Friday, 31 March 2017
Never let it be said that I don't know how to pander to my reader. I've spent all day trawling through my hard drives deleting gigabytes of crap. It's pretty traumatic for me as 35 years worth of stupid ideas badly executed pass before my eyes. Some of it is best banished from the digital face of the earth, while other bits just need a tickle to be represented as if it were new. It'll all turn up here eventually! Meanwhile, if Natalie Wood would you? I'm here all week folks!
Thursday, 30 March 2017
I've been uploading stuff to eBay all day trying to make a couple of quid as times are tight and the devil is driving me hard these days. So, just enough time to take another look back into the past and a to give you a glimpse at the book I made in memory of my mother who died back in 2012. Her nickname was Korky so I recreated the mischievous cat from the Dandy for the front cover. I just made seven copies for the family. I've been fussing over the family photograph albums for so long now I don't know if I'll ever get around to doing another. But who knows, with my temperament ... it might be tomorrow!
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
Monster’s Ball (2001). I thought I’d take a break from awful blockbusters. Sadly I picked this off the DVD shelf expecting great things from Billy Bob Thornton (and Peter Boyle - usually a sign of quality) among others. It started well. The direction and photography are all top notch and what little acting is done is done well, but you quickly realise that there’s something amiss with the story. Characters start to act without explanation, so that things happen and choices are made but no reason is even hinted at. It becomes very hard to accept that anything is real. I mean our hero Hank just happens to drive past every major event in Leticia’s life completely by accident. The first couple of times their lives cross is hard to take but then it just gets silly. When Leticia’s son is killed in a road accident I laughed out loud. That’s ridiculous I thought. Just plain ridiculous. And after that it just gets worse and the holes in the plot become more apparent. The earlier holes you had initially forgiven thinking they may be explained later now become glaring. The sex scene is tedious at best and toe-curling at worst - much like the rest of the film. As if that weren’t bad enough the film itself is just flat out racist - while attempting to describe a journey to the opposite of racism. It’s insulting to white people, so what people of colour must think is beyond me. Needless to say it went from DVD shelf to waste-bin pretty quickly. It’s an embarrassment to all involved.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
You are going to think I'm obsessed with Lauren Bacall. This is my favourite picture of her with Bogart. He expression seems to be saying "life ain't so bad". This used to hang on my wall. I ripped it out of some magazine years ago. Is it just me or does he have big hands?
Monday, 27 March 2017
Sunday, 26 March 2017
I've been a Humphrey Bogart fan since childhood. My dad liked him in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Well, he liked everybody in that film. I'm reminded (actually as I write this) that he was interested in John Huston directing his father Walter. The father/son theme goes back a ways. Anyhow, Lauren Bacall. Those eyebrows are not scientifically possible. That's what Humphrey is thinking right there. Not. Possible. When I was a kid I wanted to be Humphrey Bogart, but it's only as an adult I know why.
Saturday, 25 March 2017
Too busy to bring you anything today except this exciting news! All tests have been passed and the speed is colossal. I obtained this newspaper quite recently so was unable to question my father on his favourite big fish story about how he personally helped Sir Frank Whittle invent the jet engine. An enigma wrapped in a mystery and sealed in a conundrum was my father. But stranger things ...
Friday, 24 March 2017
So Ryan won it. He was always a contender and rose back to the top after a couple of weak mid-competition makes. I had thought he was going to run away with it but Clover was hot on his tail. Richard outdid himself by reaching the final by virtue of not making too many hideous mistakes.
The main make this week was to produce two identical light features in porcelain. Ryan won it because he always managed to follow through on the brief. He made what the judges expected him to make and then surpassed himself, sometimes.
Clover was always coming up against problems created in the design stage. Richard's designs never quite made it outside of the box to my mind, but some of the details he came up with like the glazed leaves this week were pretty fantastic.
So no big shocks in the final and Ryan wins a big pot ... er, like he needed another pot!
Hang on though. Did I say no big shocks? Do my eyes deceive me? Freya has a twin sister!?! The world is a better place. Miracles do happen. All is right with the world.
That's the end of the season's strange cycle of creative TV show competitions for now. I shall have to fill the rest of the blog with my own brand of creativity until later in the year. I suppose Landscape Artist of the Year from Sky Arts will not be too far away.
Thursday, 23 March 2017
I'm running late again. What? I'm a busy artist! It cannot be helped. I'm working on something that is particularly time-consuming and difficult. All will be revealed in time. For now you'll have to make do with this.
When I set up in the morning for a long hard day pushing the pixels I first need a cuppa and a slice or two (usually two) of toast. I do apply some Marmite to that toast. Because I love it obviously. I watch what passes for the news while I consume the toast and let the tea go cold. Then I microwave the tea and skim through my Feedly and Blogger feeds. Rarely is there anything of interest but old habits like Bruce Willis die hard.
I've followed a lot of blogs in my time so I've seen many breakdowns and car crashes, some mercifully quick and some horribly slow. Most bloggers go slowly mad, then have a moment of horrific clarity, and disappear never to be heard of again. The madness comes from a lack of self-awareness. It's pretty easy to lose sight of yourself in this crazy world. Anyway, getting to my point, I follow one elderly male blogger who, aside form his regular posts, also posts daily a picture of some random apparently well-known, bikini clad model, some impossible female he fancies from afar, alongside a supposedly jocular comment that would shame any comedian from the seventies on the working men's circuit in the north of England. It's sad. The lonely blogging, the futile desire, the lion in winter .... and all that bollocks.
Anyway, being sad and pathetic and of a certain age myself, I thought I'd join in! Only, I can't be doing with all that bikini clad no-lebrity nonsense. I'd going to apply a bit of class to the endeavour! And I won't be doing it every day because that would be silly.
Top tottie in the country of my imagination is the lady above. The one, the only, the Lauren Bacall. Was there ever anyone lovelier? No, there wasn't. My blog, my rules. Get used to it.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
You remember this post ... and that post ... right? Well, I finally got around to getting on top of what I wanted from them. This is the result. I've been making digital images for years and real world collages for only a short time. The two seemed to be separate things. I didn't like that. For the moment at least I like this. Let's see where it goes as I revisit my recent work.
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
A new digital piece from me today. A little nostalgia for gentlemen of a certain age who remember what an ‘X’ certificate meant – usually a good deal of disappointment as I recall. I've always been interested in 'racy material' of times gone by and this brings to my mind the mucky books of the seventies when I was a curious youth. The 75p price tag is the giveaway!
Monday, 20 March 2017
This series has seemed a little short to me - they should have started with more artists - but here we are at the final of The Big Painting Challenge presented pleasantly but somewhat redundantly by the ever-lovely Mariella Frostrup and the repentant Rev Richard Coles. I can't help feeling Richard is only there because the show airs on a Sunday. I digress.
Mentors Pascal Anson and Diana Ali take something of a backseat this week, not far enough back for some, too far for others.
The judges lurk in the background also untill the very end and the completion of two challenges. Daphne (Bad cop) Todd, Lachlan (Schoolboy charm) Goudie) and David (Two brains) Dibosa provide the usual criticisms, entirely wasted on the soft brained early evening audience.
But enough set-up. Onto the artists. I had Suman to win with only Jennifer to beat, but I only got that half right. Jennifer faded towards the end, artistically and physically, though, thankfully we were not witness to her hurling chunks over the side of the boat they were all bobbing up and down on during the landscape part of the challenge. Architecture was never going to be her strong suit, but neither did she manage to capture the radiant beauty of her mother in the portraiture challenge.
Suman made a rather formal and static portrait of her father who seemed a lot more fun in the flesh, but her landscape was lively and attractive and better showed perhaps how much she had progressed over the weeks of the competition. A worthy winner.
David and Alan were the surprise package of the show though. I'd written both off a long time ago, but here they demonstrated some real skills. Alan's portrait of his mother was very subtle and sympathetic quite unlike most of his previous efforts. David went one better by producing a fine portrait of his father and an even better landscape. Suman was always going to win, but I really thought David might just pip her to the win at the last minute.
And that's the end of that for another year.