Group of Woodland Figures

170320 SM Figures

Subconscious Musing, 20 March 2017, mixed media on sugar-paper, 59x86cm.

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Down By The Riverside

p1170006
Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

Riverside
Down by the river by the boats
Where everybody goes to be alone
Where you wont see any rising sun
Down to the river we will run

When by the water we drink to the dregs
Look at the stones on the river bed
I can tell from your eyes
You’ve never been by the riverside

Down by the water the riverbed
Somebody calls you somebody says
Swim with the current and float away
Down by the river everyday

Oh my God I see how everything is torn in the river deep
And I don’t know why I go the way

Down by the riverside

When that old river runs pass your eyes
To wash off the dirt on the riverside
Go to the water so very near
The river will be your eyes and ears

I walk to the borders on my own
To fall in the water just like a stone
Chilled to the marrow in them bones
Why do I go here all alone

Oh my God I see how everything is torn in the river deep
And I don’t know why I go the way
Down by the riverside

Agnes Obel.

 

Let’s Face The Music…

161106-fredginger
Acrylics on canvas, 76x51cm.

…and Dance!

“There may be trouble ahead,
But while there’s music and moonlight,
And love and romance,
Let’s face the music and dance.

Before the fiddlers have fled,
Before they ask us to pay the bill,
And while we still have the chance,
Let’s face the music and dance.

Soon, we’ll be without the moon,
Humming a different tune, and then,
There may be teardrops to shed,
So while there’s moonlight and music,
And love and romance,
Let’s face the music and dance”.
– Irving Berlin, 1936.
From the musical “Follow the Fleet
With Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers.

Point of Interest:
In this painting Fred’s hands are mine.
I only wish my feet were his in real life!

Under the Flowering Zucchini

161102-dior-under-the-zucchini
Oils on canvas, 50x40cm.

A walk in the garden is so much more exciting if you can magically reduce your height and wander around underneath the plants. It gives you a whole new perspective on life.

I very seldom work in oils now. It’s not that I especially prefer acrylics – each has different ways of working, different finishes, advantages and disadvantages. It’s probably more to do with speed. I can turn out ten acrylic paintings (at least) to one painting in oils (I nearly said “Oil Painting” but that would be too grand for the quality I can achieve).
The other day I was trying to clear some space in my studio and chucking out a whole bunch of ancient boards and canvases with unequivocally failed attempts while I was learning about painting – what to do, and more often, what not to do. Most of these car-crash failures were in oils. Boards are one thing, however, but canvases are another and I couldn’t bring myself to dispose of a stretched canvas with only two or three previous attempts on it. Those attempts at least provided an interesting textured and suggestive background.

The subject came from two separate sketchbook drawings seamlessly joined together to make a whole new reality. Well, it was real to me.

Albino Whale Breaching

160703-01-abstract
Acrylics on canvas, 61x50cm.

“Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way? Or is it, that as in essence whiteness is not so much a color as the visible absence of color; and at the same time the concrete of all colors; is it for these reasons that there is such a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows- a colorless, all-color of atheism from which we shrink? And when we consider that other theory of the natural philosophers, that all other earthly hues — every stately or lovely emblazoning — the sweet tinges of sunset skies and woods; yea, and the gilded velvets of butterflies, and the butterfly cheeks of young girls; all these are but subtile deceits, not actually inherent in substances, but only laid on from without; so that all deified Nature absolutely paints like the harlot, whose allurements cover nothing but the charnel-house within; and when we proceed further, and consider that the mystical cosmetic which produces every one of her hues, the great principle of light, for ever remains white or colorless in itself, and if operating without medium upon matter, would touch all objects, even tulips and roses, with its own blank tinge — pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us a leper; and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear colored and coloring glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Tuna Fisherman

160702-01-abstract
Acrylics on canvas, 61x50cm.

“Then he was sorry for the great fish… How many people will he feed?.. But are they worthy to eat him? No, of course, not. There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behaviour and his great dignity.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

Shady Grove

p1160955
Acrylics on canvas, 46x61cm.

Cheeks as red as the blooming rose, eyes of the deepest brown,
You are the darling of my heart, stay till the sun goes down.

Shady Grove my little love, Shady Grove my dear.
Shady Grove my little love, I’m going to leave you here.

Shady Grove my little love, standing at the door,
Shoes and stockin’s in her hand and her little bare feet on the floor.

Wisht I had a big fine horse, corn to feed him on,
Pretty little girl stay at home, feed him when I’m gone.

Shady Grove my little love, Shady Grove I say,
Shady Grove, my little love,
Don’t wait till Judgement Day.

I learned this traditional Appalachian mountain-song at High School (Rutherglen Academy) Ballads Club under tutelage of Norman Buchan, my English teacher. This version is from a boys point of view unlike the version linked here by Shelly Colvin live at Music City Roots at the Loveless Café in Nashville. Don’t know who her guitarist is but he sure does a fine job on that gee-tar!

Original charcoal sketch inspirations:
160525-01-grove

160525-02-grove