On the Wall at Off the Wall

I’m very pleased to say that my paintings are now on the walls of the Off the Wall Gallery in Llandaff. The gallery is a proper gem of a place close to the cathedral and the High Street and its walls host the work of some of the most sought-after artists working in the UK today.

The gallery really is worth visiting in person, the paintings are exhibited beautifully. If you want a preview click on the image below to visit their website or click here:

off-the-wall-website

 

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New Work – Fresh Fruits

A close look at this painting will reveal what’s still visible of the painting featured in my last post.

But here it is – the definitely finished work:

Acrylic on Canvas - 1200mm x 1000mm

Fresh Fruits: Acrylic on Canvas – 1200mm x 1000mm

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More work in progress – abstract art

Quite a big canvas – 1200 mm x 1000mm – not sure if this is it or if it will change before it’s complete – will have a look tomorrow. Too dark to decide right now / / /

Work in Progress - Abstract Art

Work in Progress – Abstract Art

Update September 4th

Still work in progress

1200x1000mm-canvas-sept4-2016rs

And here is more progress . . . .

Still not sure it’s finished – it looks a lot more vibrant ‘in the flesh’

1200x100mm-canvas-sept4-A--2016-rsand finally – for now anyway

1200x100mm-canvas-sept4-B--2016-rsAnd really finally – here it is cropped imperfectly

The finished painting (probably)

The finished painting (probably)

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August Art

Here’s some paintings I’ve been working on for the past few weeks:

I’m not sure if they are finished yet. I like to leave them for a while and take a fresh look, so there is a possibility that these images will change completely and effectively cease to exist except as a low resolution image on this website.

4 of the paintings are the same size, that is A2 or 594mm x 420mm; the other is twice the size at 800mm x 600mm.

(: More painting news very soon 🙂

Acrylic on Canvas 800mm x 600mm

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Blodyn – Legalise Poo

Here’s a painting from nearly 15 years ago – one of the first I did. It was painted on the back of a placard/protest sign that I had previously used in a satirical community play I wrote called ‘The History of Llangennech – Part 2’

Blodyn has become a bit of an icon for me since I painted her. She was used on the cover of my poetry collection “The Words in Me” and will be used again on the cover of my new collection “More Words in Me” due to be published in a couple of months.

Here she is:

blodyn-rsBlodyn – 2002: Acrylic on board: 520x670mm

And here’s the back of Blodyn

blodyn backLegalise Poo

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Two new paintings

Two new paintings, temporarily named ‘The Red One’ and ‘The Green One’, both completed very recently, followed by the classic ‘Bright Environment’ which was painted 13 years ago.

Besides their obvious stylistic similarities there’s a reason why these three paintings are linked and why I am noting their existence now.

But more of that in a couple of weeks.

Here’s The Red One:

The-Red-One-resized-100

The Red One. Acrylic on Canvas – 800mm x 600 mm (31 x 23 in) July/August 2016

Here’s The Green One:

The-Green-One-Resized-100

The Green One. Acrylic on Canvas – 800mm x 600 mm (31 x 23 in) July/August 2016

And here’s Bright Environment:

Bright-Environment-Aug-2016-resized-100

Bright Environment. Acrylic on Canvas – 1000mm x 800 mm (39 x 31 in) 2003

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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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