The drip

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Today’s the Day

I found a canvas in the street. I had some scraps of garish acrylic paint.

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Exhibition – Day 2

This is a piece I wrote on Tuesday 4th November 2003 during the substantial gaps between visitors on the second day of an exhibition of my work at the Neville Gallery, Llanelli. I had also invited a few others to exhibit some work alongside mine since it is a large hall.

Exhibition Day 2 – Tuesday half ten am.

No one in yet but at least it’s finished. Everything’s up.

The Three Bears

The Three Bears

Laura Mason’s installation – Anna’s paintings – Ian’s drawings – my 87 varieties. Maybe I’m deluding myself but it all looks amazing to me. Toying with the idea of getting in touch with the media – but I don’t really want personal publicity a la Llanelli Star, obviously I’d like artistic publicity-recognition-acknowledgement whatever, but I’m scared of getting my chops in the local paper – daft aren’t I?

Need to go for a piss etc so shall lock up and leave a note on door. Continue reading

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Shopping Monsters revisited

In 2003 on a visit to Carmarthen I spotted a man and a woman coming towards me in the street. They could have been a couple but they looked so similar that they were probably brother and sister. When I got home their image was still in my head, so I painted it on art-card using acrylic paints. Here it is – apologies for the fuzzy photo.

shopping-monsters-2003

Shopping Monsters 2003 – 32″ x 24″ – 80cm x 60cm

The other day I retrieved the painting from the beams of the shed on the allotment. I had rolled it up and stuffed it there three years ago (with a lot of others) when we moved to a smaller place and I had no more room at home.

Of course, three years in a damp shed is going to have an effect.

What 3 years in a shed can do to a painting

I like this painting so I intend to restore it and get it framed – watch this space . . .

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Cheats and Liars – the first Chapter

Here’s the first chapter of my novel Cheats and Liars:

Cheats-and-Liars-FrontO N E

“Are you ready?”

I’m in the kitchen snaffling a crumpet dripping with raspberry jam. Of course I’m not ready. I’m never ready. I am a work in progress.

“Come on. You don’t want to be late for your own exhibition.”

I gulp. A crumb of crumpet sticks in my throat. I cough and the crumb dislodges. Jam stained spittle dribbles over my lip.

“Look at you.”

She tuts and picks up a damp dishcloth.

After she rubs the goo from my mouth and from the lapel of the blue linen jacket I grab the car keys.

“I’m driving,” she says, taking the keys from my hand. “You can drink. You always do. Just try not to offend too many people.”

“What’s it matter? They stick like dry shit whatever I say.”

“Brian! You may be known as the Greatest Living Artist in Wales but nobody likes an arsehole.”

“Like? What’s like got to do with it? They don’t care and I don’t give a toss. It’s not real Lizi; it’s a performance.”

“Then perform, pretend.”

She’s right, and I’ll need to drink so that I can stomach the unspeakable pricks. Every year I bare my arse and they come like slime to a stagnant pond, for I have no talent and they have no taste. This isn’t my life. This is some jerk spewing on cotton canvas and picking the overfull pockets of the privileged and the gullible. The gentle boy in me is lost; he’d feel sad to look through these eyes now, to see my betrayal with its parade of pseudosmilers and its fake humility. I am a hollow husk, devoid of depth. I am dead.

I strut into the exhibition hall, late, of course. Lizi’s at my side, as always.

“Fuck,” I say.

“Ssh! You don’t have to do this,” she whispers.

“Huh! What would these maggots feed on then?”

“Shut up Brian. Behave.”

But I’m right, it’s always the same. The blood-sucking creatures are here like tics on a donkey, creepily reverent expressions turned towards me. Continue reading

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A Video Experiment: a look at some of my Paintings

I made this video to see if

a: it’s something I want to do

and

b: it’s something I can do

The jury’s still out on both counts

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Pastels in a book

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Fire-Work

fire-work

Fire-Work – 2007
Acrylic on Canvas 30″ x 24″ – 76cm x 61cm

(For Sale – contact me if interested)

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Bird on a Wire – Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about a visit to Home Bargains and the painting I started work on with the materials I bought there. See Bird on a Wire – Part 1 for more

I worked on the painting on and off yesterday and then finished it this morning in the cool February light.

Here it is:

bird-pic09-complete-perhapsIt’s fuzzier and darker than I imagined but it keeps its fundamental energy. (It’s also darker in the ‘flesh’ than this photo)

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Bird on a Wire – Part 1

The other day I was meandering around the aisles of Home Bargains when I came across this display of Hulk Hogans.

They were large action figures, the picture doesn’t really show how big they are, but if you look behind them you can see a box of those long rolls of wrapping paper, that should give you an idea.

They were reduced from £49.99 to £10.99. (I wonder why?)

For the briefest moment I considered buying one, (in an ironic way of course, as a kind of art object you understand . . .), but decided my meagre supply of pennies would be better spent on something more relevant and practical, so carried on perusing the shelves. Continue reading

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Two Black Cats – a Painting

This is a photo of my painting Two Black Cats in the Garden

it’s painted in acrylics on a canvas board and it’s no longer in my possession

The painting was part of an exhibition I held shortly after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami. There was some interest in the painting during the exhibition, one woman in particular was very interested in it but couldn’t decide whether to buy it or not.

The painting was inspired by a pair of mad black cats we got from the RSPCA a year or two earlier. We went through a comprehensive vetting process before we were allowed to bring the cats home, involving questionnaires and home visits.

Unfortunately, the cats never settled in. They were basically feral and I’ve still got scars after my altercations with them. We persevered however, and worked hard to make them feel at home until eventually they started behaving like well-adjusted domestic cats.

Unfortunately again, my wife developed a life-threatening allergy to the cats and after a visit to the emergency department of the local hospital, where steroid injections were necessary to restore her breathing, we reluctantly took them back to the RSPCA.

As the exhibition was coming to  close, the gallery asked me if I would donate a painting for an auction they were planning to help the victims of the tsunami. Not wanting the embarrassment of handing over a painting that would fail to sell, I gave them the Two Cats painting, knowing that there had been some interest in it.

A few days later I got a phone call from the woman who had nearly bought the painting during the exhibition saying she would like to buy it after all.

Of course I told her about the auction and she seemed delighted saying she would be going along to bid for it.

She phoned me again a few days after the auction asking advice about framing. I referred her to a framing shop in town who I knew would do a good job with my masterpiece.

I didn’t ask her how much she paid for it in case it was a silly amount like a fiver or something.

I’m glad she got it, but I still miss it.

Click here for another post about this painting

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Two Black Cats in the Garden

Image

Cats & things

Over ten years ago we adopted two black cats via the RSPCA, one dainty and friendly, the other fat and feral – they were sisters, two years old. The RSPCA were extremely thorough – they sent an inspector to visit us at home to check if we were suitable, then they inoculated and ID chipped the animals before we were allowed to take them.

two_black_cats_in_the_garden

This is the painting I did of the ‘Two Black Cats in the Garden’. It was sold a couple of years later. I miss it . . .

The piece below is what I wrote at the time.

There are cats; there are things. Sometimes cats are the things and sometimes the things are cats. Two black cats came into our lives. The big one disappeared for a week, then came back for food and wouldn’t come in or near us. So I trapped it, like a man, with a wooden compost bunker, a broken bamboo and a length of blue nylon string that my wife bought on Carmarthen market when she was thinking about making spinning wheels for a skills lesson on a teaching course last November. She settled for mini pompoms in the end, in fluorescent coloured yarn.

When I trapped the cat, it mauled me – bit through to the bone of the little finger of my left hand and left me with a cluster of deep scratches on the back of my right hand.

I held the beast tight against my chest and got it into the house, proud of my hunting skills – it was a macho affair. The cat pissed on me and hid under the kitchen units. The next morning she was still lurking under the sink and I decided she could have her way and her freedom; so I poked her out with the handle of a brush and shooed her out of the back door. I relaxed, thinking I’d never see her again.

I’ll never forget the images of that cat collected over those few days – a vicious feral beast, terrified and terrifying, with hard white teeth and crisp sharp claws – the smell of the piss, the fur, raised and dirty with cobwebs from under the sink, the eyes pleading, frightened, threatening. The lope as it ran down the garden path, and its teeth piercing the flesh on both sides of my little finger.

Then suddenly, two weeks after she left and immediately following the installation of a cheap cat-flap for the benefit of her sibling, she came back and called me from the living room with her meows because she wanted food. Then she padded around the house, soft and friendly as if she’d never been away.

The other cat got freaked out and they hissed at each other, so we coaxed big puss outside for the night and locked the cat flap.

A few days later, just as the cats were settling down at last, my wife got a massive allergic reaction to them that required steroid injections at the hospital.

Sadly, I took the lovely vicious felines back to the RSPCA.

PS: A few weeks later I got a phone call from a vet’s practice in Blackpool telling me that a black cat registered to me had been found on the loose in the town. She’d been recognised from her ID chip.

Click here for another post about the Two Black Cats

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A Visual Response to Today

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An interesting excursion

Having very little room to work in at the moment I bought a cheap pack of 6 watercolour paints for a fiver (black, white, green, blue, yellow and red) and was given a pad of 12 small watercolour papers that cost about seven quid.

Here’s the result

pepepepeA bunch of weirdoes if ever I saw them. Don’t know if I’ll take it up – watercolour painting that is, not sure if it’s my medium.

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Lost Artwork

The new header image of this website (above – although if you’re reading this (as is likely) more than a few weeks after the beginning of May 2015, it may not be above, because it will have been replaced by something else – therefore it’s also below:)

Yn Y Goedwig

Yn Y Goedwig

Anyway – the new header image (new as of May 3rd 2015) above is a photo of one of a series of acrylic abstracts painted about 4 years ago at the end of a pretty rubbish couple of years when the shop I was involved in got crushed by the after-effects of the global financial meltdown that first sneaked up on us in mid 2008.

I displayed the paintings on the blank walls of the almost empty shop in the absence of proper stock to flog. A few paintings did sell but to my shame I can’t remember which ones. Part of the reason for this is that a couple of tumultuous years and house moves later we took up residency in a small terrace where there was no room for all the paintings I’d accumulated 🙁 – (even more sadly there was also no room to paint), so I left them out in the back yard under sheets of tarpaulin – there were over a hundred, some quite large, like the one above which was 800 mm x 1000 mm or 32in x 40in.

A year later we had to move house again and when I examined the stored paintings I found (not surprisingly) that most of them had been damaged by damp and mould. We were moving to an even smaller place, so what to do?

Reluctantly I decided there was no choice other than to grit my teeth and dispose of them, in an environmentally-friendly way if possible. I took the paintings to the new place, which luckily had enough space behind the railings at the front of the house to store them while we completed the move.

When the time came a couple of days later, I cut out all the canvases from their wooden stretchers and rolled them up. I broke up the wood and piled it up along with the rolled-up canvases in the back of our small hatchback. I can’t remember how many trips it took but I drove the loads to the nearest council waste and recycling centre and tossed the constituent bits of the irreplaceable art into their respective skips.

Afterwards I felt relieved but sad. Each one of those one hundred or so paintings was unique and impossible to recreate. Maybe that’s what art is?

Anyway, they were just paintings.

Click here for a link to a previous piece about some of the artwork written at the time of the exhibition in the shop.

PS: We’ve just moved again to a nicer place, maybe the lost art will return . . .

 

 

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A Gallery

Here’s some pics of some of my paintings. Thanks for looking. Contact me if you want to buy (subject to availability)

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Bright Environment

This is one of my favourite paintings.

I have had offers for it in the past and have turned them down but I’m now willing to consider sensible offers. I’m very attached to it so make it worth my while please 🙂

bright environment-1024Bright Environment – Acrylic on Canvas 2003/4 – 39″ x 32″ – 100cm x 80cm

Apologies for the low-quality phone photo. It looks even more amazing in real life

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Orange Mess

orange-mess-5-rs

Orange Mess

Mixed Oils and Acrylics on Canvas 18″ x 22″ – 46cm x 56 cm

For Sale – reasonable offers please, sure to increase in value
Used for the cover of my short story book – Dead Flowers

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Red Woman on Yellow Background

Some more work in progress – almost finished I think

5-red-woman-resized

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Birth of a Blue Woman (With Yellow Flowers)

A Ble Woman with Yellow Flowers is a painting. The pictures show how it developed over a few days. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s finished or whether it ever will be. It will probably end up in a corner of the shed and get chucked during one of my periodic clearing-outs at some point.

It’s painted in acrylics on a home made canvas. Dimensions 65cm x 55cm – about 26″ x 22″

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