Nov 12

Who and where are the art collectors?

This article was written for Global Art Directory: Artists Info

Who are all the art collectors, and where are they? Any ‘blockbuster’ exhibition you care to visit in any major city anywhere in the world involves pre-booking and / or queues. Such is their popularity, and there’s something I like about a crowded gallery - about being with like-minded people. My most memorable recent one was the Titian in London. Being quite tall it’s not so bad for me but even so you have to manipulate your way in front of a painting and then try to disassociate yourself from the maelstrom all around you. What does this tell us?

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Nov 2

New Exhibition

Preview at The Plough

Here is a photo I took of Paul and Mij as we were waiting for the first folk to come.


Paul and Mij


There's no doubt in my mind that my old friend Paul's lovely pots are the stars of the show.

Many thanks to all those who managed to come. I think it was a good evening and I hope you had a pleasant time. Those of you who were not able to make it were sadly missed. My thanks as always to Mij for her continued support of a lost cause and also to Pippa, who never fails to organise stupendously well. Above all, I hope The Plough can benefit from this exhibition and earn a few pennies to further their cause.

Oct 4

Gore blimey

Gore blimey. There was a film about Frederick Gore last night at my wonderful local Arts Centre, The Plough. It was one of three shown and introduced by film-maker Daniel Whistler; all very different in style. It was the Gore film that had attracted me of course, and I was intrigued to know how his work stood up against his more famous father, Spencer.

My early mentor, Henry Israel, once summed up a painting of mine with customary understatement , “Well, it’s certainly an eyeful.” I took this as veiled and not unreasonable criticism, and I don’t think Henry meant it as a compliment. But blimey, if Henry thought my still life of oranges and bananas and I can’t remember what in a wicker work basket was an image to hurt the retina, I can’t imagine what he would have thought of some of Frederick’s.

My work is sometimes called “colourful” – I’d never use that word, preferring ‘vibrant’. Surely you can’t just suffuse a painting with gaudy colour and hope it does the trick? Some of Gore’s violets and purples offended my eye –a shadow with the same value as a field of lavender, stark red and green contrasts. His work was far closer to the Fauves than the Post-impressionists. Think Roderick O’Conor perhaps. I much preferred his buildings even though some the beautiful pastel shades you get on old Provencal walls were gaudied up too much for me.

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Sep 25


Much to the amusement of some (I really don't know why) and because of an age-old involvement in the fight against the unscientific Badger cull, I've been teased into Twitterdom.  So there is now a Tweet button at the foot of all the main pages.  I apologise that this is not Art related but increasingly for me all things seem more and more inter-connected - which is, after all, the fundamental of ecology. If you are interested please have a look.

Sep 4

The beauty of imperfection

The Beauty of Imperfection. I learnt something today. Every day is a school day, but suddenly it made sense - of what I try to do. It is something that gets lost in the glossy slick of cool art that spreads like a contagion: photo-based, photo-shopped, photo-realist, minimalism, film/video, conceptual and/or installations, not excluding all that relies on novelty. It might or might not be art, but is it enough just to say ‘contemporary’ or ‘original’? as justification; art with a shiny face, which values presentation and technique more than substance; or just a show that relies on cleverness and trumpets this.

There is so much trickery, and, yes, it is often very good (all the best tricks are of course or they wouldn’t be tricks) - it is how tricksy folk manipulate us.

I saw the French film about Pierre-Auguste Renoir last night, and although I thought it lost its way and got stuck with his son Jean's love affair with the old painter's model, Renoir said a thing which stuck with me: "Art is about making something with your hands that lasts for ever."

So, what was it that made such sublime sense...

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