Blackpaint 18

I’ve hung the stripy one on the wall and have managed to convince myself that it’s not as bad as I’d thought.  Lots of orange and red patches with a significant area of smooth, flat olive green at the top.  Now it looks just a little like a really bad, roughly painted Patrick Heron (contradiction in terms, I suppose).

Bad Heron

I started another in dark blues, blacks and dark greens last night, but have lost my nerve and overpainted big areas in reds, ochre, and light greys, so that now it looks like others I have done, only with the colours drained of life.  Done my usual trick of scarring it with charcoal swipes and heavy black sweeps, to give it “gravitas”.  As I look around my room, with my canvases stacked against the walls and bookshelves, I realise that I’m copying myself – but badly.


I’ve got that “30,000 years of art” book that Taschen brought out last year; was doing drawings of the contents, but only made it up to 710 BC before flagging.  Looking at the drawings, I think William Boyd would have little trouble deciding why I am a non-figurative painter.

However, I mention it because I have found the Chinese drawings and paintings.  Always few colours, many tones.  Greys, luminous bronze tones, brilliant whites (for example, flying cranes), dramatic black sweeps.  All I need to do is to pare down my palette, put in less stuff, that is, fewer marks on canvas – and acquire a bit of good taste.

Must stop as “Curb” is about to come on.

Listening to Emmylou Harris, “From Boulder to Birmingham”.

“The last time I felt like this, I was in the wilderness,

And the canyon was on fire”.



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