Frame 18 - Burst before bed

Burst before bed
Originally uploaded by No end insight

Its such a perfect day. Spent with my daughter - rounded off by a terrific sunset


Frame 17 - Letter to Obama

Dear Sir,

I never thought I would find myself driven to write to the President of the USA. However, as a British subject and hopefully a right minded individual, I feel it my duty as part of mankind to do so.

I do hope you take the time to read what I have to say, if indeed it makes it as far as yourself and that you will indulge me in what, at times may seem like the ramblings of a fanatic. For, I am not a fanatic - just a normal person of reasonable intelligence who is proud of the fact that he can use the brain he was born with, can listen impartially to both sides of a story, weigh up the evidence and then decide on the truth. That's something I would like to think someone such as yourself, coming from a legal background, would appreciate.

I want to talk about 2 things:

The 9/11 attacks and the world oil situation.

Please don't switch off just yet - you just may not have heard it all before.

I am not a conspiracy theorist. Rather I prefer to examine the facts regarding 9/11. I won't go into all the "what's, how's and why's" but would rather direct you to the excellent site http://www.ae911truth.org. If, like me, you place your faith in a large body of Engineers and Architects with no axe to grind and no motivation for any gain, watch their video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b74naeawdCs) parts 1-13. In a scientific and methodical manner they illustrate the inaccuracies in the official report on the New York incident without pointing the finger elsewhere. They simply want a proper reinvestigation of the events that actually addresses the collapse of the buildings, something the NIST report actually falls short of. As I said. I am not a conspiracy theorist. I do not know who brought down those buildings. However I do not think the question of how the buildings were brought down has been properly answered and until it is, we will not be able to look for those responsible. I believe there should be a proper, full and impartial investigation immediately. Why do I, a British subject make this request? Because, the collapse of those buildings led directly to the Gulf War and that is something which affects every person on this planet.

Now, I am not going to get drawn into arguments over oil. What I would like to draw your attention to is the Logarithmic scale, an often misunderstood piece of arithmetic. Please watch the video (http://www.new.facebook.com/ext/share.php?sid=111065684833&h=V_9UE&u=ck61N&ref=nf) parts 1-8. Oil production passed its peak in the USA - in 1970. Oil production is reaching its peak worldwide, now There is less oil to be found now than has been used since the industrialised world began. That that there is to find will be harder and more expensive to retrieve. These are all undisputed facts from what I can see. What is more interesting are the forecasts for the time this resource will last. Many reports cite expected time based on current usage. But there is a growth in usage and a growth in population who are reliant on that resource. Growth, in most instances is a good thing. But beware, as the video illustrates, even a modest growth rate of 7% per annum can mean a doubling rate of only 10 years. Put simply, if the world is predicting a growth rate of energy usage of 7% per annum then in 10 years time we will be expecting to use twice as much energy as today. And that is at a time when oil stock are dwindling and getting harder and more expensive to find. Add to this the population increase over the same period and you see the problem is magnified. Its simple mathematics. Growth in this instance is a bad thing.

Now, could I put 2 and 2 together and get 4?

If someone wanted to serve what they believed to be the best interests of their country and its people by securing a valuable resource needed to drive its economy for as long as possible, then they would need a pretty good reason to have a presence in the Middle East where the reaming stocks of that resource are, to stay close at hand and perhaps guard it. But you can't just march into another country and brazenly make camp. You need a reason. A reason that was not only justified but accepted by the masses. The masses would need to be in fear of something, a loss of liberty, a loss of life. As, when the masses are in fear, they are easier to control. Fear is a great motivator.

It would take one hell of a great big reason to produce all those reactions and the desired result - don't you think?

I hope you do read this. I shall be posting it wherever I can on the internet. I hope you do take the time to watch those videos. I hope you do make up you own mind. But most of all, i hope you do the right thing, for the right reasons, not only for the people you serve but for all humanity. Because, I believe, like many others, that you are an honest man of integrity.

Yours Faithfully

Larry Poulton


Frame 16 - I surrender.

Last night I went to see a conversation between Brian Eno and Jon Hassel at the Southbank - London. It was part of the Ether festival. I am a great admirer of Eno and this was the first time I had seen Eno in the flesh. The show was a continuation of a dialogue that both had had over the pat years. The content was varied mainly unscripted. Now to the point of this blog. Surrender. Eno postulated that surrender in its non passive form was experienced in four aspects of life; Sex, Drugs, Religion and Art. It is here that we feel able to let go, drop pretence and wander emotionally and spiritually and perhaps even intellectually. This in the context of art resonated with me deeply. More so as it is something that I have been battling with over the past few months as I try to establish my painting style. This, coupled with a similar discourse on "Understanding what it is that I like", an attempt to identify what we like and hence may be best at, led to a mini epiphany. I have been toying with ideas for paintings and books. Its been a constructive time. Many ideas have been dead ends. But as Eno states, its the dead ends, the failures which steer you inexorably towards the good stuff. We should not be afraid of failure, we should welcome it and use its lessons wisely. And so it was that all I had been struggling with, all that I had failed at, all that I surrendered to, became clear. I was/am on the right track. I awoke this morning and decided to restart a painting I was some way into. It was not right. It was a failure. I have repainted it now and I feel confident it has a better chance of turning out the way I envisaged it.

Above is a chance shot one evening under Waterloo Bridge in London. I think she was waiting for someone - a lover perhaps. Anyway, the way the light outlined her form captivated me.


Frame 15. Mr Statter - my art teacher

Mr Statter - Art teacher
Originally uploaded by No end insight

As we wend our way thru life we glance against other people. Occasionally we join their orbit for a while and their direction affects ours - sometimes many years later. Mr Statter is such a man. He was my art teacher at secondary school. This photo was taken somewhere between 1979 and 1981 when I was 17 or 18. As a child I was troubled - tho I didn't really know it and certainly didn't understand it. I mucked about a lot. It was all a mask.....tho I did do and say plenty of rather funny things. My home and family life wasn't great - not as bad as some, but not ideal either. So, maybe I sought refuge at school, to get away from home. Art was an oasis of calm, creativity and understanding. That was my home. Mr Statter taught me for 7 years and encouraged me throughout. Although I did well enough to get an A Level grade C, I could have got a grade A if I had tried harder. I could and indeed should have gone to art college - something Mr Statter and I regretted for many many years. For, after 28 years I found and dropped in on Mr Statter or David as I can now call him, only yesterday. I found him via the internet. For some time I had wondered if he had ever wondered about what happened to all those children he taught. For some reason I thought I owed him the debt of knowing that I had, eventually after 28 years, decided to be an artist.

Would he remember or even care about me?

Yes and yes. He remembered me as he opened the door and invited me in immediately. We chatted for 2hrs, caught up on 28 years, looked at each others work and drank tea - well this is England you know! But what really struck me was him saying that I was one of the most gifted students he had ever taught in his 18 years of teaching art. I was flabbergasted. I had never expected to hear that and wasn't prepared for it. I felt awkward and honoured all at the same time. Over the last 24hrs it has sunk in and now I feel more determined than ever to make it as an artist.

He was so happy that I was creating again and urged me not to stop.

My debt was paid but as is sometimes the way, I had got a greater gift than that I had intended to give: the knowledge that someone did care and still does.......


Frame 14. "What's on TV?"

It's been a while since I blogged. Not that I have grown bored with blogging, I have just been plain busy....which is great. Not much photography but I have been printing like crazy from my new Epson R2880 in preparation for a stall I am going to open in the illustrious Greenwich market in the next couple of weeks. But my recent flurry of labour was finishing a second painting - seen here. Again, it is from a WW2 photo and again, I added my little twist. Painting is very satisfying. I had forgotten the joy it could arouse. I have a third and maybe forth painting in this series to paint and that will start this week. It's all systems go - it's bleedin' marvellous! So - more blogs to follow.......


Frame 13. "There's Someone Driving..."


There are many definitions but the one that interests me at the moment is driving as an ambition, a force, an urge to fulfil.

Today I am painting a new work of art. Yesterday I painted, the day before that, the same. The day before that, you guessed it, I painted. What is is that drives me?  Well, I have noted how my drive changes over the course of a painting. In the planning stage I am excited. When the painting is outlined on the canvas, my excitement rises a little. When painting starts proper, my excitement wanes as I start to see the enormity of the task and any pitfalls come to the fore.  I battle on and at some point the battle transforms into drive. I have a definite desire to complete the project, an almost unstoppable desire to see it through to completion. Thats the drive and it means I paint for days on end. Its tiring of course and I feel knackered but carry on regardless. Normally after 4-5 days I need to rest or I get burnt out. This drive is a strange feeling. I think of little else. 

Above is a photo taken in Eltham, SE London. All the ducks were swimming on the water as the Lemon Jellys sang. There was a film of green covering the surface of the moat and in the middle sat two ducks - perfect photo material.


Frame 12. "Do the job he left behind"

"Do the job he left behind"
Originally uploaded by No end insight

This is an acrylic painting I adapted from a WW2 photo. The ladies are left behind in war time to carry out the mens work. So as to remain faithful they start a new line in armaments...

I searched the web for rousing WW2 posters and slogans and found "Do the job he left behind". It seemed appropriate... I was fascinated by the many weird and wonderful WW2 photos I found whilst researching for a new book I intend to write. So much so that I have been diverted (in a very nice way) to paint some more of them. They will all have a subtle twist of my own invention. This got me to thinking about distraction. Sometimes I am angry with myself for not painting one day of not having photographed something for over a week or not having finished that book or made any new music. But what I have come to realise is that inspiration should be my guide. So what if I haven't photographed anything in over a week? I may next week. The important thing is to grasp the moment - Carpe Diem! I want to paint now - not next week. Next week it may be the reverse. I am fired up with enthusiasm about painting this week. I feel I need to let these creative urges follow their own course. I am a passenger on a journey of creativity - where we go, no one knows. And THAT is exciting!


Frame 11. Small Steps, Sure Steps...

Tate Modern
Originally uploaded by No end insight

Today I received my business cards. They are "ok". Next time I will go for the glossy option. I also received the custom t-shirt which was supposed to have one of my photos on it. Instead it had a photo of three unknown people. They looked happy enough but I was set on having my photo instead of theirs. Call me picky.

Anyway, armed with the business cards I set off to find fame and fortune - well, sort of. I visited a new trendy bar in Lewisham SE London called "Fused". They exhibit local artists work for a period of 4 weeks during which you have the option to sell it. Dave was the owner - nice chap. He liked my photos and offered to display mine. that was easy thought I. It rather took me by surprise as, even though I have my new mega printer, inks and very expensive paper, I have not got around to printing anything other than test prints so far. Events have overtaken me. Good thing really. It's the kick up the arse I need.

Next I went to a trendy cafe in East Dulwich, SE London that I discovered some weeks ago. The Blue Mountain Cafe has the space to display over 12 of my photos. The person in charge was impressed with my wares and I may have an opportunity to display there in May. Again, that was easy.

So the moral of the story is that, what I thought would be the hardest part of this artistic journey - finding places to exhibit, has in fact turned out to be easy...so far at least.

Above is a photo i took with my compact last week of the Tate Modern Gallery in London.


Frame 10. I Advance Masked.

Funny how things sometimes come together like pieces of a galactic jigsaw puzzle. And if this is a galactic jigsaw puzzle, how big is the box?!

For many years I denied I was an artist. The mere concept seemed to come at a price - the price was failure. But life was about to change all that. A divorce, redundancy and eventually having to sell my flat left me bereft of personal possessions. Without these chattels I had time to reflect. What was I afraid of? What was there to lose, that I hadn't already lost? More importantly, what was there to gain? Looking at it as a set of scales or an equation, on the minus side I could fail to "make it". On the plus side I would have tried, I would have no regrets, I would never say to myself "what if". And, I might even become successful! But above all this, I would be creating in the meantime - expressing myself and allowing others to see my work. So it was that the scales were tipped, the equation finalised and I decided "I am an Artist!" I tell myself that every day now. I am becoming what I believe I am. I move towards that place - become that person. I think like an artist, move like an artist (yes - you can move like an artist) and I visualise myself and the feelings I will have whilst being an artist. The concept is becoming a reality. It is inevitable. It is unstoppable. It is meant to be.

So, why the reference to "I advance masked" in the title? Well, firstly it is the title of an album by Robert Fripp & Andy Summers. I heartily recommend the album. Secondly, I like the analogy to my present situation. I feel I am advancing towards a state of free artistic expression but still slightly obscured from the world. I am about to unmask myself on an unsuspecting public...

Above is a photo of The London Eye I took some time ago. I consider myself lucky to live in London, but, like most Londoners, I rarely do the tourist things. But I have been on the Eye twice and it does give spectacular views across London and the home counties on a clear day.


Frame 9. Compensation

Yesterday I went to see the Bodyworks exhibition at the O2 in Greenwich, London. It was fascinating and I heartily recommend it to anyone interested in the mechanics of the human body. What was especially fascinating to me as an artist was the display about sight. The artist Monet had very bad eyesight in later life. Later, his vision was so bad that he could barely discern shapes. What became to be called Impressionism (at least as far as Monet was concerned) was literally an impression of what he saw. What really fascinated me was that, not only was his inability to see the subject he was painting, but also his inability to see the resultant painting. It was like a double whammy. The final painting had little chance of looking like the subject. But it did. So how did he do it? When I was at school, painting, my teacher told me to paint what I saw and not what I knew to be there. For example, you don't paint every leaf on a tree. Instead you give the impression of a lot of leaves. I think that Monet was using his memory of what he knew to be there but, more importantly, as some compensation for his poor eyesight, he had developed another sense of what was around him which enabled him to paint. wouldn't it be nice if we all could develop senses to truly appreciate the world around us in our busy day-to-day lives? I don't think we should take any of our senses for-granted......

Incidentally, Monet had a cataract operation a couple of years before he died. I wonder what he thought of his paintings when he saw them with restored eyesight?

Above is a photo taken on Plumstead Common, SE London. The fog reminded me of the story above.


Frame 8. Sign of the Times

Why o why o why o why do we have signs? I am talking generally here. Signs are meant to be informative. They are meant to give directional, alert you to safety issues, tell you what to do or what not to do. Think of road signs, signs in an airport or railway station. They are all very valid. But what gets my goat are useless signs, signs that are not required , serve no useful purpose and generally clutter my life. 

Yesterday I saw a sign attached to a railing by a pedestrian crossing. It was yellow with black text and stated the following:

"To cross, press the button, wait for the man to turn green and then cross."

Now talk about stating the bleeding obvious. Do we see signs telling us how to use an elevator, use a telephone, get into a car or use a toilet? No! Why, because we grow up learning these things and and they become second nature. We are taught by our parents, or work out for ourselves thru experience, how these things operate. Unless you are a 3 year old child without your parents trying to cross the road, this sign is useless and superfluous. So why have it. I think any 3 year old child, out alone, trying to cross a road has a lot more to be worried about.

I see signs everywhere, many necessary, but an increasing number are not. I don't want to see some tatty cardboard sign, sellotaped to a lamp post directing me to a rave that took place 3 weeks ago. I don't want to see a sign directing me to some crappy Golf Sale.

I want less stupid signs. 

Above is a photo I took at a local funfair some time ago. I was experimenting with long exposure night shots. The fair produced some fantastic results.