Friday, 2 October 2015

The Start of Autumn in London

I've been out and about this week down in London, for the Ai Wei Wei show at the Royal Academy, the Barbara Hepworth at the Tate, and for some of this at the Royal Albert Hall..

It's Steven Wilson, who was playing two nights on his solo tour.

He's the guy who used to be in Porcupine Tree but who now does the most amazing, raw, emotional, visual solo work, his latest album being Hand. Cannot. Erase..  He plays with bassist Nick Beggs, who also plays with Steve Hackett, and one of their special guests on the second night was Gavin Harrison, who I'd seen the week before as one of the three drummers with King Crimson.
And that's Guthrie Govan.  There's a man who can both play the most astonishing guitar solos, and grow hair profusely. 

Various films accompanied the songs, some of them animated, some live action, all pretty dark stuff.  And this was especially creepy.  It was a hugely slowed down film of a beach, seen through a window, and a dark figure moving imperceptably up the beach towards you.  Very intense. Sounds ridiculous, but take it from me - it was hairs on the back of the neck stuff.

Anyway, during the day, it was down to work, and off to Hampstead and Hyde Park to take photos of the trees.  Although autumn is well underway in Scotland, things are just beginning to turn in London.  The weather was wonderfully warm and sunny, the light was dappled, and the skies were blue.  This is all material which is going to go into the solo show work for February.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Lemond Catalogues Here!

Here's the catalogue for my new show with Mary Davidson, which opens on Saturday.

You can view the catalogue by clicking the link on the page HERE.

Both myself and Mary will be at the preview at the gallery to meet everyone from 1 until 4pm on Saturday 26th September.  Do come along if you can!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

King Crimson

Jakko Jakszyk’s seriously beautiful customised Paul Reed Smith P24 guitar for the 2015 King Crimson tour.  

They played on Thursday and Friday at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh, the first time that they have visited Scotland since 1874.  Or thereabouts.

Apparently it has the Moon Man on the back, as per the gatefold of the album In the Court of the Crimson King.  But I only saw the front.

So - three drummers.  
A squeaky panda and a nutcracker.
A million billion gazillion notes, all in the right order, with precision timing (except for one wrong note by Robert Fripp on Thursday).
A bunch of extremely flexible guys on Friday, throwing some seriously impressive curves at the front to disco floor-filler 21st Century Schizoid Man, along with an enthusiastic old timer in his 70s in Highland Dress, kicking up his kilt. 
And a fight.

Image from Carwreckdebangs

I can't point you to any video footage of any of this, because the band don't allow recording at the concerts.  So it now only exists in our memories.  And what memories they are.

However, I can offer you a strangely psychadelic little 1974 film of Starless, a song which they played at the Usher Hall.  

This vintage video HERE (with a different line up and only one drum kit, played by precocious teenager Bill Bruford) gives you a sense of the reigned-in exactness within the ultra-strict structure and the extreme preciseness of the music.  It shows how the band manages to be both very static and completely dynamic, full of reigned-in tension and energy, and how it manages to be creative and expressive within that framework.  Everything and everyone is in its place (literally and metaphorically), and no one part or person is allowed to occlude the others.

Interestingly, the achingly pared-down guitar solo which Robert Fripp starts playing from 4.18 was, at the Usher Hall gigs, started off by Jakszyk, and then absolutely seemlessly passed over to be played by Fripp.  You had to watch very very carefully to see them do it.  And each of the three drummers is playing an entirely different rhythmic line.


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Affordable Art Fair, Bristol

Just to give you all a quick heads-up about the forthcoming Affordable Art Fair at Brunel's Old Station at Bristol Temple Meads this month.

It runs from to 18-20 September, and I'll be exhibiting with the Lime Tree Gallery.

There's even a half-price ticket available HERE!

Here's a quick peek at some of my paintings that will be there...

Rain and Wind, North Berwick (Oil on linen, 12 x 12)

Calendula and Honesty Against Garden Wall (Oil on linen, 16 x 16)

Grasses in the Sand, Camusdarach (Oil on linen, 32 x 32)

Path Through Bluebell Woods (Oil on linen, 12 x 12)

If you do go, let me know what you think!

Friday, 4 September 2015

Northern Ireland #2

Ballintoy Church.

Ballintoy Church again, this time from the Ulster Way near the start of the path to Carrick a Rede.

That's Scotland in the distance.  It's so amazingly clear, that along the coast you can see Ailsa Craig, and the islands of Jura and Islay as well as mainland Scotland.

Rathlin Island from near the Marconi Cottages at Ballycastle.  There were dolphins, but I don't have a photo of them.


Distant rain out at Aisla Craig, from near the Marconi Cottages.

Looking across the glen to Fair Head.

 The fuschia bushes grow wild at the side of the road.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Northern Ireland

Just back from my annual trip to Northern Ireland, to gather material for my forthcoming solo show in London in February next year.

As usual, the weather was wonderfully mixed - rainy one minute, glorious sun the next.  It made for some spectacular contrasts and amazing clouds in the sky.

Here's the coast at Rinagree, between Portstewart and Portrush.

The view across to Inishowen in Ireland.

From the Cliff Walk, Portstewart.

Walking down to the Giant's Causeway.

White Park Bay.

After a heavy shower of rain, the whole of the sea between Ballintoy and Rathlin Island suddenly lit up as a long, low rainbow.

The sight was so amazing and intense, that cars stop at the side of the road to look.  It looks very soft and unimpressive in photos, but in real life it was earily strange and beautiful, and very bright.  The sight of it dominated the landscape.

More tomorrow.