Art Diary: Week Ending 12th April

 

06/04/2014

Another dismal day which I spent largely indoors with most of my time taken up with painting and editing on the computers – plus rather hurried writing.

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07/04/2014

Not a particularly memorable day although I was in my studio for a large part of it. I started to paint in all the shapes on the series of twelve FRAGMENTS FROM LIFE paintings. Doing one colour (or variations on it) on all of the pictures in turn.

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08/04/2014

Today was almost a copy of yesterday with me painting in another colour (or colour set) across the twelve FRAGMENTS FROM LIFE paintings.

The evening was a copy of almost every evening with most of it spent blogging and uploading art works – plus fairly spontaneous computer painting.

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09/04/2014

Yet another day in my studio working on all twelve of the FRAGMENTS FROM LIFE pictures. Some are now near completion.

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10/04/2014

I was out visiting in the morning and then spent the afternoon with the great grandchildren. Nothing creative done save for some opportunistic photography during the afternoon and I was too tired to do much at all in the evening!

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11/04/2014

My wife was out all day with the great grandchildren (I had planned to go but there was no room in the car) so I spent all my time in my studio and then study. I completed the main painting stage of eight of the small FRAGMENTS FROM LIFE pictures before working on the computers from the late afternoon onwards.

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12/04/2014

A fairly typical Saturday with pottering around in the morning followed by a meal with my wife and then writing and painting on the computers in the afternoon – it should have been mainly the former but sadly was predominantly the latter!

 

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A Much Earlier Weekly Diary

 

06/04/2007

A strange day that got stranger. I spent time among the rings and diagonal lines that mark the ground at the foot of an extinct volcano. The volcano lit a pipe and mused about it’s childhood. I studied my footprints and spoke to Pam about the tiny cat that cannot hear the footsteps that follow it.

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07/04/2007

I was alone when I woke and had to stir the boiling cauldron on my own. I cast a spell and flew to the shops. I stood tall like an electricity pylon among raucous baby gulls. They pulled at scraps and gave their lives good exam results. I gave myself lines.

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08/04/2007

We went out to lunch at a premature noon, the meal table was attached to a tortoise’s back – I nearly slid off several times while trying to make a clown face out of my napkin. I was accidentally given the last drink of a Portuguese explorer which shocked the entire congregation. The evening was spent going round the world – I frowned for half of the way and smiled for the rest.

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09/04/2007

After a great deal of thought I became the captain of a pirate ship; I wore medusa missiles instead of hair and gave each gun a pet name. Fido and I had to parade with skeletons before retiring to an oceanic opera box. Back on the beach in the afternoon, I weeded while burying my treasure.

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10/04/2007

I dreamt a very interesting dream and then woke up feeling sick. Of the day itself, part of it was spent with a strange being, probably a fairy, sitting tightly on my head. I struggled between fallen masonry as wraith like figures stepped in and out of the light. For the night I was tied to a shark’s back.

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11/04/2007

At the beginning of the day, rows of people walked by holding recently amputated dog’s tails. I helped as many of these misunderstood coat hangers as I could. At the end of my tasks I pinned a note on a donkey which read, “Help!, I have been captured by diaphanous sea cows!”.

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12/04/2007

I went to the village of my childhood and spent an hour sitting under the table counting strands of hair that heroes had climbed up. Back to Manic Town by noon, where spirits climbed down bed sheets from the fires in the sky. I tied two sheets together and made the sign of infinity.

 

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Weekly Diary

 

06/04/2014

It was raining inside the shoe June and I live in and we had to move to a boot before breakfast. I looked out a window near the brass buckle as the god of worms went by, closely followed by the god of blackbirds. Both June and I stayed indoors all day: she was cooking a pair of lips for a far away face and I was waiting for pictures of me to arrive even though they were pretending to be pictures of somebody else. They eventually materialised in a posh car and wearing high rise apartments for clothes – to pass the time I counted the number of window boxes and replaced half with eagle eyries. After the people had left, following a trail made by an old fashioned hay bailer, I went back into my own private past; secure from the tentacular memories of others.

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07/04/2014

It was another wet day (if anything worse than the one before) and I was unable to follow the rainbow herds across the silver haired meadows again. Outside syncopated sirens were washing their hair in footprints of puddles – it was impossible to hear their songs after a clash of automobile parts on the Renaissance battlefield lawn. I put on my rainbow hat to walk the dog (she was wearing her mackintosh bat wings and goggles she borrowed from Toad of Toad Hall) and we followed the mercury veins along the languid arm of a fair weather god. Some time ago I had discovered a ninth corner in my work room and I sat alone in it as the high kicking chorus line of clouds moved in front of the windows and doors of my Dance of the Seven Veils imagination.

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08/04/2014

The weather improved in a world I am convinced is sat on another person’s dining room table (It would be put away when the owners were expecting guests). June and I hid ourselves in a haystack reflecting the possible existence of a universal spirit. She was holding a fibre glass model of a sailfish, which she used to scratch concentric circles on the ceiling of a Middle Period Egyptian tomb, and I made myself a replica of the South Downs out of plaster of Paris and a vegetarian fish paste. For some time now I have had the strange feeling that either I was getting larger or the world was shrinking – points of light like a shoal of fish had entered one side of the room and would have left the other if the shadow of a giant mouth hadn’t suddenly appeared and swallowed them.

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09/04/2014

I woke on a rapidly moving lava flow, in a split second I was in the kitchen and in another I was orbiting Venus with a force field made from the collective spirits of a Roman legion which had camped nearby. I had found the tree they told their secrets to when walking a family of wooly mammoths from one cartoon adventure to another. When I had returned to Earth – or a close approximation (I have never been that fussy) I found June on the sofa which she christened the rim of an active volcano. The dog, incidentally, had crash landed on the spare bed after an adventure of her own gathering up words that don’t mean anything from the far side of the universe. June and I then decided to start a conversation while we both clung to the top of adjacent telephone poles.

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10/04/2014

As usual I got up very early; the morning had a strange smile on its face as if it had seen something it shouldn’t have. I didn’t smile myself but spread a large panoramic image of England in the late Pleistocene across the lower part of my head. The subversive version of me (I keep it in a box by the back door) recommended using a fish for a tie but didn’t persevere with the idea when I showed him my sea anemone cravat. I travelled out into the wood planed countryside with an effigy of Mozart’s father tied to me like a mast. The great sea god showed me a picture of Noah shaped like an ark and I then dug a hole in the garden and put all of last week’s news in it – some of it tried to escape in the guise of an early model of the Morris minor but I managed to catch it by the gate.

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11/04/2014

Unusually June got up before me, floating towards the horizon in a coffee cup with the cats pretending to be icebergs and the dog pretending to be a ship – as it was close to the equator the game didn’t last very long. I got up moments later wearing a giraffe jumper and okapi trousers. While Poppy and I walked one iambic pentameter after another June went out with young children to feed young animals; coming back in the late afternoon to discover I had turned our particular patch of urban landscape into a strip of canvas which drifted off towards the horizon like Gypsy Rose Lee. I could still make out figures in a house a long way from ours; I noticed their mouths opened but I couldn’t hear any speech, just the flutter of bird wings from within a row of goldfish bowls.

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12/04/2014

I had planned to spend the morning as dust on the mantelpiece (although June had threatened to come along with a feather duster) but decided to take the dog for a walk across a well known music score; typically we missed the coda and the conductor was drunk. We both came back with wings made from aluminium sheets – she fashioned hers into a bulkhead on a Type 45 Destroyer and I perfunctorily made a set of saucepans and a toaster. June and I then went out: we had a drink in the aisle of a flying church and a meal in an unused section of the London Underground – the trains could still be heard in the humpback whale distance. I came back with the charge of the Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in my shopping bags while June stayed in town with the Russian artillery.

 

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Art Diary: Week Ending 5th April

 30/03/2014

I had to go out in the late afternoon so I decided to spend all the preceding part of the day in the garden – in my greenhouses to be exact. No creative work at all save for making up stories for children in the evening.

31/03/2014

I had to catch up with my writing so from late morning onwards I spent most of my time on the computers. Nothing much else was done.

01/04/2014

I was in my studio, off and on, a large part of the day. I added all the symbols to the structures on SIDBURY HILL FROM THE BACK – some of these will have to filled in with colour and I want to add background patterning and possibly other detailing. That will have to wait to Thursday as I am out all day tomorrow.

02/04/2014

I had to go to London again to collect more paintings so nothing much done other than a handful of photographs.

My trip coincided with a warning of high levels of air pollution but I think it was probably worse in Andover, although possibly more visible in London.

03/04/2014

I was out in the morning and then spent some time sorting out paintings. Ideally I would like a larger and separate studio so I can explore new ideas using a range of out of the ordinary materials (actually not so new as I would be returning to my artistic approach of the late Seventies – not surprisingly most of these early works are no longer extant).

After this I completed SIDBURY HILL FROM BEHIND (ORIGINALLY CALLED SIDBURY HILL FROM THE BACK) by adding the final detailing and painting in the simple symbol sequences.

SIDBURY HILL FROM BEHIND (ORIGINALLY CALLED SIDBURY HILL FROM THE BACK)

SIDBURY HILL FROM BEHIND (ORIGINALLY CALLED SIDBURY HILL FROM THE BACK)

04/04/2014

After a late start I very slightly repainted a number of works which had got damaged in store. This only took an hour and as I didn’t want to start any new works this late in the week I moved from my studio to my study just after two to paint and write on the computers.

I may garden tomorrow as Sunday looks like it will be wet.

05/04/2014

A bit of a dreary day and I spent a lot of it in front of the computer (with a sandwich filling of weekend odd jobs): mainly painting and editing photographs.

 

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A Much Earlier Weekly Diary

 

30/03/2007

I walked the old farmer’s rope in the early hours, tying knots at regular intervals so I could find my way home again. However, I couldn’t find the glove puppet I went to school with and came back with telescopic arms. Whenever I laughed a single decker bus drove out of my mouth, every time revealing a different destination.

31/03/2007

I stepped out of the door quite early, I was already two miles high and grew more during the day. I surprised the girls I was working with by wearing one hat on top of another. I lifted them in turn when I said hello. Under the bottom hat was a rabbit with three rows of cannons running down each side of it’s body. The evening was spent in the lion’s den.

01/04/2007

A day in the slipstream of an imaginary ship. I was the captain with the nickname, Nelson. I made a garden with temporal strips woven together like a small bird’s nest. I drunk the afternoon sun in a cup and then spent the evening with an ex-soldier who was thinking of joining the army.

02/04/2007

I woke suddenly, half dressed as a medieval jester. After putting a striped school tie on a hairy spider which was hiding in the corner of the bathroom I sat at the breakfast table with a typewriter for a mouth. In the afternoon I found the invisible door and knocked loudly.

03/04/2007

In the morning I went out with my wife, who was pretending to be an automated hairstyle. We both held up the world for a while before having dinner in a supermarket queue. I bought two holes for the garden and June bought a string of sausages for the dog. The first sausage played a tune when you blew in it.

04/04/2007

I decided to wear a bluebell for a hat this morning, the cold wind was blowing inside my coat. I imagined myself being followed by giant ants. The morning was spent counting holes and the afternoon filling them in. The evening was unproductive as I pretended to be a feather boa.

05/04/2007

I went out in the morning; to a country with gigantic weeds – I was going to pull some of them out but I was asked to stop by the kindly water rat. On my return home I learnt of the death of a friend. I built a teepee in the garden and contemplated the lost great herds of bison.

 

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Weekly Diary

 

30/03/2014

I decided to drop my real names and call myself after whatever day it was and then ventured outside into a world of giant ice cubes in a hot desert – as it turned out the desert melted before they did. On the spur of the moment June went out holding two lengths of wood, a hammer and nails; I stayed at home as Jesus and thought about his left wing politics kept alive in the nucleus of an atom. I knew the garden had eyes but I was still surprised when I found at least one pair of ears and the bridge of a nose. I thought the bridge would look nice going over the pond and wrote a poem in praise of frog spawn – by coincidence I then met a man who kept newts: he promised me some if I could draw a circle on a map and then fill it full of water.

31/03/2014

I woke as an unnamed bubble issuing from a deep sea vent (apparently in this country bubbles are only named when they begin to dissipate). I went out into the garden carrying a lifesize cardboard cutout: it promptly started gardening while I stood like Mount Olympus: recently repossessed after the gods couldn’t keep up with the mortgage repayments. I couldn’t get into my studio so donned a military uniform from a pacifist army and worked like the only full bottle left in a crate of milk – all around me starfish had involved hands and then heads to hold in them. June went out before lunch, just after the koala bear she was holding instead of a handbag had bit me when I tried to give it some loose change.

01/04/2014

I got up as outlawed diagonal stripes in a horizontal and vertical world. As an act of defiance I invented a theory of three simultaneous times (up, down and across) and then thought up a machine to explore them. June went to town to find clothes that wouldn’t actually fit and I stayed at home with the countryside in my head – although I suspect my head was also inside the countryside and I would have probably picked it up when I was a young child and put it on the the top shelf of my outer space house beside a collection of dunking stones kept in a biscuit tin and a jar of back pocket flowers. I stared at the space behind the canvas and had more eyes than a peacock when June returned home listening to music that neither of us would be able to play.

02/04/2014

I had to go to London again to assemble and collect what to me had become messages from a tantalising past. I watched people the other side of the river pressing white paper to their faces and then climbed the hidden stairs after a man dressed like a tortured clown let me in the building by mistake. The top floor of the block contained dead bodies although in the basement no one had actually been born yet – I left carrying a collection of cast offs from the dissection room disco. I could see the air hanging like curtains (or the flowing dress of a pregnant nun) as I forced myself up the railway hill. The train travelled in thick air for the first part of its journey and I then viewed the passport photograph of the countryside – it was smiling even though it had been told not to.

03/04/2014

I got up early (all the cuckoo clocks in my head had already arrived and chimed at spilt second intervals). As I dressed in my working clothes arms and legs emerged from the bathroom cabinet and it promptly scuttled downstairs, closely followed by the laundry basket which reputedly had a flour mill for a heart. The dog had become an oxymoron in her bed and I had to act like a fountain pen when I left the house, touching but not marking a white sheet of writing paper, which I later realised was June sat on the sofa like a refrain from a medieval rondeau. However I had got home again before the last verse had been sung, having met the conductor and rehearsed in the choir. The music was based on the sound of waves crashing on rocks near the pier – a lone figure stood looking out.

04/04/2014

I woke with footprints across both sides of my body – an odd number on my front and an even one behind. This was rather surprising as the window had been closed all night because of all the punching fists in the air. After stretching myself the entire length of the garden I was able to work out the direction of travel and then condense this into a length of hair which I could keep in a locket hung around my neck. June stayed inside the glass dome that used to house a clock (this was when time was of importance) and I left the house with pebbles in my hand. I followed the traffic until I realised I had already been to where they were going and came home with a hermit crab in my haversack and my shopping hanging from my hands like congealed blood.

05/04/2014

I started the day as a sequence of numbers, shorter than some but with still too many in front of the decimal point – which was curled up like a raccoon asleep on a milk churn. The steam train my dreams travel in had stopped at every station but I still couldn’t quite reach the outstretched hand that had pushed through the wall like a wounding spear. June and I followed the clockwork people down the hill as if they were sounds that we could hear – as it was the sky was silent and I would later stand by the river like a round window in a perfectly square wall. I imagined buds opening in my head as I watched June recede into a shopping spree distance. The man tapping out a morse code message with his shoe put his foot firmly to the ground.

 

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A Much Earlier Weekly Diary

 

23/03/2007

I had fun in the morning rearranging all the strands that were entwined round the maypole protruding from a hole in the living room carpet. I danced a jig with two hammers in my hands. Pink clouds hung in the air of my studio – I sat like a red Indian with smoke issuing from my hat – while a grey squirrel won the local ploughing competition.

24/03/2007

Back to the Coliseum today to walk to and fro like an angry gorilla. I spoke to the girls made from rose petals and listened to old people carried around in shopping bags. I said a prayer for all the animals that ate Christians. I escaped the volcano in the evening by carrying my wife across a sea of ice.

25/03/2007

I spent most of today in the garden, where giant bearded lizards made sinuous paths through the gravel. I excavated an ancient burial mound and found bright red bones. It took a little while to find a small patch of bright green grass to rest them on. A robin chased a blackbird.

26/03/2007

A new day, with me a school boy caught wearing a wreath of spring flowers. I had a joke with the trainee undertaker before shaking her hand. She was dressed all in black with bright pink underwear. When the doll’s clothes were cast on the floor they spelt another word. I did arithmetic with spilt milk bottle tops.

27/03/2007

I was still alive all day with the undertaker, she, still in black and hiding a tomato sauce bottle in her top pocket. We talked of the shadows of giant birds wings and the snippet of a song which was heard on the breeze as old animals walked slowly into the diminishing distance. I came home to find my home transformed into a windmill.

28/03/2007

The last day for a little while as an initialled handkerchief (a red Indian handkerchief joked the upright piano I never learnt to play). I exchanged long words with short people before drawing big red lips on a white t-shirt. Messages hung from the ceiling like moth cocoons but I refused to notice them until it was time to go home.

29/03/2007

A casual, hole in the ground, kind of day. I walked around with a slipper on my head while pretending to be a cricket umpire. I didn’t have to go out at all although I did draw a number of knobs on the front door just in case. The bell wouldn’t ring when I pushed it but instead elected to die by hemlock rather than suffering the humiliation of banishment. In the evening I wrote letters to myself again!

 

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