Sunday, 10 August 2008


Tomorrow I'm taking my two beautiful children to see their Gangan in County Limerick, Eire. He lives in a cottage high up the side of a hill, overlooking a valley and the hills beyond. Once there, Dad and I will stand at the kitchen window, or lean on the bottom half of the front door from about 6am onwards watching the valley wake up. He shares the hill with hares, a fox, swallows, pied wagtails, a rat, and loads of other LBJs (in birding terms this means 'little brown jobs'- relating to all small, quick, flitting blurred things you glimpse).
He was involved in a car crash yesterday when an oncoming car did a right hand turn across the road in front of him while he was driving on a dual carriage-way at 60 miles an hour. Dad clipped the guy's rear end and spun. Luckily he stayed on his side of the carriage-way so didn't hit any oncoming traffic (there wasn't a central barrier on this road), and his air bag went off, preventing any injuries. Dad's shook up, but is okay other than that. His car has been written off, but hey, that's nothing. It could have been so, so much worse.
I only thought I'd mention it as he comments regularly on my blog, and has always supported me in my artistic endeavours (and manages to pinch all my best stuff for his own house). He has internet at home but not broadband so I'll not be blogging while I'm there, but I will be drawing and painting. So I'll speak to you all again soon and God bless.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Submerged in art

Sorry for such a long absence. But I'm back blogging again, and I hope to keep it up.
I've been submerging myself in art recently so I have lots to talk about and share with you. I had the chance to visit Liverpool, which has been granted City of Culture status for 2008, an outstanding achievement for the place I was brought up between the ages of 10 to 18, formative years you'll agree. While there I spent some hours in the Tate Liverpool, in the Twentieth Century exhibition. This was split across two floors, covering (loosely) figurative work on one, and abstract work on the other. I went with my younger sister and her arty husband, and we had a great time. We managed to classify all the work into the following categories-
1. Wow, I like this, it really speaks to me. (eg Alberto Giacometti's Man Pointing)
2. Walk straight past, this is pants. (eg Boetti's Nothing to See, Nothing to Hide)
3. Urghh, this is disturbing, it speaks volumes but I can't handle it (this category was discovered by my younger sister, which unfortunately meant I could not stop to look at any Francis Bacon or Arnulf Rainer).
4. I like this. Why do I like this? It's not the kind of thing I usually like, but 15 minutes later we're still stood here talking about it.
Sorry not to link hundreds of images here, though I'd dearly love to, but I just want to show a study of one of the pieces that fell into the last category; Man Caught Up with a Yellow Object by John Latham.
It is a big image, with a fantastic torso against what may be a crucifix standing on a dark landscape. His head may be uncomfortably twisted up towards the sky, it's not clear to make out. There's a lot of ambiguity in this image, but underneath there's a great knowledge of anatomy and composition. What appears, at first glance, to be a mess in the middle of a roughly painted canvas actually held our attention for nearly half an hour. If there'd been a bench and coffee on hand, we'd have been there longer.
Well dont to the Tate Liverpool for compiling such a wonderful collection of works.
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