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The painting on the wall


I look at one of my paintings on the far wall as I write this and I try to get in touch with the original inspiration for that particular work. I remember it well in so many ways, but in other more important ones I remain in the dark.

Squares, geometric shapes of regularity and consistency. I could be pejoratively termed ‘a square’ myself, the label would stick readily and easily. Squares are easy to stack, prone to regulation, don’t fall over easily and provide a semblance of solidity. These were not my thoughts while I painted.


My over-riding intention was to create something pretty. Something enjoyable to look at. Humans love beautiful things. What is a beautiful thing and how do you go about creating one? There are ways and means. Light colors, complementary combinations, how the surface is divided – all are used and continue to be used to give pleasure to the eye.


So that was my starting point. At some stage I lost interest in this intention, but held it at the same time in the back of my mind, it’s a natural intention to beautify and organize, for me at least. I wanted more. I wanted the squares to dig into themselves. To criss cross, to relate and interact. To see how they would react to that disjointed entanglement. I must have been happy with the result, because at some stage I deemed the painting complete. And there it rested for some time, sitting in the studio, staring as much at me as I did at them, the squares. The inevitability of them. I don’t think you could use such language with circles.


Language falls away in the face of art, verbal language is inadequate. We might cling to it at our expense but it is better to let it go and just allow the work to speak to you. If it has nothing to say that is fine as well




Mooching through life. My primary mode of transport is to mooch. Mooch up to a painting or song and sniff and see, a very canine approach I will grant you that. Primal almost. But it’s more common than you think. We are all moochers in a sense. Cautious of danger no matter how we attempt to convince otherwise. And then we see something that we like, something that resonates with us and suddenly we don’t mooch anymore, we draw strength and energy and vitality. Our confidence grows and relationship is established with the infamous ‘Other’, which is ourselves reflected.

January is a moocher month. We learn to live again and the duvet days are behind us for better or worse. It’s a big world out there. As big or as small as you want to make it. Mooching is fine, acceptable for a limited period. But hopefully you’ll find those things that will connect you with a larger world. For some that is art or music or whatever. I create art, paintings etc. Artists are moochers too, just like you and me. Ah, consolation in numbers. Moochers of the world unite, then go your separate ways.

Draw and paint to hearts delight and confine mooching to the darkness of early January morns.


Ideas and their gestation


I mentioned in a previous post, earlier this week, how I’ve taken to the idea of writing ten new ideas down each day. I have noticed one thing in my note taking – repetition.

Please strive, as indeed I will to make the ideas as fresh or as different as possible.

However, and this is a big caveat, don’t ignore the ones that keep re-appearing on the lists. It’s those in fact which you may accord primary importance and may well be the first ones to be acted on. Which after all is the whole point of the exercise to act on the all-important musings, or else they remain in that heady abstract atmosphere of mere possibilities.

Another development in this area is that I have taken to adding three sketches to my list taking. So now we have ten ideas and three sketches. For me personally it appears to be important that the sketches be from my imagination, not something from my immediate surroundings.

For instance, yesterday I sketched a man killing a chicken for his supper – I won’t go into further details. Another was of a very large man eating a small burger and finally the last sketch was of a very lanky Stromae singing into a microphone – he had caught my attention at that stage.

I don’t think there is any connection between the three, budding Freudian analyst do share. I think this will be a very good exercise to pursue into 2016 and at least it might help alleviate the problem that when I pick up the iPad to sketch out something I won’t be stumped for an idea. A problem which has continued to pursue from my acrylic and canvas days.

Anyway, have a lovely holiday and enjoy the rest. Talk again soon and don’t forget the link to the book. The all-important free book. Appearing now…

Free book on Kindle



Anyone for more Stromae?


I have so much to say this morning and very little time to say it. So let’s go. First off, on the drive to work this morning, two days before Christmas, no crazy traffic just the few die hards. Traffic lights.

Whose hit the pedestrian light?! Geez – it’s seven in the morning – who would be so insensitive?

Then he walks across. Oversize headphones on his ears. Bald, forties, small and dressed sensibly, too sensibly like someone actually laid out his clothes for him and told him these are Wednesday’s clothes – do you understand? He may have nodded.

He walks slowly across the road, traversing three routes. J-walking is still a crime in this country!

He is pulling a small suit-case by the extended handle, rolling it slowly on its small wheels over the disjointed tarmac. I guess he’s making his way to the train station at this hour, home for Christmas, wherever home may be. The lights change, I pull off.

A group of young guys and gals, in T shirts and night club wear, laughing coming down the road. The juxtaposition, nothing more nothing less, just a big gaudy word is all I can think of – the juxtaposition.

Once in front of the computer, I set to work, but first Stromae, the greatest singer, Belgian no less, no one has ever heard of in the non-French speaking world but he is brilliant. I love his stuff. He states in a TimeOut Article and I quote –

“Before music there was just art, and actually art is just bullshit. It’s so useless, you know? And next to a father, next to a baker, next to necessary jobs, you see that art isn’t really a necessity. That was a big lesson for me.”

An awkward beat. I just stare at the words. Then I whisper ‘Why would he do this to me’, ‘has he been reading my stuff, looking at my paintings?’. Then I laugh, loud hysterical hyena type guffaws that make the cleaning staff look up, worried. I’m just having a little joke. They’ve heard it before; it’s just me and my blog. He’s lucky to have music, I don’t.

Seriously, check him out, his music is brilliant.

Don’t forget the link to my free story, have a good one.

Said link now present beneath these words.

free story



Buddhists say…


‘The Buddhists say there are 121 states of consciousness. Of these, only three involve misery or suffering. Most of us spend our time moving back and forth between these three’.

I read those lines yesterday and pasted them into my document for safe-keeping. Another interesting factoid / opinion safely stored to be rolled out and rehashed whenever the need arose.

But then I was thinking, why keep it for later, might as well use it now. It might well be forgotten in a weeks’ time, what with Christmas and everything. And yes, then you have the Christmas thing about giving, so another reason right there to share it? Not that I needed one.

It’s not really a Christmas message is it? Not the type of thing you’d see on a Christmas card? A Buddhist might not even see it since they presumably don’t celebrate Christmas. So I couldn’t inform them about their beliefs. Who is likely to benefit from such a sentiment?

Hey, as a writer, I just put this stuff out there, where it circulates is not really my problem. It made me smile, (my weird sense of humor – it was a knowing smile btw), but the Christmas card idea stuck. Now all I need is a really good Christmas image. Luckily we are in the right place for images.

If nothing else it will find its way into my top ten ideas for today.

Have a good one.




I read a beautiful line this morning – ‘we are connected to the light within our hearts’. Such a nice sentiment.


All the things we seek and strive for in our art making, and indeed in our daily lives even when we are not fully aware of it.

Maybe this is a disjointed thought, but Christmas is a time of high expectations. We expect to be happy in our lives but especially at this time of Christmas. Its everywhere in the media, but what is happiness?

I think it lies somewhere amongst those three words – Connection-light-hearts.

A gift we can all give ourselves.


Ideas or the lack of them


I had to pause a James Altucher podcast to write this. Granted he was rambling which he is prone to do. If you don’t know who he is, well worth checking out on the Google machine. Occasionally he does come up with some nuggets of inspiration.

For example, write down ten ideas every day.

I’m doing it. Today will be my third day. The ideas can be about anything. Seemingly, according to James, your ideas will get better and stronger and more concrete until you’re almost compelled to realize them.

I always had a problem with ideas, in that mine were nebulous, abstract ghosts. If you stared at them too much they would mutate and shape shift. Moving targets in a sea of fog. So yes, I have a problem with ideas, a difficult relationship. I’m hoping that this practice will improve that area of my life, then all I’ll need to do is work on the actions to bring those ideas into being.

Ah, nothing is easy. Well, nothing worthwhile. If only ideas came forth fully formed and with all the answers tidily attached life would be so much easier. Okay, it might lessen our ability to learn, to resource and grow in self dependence but hey! – Who said anything is perfect?

Seriously, the writing of the ideas, daily, is a good suggestion. Don’t say you have a good memory and you don’t need to write them down and you’ll remember because you don’t, and you won’t. And you’ll be the poorer for it.

The attached image is a practice in itself. Naïve art. How much detail can you add before everything goes south? Is it even art? A lot of the time you have to answer these questions yourself and come up with alternative ways of looking at things. Hence, the ideas.

It’s good to have a plentiful supply of them when the questions come a calling.


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