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.