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"a man is a success if he gets up in the morning ,goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do" Bob Dylan.

Sunday, 24 January 2010


Saturday...I work for a while and then get home. The sun is making a show for the first time in about a month and there is blue sky. Time to get out the bike . The air is crisp, as i finally make it to my favourite place.Im out of breath. No exercise while the snow has been deep. That much snow is a rare thing here these days! The woods are alive ! Birds are singing. Breath ,breath deep. The sun has just enough warmth to touch the skin. The trees feel as though they sense something in the atmosphere. It is magical. The snow has melted revealing a carpet of leaves from Autumn. Its a gift to just sit and enjoy the silence.
Thomas Moore writes " Trees provide a rudimentary lesson in enchantment....We can sit on a tree's limb,rest against its trunk, enjoy it's fruit and nuts, sit under its shade and watch it dance in the wind. There are moments in everyones life when a tree....would be the most effective therapy" ( Re-enchantment of Everyday Life".
A beech tree still has some of last years foliage clinging on the the branches..they rustle in the breeze and welcome me as I lean against the trunk .I sense the roots deep in the earth and gaze upwards at the branches as they reach for the sky. Is that a sense of my own mortality gently nudging my psyche......

Friday, 22 January 2010

nice mail

A shiny new book "just kids" by Patti Smith arrived in my mail this morning. Its about Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe and their relationship and life at the Chelsea Hotel. Rebels and Romantics in pursuit of art and poetry. Cant wait to read this.
And how coincidental- tonight an hour of Brian Eno documentories on BBC4. BLISS.

Just about finished one of the " low horizons" paintings. very happy.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

This I like a great deal:
".....Julie Nylon popping round to Leith Mansions to present the incapacitated Eno with a gift; a record of 18c. harp music. She would put the record on and leave.An enervated Eno collapsed on his bed only to find the stereo system's amplifier turned down to an almost inaudible level and one of the speakers failing to function at all. Too exhausted to move and make adjustments he would lie there and surrender to fate. Outside a gentle rain fell on the road soaking the park opposite Leith Mansions, the gossamer dripping melting into the indistinct harp music and fusing into a softened aural gauze whose very amorphousness would slowly seduce the drowsy Eno into a musical epiphany". ("On Some Faraway Beach " Orion Books 2008).
Question 1. Can a painting have this effect? Yes art provokes ,inspires, invigorates , angers..but must also have the power to quieten and heal? Mark Rothko springs to mind?
Question 2. Chaos does not have to mean carnage? Chaos as a means of personal change?
Art as an expression of chaotic change..........
Another flurry of activity, a burst of energy.....to what end......

Saturday, 9 January 2010

listening to....

gregor kurtag etc "kurtagonals"
david bowie "low"
iggy pop "the idiot"
"cluster and eno"
brian eno "discreet music"
various artists "berlin -wall of sound"

started a new piece in oils this week......then sidetracked with some blue and yellow pastel!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

so whats new

there is a documentary on Sky Arts ."WHERE IS MODERN ART TODAY". The answer seems to be "nothing very new". In a strange way I find the film encouraging seeing Graduate work in exhibition space. I wonder if my work would pass muster in such a situation. One artist ,like me, waits for inspiration .Reads , walks, listens and has a frenzy of activity.The Berlin thing is still with me.....
On sunday we walked in the snow there is so much design in nature....

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Its been 15 days.....there has been ice and snow and christmas.After the "Kurtagonals" album I came across an amazing compilation album "berlin 61-89 wall of sound" featuring some of my old favourites Can,Faust, Nina Hagen, Krafwerk, Cluster etc. What is going on?..I have to dig out "LOW" by David Bowie.
Still no painting....still waiting...the eastern European influence is taking over."Low" is on repeat, indespersed with "Neu75", "ENO and Cluster". I am reading "On Some Faraway Beach" Brian Eno's biography to find out what happened with him and Bowie in Berlin.
Im feeling grey....
The New Year is approaching......for me...as Bowie put it I find myself "waiting for the gift of sound and vision"