Thursday, 25 August 2016

Art on the Radio

Back in 2008, I exhibited in a lovely two-person exhibition at Thompson's gallery in Aldeburgh with the Scottish botanical artist Jenny Matthews.

Yesterday, she featured in an interview with Jenni Murray on Woman's Hour on Radio 4, talking about her latest floral work which features i an exhibition at the Edinburgh Festival.

You can listen to the show here.

Always good to publicise the success of Scottish artists!

Also on Radio 4 (which I listen to whilst I'm working in the studio), is a programme today at 11.30am about Courbet's scandalous (or is it?) painting The Origin of the World.  It's a truly wonderful painting, on show in the Musee d'Orday in Paris - but let's just say it's an image made for radio.

You can hear the programme here.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

New Paintings Arrive in Bristol

A brand new consignment of my paintings has arrived today in Bristol, ready for the Affordable Art Fair there which opens on September 9th.  It's a lovely relaxed fair, held each year in Brunel's Old Station, so it's great fair to visit, with plenty of local galleriesAll the art is reasonably priced as well.

In addition to my rather sweet set of little Gower canvasses (which you can read about here and here), I have, at the other end of the scale, some big and beautiful, vibrant and textural oils.  

Sharp-eyed regular viewers of my work will spot that I've given them a bit of a makeover, framing them in a new way without glass - yes, no glass!! - and a minimal, modern frame,  which hopefully shows off all that lovely impasto.

There's a set of 8 Welsh canvasses, and 4 large oils which are of Scottish landscapes.

Burn in Spate, Argyll (32 x 40, Oil on linen)
Glen Lochy (32 x 40, Oil on linen)

Narcissi in Bluebell woods, Dalkeith (32 x 40, Oil on linen)

Sunlight on Red Fields, Argyll (32 x 40, Oil on linen)

And here's the new framing.

As you can see (hopefully), it's a narrow silver tray frame, with gessoed inner and outer edges in a nice neutral Farrow and Ball grey, so it should suit all colour schemes.

And no glass!!

Here's a close up of the moulding, which is about an inch or so wide.  (Sorry it's still got the protective shrink wrap from the framers on it.)

Here you can see how the canvas is recessed into the tray frame to allow for the depth of the impasto - otherwise the paint would stick out beyond the front edge of the frame. Obviously, that would be a problem in an unglazed painting when dealing with the amount and depth of paint that I use!!

Have a look at all the work on the Lime Tree Gallery's E9 stand here.  

For a link to the Affordable Art Fair in Bristol, which ends on Sunday 11th September, please click here.

If you go along to the fair - let me know what you think!

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Yes at Staten Island

Now, there's not many times in your life that you go to a concert via a ferry.

Especially the Staten Island ferry.  With the Statue of Liberty...

..and the Queen Mary sailing out of harbour.

Here's the rather splendid poster outside the St George's Theatre.  (I was told by the management I couldn't have it, despite having travelled several thousand miles to be at the concert, but of course some other so and so then went off with it...)

The venue looks like a load of concrete tat from the outside, but on the inside, it's a com0letely different story.  It is a magical jaw-dropping grotto of gilded hyper-ornate opulence, formed out of solid gold, pure diamonds, plaster and (no doubt) finest quality asbestos.

So.  Here we go again.  Lots of nice quirky seating at the St George's Theatre.  I'm back in Row H, with my little snappy snaps Olympus camera.

Now, of course, there is no tribute to Chris to start the show.  In the UK leg in May, we had tributes to not only Chris, but Peter Banks as well, and in retrosepect, they did give a certain backward-looking melancholy to whole proceedingsThey certainly weighed heavily with Billy at times, who had the whole legend of Chris to live up to.  It invited comparison.  Now he has the space to be himself.

Machine Messiah.

Here's Mr Sherwood on bass.  You might like a look at his necklace, BTW, which is two intertwined fish. (Ok, it's a bit blurred, but I'm in Row H for goodness sake...!!)

Here's Steve, not kicking over any footstools tonight, but stopping songs because of distracting i-Pads all the same.  'Phones yes, i-Pads no'.

Jay, still counting away, with his mesmerising hair.  There were times when there was nice interaction between him and Jon, so the guy isn't simply 'gun for hire'.

 Big hands.

 We're still on Machine Messiah, BTW.

The keyboard god that is Geoff Downes.

The very focussed Mr Howe, leader of the pack.

Here is Jon, injecting the vocal passion and drama into Drama that the original recording so sadly lacked.

What has been noticeable on this US tour, even in comparison to the UK tour in May, is the way that Jon has been re-energised.  He's in a good place right now, and instead of singing up to a note, he sings down onto a note, and then holds it with wonderfully confident control and assurance.  It's a joy to hear.  It's so easy and effortless.

Okay..second track.  White Car.... Hit it, Geoff!

"I see a man in a white caaaaar..."

The final note. 

And now for the squeee moment.   Billy's opening bass line on Does It Really Happen.  Start shakin' your head from side to side in time to that beat...

 More of that kerrrr-azy seaweed.

Run to the light, and everything is okay...

Tempus Fugit.

Yes! Yes! It's so good to be near you...

And on to Tales... a more serious and intense edge.

Leaves of Green.

Does a lamb cry out before we shoot it dead?
Working those sandals.

Ritual.  Drums!  More drums!!  Smoke!!!

During Roundabout, Jon came down off the stage into the audience and danced among us. Actually danced - with us!!  We all jumped around in the mosh pit and sang our heads off.  But I don't have a photo of any of that.  

So you'll have to make do with the journey home on the Staten Island ferry, in the moonlight.

Thank you very much indeed to all our kind Yes friends for making the trip so wonderful.  It wouldn't be the same without you all.

I guess the question is, why do we all keep doing this?  People ask me why I insist on going to a dozen shows of the same band night after night - aren't they just all the same?  

Well, that's exactly the point.  No, they're not.  It's about far more than just the shows. Certainly, they give you an agenda, and a reason to be at certain places at certain times. But it's about the journey, who you're travelling with (which can be quite random) and the cumulative experience.  Knowing that you're seeing a lot of shows means that you can relax into each individual show, and appreciate its individuality, make it your own.  Yes, there are mistakes and some shows are better than others.  But that actually doesn't matter, and you can embrace that completely, because the whole experience is about a whole lot more.  It's about being there.

I guess it's difficult to explain, but just to say the whole trip is an affirmation - of those who make the journey, and still can, and for those who can't make the journey any longer. 

Have a look at my other Yesshow blogs - Wallingford, Connecticut and Westbury, Long Island.