go, as I need to build up depth and layers too.]

The figure comes alive, but the brush strokes die.

So I do it again, looking again, finding the corners and the edges of the form where no corners or edges exist, and apply the paint to something I canít see but only feel.

Then, and only then, are both the figure and the brush strokes alive, only then does the painting work for me.

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July 13, 2004

pushing paint

Oh, people talk about the wonderful colour, they talk about the marvellous composition, the striking subject matter; but no one notices the consistency.

Probably because itís a temporary thing.

Consistency is what happens just before I apply the paint Ė just before I schloop the paint on, I should say. Because if I get the consistency right then the painting is a joy.

Too runny and all hell breaks loose further down the panel. Too stiff and it drags and screams like a young child who doesnít want to go to the party.

Get it right, get it hot-buttery, get it extra-double-creamy and itís Dinky toys all the way to the sandpit.

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July 09, 2004

How tightís the lid?

Itís all boiling away in here; bubbling and rumbling. And my lid doesnít fit very well. So itís forever spitting and spilling over and generally making a mess of the cooker.

Some say I should just take the lid off and have done.

And this makes sense, as anyone past O level physics will testify: the pressure would be released and things would stop spitting. Either that or turn the gas down.

But I have to face up to the fact that Iím not a pan on the gas.

Metaphor can only help you so far...

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July 02, 2004

Creation Ė the myth exposed

The nature of nothing
The sounds you canít hear
The space before the something
The empty space
The empty space full of feelings
[thoughts Ė intangible, unpalpable, unpalatable]

The realisation of the thought
The bringing forth of the idea
The idea is the nothing of it
The idea is the space
The idea is the empty page
The idea is the blank canvas

The idea stops as soon as any marks are put down
As soon as the nothing becomes something Ė what happens to the idea?

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Order of creativity

Aspirant creative
Closet creative
Trapped creative
Compromised creative
Establishment creative
Confident creative
Liberated creative





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