Tuesday, May 29, 2007

To Liverpool.... for a la'al bit.

My wife is getting stronger by the day. The plaster cast still limits what she can do, but she is becoming a bit less dependent on me, which is good to report. My daughter Cath is coming up to give me a couple of days break, (not my idea, by-the-way), so I've booked in to Liverpool Youth Hostel for a night and will take a look at a few art galleries. I did consider getting a cheap Virgin train ticket to London but decided against that. London is the place to see good art but the train journey is the only cheap bit about it. London sees us Northerners coming; its sooo expensive.
So Liverpool it is then. The Turner Prize show is on at Tate Liverpool this time, but not until October. But they are showing some contemporary work from China. There are other Galleries including ViewTwo as well as the more traditional Walker Gallery. This latter claims to be the "National Gallery of the North." We-e-ell, I'm not too sure how those in Manchester will take that. But I'll report back ere I return.

The drawing this time is of some shiny wet Lancastrian cobbles. Rather appropriate for an urban visit. This is a leaf from a sketchbook from way back in 2004, pencil and graphite drawing as usual.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Art of Zen - Zen of Art

A cairn is a lasting monument.
Or is it?
I built this one on a Mediterranean beach in 2005 and placed it close to the water's edge. The tide rose and destroyed it. At the time, I named it Poseidon's cairn. Poseidon is the ancient Greek god of the sea. He claimed it.
This cairn started off making a whole series of them on various shores; Cyprus, Majorca, Northumberland, Morecambe Bay... each one dissolved into the sea as the tide rose with the same ease as a child's sandcastle.
To make art is to make a statement. So what was I trying to say here? At the time I thought it was about relentless change and the inexorable rhythm of the tides.
The Art of Zen.

But I now think it is much more.
Each cairn was an offering to a much deeper Truth. Built with a few hours labour and in the full knowledge of its destruction was an offering to the power of the sea. Or the rhythm of the sea, - Earth's heartbeat.
Our own heartbeat is the pulsing of the very rhythm of our own lives. The rise and fall of the tides, the pulsing cycle of day and night, the turning of the seasons, the cycle of the year, and on a grander scale, the explosive birth and death of stars. There is a continuous thread in there that was, is and will be the great Symphony of the Universe.
Perhaps sub/un consciously that is what this cairn building was trying to say.
The Zen of Art.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

So little time....

Not had much time for Blogging this last week. Nursing a wife with a broken right arm and her finding walking a painful procedure has kept me rather more occupied. We all gotta eat so someone has to do the shopping, cook the meals, etc. and all the other small household jobs which fall to me just now. Normally the houswork is shared between us. Being retired means I have both the time and the energy for that; in normal circumstances. But now I have to take a greater share for the time being. Not that I mind. It is just an example of doing what needs to be done. Art has had to take a bit of a back seat for now. By the end of the day I am rather tired.

But art isn't entirely abandoned. My wife tells me it is important I continue to draw and paint. As Luneside Studios is still waiting to move in to its new premises, I have to make art in the kitchen. That rather limits things to sketchbook work. It does give me a chance to be a bit more experimental, so along with the Sea Pictures, I am experimenting with some figurative work. Some examples are in The Draughtsman and others on my Flickr site. So all is not lost by any means. Its just my Blogging is a bit irregular for now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

She's Back!

My wife was discharged from hospital this evening. Arm in plaster but face much healed up. She's rather frail just now, but at least she's home!
Looks like this particular nurse [me] will have to come out of retirement for a la'al while.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Small Thing Seen

During the Welsh interlude I sat by a bridlepath drawing the patterns in some tree bark when I saw this leaf which had dried and somehow welded itself to the underlying stone. It made for a perfect composition. Such a simple statement. It was an object just crying out to be drawn.

This image, and ink drawing with some ultramarine wash added, is the result. I drew it into my pocket sketchbook. The image is therefore quite small at 15 cm square, about actual size really.

My poor wife is still in hospital, hopefully to be discharged home tomorrow. The memory of her bloodied image in A&E last Friday still haunts me. It is something we both could have done without. But she is on the mend now. Her arm had internal fixation done in theatre a couple of days ago.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Quiet Corner

Vicarage Terrace is one street in Lancaster where there is no access for a car. It is approached by steps at each end. It is only some fifty yards long but affords a quiet haven in a noisy city.

My life is a bit hectic at the moment, hence the dearth of entries on this site of late. I have planned a series on the [in]famous Pendle Witch trail and will post it as soon as time permits. The material is to hand but I will need to browse a couple of links.

The main complication to my life just now is my poor suffering wife has had a fall in town and broken her arm. So she needs a bit of nursing support and TLC. Consequently blogging has moved a bit down the list of priorities. So bear with me a little longer. I'll be back.