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Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Portrait Artist of the Year (S3, E2)




More amateur artists than professional feature in this weeks episode, but the professionalism wins out over the enthusiasm once again. The awkward format of the show is highlighted once again as it's impossible to compare like for like, though the judges have (and really quite badly need) the submission pieces to make an informed choice.

You can read more about this weeks winner Phoebe Cripps on the Cass Art website. Runners up Emma Leone Palmer and Bill Bone have their own websites too.

My shout-out for the best of the rest goes to Micaela Walker who perhaps didn't stop soon enough!

This Is The Chance of a Lifetime


This is the Chance of a Lifetime

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

Here is a survivor of the great recycling cull of 2017. The least worst of the worst. Most times I'll miss the usual targets, resonance, meaning, profundity and get the expected mess. Other times I might just accidentally hit on a pleasing arrangement of colour and tone. Yeah, that's right, it ends up being decorative! Jeez. Well, that's my opinion. Your mileage may vary. It's not like decoration is a crime or anything, but you must know that's not really my thing. Of course if I ever should try to achieve something that could be described as decorative on purpose then naturally I'd find a way of fucking that up. It's my contrariness that won't allow for pleasing.

Monday, 30 January 2017

And I Do Mean Out!

Washbelly

And I Do Mean Out!

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

Here's the first one in the sequence that has not survived. Yeah, a real collector's item! Along with several others this has been destroyed ... and recycled into a new set for 2017. Francis Bacon used to carve up his pieces ... and, if it's good enough for Bacon, that's good enough for me. I'm not sure that what it has been turned into is any better than what has been destroyed but I think we've all learnt something. Tune in later to find out what that might be.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Your Lips Are Meant For Other Delights


Your Lips Are Meant For Other Delights

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

Exhibited at Cank Street Summer Open Exhibition 2016

Okay, I do regret this one. This was the third piece exhibited at a local gallery ... and, well, it just lacks the necessary vibration! Maybe it doesn't look any different to anyone else, but, at this point in time, and here and now, it doesn't really matter what anyone thinks. It's another case of trying too hard and failing to let the subconscious do its job. Somewhere down the line in the not too distant future it'll get recycled and the elements will fall into the right place and subconscious will connect all the dots and we'll have ourselves a regular masterpiece!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Don't I Get Any Say in The Choice






Don't I Get Any Say in The Choice

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

Exhibited at Cank Street Summer Open Exhibition 2016

And straight way I'll contradict myself and say "Hey! This isn't so bad!".  Here's the second piece I had exhibited last year and yes it is one I can still live with. More than one part of it works for me and in my book that's a result! There are a couple of extra elements to the mix that lift it, the most obvious being the classical statue. Although that element also appeared in the previous piece I think it just falls better here. And how it falls is how it fails ... or not. "Tell me something I don't know!"

Friday, 27 January 2017

Two Women Set Upon By Rascals



Two Women Set Upon By Rascals

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm)
8x12x1 (ins)

Exhibited at Cank Street Summer Open Exhibition 2016

Here's one that has actually been exhibited. Don't worry, no one saw it! It was hung so badly I doubt more than ten people saw it in the month long run of the gallery exhibition. It was one of those open call events I entered at the last minute. I think they call it character building. It was one of three hung and ignored, but, that said, I can't wait for the next chance to enter and, who knows, move off the bottom rung. This reveals what I thought was strong last year. Not so sure my choices were the correct ones looking back. I'll point out the other two exhibited as they appear on this blog.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Saga You Never Expected To See




The Saga You Never Expected To See

Mixed Media Collage
21x30x2 (cm)
8x12x1 (ins)

Rupert, Dan Dare, Batman ... they are all the same to me. Symbols. Innocence, Character, Fetishism ... it must be the graphic designer in me that sees them as logos rather than narratives. I could not care less  about the stories that have been used to sell product. I don't want to buy product. These are my toys and I'm play with them how I like ... when I have the nerve! Here I'm just throwing them into the same space to play with later. Camp, optimistic, prissy, exploitative ... all logos, symbols, to co-opt, juxtapose and subvert.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

I'll Teach You Weaklings

 I'll Teach You Weaklings

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

I hate to say it but I like this one. It has an attack about it. There's a lack of control. In other words I couldn't have made if I had tried. It's a combination of anger, frustration, accident and materials just falling so wrong as to be right. I'd like to title every piece I make 'Code inconnu : RĂ©cit incomplet de divers voyages' after the Michael Haneke film from the turn of the century, but I am unworthy.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Portrait Artist of the Year (S3, E1)




Sky Portrait Artist of the Year is back for a new series in 2017. This is the third series and while it's always an entertaining watch it's also a bit of a cheat. I'd prefer the competition to focus on amateur artists so that there wasn't such a gap between the skilled and the enthusiastic. Some of the professionals seem to be going through the motions, having somehow 'already won', while the amatuers are hopelessly outclassed despite their struggles being more interesting.

Last year's winner Christian Hook looked to be a talent discovered by the show, whereas in reality he was 'already there'. No doubt he is an extraordinary talent, but he also rendered the show pointless. There was no rags to riches narrative arc and he finished the show in exactly the same place as he started.

I don't think you needed to be a genius to pick the three shortlisted this week and the winner (top) from the outset. You can find out more about Kimberley Klauss on her website. Runners up Charlie Schaffer and Kieran Meehan were also deserving but my award for the one that got away goes to David Douglas (below).

I Fear I've Lost My Way


I Fear I've Lost My Way

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

Sometimes something clicks and you feel like you're getting close to something, unknowable in advance. Most times you just end up with a mess. One can only hope that some progress was made, even if it can't be recognised straight away. What I'm aiming for in these pieces is something drawn from the subconscious, utilising chance and error, that once completed resonates with a connection to reality. I'm basically trying to accidentally discover the truth. All I can say is I missed by a country mile in this example, but, hey, we move on. Like fish eggs, few need to survive. The attrition rate doesn't mean I've lost my way.

Monday, 23 January 2017

I'm Not Buffalo Bob




I'm Not Buffalo Bob

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

I'm not sure that having my own (albeit younger) face front and centre qualifies this as a self portrait, but it's my blog, my artwork, so I'm saying it does. For now.  Due to the textured and transparent surface of these pictures there are some unavoidable reflections thrown, another reason for the reality of these pieces only being known to the person seeing them face to face.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

King-Size Special


King-Size Special

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins) 

 Since these were all on the go at the same time it's hard to say which came first, but this is an early one. I can tell these things because I was there! Still rather tentative, but I had started to introduce elements I'd made myself. Of course to my eye they stand out like sore thumbs. I didn't think then that I might have to make all the elements myself to be entirely satisfied.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Back From The Dead


Back From The Dead

Mixed Media Collage 
21x30x2 (cm) 
8x12x1 (ins)

So with this next set I was working on twenty pieces at one time. Possibly a mistake! For what they are worth I'll show them all here, even though some of them haven't survived. I took a chisel to some of these and removed the surface in order to make proper use of them and move things forward. More of that later, but for now ...


Here's a picture of the reverse. All the future pieces follow this convention so there's no need to show you too many more reverses. You know how they work now. All the newspapers that now cover the reverses are from between 1939 and 1945 (with maybe a few discrepancies). What does that mean? I hear you ask each other. Well, "What did you do in the war, daddy?" We'll come back to that ... and more ... later. Baby steps!

Update: Hey I got rid of the strings and bought in some proper hanging wire. It's a lot more professional (said an amateur).
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