Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Flowers (Say Hello, Wave Goodbye)


Flowers (Say Hello, Wave Goodbye), oil on card, 15 x 13.5 cm

Standin' in the door of the Pink Flamingo cryin' in the rain

It was a kind of so-so love
And I'm gonna make sure it never happens again
You and I, it had to be the standing joke of the year
You were a sleep-around, a lost and found and not for me, I feel

I tried to make it work, you in a cocktail skirt

And me in a suit but it just wasn't me
You're used to wearing less
And now your life's a mess, so insecure you see
I put up with all the scenes
And this is one scene that's goin' to be played my way

Take your hands off me, hey

I don't belong to you, you see
And take a look in my face, for the last time,
I never knew you, you never knew me,
Say hello goodbye,
Say hello and wave goodbye

Under the deep red light

I can see the make-up slidin' down
Hey little girl you will always make up
So take off that unbecoming frown
What about me, well, I'll find someone
That's not goin' cheap in the sales
A nice little housewife, who'll give me a steady life
And won't keep going off the rails

Take your hands off me

I don't belong to you, you see
Take a look in my face, for the last time
I never knew you, you never knew me
Say hello goodbye
Say hello and wave goodbye

We've been involved for quite a while now

And to keep you a secret, has been hell
We're strangers meeting for the first time, ok?
Just smile and say hello

Say hello then wave goodbye

Say hello then wave goodbye
Say hello then wave goodbye
Say hello then wave goodbye
Say hello, wave goodbye
Say hello then wave goodbye
Say hello, say goodbye
Say goodbye

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, Marc Almond and David Ball, 1982


Monday, August 21, 2017

The white teapot


The white teapot, oil on card, 12.5 x 12 cm


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ratones, bushes


Ratones, bushes, oil on card, 17 x 14.5 cm


Thursday, August 10, 2017



Tranquility, Trindade, Florianopolis


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Guarda do Embaú, with distant hills behind; working outside -palette


Guarda do Embaú, with hills in the distance, oil on card, 18 x 22 cm



Working outside forces one to use easily portable equipment, and that includes palettes. This forces one to be very clear about what colour range one intends to use. 

I mix the basic colours in advance then adapt them where necessary as I work on the painting. It`s delightful to see how the colours open out when mixed with white. It`s similar to the way in which, when cooking, spices reveal their scents when you put them into hot oil.

Of course,  at times one mixes a set of colours and then during the working of the painting realises that another colouristic approach would be better. Live and learn!




Tijucas, in the afternoon, oil on card, 17 x 21.5 cm

From Tijucas, that strange place which seems permanently shrouded in fog. 

The air smells of burnt caramel.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Guarda do Embaú, sandbank


Guarda do Embaú, sandbank, oil on card, 18 x 20 cm


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Through hills


Through hills, Barra da Lagoa, oil on card, 15.5 x 18.5 cm

This is somewhere between Barra and Lagoa., along the canal. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017



Southern Scotland

 I have decided to include the charming town of Melrose on my British trip: 

London- Berwick - Melrose -Alloa -Edinburgh- London

There is something mysterious about the Borders to me.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Rocks, Guarda Do Embaú


Rocks, Guarda do Embaú, oil on card, 18 x 21 cm


Sunday, July 16, 2017

A drive to Urussanga and Anitapolis


 Woodland and fields, between Urussanga and Orleans
 oil on card, 16.5 x 14.5 cm

 Homestead, late afternoon, between Urussanga and Orleans
 oil on card, 18 x 16.5 cm

This, above, works well.

 Woodland, São Ludgero, oil on card, 15 x 18.3 cm

 Little house, near Anitapolis, oil on card. 15 x 18 cm 

I am attempting to create a style that is bolder and less ridden with equivocation. I feel that my mountain pictures are particularly prone to this fussiness. I think I am trying too hard. That may be because I am in awe of the subject, and therefore unable to respond with creative freedom. I need to find another approach. 

A fine painter of mountains is Bomberg: I must try to get a catalogue of his work.


I took the wrong road from Anitapolis north, going to Alfredo Wagner by the most tortuous and at times muddy track. The views were fantastic, but I nearly damaged my car, and it took forever. Thank God it wasn't raining. I should have taken the paved road to Rancho Queimado. When I realised my error I had already driven already for 15 minutes and  didn't imagine that the way ahead would become so difficult.

I'd intended to stay another night in the mountains but I came back, exhausted by that drive. There is little to do in the mountain towns at night. You just sit somewhere and read and eat hotdogs because there aren't any proper restaurants and wonder what the hell you are doing there. But I like that emptiness sometimes.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Guarda do Embaú


 Guarda do Embaú, red boat, oil on card, 17.5 x 18 cm

Guarda do Embaú, a view, oil on card,  17 x 18.5 cm

Here are two simple paintings from Guarda do Embaú.

 They were painted on the new easel: the new easel  doesn't provide the use of a surface to mix paints on. And, being less stable, it encourages the making of larger pictures because it is less easy to paint delicately using it. So now I mix the colours up in advance and apply them in broader areas, instead of mixing things up as I go along then apply them systematically.

In such ways do the  limitations of an artist's equipment serve to alter his artistic style- serendipitously so in my case, as I had been seeking a way to open and brighten the pictures  à la Fauvist Braque for some time.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

British Trip. late September


Both maps taken from the Cavellini School Room map of the British Isles

I'm pleased to say that I shall be going to the UK in September for just over two weeks- a trip which will include London. Berwick, Edinburgh and Alloa, near Stirling. I shell go painting in Greenwich, or opposite. It's  one of the few places in London that offers good views for painting.

Lothian, Fife, Berwick and around

I am especially pleased to get to know Berwick better as I have so often passed on the train and swooned at its wonderful location. And I shall enjoy visiting nearby Lindisfarne too.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

A settlement near Palhoça; new easel


A settlement near Palhoça, oil on card, 16 x 18 cm

This was painted using the new easel- it's less sturdy than the old one, and it is a disadvantage not being able to lay the tubes of paint out so easily. It toppled over once, and the wind caught the picture.

I think I can deal with such challenges but I might have to find a way of painting more simply than previously, using fewer different colours or perhaps pre-selecting them prior to working.

Easel- at times wobbly


New easel


I've been using a half width French easel by Mabef for some time. 

Mabef easel

It's developed quite a few problems having broken in many parts. I've had to replace straps, closing latch and a leg that split. Part of the support for pictures has snapped off and part of the tray broke. Mabef should be ashamed of themselves for using cheapo fittings and materials and putting such shoddily made easels on the market.

In addition it was rather heavy, meaning that walking more than a few miles with it became tiring.

This is its replacement: a plastic workman's DIY box fixed onto a lightweight photographers easel. It's considerably lighter:

Home made easel

But there are disadvantages: it lacks the drawer of the French easel, which was useful to use as a support for a palette. Also, it holds the painting surface less firmly, so that when you are painting there is a slight spring from the support. I will have to adapt my technique to accommodate this.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Bushwick Park, Brooklyn, New York


 Near Cooper Street, Brooklyn, oil on card, 17.5 x 15.2 cm

This, above, is  one of the best of the bunch.  The colours are fresh, harmonious and original. The picture was painted fast but isn't slapdash. 

It's pretty much what I worked to make: I recall that when I arrived I had this sense of irritation about how fussy my work had become and how I wanted to remove all its fiddly details and make something assured, elegant and fresh- on the  back of New York's architectural boldness.

I harboured the desire to create pictures with a similar confidence, giving the same satisfactions as such typography as this:

 Rockaway Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 12 x 14 cm

The grand terraces remind me of Glasgow.

 A view from Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 16.5 x 18 cm  SOLD

Looking down from the roof,  Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn
 oil on card, 17.5 x 15.5 cm

Painted from the rooftop (above), this is almost a remaking of a painting from Queens five years ago: this one large and more unruly. I think this sort of pictures chimes a lot stylisically and thematically with Joan Eardley.

A view from Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn, oil on card, 16.5 x 18 cm


Williamsburg, New York City


Disused sugar factory, Williamsburg, oil on card, 16 x 18.5 cm

Buildings near Marcy Avenue, Williamsburg, oil on card, 17.5 x 17 cm

 Myrtle and Dekalb, Yellow bus, oil on card, 15 x 18.3 cm

 Myrtle and Dekalb, oil on card, 16 x 17 cm

I find this painting effective and even beautiful.


Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York


Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, oil on card, 17 x 18 cm

This was painted just south of Jefferson Avenue, Brooklyn., the weather dismal. 

I love the ubiquitous deep red-brown-maroon colour seen in buildings in New York.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Central Park, New York


Baseball, Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 15.5 x 14 cm

 Yellow tree, Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 15.5 x 14.5 cm

I am very pleased with this one (above) which seems to have a certain freedom about it.

 Bridge, Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 17 x 17 cm

A boat on pond, Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 17 x 15 cm

 Trees , Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 16 x 18 cm

Dog, Central Park, N. Y., oil on card, 16 x 13.5 cm

This is quite a nice set. I relaxed when working and the result is apparent. It's so important to be in a certain frame of mind when working. 

It's a characteristic of dilettantes that they wait for that mood to arrive and do not work towards it from whatever mental set in which they might find themselves. I suppose this is a truism for all jobs that require psychological sensitivity or imagination. Of course there will always be days when things really aren't going to go your way and it's better to give in and go to the cinema, but those days are few proportionally speaking and usually such negative moods can be "worked through".

Nonethless, environment matters: painting when someone is watching you is not helpful or fun. Observation doing any activity will  turn it into a performance, making it much more difficult, even impossible for the subject to follow whatever trains of thought they might have.

With this in mind, I am reconsidering going to Morocco, as the level of nuisance and scrutiny from passersbys there is unpleasant, and doesn't help me at all. Instead I might do further explorations of Scotland.