Tuesday, 28 December 2010


I awoke with excitement.  It’s the 28th of December, morning, 2010.  I woke with relief. 
It’s another UK shopping Holiday and New Year to come but really, it’s over. 
Peace reigns.  I turn off the alarm, wake again to the snooze, turn that off and slept again untroubled for the first time in . . .  how long? 
Since well before Christmas. 
Well, since before Christmas started in November or was it October? 
I calm a reflex panic twitch. 
Who and what have I missed, where should I be, taking what to-whom wrapped bulky and clinking, to-where travel and what to buy on the way?  Lifted all that stress, forgotten. 
The cards for overseas, for the land mail, by hand tramped locally, online, the presents, the shopping, all that food, wrapping paper, the wrapping - all done. 
If not done, too late and will never be done now. 
I can start to enjoy Christmas at last and it's been a good one.  I snuggle down and doze. 
The Virgin and Christ know when He was born, but what a labour His birthday bestowed.  Happy Christmas 2011! 

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Devil took the Details

At the RiseArt launch at Gallery Primo Alonso, Hackney Road, London.

Walking the iced un-gritted pavements eastward in the snow, I realise I only ever crossed Hackney Road. I know the junctions well as nodal points in traverses of the city, but not the street as a length. Here are solid London-brick terraced properties that would grace anywhere were they elsewhere, and here is Gallery Primo Alonso.
I wonder what it was.
I’ve passed mirror shops and betting shops and a bingo hall, the odd braced looking restaurant, bright lit veg oil smelling fast food places, and establishments making furniture and handbags. There’s a shut-down children’s hospital. Haggerston Park park is smartened up.
The gallery is tiny, the works are tinier and perfectly standard sized people are giants as they stoop, peer and cross from one end to the other in four paces by seven. I checked as not many of us are here for it’s still early and a half inch (2 cms) of snow scares Britain to a standstill.

God is in the Details is the title of the show, ‘A celebration of craftsmanship and precision in fine art’, but ha, old eyes don’t do detail no more.
We early arrivers dwarfed art that could be mistaken for light-switches, and surreptitiously at first then ostentatiously wearing my strongest reading glasses, I paid sudden attention to alarm-code keypads just in case they weren’t . . . or were. The other early few are all young; they look like the gods should, bearded but smooth of face, limbs rounded, breasts held not held up, and you would have to be young to have eyes acute enough to see this ‘old as new’ show.
Making small is, when all's said and done, a harking back or yearning for absolute control and security.
This is Art made with cross-eyed-focus featuring ephemera; cassette cases (Gong Yu), a glass placenta, an embroidered super-market check out slip, asemic poetry (James Brooks), a perfectly poised sterling sliver pencil (hallmarked) (Tom Cookson), the mysteries of the prism and peek holes into 1:16 scale cardboard boxed environments.
Not being able to discern the detail renders them sterile, mind well Mijo Yoshida’s
BodyCash: Placenta is triumphantly sterile with a pill-like calculator battery making the perfect touch in a starkly well made point, almost glib, but none-the-less for that. A pace and turn away, a doll exposes herself in anatomical deconstruction of self before a tiny mirror (Erica Dorn).
I felt deconstructed to disconnection. My eyes are too old for this, I physically can’t see it and even less could I do it anymore.
I used to work small, to engrave universes in miniature and noticed then that there were viewers who quite simply could not see what I was doing. It was to them what these works are to me, blurs and smudges on perfect white walls for A Devil has taken away detail.
There is something of a ‘freak show’ about miniature art - the dimensional insignificance of the works lends plenty of swinging room to the suspicion of obsessiveness in both the artist (often here admitted) and viewer. There is a rationale to scale in respect to what is being ‘said’, but this is not jewelry or micro-electronics. Can the Gospels really be inscribed on the head of a pin, and if so, so amazing . . . but so what so crafty?

God is in the Details is sponsored by RiseArt and info@riseart.com was there . . . as a giant amongst the art and big enough for me to see. RiseArt has money for staff, for organisation, for moving away from their initial virtual platform, for commissioning shows and prints and sponsorship . . . now there’s an impressive and rare thing!

Detailed beginnings, but God must be young to see them.


Switch Mask

olejack.com olejack.com olejack.com

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Jasper Queens

The economic cuts are coming.  We don’t know what this is going to mean to ‘me’.  Will ‘I’ have a job, a pension, a holiday?  Can I afford to be a ‘deficit denier?’ 
Life has become very retro: indecision and uncertainty afflict us and whilst on hold, I look for certainties, I look back. 
Will we be able to afford education or relocation, even redecoration or a life as I’ve known it?  Will we be amongst the ones cast adrift from the lullings of new everythings, amongst those credit-strapped who will be left out in the cold making do? 
Life has become retro: looking back, what have I done?  How did we deserve this?  Where have I been?  But forget ‘experiences’, is there anything from experience that I won’t be able to do again? 
Is there anything from experience, from imagination, that I need to do that will help me? 

I’ve had a wasp colony for neighbours this past summer.  Wasps and I rubbed along fine - they’re better company than flies, than mosquitos, shitful pigeons or scampering, gnawing rodents - and I’ve swept up this season’s worker-wasp corpses in numbers that impress me.  I am rather awed, they are fabulously marked handsome little creatures, jasper and black, and of course they can sting but they aren’t hunting me like mosquitos, or eating my food, or at least not in so disgusting a manner as flies do.  Wasps cut bits off clean, eat or take (wing) away. 
It’s October now and getting colder.  Jasper queens should be tucked up snug for over-wintering but they’re still cranny-hunting amongst the rafters in my studio, methodically quartering the skylights and buzzing about. 
It’s getting colder and we’ve waited for October to be told, but the cuts are no more clearly understood. 
Life has become very anxious: my options have shrunk and buzzing wasps busily going about house-hunting and planning ahead is unnerving me.  What do they know that I don’t?  Nothing useful to me, I know they’re just doing what wasps always do, but their instinctive certainty exposes my uncertainty.  If we are to fail, they could take over and admire jaspers as I do, I can’t be standing by allowing a wasp take-over.  It’s a species thing. 
With no other clear direction, I’m stirred to do my bit in our defence. 
How can you ‘kill’ at all is one question, I’m flapping to go on the offensive, but how could I kill buzzing pregnant females? 

Works On Yellow
Jasper on Yellow

The words ‘wasp’, ‘queen’, and ‘jasper’ carry many various connotations.  I’m not canny enough to attempt a pastiche embracing the range of meanings, although I wish I was. 

Wednesday, 13 October 2010


 All That Consoles, Aniconic, Aperitif, Apostate, Before Jefferson, Crisis, Cube:1-2-3, Default, Deflexion, detail, Dots, DREN, Field, Flowers, Hatchet, He Did It, Hubris, ION, Laid Out, m;m&m, Napoleon, Nomads, Orifice, Orifice 2, Over The Sink, Pentagon, Pivotal, PLA-3, Quatra, Rooves, Rule Of Law, Scribbler, Secular, Sex, Skirls:1-2-3-4, Sleep, Smart Artist, Spirit Hovel, Squiggles:3-II-I, Text, Thud and Blunder, Tracks:1-2, Triumph, Via Dolorosa, Writing, Writing 4.  54 works on yellow.

Works On Yellow

I have been working on yellow for a decade, longer perhaps in producing several hundred drawings on yellow paper, of which for a reason now forgotten, I had an abundance. 

I drew, discarded many, but the pile grew and it was with a twinge of panic in 2010 that I saw my cache of yellow paper had dwindled to single figures.  This size-this Yellow became too precious to use - I have to keep my remaining few yellow sheets safe for that super-special drawing that will never come - and no good can come from that thinking.  I have to find another colour, I had to run out on yellow to finish.

Works on Yellow are representative of the series as a whole - these 54 may be the cream but I don't judge that with any certainty.

In Works On Yellow I see the germ and kernels of paintings and prints, projects, stories, love affairs and loss, my attempts and speculation, campaigns; and idlings on once current affairs.  I see obsessions that no longer obsess me, interests I don't remember having - and haunting, prompting me now, issues that have led nowhere to date. 


The prefix 'PLA' that pervades Works On Yellow-online is an intrusive file-nomenclature which has a derivation I can't unravel.  Yellow paper from John Purcell Paper. 

Saturday, 25 September 2010



This is about Last Month when I wrote 31 blog posts - one on every August day, each about the preceding day - of 31 Yesterdays.

ground rules *
I wanted to write of daily passions, concerns and rages.  A diary of sorts, one that took account of but was not about my present mood.  The first thought had been to write a daily piece about The Day Before Yesterday but trying that proved to be so confusing that I settled for Yesterday(s). 
Each post had to be short and manageable, and with Twitter's 142 character-limit example, I set a daily target of approx. 140 words. 

what happened
More ground rules were needed but I didn't know it when I started out. 
With FB etc. fit for the purpose I should have advertised my intent, and not doing so was an avoidable error. 
Another mistake was not setting aside a regular time to write each post.  I left that to chance and opportunity.  I had the one-a-day deadline, but with no other structure the task lurked and preyed on my mind.  It became a chore to fulfill that had each day beginning with a
look backwards
It played tricks on me . . . was I attempting insight, comedy or pathos?  I found myself trying to find a sensation to spice each Yesterday. 
I had figured 'What Is Yesterday Now?' but I didn't know what I was getting in to.  The project consumed far more time and energy than I predicted. 
It set traps and I fell into all of them. 
I had to be careful not to write about Today, the day of writing. 
It was hard not to refer forward from Yesterday through Today to Tomorrow, and harder not to dwell on the causes of Yesterday's action. 
I was disheartened during the month and several times I thought of giving it up. 

then what happened
The capture of brilliant moves and noteworthy events was in my mind, but there weren't many, if any, of either in a month of my yesterdays. 
I come to realise that I'm not as stable as I'd thought, that my days are very uneven.  I'm not as rational, considered or as spontaneous as I'd imagined.  All about my yesterdays-all about me, and I find that I do have a focus - somehow, my time does produce something.  I was part reassured by that normality. 
How determined or capricious had been my intent?  What would have happened had I got sick or had a crisis befallen me?
I have become more adept at posting up blog-posts although many Yesterdays tested me to write and bored me to read.  31 days straight - 31 posts.  A post-a-day is self-entrapment.  Some posts were very rough.  Were there any good ones?  There was little time to edit.  As I became more assured in the habit, and more confident in the mechanics of posting,
Yesterday got longer and gained pictures but was there a thread? . . . and that begs the obvious question: Why would I expect anyone to want to read them? Blogger and FB friends might well have hidden me from news-feeds for over-productivity. 
My answer is always the same to that: If I don't do it, nobody will have the chance and it's up to you (me) whether they get to read it or not. 

(And then I wrote this.)

Yesterday :01 August 2010

*I hoped to find a voice in the 'playful environment of language: irony, flirtation and ambiguity', and weave a spell of clarification. The Academic.

Sunday, 19 September 2010


I've just watched a video posted by a b-uncut friend (link). I wouldn't have made it through all 3 mins:33 secs. had I not been virtually invited by the maker.

The virtual connection was probably the most telling part of my watching experience for how else would the artist have found me as a viewer, and without the virtual how might I have seen this video at all?

There is in fact nothing I wanted to say about the work which left me cold, failed to absorb me and told me nothing of the past, present or future that I didn't already know. The work isn't awful, it has merits, it is a good try and I like that.
To be gratuitously acerbic and while I have my kicking boots on: it is entirely predictable in the shaky emotive camera work, the imagery is neither revealing nor is there a surprise; the gimmickry is amateurish and the soundtrack tacked on top could equally well be wired into the ears whilst wandering around the Taj Mahal or riding on a bus. Perhaps I'm revealing too much in mentioning that the piece is entitled 'Trip'. Notwithstanding all, I 'liked' it.
I wonder though whether I'm giving the artist, the work, or me the viewer, a fair crack by seeing it in this fashion?
I'm tempted to answer my own question with a 'yes' because it is a video short made for YouTube, so on YouTube or similar is how to see it.

I could have pasted my thoughts into the comment box where you find smiley emoticons and not-all else, but, why bother going to all the trouble just to slate a piece of work in the way I have? Have any of us got the time to respond?
Everything has its own terms, and there is the argument to consider that the work with an online presence stands or falls by those parameters alone. A vid on YouTube dies or thrives on views. Merit is defined and criticism encapsulated by view figures. Why work harder, why buck that system?
Is this then the quality of criticism we must rely on for poems, prose-pieces, paintings, music and for all work put up on the web?

" Everyone says, I love it, great job, all those wonderful things a person wants to hear. That's bullshit. It can't all be good (so I must trust the judgement of those who expect more. "
. . . complains Mr Botched Resolution (link), and he's right.

'Good work', a 'like', a smiley emoticon is all you get criticism-wise online, and it is easy to like a poem, image, prose piece or clip. The painting online does not impinge on your space, the poem doesn't collect dust or boring beetles or get damp, music and videos get dropped into the software and are only missed or even remembered in random selection or when the system fails.
For a painter, viewing paintings online is the hardest. I suspect I like a lot on the screen that would grieve me if I were to see the work live. By the same token I must miss as much and when you can't trust your judgement in this way, almost any criticism seems out of place.
You have to sit through the movie, to read the whole book, to pay attention to that song . . . to plough to the poem's end before the investment in time gives one the ability, gives the liberty to criticize.
Online, if I don't like one thing - gone it is in a click and here comes the next. Why stop to examine?
The critical flaw in online criticism is that there is no middle ground, no hesitance, no lingering or gathering appreciation. If there's the slightest uncertainty we click past and say nothing. We get nothing back either, or nothing between 'its great' and a mad blast of obscenities.
Occasionally I get advertising - now that's an odd one.
'How exciting!' I think. 'I have a response' but not a comment on my work, instead: an invitation to view someone else's or to buy a something else completely.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

31: The Last August Yesterday

... (fell out of bed): shaved: ate coffee: read emails.

Hustled any business.

Hustled off to the studio and harried a piccy or such.

Hurried to the pub for a beer -

Home: ate: DVD or not.

Went to bed ....


Again BUT not merely another yesterday.

The End of Summer Public Holiday with a gust of winter amongst the sheltering smokers huddled in holiday scanties, freezing our glowing tips off.

A Monday off is Monday delayed, a disruption cramping the week; an extra Sunday in for domesticity, out on the razz or for extra-special shopping. Service and show-biz are in full swing and so too are artists fitting in a quiet day's work. I fretted quietly on what to do next, not working.

Of a Monday, a Monday of all days to wrap this sequence up with ...

Monday, 30 August 2010

August Yesterday no: 29 or 30

Mooched around trying not to think about this blog and resigned yesterday to doing just that.

Sad, or so I felt it to be.

Tomorrow's will be the last - I am certainly not going to be thinking of an August yesterday on the First of September - Do I try to go out with a yesterBANG?

And that para above is exactly what I didn't want to be writing (even though I asked the questions yesterday)  The Academic talked 'diaries' at me and we maundered over loving lawyers, The Tempest and 'reading blocked'.  Is writing or drawing the MAGIC of clarification?  He speculated that I was doing these posts to cure a 'writing block'.

These posts were not the sort of daily where expressions of hope for the future had a part.  I am, after all, writing in and of the very future of yesterday.  I wanted to avoid the ' I ran out of yoghurt - bought food ' sort of thing as well, but tripped straight into the trap.

Of Yesterday: to avoid the rage or triumphs of the present, or, to put those rages and triumph into recent context.  I find that Time is not so kind as to allow this caprice.  Rage endures even while triumph fades.

I might have been brave enough to attempt my first idea - to write a daily piece about 'the day before yesterday'.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Yesterday Dissipated

MY desktop cleared of one set of bossy .pdfs and there are new ones poking between the regular files, applications and folders.

I skirt them warily yesterday - and there are new meaningful pages bookmarked on my browser to be considered.

I'm running out of puff, painted-out for now and have lost the counting of the number of yesterdays - according to my reckoning yesterday's yesterday post should have been no.26, but blogspot numbered it as 27-

Puzzled to have missed something somewhere. I'd lost a day-behind.

( Today's yesterday is number ...

Oh, never mind. )

The last Saturday of the month and I felt demob happy, the end is nigh, nearing - I'll soon be August blog-free, off the net, done and FREE.

Sad in a way that it's coming to an end. The routine has become, like all my daily routines, necessarily routine. What will I do without thinking about yesterday every day?

'This is all about Yesterday' (approx 120 w) div style="text-align: center;" span style=" font-weight: bold;"titledivTRY THIS FOR THE MONTH OF AUGUST 20. 21.22.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

'Two Pins' for Yesterday

Blokery cont. - drinks with once-but-no-longer GrimT; spotted sat alone queening it on G&Ts at the biggest table in the The Queens Head, Inn or Tavern. I'm surrounded by Queens pubs, one called just 'Queens'.

From his recent-poverty, rich GrimT turns now to mockery of mine and my efforts.

The great ale in that pub soured, and it is a very strange pub - not straight, not gay, not family not even faye; it's style is weekend casual, scruff professional - all week - which is weird and why I meet GrimT there.

I'd draw a line under the guy; I've tried but can't be mean enough.

He's harmless, clever and also beyond-help worldly-stupid and he drives me to derangement. Now his ship's in I wish he'd sail away happy ...

That was about it: not mean to purpose yesterday.

Returned fuming not at mockings but the waste, the earlier satisfaction at grinding out the tasks of artist's statement and jpegs quite dissipated.

Friday, 27 August 2010

(Giving Yesterday Time)

I wanted a fight ... agitated, couldn't settle to anything and least, the dark art of furling umbrellas.
Honed artist's statement for hours circling around something half-decent. From too short to too long, and cutting back to length left me with tatters and shreds.
Too edgy to cook, too edgy to eat, too rattled to read; fiddled in Photoshop but all thumbs and took off to the framer. The frames are perfect but need small, tight, fiddly finishing. I'd have bollocked that up.
It has been a very blokey week and I wanted to smash something, this computer for starters ... I want a fight.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

yesterday done with

The month is coming together

Sourced good frames and pleased by that, relieved I don't have to make them.  Met C. on his huge bike as I crossed the wet road through jammed traffic.  Stood in the rain brolly and helmet domed swopping summer's news and phone numbers.
The Living on this Isle paintings are there.  They looked 'happy' on the studio wall and I can see nothing more to do to them.
My black eye has gone and quicker gone than I'd have thought.  The black line drawings, still holding me safely still in crosshatching complexities, crawl on in spare contemplative hours, and an end is in sight to the tyrannies of this August yesterday blog series.
D. wondered at the 'discipline' of a daily post and by that he thinks the effort mad.
A few forms filled; eyed up jpegs to format and fees to pay, and the month is run.
Drafted a blah-blah artist's statement which will have to be good.  So-so so far.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Given time Yesterday

Drunk many-many with BR. and ML. and for the first few drunk, we talked as normality prescribes.  Beyond that, the real drunk tuned in.
What were we like as adolescents; and yesterday, why we are there drinking then, the consequence of the common hell of our being pubescents together in an alien world of adulltry. (deliberately no 'e' even although adding an 'e' would make no odds)
All men become old men in pubs and we are and we could see it in our faces, watched it happening drinking around us and about to, given time.

'What a pretty women', I thought 100 times on the way home; the young oriental lady with the silver buckled shoes, of the blonde wearing specs in white pants.  Folk were aware that I look and write as they are wary, preen-hostile, when they see a draftsperson drawing or camera pointing.  Look.  A looking weirdo!
‘Freak’ some eyes dart alarm, 'don't portray me as a weirdo’.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

floods and frames

THE yard up to the porch door was flooded by overnight rain.  I never heard it.  Never do hear crying or crises in the night or so I'm told crossly in mornings.

Swept at water and wrung and hung the mats, then fled.  The place could wash away for all I care.

I wanted to see if the studio had leaked; the roof is a sieve.  I've lost weeks of work, pounds and poundsworth to the elements.

All well.  The rain had lashed at the sound side, the gunnels had held.  Top floor studio, good height, great light, perishing in the winter, broiling in the sun, long-term secure but leaky - great space.  Cheap though, but considering - it would have to be.


Varnished Living on this Isle pair; set up photo gear and snapped them.  Hunted hopefully through the old frames for three suitables for the Discerning Eye competition entries and failed to find any.  I'll have to make or buy.

I hate frames and not just 'hated frames yesterday'.  Hating frames is not a hobby.  I really hate those square-cornered, up-tight-fitting dust-free delicates.

Monday, 23 August 2010

This is all about Yesterday: No. 22

I WAS blissfully idle, idea free, event light, and non-momentous in any manner.
I knew and suspected that a day like yesterday would happen sooner or later.

I could have gone to church. I didn't. I could have bought something or painted something but didn't either. Or lay waste to the shrubbery - no.

I was bone idle, thoughtless, did little, and completely unmoved to inspiration in any direction. Bliss.

When I embarked on this 22 days ago I feared there would be blank yesterdays in the month, and I’d been warned:
If you are to do a daily, weekly or regular cartoon or address or post, it is vital to have a few pieces in hand to cover events; gaps in event, inspiration or concentration; and the pressures of time.
So I did. In eager, early keen moments of enthusiasm, I mapped out imaginary amalgam Yesterdays just in case the real one turned out to be too too dull.

I thought of using one.

so i write it down, stare at the words for hours, sharpen pencils, pet her spit clean cat, consider myself a moment, move on to other things, pace the floor, drink beer, tear butts off cigarettes, then watch matter and energy smolder a few inches from my face, yet not be destroyed; atomically sealed tight. you dig?

extract from Impervious by Botched Resignation

Sunday, 22 August 2010

City-pastoral Yesterday

Saturday stubbly, breaking through the spider webs to sit outdoor, I notice that the grass has started to grow again.  I will need to plan for clearing my area of the summer growth.
Virginia Creeper, vines and ivy grasping and twining, are rioting towards the house.  The drought is over, and the seasons spiders are on the prowl indoor, and meshing up every flight path from wall to frond out.
MadMog passing through, battered one spider to death in a cat kerfuffle and was most proud of herself.   Not so well bred but she's too well fed to eat it.

Swung past the studio late afternoon and there, things were drying nicely so I didn't stay to watch.

Baled out half-way through a mawkish play about fighter pilots.  It was the dialogue breaking into verse that did for me.

Post Hoc yesterday - after this, therefore because of this?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

nervy yesterday

- nervous before setting off for the studio - I don't know whether I'll like what I find there and I'm eager to be rid of the 'Living on this Isle' pair.  Of a sudden, their 'mood' has passed and I've had enough of them persistently not being finished and hanging around my neck.  I want them done and gone, for good or bad.

In the painting of a painting this is a good sign.  Maybe I've got it - quite probably not but in so far as it goes, this is as far as I'm going to get starting from here with what I've got, and so-be-it.

I don't know if they are finished or abandoned?

I don't know, I'll never know.  I'm the sob painting the wretched thing, not the anonymous plural 'one', who gets to look at it.

In the event I was more relieved by the fresh sight of them than I'd expected.  It seemed so obvious - either, a bit here-bit there, bit o'cleaning, wax / varnish - sign and photo; or, chuck 'em away and start again and I wasn't going to do that.

I did a bit here and a tight little blob there, and thought the next one (bigger than, better than) and had a Guinness-ey thirst brought on by S.'s new FB profile pic.  It was Friday and I hadn't had a drink for, well, some hours.  I'd had enough of painting and being parental, I wanted to watch women drinking in N1 or EC1, or N16 or anywhere over the rim of a glass.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Reminded to do Yesterday

M. woke me calling from his porch in NZ, on the other side of the clock 12 hour different, and quashed my hangover resolve to give up blog-a-yesterday for the day.

I was going to have a day off, but fibres stiffened by M.'s mockery and contempt for my feebleness in the shade of alcohol, laboured slowly into the morning remember-blogging the day before.

A good day not to do any damage in my studio and I realised the danger that this blog series would become a blog about blogging; along the lines of - what happened yesterday, mmm ... 'I wrote a blog about the day before.'

The mountaineer slept on and we breakfasted at noon.

He re-packed his fuming mound of ropes, wedges, harness, carabiners, nuts and screws and quickdraws and boots and shoes and chalk and bivi bag and guide books and camera and phone and wearing the cooler looking kit, shouldered it all, stuck helmet in a polybag and we headed out for his bus.

I pondered on which painting to donate to a charity auction in aid of the Pakistan flood victims. R. came through with the idea of giving one from our back catalogue as well.

J. the author HM, told me stories of spiritualists, then about the play she is co-authoring and of a loved old friend slipping into dementia.

Thursday, 19 August 2010


I struggled at the studio nearly finishing two nearly finished paintings. Later after much circling, buzzed up ticked off and blinded, I left them as nearly finished with no damage done, which was a bonus.

Nothing so useless, nothing so aggravating, so compelling, niggling and plain-bloody-annoying as an unfinished painting getting in the way and demanding attention; it may as well not be there; half done is not done is nothing done and narking.

Yesterday: I decided today that I won't paint tomorrow.

Or, at least that's what I think we decided upon in a fuddle of tenses.

A second late night talking family-us, all that good gab and more.

no solution



Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Do you know? ... I'm going to take a day off.

I wasn't expecting visitations this August.

I wasn't going away, and whilst abandoned by the holidaying everybody-else, I'd dedicated the month to stuff ... a print project, this blog series and painting 'Living on this Isle'.

That should have been enough.

Domesticity has gone by the board.

My kitchen is calm - one filthy plate, one dirty spoon, one crusted pan - you get the idea; the rest, clean and cupboard stowed.

I know where I'm going and I go nowhere else. I can see my trails through the dust.

My dairy has emptied and I can wing it - in whenever, out for as long as - food on the hoof.

I've no-one here to talk AT me so I can talk to anyone.

Or so was the plan ... but the dust is raised, September is early and I ran from pillar to post painting as an after-thought.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Yesterday's Ruminations

The summer has been fine - y'know - occasionally mounting various women, but the end of August means September and all the shit starting again. The Academic.
It was fine, once I'd levered the charred remains of the handle from the bottom of the pan with an ice-axe. The Mountaineer.
Art - an unopened parachute that you didn't pack yourself.
The painting part of the day went well - hours of solid progress.
I liked that.

jim the collector?

Monday, 16 August 2010


16 YESTERDAYS down with 15 more to do, I'm half-way through a blog-post-a-day for August. The project has made it a l-o-n-g fortnight and it is making for a longer month. Phew, and time was passing so quickly before and still the hours fly. Time slows as I write until so much is happening that I can't write fast enough.
Details I'd have forgotten or accepted in passing, impress themselves just in case I need them tomorrow when I write of today as yesterday.

Yesterday, neighbour's Mum and eldest Son argued long into the evening. He left the house in a slamming rush and she hurried after him. She must have got him for their raised voices came again, indistinct of word but the very music of rages and frustration.

Eschewing shades I brazened my black-eye, forging through the tourists at the Sunday market on the way to a short painting session. Sunday is a busy day at the studio.
Different folk paint at different times and I hear comings and goings, activities and unknown voices from studio doors set ajar I know only as locked fast in the week.

Neighbour MadMog slinked in for a bit of peace, to purr at me all the pussy-cat news. On R&R from the war next door.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Saturdays aren't yesterdays

or properly a day at all.

Dreary computing shopping cleaning accounting, calendar and rain.  J. to arrive here on Monday from mountaineering trashed and heavy with gear, and another J, HM the author was to come over later that evening for a 9 p.m. intimate, bottle, seminar, gossip and cackle.
I don't know how to square that ... can't cancel one and don't want to postpone t'other.  I have to plan a jaunt with god-daughter E. (11), and the old-lags from the alma mater are circling for a beer or several while it's summer quiet.  Huh, don't they know that while it's 'quiet', I'm busy doing a year's work in the studio - the only uninterrupted non-drinking time I get to have is Ramadan and when the trade is on holiday and the two coincide this year.  Family and Friends - who needs them!
'misery curmudgeon, you can't put that last in'
'sure I can, it's online only'

Saturday, 14 August 2010

13th yesterday (Friday)

WHILST 'sharing' tea and a snack with Living on this Isle painting; thought that 'facts are fine, but interpretations are the problem.'

Don't shoot the messenger is fair enough, but it is the messenger who fails and not the medium.

Ruminating on that, mixed a complicated eau de nil then garnished with alizarin.

Black eye develops nicely under brow in spreading gorgeous bruise shades - prussian plus a touch of black, transparent base, carmine - edged out with white, dab of carmine again and chrome yellow. I would wear sunglasses to obscure my awful visage, but summer's yesterday here is dreary and dull and I'd bump into the architecture and suffer more damage.

Decide that my black eye is your problem not mine.

Google-translated texts for hours and set to reading The Tempest. Pondered on Caliban / Taliban post-imperialist guilt analogy and puneries.

R. goes to Morocco today (today) and we could have drunk to her departure but each too cross to. The Academic wonders if she thumped my eye - then wondered quietly aloud, some friend, that she didn't thump both of them.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Blame Game to Black Eye

COLLECTED funny looks and startled glances, and checking in a fisheye comfort mirror covering an underground corner, see convexly that I sport a very large nose, domed forehead, tiny receding ears and in the bendy perspectives, a blinking black eye and I've no idea how I got it.

I'd had no collisions and I can't remember jamming shades, finger or paintbrush into my face. Not thumped yesterday. Could it be abuse or self-abuse whilst sleeping? No. No sleeping since shaving and no black eye then.

Tough, gym-toned, fit looking dudes look edgy, check around the talent for harder and looked away.

I'm not going to pick a fight with them but they aren't so sure. Women look concerned. Perhaps one of their gender did it and I might turn nasty. Perhaps they want to mother me, perhaps not.

Where do you look when you've got a black eye? How do you look out of one? Brazen is hostile. Humble I don't do. Sorted you aren't. Cool is impossible. Victim? Sporty ... buggerit, chip out the frozen peas - got any concealer?

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Yesterday's Game

Mixed it with an International standard Blame Game player on peak form.

A genius in truth.

I feel faultily innocent, and fault depends on who's doing the telling.



Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Yesterday Already

Another Yesterday to write about already. Yesterdays happen so darnedly quickly and so often. I was just beginning to relax and get smug about the day, to feel easy with an extra last, last glass when hey-presto, the clock hit all four zeros and today has an unblogged yesterday blog to write.

I'm going to try and do this before going to sleep and get out of here blog post free, blog done in the morning, which, I still think of as Tomorrow (but that above is about today and I keep on forgetting). This is So Self-Indulgent.

Okay, 'Nothing happened Yesterday,' that's it, I'm off to bed ... but no ... self-indulgence has it's responsibilities, it's self-whittled club to tumble on my toes.

HellsBells, what happened Yesterday?

So recently it was I can't have forgotten so soon, where's my list?

List lists tomorrow.

Where's yesterday's list?

Here it is ... and I see I didn't do any of it.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

feisty yesterday

I got a handle on the 'Living on this Isle' paintings. After interruptions by black lines, fights, booze, indecision and disappointing printmaking, I saw them, and made the first considered marks - hitherto all random washes, dribbles and splots. I don't do so good with the random 'device'. I don't see random as well as I'd like to, but now I know what I'm doing, I can bloody-well get on and paint it.

I could see what is afoot and walked headstrong along the canal path defying cyclists and must STOP doing that - I will end up in a fight or in the water, or bitten by meandering dog just joining in the fun.

Nearing home as I passed their door, I remember Neighbour S who died. He brought me over a bottle of wine the night I was burgled.

Reaching the middle page, hit half-way in the Sketchbook Project!


Monday, 9 August 2010


Today is pressing hard and I wan't to get out there amongst it. I can't think about yesterday this morning.

Might return to this fwd-slash that yesterday later today. (see Note)

I wonder if 'good stuff' isn't worth recording and I take good stuff too much for granted. Probably words for happiness are the hardest to find.

Happy - that will do.

Yesterday was too good to blog about and now Y. is slowing me down so gotta go.

Note: this is a blog series about 'yesterdays'.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A Yesterday Off

I thought I'd take a day off from the increasingly onerous task I've set myself of blogging about yesterday and do something else, like I don't know, like learn 1-10 in Turkish, or in compiling a 'previously on' omnibus edition of yesterdays into a 'This is all about last week' piece, or, have some fun for once.

Writing of Y. means starting each morning looking back. I thought I'd give it up.

Different as days are, they seem to conspire to be like one-another, to pass in a blur, to amount to something only by their accumulation of experience and progress. That dazzling day of transcendent moment makes it's own entrance and didn't show up.

But I needn't have worried.

I can write about sleeping.

Slept late, fell asleep in the tub as I thought about giving up - the yesterday blog not opening a vein, had a doze, listened to music and napped, ate and had a post-prandial snooze, woke myself up snoring as the movie ended and went to bed late, so started sleeping again earlier Today which doesn't count.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

moving commas around

What did happen yesterday?

The day kept me amused, kept me busy enough. I was engaged by it. Y. made me mad, made me laugh, fed me and got me from sleeping to sleep okay, but what of it?

A trash bag burst and trailed garbage around. That peeved me ... underfoot, I see we drink that much coffee and eat that many eggs. Set out late and enraged, crossened afresh from writing up the day before that.

I glowered at pretty women passers-by instead of glowing. I am discreet about it. They ignore me either way. My temper improved as the day progressed.

So: glowered, passed the time of day and nattered, painted a bit, I wrote but in fact spent more time moving commas around; a bag split open, a light bulb failed and I ate more apples than I've eaten in a month. (2)

Was that it? Yes it is.

Grand Socco

Friday, 6 August 2010

that bloody yesterday

So raging that I could hardly wait for the hour hand to pass midnight to vent spleen on yesterday. R and I took the leap of faith at an ocean of experience and fell right in.

Our project isn't doomed, never say that, never think it, not 'til you really have to and not even then, no, but our project is in shambles and such is the solid, stolid main-course of the working studio week.

What a rigmarole and I blew S's ears flat telling him all about it.

The booze helped him bear it.

His water babe took him bowling, then in true Francis Drake style cast off to engage more brooding matters and left him on the quayside.

He was happy to wave.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

about yesterday

A single purposed Wednesday of printmaking that made no prints but produced more printing plates to be printed.

Flapped about with stencils preparing proofing paper with painted background colour and left the lot to dry.

The Sentence of the Day had to incorporate the word 'plethora' and I practised with plethora of no panache before snapping out of it, and looking to the competition gave plethora best. Opened a bottle of wine, entered LA and I for Salon Art Prize online (hello Photoshop my old software mucker, pal, partner in crime, brill fiend friend from hell) and while paying entry fee, marvelled at my finances.

Midweek and not half through the program. There are paintings calling to be moved that linger nagging on hold. Wednesday was the 'why?' day and it felt whyish from start to finish.

palm print proof peeled off press and pinned

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

All about Tuesday

Cyprus J cut my hair and R didn't notice and if she didn't, was satisfied he'd done a good job. J had been to California for a family wedding and told me of it unstoppably on auto, jet-lag included.

Lots of Yesterday thinking about what happened the day before and getting mangled by time.

When do you write about yesterday?

Tomorrow silly. Or today.

Is note taking allowed?

No idea.

This is maddening, was maddening, is ... oh I give up.

I worried for S the Academic and his water-babe. No news. He's cradled on her swell or drowned for sure.

R studio sparkly cracking Moroccan jokes, and from having no clue what we were about, we now have too many ideas. Reflected late that her no-notice of haircut meant nothing what-so-ever.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

This about Monday

Walking to the train I see that C's Kitchen is closing down and collected a momento mug while making farewell. C tried to press her cookbook on me but cookbooks and I never work out. I'm to lose sight of the two women who worked the shop. The striking blonde lost to Thailand's gain and lost too her saucy eyed colleague with the saucier figure who sat outside on breaks smoking into her phone, also blonde who always blanked me and last seen with floury hand marks wiped on her black clad behind, her hands I suppose how I imagine though. No good could come of me dating any cook. There are blondes and blondes after all as Chandler said but a fine source of studio food gone, and there, I set to dribbling colour on a pair themed 'Living on this Isle' and drew more black lines and varnished a printing plate during paint drying and thought phases. My 'scotch' sentence didn't get a mention, so piqued I did a sudoku. LA is back in town. Good.

Monday, 2 August 2010

This is all about Sunday

A loose wheel running amok and a prang in the pit lane enlivened the Grand Prix in Hungary, then FaceBooked and blogged a while. Wrote and entered a sentence containing the word 'scotch' (http://www.facebook.com/inasentence) and wandered out to get wine and see if I could spot S smooching with his water babe up on the hill. C came by later to show me his risque baking designs (but that's a secret) and drink the wine. We watched the brown summer thighs walking past headless and footless which with sky, is the only view my window offers.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

This is all about Yesterday

I walked the canal route to the studio. Neighbour S has died suddenly and I thought that I hadn't known him well.
Very hot and close in the space, changed to work pants and bare top and threw carborundum grit at the printing plate R and I are making together. The image is a mess and neither of us know what's going on with it or whether we should be working together again at all. While waiting for the grit to dry fast I continued my drawing, the parallel strokes of black ink creeping slowly down the image. It is one of a pair - ink lines on colour fields. Eyesore and dehydrated. I met P waiting for the bus, he has a work in the Jerwood - third time lucky he said. Shopped in shops for wine and fishcakes then watched Three Kings in bleary fatigue.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Give the Octopus the Golden Boot

I watched Uruguay lose 2-3 to Holland at football and it came as a shock to realise that this match was one of the semi-finals of the World Cup.

It seemed such an ordinary game with the standard looking 22 blokes playing a match between 2 random countries and there have been so many of these routine international matches.

Slovakia vs, Chile vs, USA vs, Ivory Coast vs Germany, Italy, England - Greece. No Morocco or Canada, Egypt, Iran or Russia, or Scotland, but they weren’t missed or not widely. Australia vs Serbia. I could miss that easily, and not miss much at all and it happened. I might have watched.

Don’t ask me what the result was but I admit there’s curiosity, and to be honest, a touch of xenophobia. Wow never admitted to that before, it starts with an ‘x’! Really I must have known that but I’ve never put writing the word to the test.

Spain beat Germany with a goal that was described as ‘English’. For a moment I dreamt that England were still in the hunt. Football, though widely touted as universal, isn’t the same football everywhere as I’d thought. So I’m curious, and watching Koreans play football is about as close to either Korea I’ll ever get, and it makes me puff with national xenophobic pride to have an ‘English’ goal in the semi-final even if it was scored by Don Puyol.

What happened to Japan or Brazil, France and Turkey? How did Botswana do? How far did Sweden get?

Well, I don’t care. The World Cup looked like league footie of the standard weekly fare, but not of the best. Matches of mix-up, effort and disarray. The sort of late night footie for geeks and that last bottle of beer. Brothers played against each other in rainbow sides of players who could be Brazilian or Algerian playing for Germany or France.

This one plays for Blackpool or Man City but not for England, another for Real or Inter, but not for Spain or Italy. A Catalan playing for Spain scored an ‘English’ goal.

I have my team, I have my country and one team has to win and it isn’t going to be my team.

Hell I don’t care, I’m not mad for football, but the World Cup is . . . well, an event. All that spend of hope and money and I feel sorry for South Africa. One football stadium looks just like another. One match to go and does it matter where it is for it’s on TV. What time?

Oh yes, it’s in South Africa, umm . . . not planning to go . . . where so what?

I’ve been intending to blog about the World Cup, but although it has been going on forever, it moves on fast and soon will be all done.

Now, there is a blessed brief gap for reflection before the Culmination on Sunday and I’d better chop-chop, Sunday is short notice in my blogging timescale.

How I wish I’d put money on the psychic crustacean Cephalopod Mollusc (thanx DZ) and it really is TOO LATE NOW.

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