Blackpaint 310 – No Mud, just Clean, Singing Colours


De Kooning

Sometimes painters just cut through everything else when you look at something and so it is for me with DK – picked up the Taschen to see if it’s worth getting the new Retrospective for 34 quid (it is, of course) and I couldn’t believe how clean his colours are – no muddy slurry, just clean, pure greens, blues, pinks; loads of scoring and dripping and strokes of black – well, you can see in the Woman  below:

See, no mud?  When I try, I get mud straight away, as in first stage below;

Will try to rescue it, but I don’t hold out great hope.

Degas’  Ballet Dancers

I repeated my remark about the Degas exhibition at my life drawing class on Friday – namely, very wonderful drawings and paintings, but you can have too many ballet pictures; it didn’t go down very well – apparently, you can’t have too many.  Coincidentally, we had some ballet-type poses for the 5 minute jobs, and I reproduce a couple here:

The one on left above illustrates the pitfalls of not standing back to check your dimensions – you get stunted appendages (no, not that one) like the tiny left arm, bursting from his upper chest like the Alien baby. 

ROYGBIV at the Whitechapel

Forgot to mention the Macaw’s Wing watercolour by Elizabeth Butterworth and Patrick Caulfield’s Pipe with Smoke; don’t know why they’re so good, really – I think it’s the red and deep blue in both.

Fellini at Skegness

Spent the weekend at Butlin’s in Skegness at the Butlin’s Folk Festival – most of the crowd were white, many were bald (as were some of the male singers); if you were there, my partner and I were the well-dressed, youthful, rather good-looking couple in the queue – you probably noticed us.  All the acts great, as they were at Cropredy (big overlap) but only one really for me, Cara Dillon and her band.  I had thought she was a bit twee, having seen her on that Celtic Connections thing with Aly Bain, where everybody is rather well-pressed  and pleased with themselves; very mistaken.  Powerful voice over Sam Lakeman’s driving, commanding  guitar, she sounds to me like a gutsier, Irish Alison Krauss.  Hill of Thieves – fantastic. 

So, what’s this about Fellini? Being dead, if for no other reason, he wasn’t really in Skegness. But outside the Butlin’s gates, on the windswept beach, with the strange, pointy cone- shaped turrets of the big entertainments tent towering behind the fence, dozens of little groups of people trudging along like pilgrims, walking off the Guinness between sets,  it looked like a scene from 8 1/2, or maybe Dolce Vita, or Amarcord…  Anyway, I’ll post our photograph and you will see what I mean.

The Devils

Hopefully, now Ken Russell’s dead and everyone realises how brilliant he was, there will be a DVD of the director’s cut issued.  I was remembering Dudley Sutton in the film, tossing a blackened bone to Vanessa Redgrave in his best insouciant manner; he was a Ted in “The Boys” with Jess Conrad, I think, years before, and was in Fellini’s Casanova, dementedly playing an organ, halfway up a castle wall.  All this, and a close friend of Roger Hilton too.  And Tinker….

Synapse, Blackpaint

5th December 2011

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