Saturday, June 30, 2018


Monday, June 4, 2018

Roll your Own Chalk Pastels

Every now and again i feel i ought to make use of the modern tech and social media platforms, that artists now have at our disposal in order to disseminate our work. Show and Tell, in other words.  The problem i find is in deciding which of the constantly changing and confusing avenues, is the right one to concentrate my efforts. People who've known me for a while, are possibly aware that i kept a Painting A Day blog for many years. That was very successful for me for about 8 years and then interest seemed to wane. I started another blog called Another Day, which was a play on that whole daily practice, but it has never generated the same interest or following. Partly because of the rise in dominance of Facebook, i suspect. Sure you can link to blogs and so forth, via FB, but how effective is that? Now i notice that FB itself is waning with more people opting to use Instagram or another of the umpteen social media platforms. Its difficult to know where to concentrate your energy!

Anyway, i wanted to document in some fashion my current real world medium, ie home made chalk pastel, so i bit the bullet and shot a few videos. I always feel uncomfortable and self consious. I also find it disconcerting seeing myself, seeing how worn and damaged i have become. But thats part of it as far as i am concerned, its a self portrait.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

NZ Art World

Haven't posted any blogs for far too long. Everyone has migrated to Facebook these days. Does anyone still read blogs?  I posted this rant on FB last night and someone suggested posting it on my blog. So here it is in it's alcohol fueled verbatim:

 The visual arts got hijacked by the pretentious pseudo intellectual elite in a way that none of the other arts have. Im not quite sure why. As a working painter, i have come to realise that i possibly have just had the ill luck to experience my formative years in the worst possible climate as far as painting goes. The demise of modernism and the rise of the institutionalised museum and gallery system. The big names in the nz art world now, are largely the ones who broke into the scene when it was relatively easy to get work shown inthe, then newly burgeoning dealer galleries, and get work acquired in the important collections, and written into the art history books. Its quite a different story now adays. But things are changing, and the internet and social media - the whole dissemination of information has radically shifted. The galleries and museums that were once considered so cutting edge and daring, are now just sad and drearie places at the beck and call of the local councils that back them. I grew up as an artist in the constant shadow of New Plymouth's Govett Brewster Gallery, which was branded as NZ's leading avant guard art museum, a spawning ground for anyone who was anyone in the incestuous arts admin dept. it was known as a stepping stone for budding and ambitious curators and directors to launch their carreers. Today it has morphed into the Len Lye mauselem. An impressive piece of destination archetecture, that is in the words of an artist friend " an impossible place to show art works in" . The building itself has become the artwork, and the council has no money to fund its expensive upkeep. They are introducing a $16 entry fee. Its just a sad joke.
They cant afford to have decent exhibitions or even maintain all the crash bang wallop stainless steel whirligigs. 

Anyway, ive had far too much to drink tonight and am ranting...

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Towards the Sea - Komene Road

This is the view looking towards the sea on Komene Road. I drive this road mist mornings to walk my dog on the beach.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Alex and Adam Scott

This is Adam and Alex Scott, two brothers, and sons of my cousin Mark Scott. I have met them a couple of times whilst they were visiting Taranaki with their father. Alex, I believe is now working in IT, and Adam is still at school.  Adam was recently in the news, when he stepped in to save his friend from a schoolyard bully.

I was pleased with the way this painting turned out. I have discovered that I like the dynamics inherent when you have more than one person in the picture. I believe that this original selfie was taken on their last visit to NZ. It looks like they were at the top of the Auckland Skytower.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Chris Scott

This is my cousin Chris Scott. Younger brother of  Mark and son of Valerie and Malcolm Scott.

This was an odd picture to paint. It seems to be an old photo taken some years ago, which has then been rephotographed, and now turned into a painting. I kind of like all these transitions of the original information. Each layer of transformation contains it's own distortions and artifacts, such as the flash of the camera on the righthand corner of the photo, and the key-holing effect of the original perspective. These all add up to give the image a kind of hallucinatory, or dreamlike quality. And it is kind of like how our minds skew and distort our past memories, I think. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mark Scott

This is my cousin Mark, again, on my father's side. The son of my father's sister, Valerie, and Malcolm Scott.

When I was still living in England in the early seventies, Mark was still a little boy, and I have memories of a large and exuberant child, who would leave our Nana Hutch rather exasperated, in spite of which she always had a soft spot for him!  Much later, I got to know Mark a little bit as an adult, on his several visits to New Zealand with his two eldest sons, Alex, and Adam. He works in IT and seems to travel the world quite a bit.

He still has a bit of the childlike about him, as his profile pic with a lemon snowfreeze, or something, indicates!

I had a bit of difficulty getting this one right and had to have two goes at it.