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To the cinema, comrades: The revolutionary age of Soviet film posters

I found these amazing posters from the Soviet era on the BBC.  Click on the link at the bottom to read more.

Inspired by the 1917 Revolution, Russians decided that art had an important role to play in the future of the Soviet Union. The visual arts in particular entered an experimental, avant-garde era, where even the design of film posters reached new heights.

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Art as collective

After the 1917 Revolution, art had a new official status in the Soviet Union as a positive force for shaping the future of the young State. The new structures and attitudes brought about by the Bolshevik Revolution encouraged artists to experiment in multiple fields.

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And, as a socially important force and a propaganda tool, cinema’s growth was encouraged throughout the Soviet Union after it had been nationalised by Lenin in 1919.

Constructivism, comrades!

Constructivism was a new direction in art that was heavily influenced by technology, and featured experimentation with geometry and photomontage. Well-known as the go-to look for propaganda posters, but also used in advertising for beer and food, it would become a big part of Soviet life.

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Cinema became huge in Russia in the 1920s. Foreign movies starring the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks were especially popular.

The State Cinema Enterprise, Goskino, was set up in 1922 and renamed Sovkino in 1926. Sovkino operated four movie studios and twenty-two different production units, and also distributed all foreign films, the profits from which subsidised home-grown movies.

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Sovkino’s advertising department, Reklam Film, was responsible for designing, approving and distributing film posters throughout the Soviet Union.

Sculptors, photographers, architects and graphic designers all came together to work on the exciting new art form of film posters…….

 

More via BBC Arts – BBC Arts – To the cinema, comrades: The revolutionary age of Soviet film posters

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My Little Collection of Costa Rican Painters

Following on in my study of South American art and artists here is some formidable Costa Rican artists worth a mention.  I particularly like the work of the artist Jorge Gallardo who was a Costa Rican painter and poet. Gallardo’s works are among the most important art collections of the Government of Costa Rica as well as many individuals, both domestic and foreign. His art is an irreverent mix in which he uses an impeccable use of color, which many have considered flat and without complexities. He painted many colorful pictures displaying topics such as agriculture in Costa Rica and the working people on landscapes.

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Painting in Costa Rica began to grow in the early twentieth century with painters like; Francisco Zuñiga, Theodoric Quiros, and Francisco Amighetti.

 

 

Read the Spanish version

At the turn of the 19th century, Costa Rican art was very much associated with the social elite. It was mainly used as social and political tool, heightening statuses or emphasizing noble ancestory. The fashion at the time was to have foreign artists paint personal portraits, and so European traditions began to infiltrate Costa Rican paintings. Foreign artists such as Santiago Paramo, Henry Etheridge and Bigot started to teach Costa Rican painters new techniques. This foundation enabled Costan Rican painters to flourish. The most significant Costa Rican painters of the late nineteenth century were: Ezequiel Jimenez Rojas, Wenceslao de la Guardia and Enrique Echandi. These and other young artists were encouraged and supported by the establishment of the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes (National School of Arts) in 1897, which was under the charge of Tomas Povedano, a renowned Spanish painter.

Rich Colors and Beautifil Faces
Rich colors and beautiful faces © César Valverde Vega

Costa Rican painting began to flourish in the early twentieth century. The painters of the past century had had to overcome difficulties, but this enabled their successors to receive an education in Art and to enjoy a larger and more generous audience for their work. Some of the most famous Costan Rican painters from the past century include: Francisco Zúñiga, Teodorico Quiros, Francisco Amighetti and Margarita Bertheau. Their work didn’t just imitate European models, but the Costa Rican art world finally had a life of its own, free of its dependence on the elite and of the rejection from the rest.

via Painting in Costa Rica – Costa Rica Painters | don Quijote

 

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$269.6 Million Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Sale Led by Record-Breaking Chagall

This will be my paintings soon hehe 🙂  Watch out Sotheby’s, here I come!

Tuesday evening’s sale of Impressionist and Modern art at Sotheby’s brought in $269.6 million, a 71% rise from the prior year’s sale but well short of rival Christie’s $479 million Monday night haul.

Nearly all of the 64 works at Sotheby’s found a buyer (often in Asia), for a 92% sell-through rate by lot. But many of the works sold after just a few bids and for below their low estimates, including some of the bigger-ticket items.

“[Sotheby’s] bidding is a lot more thin than last night,” said Morgan Long, senior director at The Fine Art Group, referring to Impressionist and Modern evening sale at Christie’s on Monday. “A lot of works are being sold to their guarantors or one bid above.”

The total before the buyer’s fees, which both Sotheby’s and Christie’s increased this fall, came to $232.1 million. The result still marks a substantial rise from the $157.7 million notched in the fall of 2016 on a 42-lot sale, and suggests the market is loosening up. Both buyers and sellers are more comfortable trotting out their wallets or their merchandise and rolling the dice than they have been in the past few sales cycles…..d7hftxdivxxvm.cloudfront.net

Read on $269.6 Million Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Sale Led by Record-Breaking Chagall

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On Top Again

One of my favourite quotes by Jackson Pollock

“If people would just look at the paintings, I don’t think they would have any trouble enjoying them. It’s like looking at a bed of flowers, you don’t tear your hair out over what it means.”

This is so true when looking at many works of art, if you like something you just like it, if you don’t get, you just don’t get.  It’s like when you eat a sticky toffee pudding, you don’t know why but you’re just in heaven and then some people may not be.  I don’t understand those people, but that’s the way we’re all different.

Triple Trouble (4)
Triple Trouble

I’m really hitting the canvas lately, I have definitely found my creative mojo again.  I want to do it all the time and it’s great.  This is one of my latest creations and boy did I enjoy doing it, it just lets me express all my feelings in a sitting.

Anyway, I hope this spirit stays alive in me so I just keep going on.

 

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Octava.2, A Little Argentinian Poetry y Art

Argentinian art is gaining international recognition this year, notably featuring at the Venice Biennale, Documenta in Kassel and Pacific Standard Time LA/LA in southern California. On the commercial front, Argentina was the guest country at the Arco fair in Madrid in February, while Art Basel is partnering with Buenos Aires on its new Art Basel Cities initiative.

Antoniao Berni
El obrero caído (1953) by the Argentinian artist Antonio Berni

The organisers of the ArteBA fair, founded 26 years ago, hope to build on this newfound visibility on the international circuit. Fair director Julia Converti says the “pulse of artistic production and the sex appeal of Buenos Aires” is part of the international pull. “Local support is multiplying, and so are new audiences who are interested in contemporary art around the world.”

Fairgoers can expect a range of works by international and Argentinian artists, including paintings by the Argentinian figurative artist Antonio Berni (Galería Sur) and photographs by the Buenos Aires-based artist Tomás Maglione (Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte).

More than half of the galleries at ArteBA are international this year, similar to last year, with 17 countries represented. Newcomers include Steve Turner from Los Angeles, Klemm’s from Berlin, and Galería Cayón from Madrid.

Xul Solar (2)
Xul Solar

Despite a flourishing art scene, Argentina has a relatively subdued art market thanks to a struggling economy. Figures from last year’s fair are cause for hope, however. The 2016 event drew 100,000 visitors—more than Frieze London or Art Basel in Basel—and 53 works were bought by 23 museums and organisations through the fair’s acquisition programme.

 

Xul Solar
Xul Solar

A little Argentinian poetry by Roberto Juarroz

OCTAVA. 2
También las palabras caen al suelo,
como pájaros repentinamente enloquecidos
por sus propios movimientos,
como objetos que pierden de pronto su equilibrio,
como hombres que tropiezan sin que existan obstáculos,
como muñecos enajenados por su rigidez.

Entonces, desde el suelo,
las proprias palabras construyen una escala,
para ascender de nuevo al discurso del hombre,
a su balbuceo
o a su frase final.

Pero hay algunas que permanecen caídas.
Y a veces uno las encuentra
en un casi larvado mimetismo,
como si supiesen que alguien va a ir a recogerlas
para construir con ellas un nuevo lenguaje,
un lenguaje hecho solamente con palabras caídas.

undo-fernando-herenu-argentina-art
With Translation by Mariolein Sabarte Belacortu
EIGHTH. 2
Words too fall to the ground,
like birds suddenly driven crazy
by their own movements,
like objects that suddenly lose their balance,
like men who stumble even when there’s no obstacle,
like dolls estranged by their own rigidity.

Then, the words themselves build a stairway
from the ground,
to climb up to human discourse,
to its stutter
or final sentence.

But some words remain forever fallen.
And sometimes we find such words
in an almost larval mimesis,
as if they knew someone were going to come
gather them up and build a new language,
a language made up entirely of fallen words.

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A Little Poetry, A Little Art…

Just some beautiful art and a poem

Pablo Neruda: Ode to the Happy Day

This time let me
be happy.
Nothing has happened to anybody,
I am nowhere special,
it happened only
that I am happy
through the four chambers
of my heart, walking,
sleeping or writing.
What can I do? I am
happy,
I am more uncountable
than the meadow
grass
I feel my skin like a wrinkled tree
and the water below,
the birds above,
the sea like a ring
around my waist,
the Earth is made of bread and stone,
the air sings like a guitar.
Duy Huynh Tutt'Art@ (3)

You,by my side in the sand,
you are the sand,
you sing and you are a song,
today the world
is my soul:
song and sand,
today the world
is your mouth:
Let me
be happy
on your mouth, on the sand,
be happy just because, because I am breathing
and because you are breathing,
be happy, because I am touching
your knee
and it is as though I am touching
the blue skin of heaven
and its pristine air.
Duy Huynh Tutt'Art@ (7)
Today let me
and me only
be happy,
with everybody or without them,
be happy,
with the grass
and the sand,
be happy
with the air and the earth,
be happy,
with you, with your mouth,
be happy.

In Italian Maybe:

Questa volta lasciate che sia felice,
non è successo nulla a nessuno,
non sono da nessuna parte,
succede solo che sono felice
fino all’ultimo profondo angolino del cuore.

Duy Huynh Tutt'Art@ (14)

Camminando, dormendo o scrivendo,
che posso farci, sono felice.
Sono più sterminato dell’erba nelle praterie,
sento la pelle come un albero raggrinzito,
e l’acqua sotto, gli uccelli in cima,
il mare come un anello intorno alla mia vita,
fatta di pane e pietra la terra
l’aria canta come una chitarra.

Duy Huynh Tutt'Art@ (1)

Tu al mio fianco sulla sabbia, sei sabbia,
tu canti e sei canto.
Il mondo è oggi la mia anima
canto e sabbia, il mondo oggi è la tua bocca,
lasciatemi sulla tua bocca e sulla sabbia
essere felice,
essere felice perché sì,
perché respiro e perché respiri,
essere felice perché tocco il tuo ginocchio
ed è come se toccassi la pelle azzurra del cielo
e la sua freschezza.
Oggi lasciate che sia felice, io e basta,
con o senza tutti, essere felice con l’erba
e la sabbia essere felice con l’aria e la terra,
essere felice con te, con la tua bocca,
essere felice.

Duy Huynh Tutt'Art@ (13)

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Fun to Splash! Flip if I don’t Drip!

Here’s my latest pandemonium, which I call ‘Clarity’.  I call it Clarity, because I’m clear in what I’m doing.  For some it may be pandemonium, but for me it’s just pure clarity.  I have done some closeups too so you can have a look and see the amazing patterns and feelings of clarity I have created.

 

 

Clarity (9)
Clarity – By James Presley

Pandemoniumwild and noisy disorder or confusion; uproar.

Claritythe quality of being clear, in particular.

Maybe I am a mixture of both, you decide.

 

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Abstract Expressionism Lives!

I found this article over at The Art Story where it mentions that abstract expressionism finished in late 1960s, I would like to think it’s still going strong.  I think maybe their just talking about the movement, which in my opinion was one of the best periods in art history.  Although, there are many periods in the history of art which may be said to be the best.  So lets just not risk the cause of a debate and say, abstract expressionism was one of MY favourite periods in the history of art. 🙂

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Revival – Transformation By James Presley 2017

“It is a widely accepted notion among painters that it does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted. This is the essence of academic painting. However, there is no such thing as good painting about nothing.”

Mark Rothko Signature

Synopsis

“Abstract Expressionism” was never an ideal label for the movement, which developed in New York in the 1940s and 1950s. It was somehow meant to encompass not only the work of painters who filled their canvases with fields of color and abstract forms, but also those who attacked their canvases with a vigorous gestural expressionism. Still Abstract Expressionism has become the most accepted term for a group of artists who held much in common. All were committed to art as expressions of the self, born out of profound emotion and universal themes, and most were shaped by the legacy of Surrealism, a movement that they translated into a new style fitted to the post-war mood of anxiety and trauma. In their success, these New York painters robbed Paris of its mantle as leader of modern art, and set the stage for America’s dominance of the international art world.

Key Ideas

Political instability in Europe in the 1930s brought several leading Surrealists to New York, and many of the Abstract Expressionists were profoundly influenced by Surrealism’s focus on mining the unconscious. It encouraged their interest in myth and archetypal symbols and it shaped their understanding of painting itself as a struggle between self-expression and the chaos of the subconscious.
Most of the artists associated with Abstract Expressionism matured in the 1930s. They were influenced by the era’s leftist politics, and came to value an art grounded in personal experience. Few would maintain their earlier radical political views, but many continued to adopt the posture of outspoken avant-gardists.
Having matured as artists at a time when America suffered economically and felt culturally isolated and provincial, the Abstract Expressionists were later welcomed as the first authentically American avant-garde. Their art was championed for being emphatically American in spirit – monumental in scale, romantic in mood, and expressive of a rugged individual freedom.
Although the movement has been largely depicted throughout historical documentation as one belonging to the paint-splattered, heroic male artist, there were several important female Abstract Expressionists that arose out of New York and San Francisco during the 1940s and ’50s who now receive credit as elemental members of the canon.
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The Art of Venezuala

Recently, I have noticed through looking at my statistics and analytics on my blog and my galleries that I am getting a lot of traffic from South America.  Countries at the top are Bolivia, Paraguay and what sticks out the most is Venezuela.  I can’t understand why I get so many visitors to my galleries, especially, from this country.  So I thought I’d pay a little Muchas Gracias to my South American followers. 🙂

I Googled some artists and was pleased with the results that came up and there were a few that leapt out of the page at me.  Street art seems to big in Venezuela and here is a little sample from an artist featured in STREETARTNEWS.  It’s actually by a Brazilian artist Known as L7M, I think it’s quite amazing, especially when you zoom in and open up a world of other surprises.

Bird Mural L7M
Mural in Maracay, Venezuela L7M

I found the beautiful painting below Flowerbird by Aramis Fraino who also has beautiful digital works.  Aramis lived and studied in Italy for a number of years, but now resides in Venezuela.

Jacobo Borges, I guess to me, I thought at first, is like a Venezuelan Braque in style.  I immediately thought cubist when I saw this painting, but then I read a little more and had a look at some of his other works and saw that he was an open window, and not really fitting into any particular “style”, and he is a man of many talents in all areas of the arts..

Finally, I thought I’d also like to mention an artist, whose work I found most enjoyable.  I just looked at it and thought, how does she do that?  It is the most amazing geometric art, so colourful and when you look at it it just goes on and on.  The artist’s name is Tatiana Mantilla.  I could only find a link to her blog, but I think you’ll agree it’s quite fantastic work.  Bravo Tatiana!

Tatiana
Work By Tatiana Mantilla, Venezuela

If anyone from Venezuela or anywhere, or anywhere in South America can tell me why you think my Gallery site is visited so much please tell me.  But Muchas Gracias!

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A Gallery for my Works

In 1898 a brilliant contributor to the art world was born going by the name of Peggy Guggenheim.  Fortunately for her, she was born into great wealth as both her father and uncle were considerably notable and prosperous gentlemen.  By the age of 20, she had already inherited a large sum of money and move to Paris, France, where she began subsidizing a considerable collection of artwork.

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Now the gallery I’m talking about is the one she opened in October 1942, Art of This Century Gallery.  With a collection of works, she had acquired while in Paris she showcased Surrealists and Cubists, mainly from Europe.  It was after opening that she started representing American artists like Pollock, and European emigres such as Rothko and Hofman.  I was too young, like minus 28 years old so I couldn’t show my work there.  If she had known me, I’m sure I would have been invited.  Heh heh!

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The gallery only stayed open for 5 years but gave many well-known artists a start in life and a place for them to exhibit.  It’s quite possible that without Peggy Guggenheim and so-called The Uptown Group, (Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning) many of these artists may have been unheard of today.

Isn’t it a shame that there isn’t someone like her today, who is willing to offer artists a chance to have solo exhibitions and connect the dots for so many passionate people.  Oh well, keep dreaming James.  Peggy if you have an art angel please send them to my place, I could do with a break.  🙂 🙂

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Does Winning Always Mean Success?

The answer to the question is, NO, definitely NOT.  Back in 2007, I entered into an art competition just for the fun of it with the SAA (Society for All Artists).  I did the usual and paid the entrance fee for a few paintings, took out a membership and then waited.  A couple of months later I received a mail from the SAA asking me to send one of my paintings as it had been short-listed for the Abstract Experimental category.  I was over the moon, I was thinking that I was on my way to bigger things, they had chosen me.  I was told I had to have the painting framed but they would sort out shipping costs.  I got it framed and it cost me a good few hundred but I thought it worth the investment.

 

award

Later, I received another mail telling me that I had won in this category and would be invited to exhibit at the Art Fair which took place near Oxford.  I was delighted about that too.  I thought that curators would be knocking my door down for invites.  No, that didn’t happen.  All that happened was I got the certificate above and a £100 shopping voucher to use on the SAA’s online shop and a subscription to their crap magazine, oh and a mention in it which you can’t even find online now, the link don’t work.

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The Painting that won

My advice is if you are going to enter an art competition and in the event, you win it, unless it’s for the Turner Prize or some big renowned organization, don’t expect too much.  It was written that there were 36,000 entries for this competition, but the marquee at the event was big enough for about half a dozen people, so I’m not sure if all was legit.

 

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Painting on unstretched canvas?

When I first start to paint I didn’t really know what exactly it was that I wanted to do. So, I started by painting on paper and quickly discovered this wasn’t for me because I was putting too much paint and too much water on the paper and it was turning into paper mache.  I didn’t even know where to go at first to get the right materials to paint on which led me to paint on anything.  Walls, furniture, wallpaper, windows and whatever else I could.  I can’t remember when I bought my first stretched canvas but what I do remember is how expensive it was.

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I decided after that I would try and buy unstretched canvas because I could then have an area the size I wanted and it was more cost-effective.  I started buying 10M rolls of primed canvas and then going to the DIY shop and buying wood and stretching the paintings I had done when I finished them.  I didn’t do it like in the diagram above, I laid the canvas on a table and held the wood in place with some vices and stretched it over.  It worked brilliantly.  Sometimes I wouldn’t have the money to buy 10M rolls so I would go to the local drapery and buy rolls of cotton canvas, a lot cheaper.

serieschair

Anyway, for years since then, I have been painting on stretched canvas bought from the art shop or online and it’s becoming expensive again because I am not selling any of my work and so I’m not making any money to buy new canvases.  I’m going back down the unstretched canvas road, which I love anyway because it gives me more freedom and there are no boundaries.  I am also running out of space to put my work so I’ll be able to roll them up.

I looked around online and it seems that there are quite a few artists like me who enjoy painting on unstretched canvas and personally I think it looks pretty awesome.  Can you imagine living in a big warehouse apartment with red brick walls and a nice Presley unstretched piece hanging on your walls? I can 🙂

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Artwork By: Charlie Anderson

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Summertime and Blue Poles

In my opinion, one of the greatest painters of the last century is Jackson Pollock.  I don’t know what it is, but when I see a Pollock painting it just stirs all kinds of emotions in me.  I remember going to the Tate Modern in London years ago and at the time I had no idea what to expect.  I was just walking around in awe at some of the art on display and thinking to myself WTF at other installations.  Just meaning there were some things that I just didn’t get.

Not long before I had visited the gallery I had seen the movie with Ed Harris titled ‘Pollock’, which was basically when I fell in love with abstract expressionism and foremost Pollock’s work, so you can imagine how I felt when I walked around the corner and ‘Summertime’ smacked me in the eyeballs.

Summertime: Number 9A 1948 by Jackson Pollock 1912-1956

I remembered the painting from the movie when Pollock posed in front of it for the picture which was included in a feature in ‘Life’ magazine.  I think this was probably the first time I had ever been so amazed and moved by any painting or artwork that I had ever seen and I have seen a lot of beautiful paintings.

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A second beautiful painting by Pollock is ‘Blue Poles’ when you see it in books and photos, you just don’t realise how big it is.  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this piece and I expect I will never be fortunate enough to get to Australia and see it, but you never know.  Here’s a little video about it by the person who looks after the painting.

 

I suppose seeing ‘Blue Poles’ would be much like seeing ‘Summertime’ which is also a massive painting, with a massive statement.  It was after seeing this painting that I knew I had to work on big surfaces myself to be able to express myself properly, so that’s what I do as much as possible.  I don’t have space now, but I want a nice big studio one day.

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Inspiring People – Top 10 French Artists

The French certainly had some inspiring artists and here are some of the greatest.  My personal favourite is not on the list, Basquiat.

Top 10 French Artists

Jaz de Bouffan – 1876

A list of the greatest French artists and painters:

artist Claude Monet (1840 – 1926)  – Impressionist painter. The term impressionism stemmed from Monet’s influential work ‘Impression, Sunrise’ (Impression, soleil levant). Monet’s paintings frequently depicted nature in impressionist style.
artist Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) – Post impressionist painter. Began his career in the impressionist mould but developed new innovative styles, providing a bridge between Nineteenth Century art and the cubist / modern art of Twentieth Century.
artist Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) Post impressionist painter, who contributed to the growth of avant-garde painting. Gauguin had a temperamental relationship with Van Gogh
artist August Renoir  (1841–1919) Impressionist painter. Renoir played a key role in the development of impressionist painter. He was attracted to depicting human beauty and scenes of human society.
artist Camille Pissarro (1830–1903) Impressionist and post-impressionist painter. A very influential figure for both impressionists and the new generation of post impressionist painters.
artist Edgar Degas (1834–1917) Considered a forerunner of impressionism. He preferred the term ‘realist’ Degas was interested in depicting movement in art.
artist Édouard Manet (1832–1883) Manet contributed to the schools of ‘Realism’ and ‘Impressionism’ – playing a key role in the transformation to impressionism and modern art.
artist Charles-François Daubigny (1817–1878) Traditional landscape painter who was also seen as an important pre-cursor to impressionism.
artist Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863) Romantic painter, inspired by the Venetian Renaissance painters and Rubens.
artist Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) Painter and sculptor associated with Dadaism.

Lived in France

artist Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890) – Post impressionist painter noted for boldness and vivid paintings.  Born in Netherlands, he lived many years in France.

Source: Biography Online

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James Presley – Room with a View (2017) Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!!!

Fresh off the paintbrush. One new painting with closeup photos, all available at http://www.jamespresley.design or Artmajeur

Room with a View (Painting), 80x60x1.8 cm by James Presley Abstract expressionism artwork by James Presley

Source: James Presley – Room with a View (2017) Painting, 80x60x1.8 cm

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Videos James Presley

Here are some of the videos I have uploaded to my  YouTube account.  If you want a more up close and personal look at my works then click on the link below which will take you to the video page on my online gallery.

It’s so hard to get true colours when you are taking photos of your paintings and I think videos give a more realistic feel of how they would look in life.  Enjoy!

Source: Videos James Presley

 

 

 

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James Presley – Sensual is Sensitive (2017) Painting, 80x60x1.8 cm

 

I believe art can be a learned process, it is also natural and a matter of what we see, feel and where we allow our hands to dance on the canvas, or our hands dance without the our minds controlling them. You can learn the techniques but you cannot learn to tell your mind to be satisfied with the techniques you have learned. When I am with the paintbrush, I always feel like we are dancing together, sometimes harmoniously sometimes against each other. Sometimes we are dancing the Tango, sometimes a Waltz, sometimes we caress each other to a slow romantic dance and sometimes we are in aggressive moments of passion. If there is harmony, it is possible to produce something which shows harmony, if there is no harmony then you may as well put the brush down until you feel it come back.

Source: James Presley – Sensual is Sensitive (2017) Painting, 80x60x1.8 cm

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James Presley – New Works Added

Take a peek at my gallery, I have uploaded some new works.  You can click on the link below.  I have also uploaded some videos to my other gallery.  You can take a peek by clicking here.  You’ll have to forgive the commentary on some of them, there isn’t any because the music I was playing in the background was copyrighted.

Source: James Presley – Large and Small Abstracts

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8 Solid Reasons Why Instagram Is Good For Your Business

Hundreds of millions of active Instagram users every month are posting forty million photos a day on Instagram. Think about those numbers for a few minutes. Now that they’ve sunk in I think we can agree that learning how to use Instagram to best promote your business, product or service is a very, very wise move indeed.

The potential it offers is really “mind-blowing”, for lack of a better description. Even more good news is that there are solid techniques and methods that can help you make the most of Instagram that is both easy to implement and execute. Here’s 8 reasons why Instagram is good for your business. Why Instagram Is Good For Your Business

1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

No, it’s not a cliché at all. Do you have a product that you can display in a really visual dynamic way? Or a service that some great photos can highlight in an emotionally charged, dramatic manner? If you can translate the passion of what you offer or do into a visual image this opens a fantastic door of opportunity. Most people like to look at interesting images and if you can “draw” them in with a photo that is an “ad” but isn’t, it could end up worth as much as some of the best advertising campaigns out there. Be creative!

 

2. Instagram Can Offer A Behind the Scenes Look

When you share some photos that offer a behind the scenes look at your business, it can go a long way towards building a sense of rapport and familiarity between your work and those you are offering it to. This is one of the most powerful ways social media can help you change the game. A photo of your product being made or the service you offer being performed from the perspective of an “insider” can really intrigue and fascinate potential customers and clients. This is one of the reasons why television is packed with shows of people working at interesting jobs. It’s human nature to be curious about what’s going on “behind the curtain”.

3. It Encourages Customer Participation

Once you have built a reasonable amount of followers the door is wide open to encourage customers to exchange and participate in exchanges involving your business, through the use of things like hashtags. Why not encourage them to share photos of themselves using your product or service, if appropriate? Social media is social after all. This is why people love it so much and the more fun exchanges they have with your business in social media the greater chance they will end up spending money with you and encouraging their whole social circle to as well!

4. Instagram Allows You To Build a Personality for Your

BusinessInstagram should be an intricate part of building a distinct and winning personality for your business. Combined with other forms of social media, your website and your advertising, you are given a great opportunity for moulding how your business is perceived by your customers and potential leads. Are you trying to convey lightheartedness, seriousness, or some other “feel”?The right photos shared on Instagram can go a long way in building a personality and “aura” for your brand. Don’t underestimate the potential value of this universally…… especially in niche markets where personality is even more important.

5. Trust Building

The online experience can take a human face away from our business interactions. This is a bad thing if you are looking to build trust in what you offer. Instagram lets you put a face, literally, on your efforts and in ways that can be targeted to help build confidence in you. This is a very good thing.If you learn how to use Instagram to help build or reinforce trust in your efforts this will quickly equal more sales and more happy customers. Don’t neglect the occasional happy go lucky photos which can go a long way in this direction.

6. Instagram Keeps Your Name In Conversation

Learn how to use Instagram to keep people talking about your business. An idea that’s been proven to work again and again? Holding Instagram contests.Instagram is the ideal platform to hold contests to promote your business. The options are only limited by your imagination. “The best photo shared featuring what you offer receives a free product” is a popular formula that works again and again.Contests are a great way to get Instagram users and other lovers of social media talking about you and what you do!

7. Instagram Helps Promote Special Events

Are you planning on going to a trade show or something similar? Promote the fact you are going, on Instagram, to draw support and interest in your attending. During and afterwards, document your trip with cool and fun Instagram photo shares. Focus on some containing yourself and customers or other business associates. Nearly everyone loves this type of fun attention. People also don’t like to feel like they are missing out on something so they may be interested to rock up at your next show to experience the adventure in person.

8. The Chance To Go ViralThink company mascots, pets, adorable babies or animals doing funny things are…..

Source: 8 Solid Reasons Why Instagram Is Good For Your Business

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When Picasso Almost Invented Abstract Painting

It took four hours by train and seven hours by covered wagon to reach Cadaqués from Barcelona. The group of travelers—including a 28-year-old Pablo Picasso and his then lover, Fernande Olivier—arrived in the small Spanish beach town after nightfall on July 1, 1910.Picasso would produce just a handful of works that summer, 10 of which are extant today. For the famously prolific artist, whose total output is estimated at 50,000 works, this was an aberration. Just the summer before, in the Spanish village of Horta de San Joan, Picasso produced what biographer John Richardson calls an “avalanche of paintings.”“It’s always interesting to note when he actually slows down,” said Yve-Alain Bois, a professor of art history at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. In this case, he noted, “I think Picasso knew that his work had pushed him into a corner.”The preceding years had been wildly productive for Picasso. In 1907, together with French painter Georges Braque, he began to lay the foundation for Cubism. The pair collaborated more intensively in 1909, a back-and-forth that led to the development of “Analytic Cubism”—characterized by fragmented, overlapping planes and a monochromatic palette.

In his beach-side studio in Cadaqués, Picasso continued to pare down his mark-making. Eventually, he settled on a structure of gridded perpendicular lines that would serve as the basis for each new work. He also began to shade each plane of the fragmented picture separately, rather than maintaining a single light source—an approach that created a sense of depth without the illusion of a solid form.

These developments were driving him closer and closer towards pure abstraction. Even Picasso, Richardson notes, had a difficult time identifying the original subject matter for the Cadaqués paintings. Beyond their titles, Femme à la mandoline (Woman with a mandolin) (1910) and Glass and Lemon (1910) are difficult to parse as anything other than a series of interlocking geometric planes in shades of brown and gray. “These works seem abstract in all but name,” wrote Museum of Modern Art curator Leah Dickerman in a catalogue essay for the museum’s 2012–13 exhibition “Inventing Abstraction.”

And if Picasso had embraced this direction in his art, his would have been among the first Western paintings to be truly abstract. While this accolade is, and likely will always be, contestedWassily Kandinsky—often hailed as the “father of abstract painting”—didn’t display his first non-representational painting until December 1911.

But pure abstraction remained, as Richardson puts it, “a Rubicon [Picasso] would never cross.” When the Spanish painter returned to Paris in late August, he changed course. “It’s true that whatever Picasso felt about those works, he decided to stop this vein, to amend it shortly afterwards,” Bois explained.

 

Source: When Picasso Almost Invented Abstract Painting

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Fresh off the Paintbrush

I started to gradually return to my old techniques now that I have a bit more room to dance again.  So I have produced 3 more pieces with a bit of the splashing going on.  I have always enjoyed this because you can create some amazing things.  Well, I think you can anyway.

Here are 3 of my latest pieces fresh of the paintbrush.  One medium sized painting and two small ones.

Medium sized painting: Devonshire Cat, Two; Small: Leftovers #1 and #2

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An Artist’s Philosophy

 

Lighthouse-in-a-Stormlow
Untitled –  Blues

 

“I believe art can be a learned process, it is also natural and a matter of what we see, feel and where we allow our hands to dance on the canvas, or our hands dance without our minds controlling them. You can learn the techniques but you cannot learn to tell your mind to be satisfied with the techniques you have learned. When I am with the paintbrush, I always feel like we are dancing together, sometimes harmoniously sometimes against each other. Sometimes we are dancing the Tango, sometimes a Waltz, sometimes we caress each other to a slow romantic dance and sometimes we are in aggressive moments of passion. If there is harmony, it is possible to produce something which shows harmony, if there is no harmony then you may as well put the brush down until you feel it come back.”

By James Presley

 

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Dazed and Confused

 

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National Black Cat Day

Despite being just a lovable as their more colourful brothers and sisters, for years black cats have been neglected, faced suspicion, hostility and even death as a result of silly superstition.

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Research from Cats Protection has revealed, on average, it takes 13 percent longer for black cats to find a new home compared to others while, between the years 2007 and 2013, Blue Cross saw a 65 percent rise in the number of black cats they took in annually.

Superstitions regarding black cats vary depending on the culture. While black cats are traditionally considered to be good luck in Britain, historically countries in Europe have considered black cats to be a symbol of evil omens and the familiars of witches.

Who says they don’t photograph well?

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In Germany, a black cat crossing your path from left to right is considered to be a bad omen.

The fact that out of more than 1000 cats in its care, 70 percent are black or black and white and that the struggle to rehome them is not helped by superstition: “In UK folklore, black cats symbolise good luck, yet sadly, in reality, they are not so lucky.

“There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from the fact that black cats are harder to tell apart than cats with more distinctive markings and the fact that black animals tend not to photograph as well.”

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Today is the annual ‘National Black Cat Day’ – a day designed to promote black cats and bring awareness to those who might be looking to purchase a kitten or rehome a cat.

As part of the day, black cat owners on social media show off their pets, hoping to disprove the superstitions and show black cats make as good a pet as any other cat.

Source: National Black Cat Day

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Black Cat Day – 27th Oct, 2017 | Days Of The Year

Source: Black Cat Day – 27th Oct, 2017 | Days Of The Year

Black and white cats are also taken into consideration as it’s black and black and white cats that spend more time in care than any other colour cat.

Just look at our Dotty, how could you resist not taking her home 🙂DSCN0661

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Ben Buchanan’s Never-Before-Seen Photos of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and New York’s Area Nightclub

Previously unseen photos by Ben Buchanan feature Warhol, Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Hockney, and other famous pals at New York’s Area nightclub.

Source: Ben Buchanan’s Never-Before-Seen Photos of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and New York’s Area Nightclub

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What’s the Best Way to Promote Yourself?

I’ve been painting passionately for about 17 years now.  I have always enjoyed art, but I only got really serious about it when I was about 30.  Since starting I have won international competitions, had exhibitions, have my art in galleries, both physically and online and send out promotions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, yet it has all amounted to nothing.

So how does an artist get out there and become known.  It leaves me thinking sometimes is what I am doing just a load of rubbish?  I don’t do what I do for praise or to please others.  I do it because I love to paint and I love to share my emotions and I do this best by putting brush to canvas.  The therapeutical value is an added bonus.  But, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t like to have my work in someone else’s home rather than in my own.  Making a few pennies selling a couple of pieces here and there would also be great.  I’d like to be an artist for a living, to spend the rest of my life doing what I love and be able to live off of the proceeds.

 

So if anyone has any ideas how to go about doing this or could give me some kind of a business plan I’d really appreciate it.  Let’s face it, we all know that by sharing your work in online art galleries is never going to earn your bread and butter as all they do is get you ‘likes’ from other artists who are all trying to do the same things.

You can click on my galleries in the sidebar if you are interested. 🙂

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An old friend: A bit abstract, a bit expressionism, a bit of sealife

I was having a look through my media from posts on my blog yesterday and I came across some images of a painting, lost now, that I loved creating.  It brought back many memories, including all the space I used to have to paint in and that I could actually do paintings of this size.  I’d love to be able to paint a 20-metre painting one day.  I just love to do things on big surfaces.  🙂 I miss those days.

Anyway this painting put a smile on my face because it was so spontaneous and when I saw it again I thought how bright and shining it was.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.  Feel free to comment.  I did some close ups of the special parts. Title of the painting is Sealife Divided, I think I did it around 2004. The mediums are, acrylic, enamel, spray paint, shells, wires and marble.

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The Best Little Bears in the World

When they say “it runs in the family” or “it’s in your blood”, it certainly is in my family.  Everyone in my family is creative in one way or another and all I can say is we must have inherited it from our MUM.

Our mum has just turned 70 and she is still hard at her craft, which is making the tiniest, cutest bears you have seen especially for the avid miniature bear collector.  She is so good at it and they are so lovely and she just doesn’t realize it.   Even though our mum has won awards, gets praised all the time and no sooner does she finish making one that it’s whipped away to far corners of the Earth.

I hope when I am 70 I can still hold a paintbrush and create as my mum does her bears.  They are crocheted with the tiniest hooks or sewn with the minutest pieces of fabric and needles and she does all that even with her arthritis. She’s like the Maud Lewis of the bear making world.  I hope she gets more acknowledgement for her talent that she deserves.

Love you Mum XXX

To see what I am talking about have a look at some of her bears below or click here to see all of her wonderful creations.  A

 

 

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My First Web Design jamespresley.design

I finally decided that it was time to get professional so I bought a web domain and design my web portfolio and gallery.  I already have a gallery with a third party host (artmajeur.com) but I want to have something more personal that I could create, design and tweak.  So now you can visit jamespresley.design and see everything neatly laid out.  I did lots of research on the layout and design and tried to make an attractive site which would be pleasing to the eye.

If you remember, not so long ago I posted about how different colours mean different things in different cultures and religions, so I tried to choose my colour palette wisely, using colours that would be acceptable in many societies.

Please have a click on my shiny new site and let me know what you think if you want.

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This is the homepage
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Ashmolean Museum Oxford Influences

Many moons ago, well from 2006 – 2009 I lived close to Oxford and for a while, I worked in the centre of Oxford so I used to take a wander around the city mostly taking in the sights.  There are some beautiful and historic buildings there and many a movie has been filmed there.  I once saw Ann Hathaway, well her chair anyway, on the set of a movie she was starring in there.

 

Anyway, in Oxford, there is a grand museum named the Ashmolean Museum, where I happened to visit one day.  Whilst looking around I came across the Egyptian artefacts and antiquities department and was amazed by the beautiful blue colours of the artefacts on display. These colours just stuck in my head and I decided that I wanted to try and achieve the colours that I had seen in some of my paintings.

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While looking through some of my old works, I came across a few images of these attempts.  I know a couple of these were sold and there are definitely 2 on display on the Barbican in Plymouth and I’m pretty sure I completed about 10 altogether but I don’t know where they are.  I have moved around a lot from country to country and had to leave things behind.  But here’s the ones I could find anyway. Enjoy 🙂

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Old Works, Old Memories

I was going through some DVDs that I brought back with me from abroad because when I returned to England I couldn’t bring my computer with me so I copied everything to DVDs.  I had completely forgotten what was on them and was pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of images of some of my very old paintings.  Apart from that a lot of other interesting things.

It was interesting to see how my style has changed and how I create now with a different head on my shoulders.  In the past, I was drunk most of the time when I painted, my excuse was that I couldn’t create unless I had had a drink.  Now, I don’t drink anymore, at all and I still create.  I cannot judge if my paintings are better or worse, or just different, or maybe they have always been crap.  I don’t care either way, all I know is that now when I paint I have a completely clear head and I enjoy every minute of it.

I have created a new gallery on my site at Artmajeur but below you can see some of my old stuff.

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This is hOpe

The most frustrating thing about painting on an oval canvas is the inability to crop it to an oval shape without the right app.  If I had the money I could invest in Adobe Photoshop, but I don’t so I will have to upload the image of my latest painting as a square image.

I enjoyed painting on a different shape very much, although I did find it quite restricting at times.  I had to keep imagining that there were corners to the canvas because every time I got to the curved edge it made me redirect my paintbrush.

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hOpe, Acrylic on canvas, 80cm x 90cm

I’ve got one more oval to paint and then after that, I’ll stick to rectangles or squares.

This one is titled “hOpe”, spelt with an oval “O”.  Evry time I paint I get different emotions and this one made feel hope for some reason.  Hope is a good feeling, a lot better than desperation or hopeless.  I prefer the positive emotions and I also prefer being around people with positive emotions because negative energy sure rubs off and it’s difficult to keep it at bay, sometimes.  I do my best.

 

Update: I figured out how to do it in Microsoft Publish, ha!

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Acrylic on canvas, 80cm x 90cm
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Chester and Hoot – Short Tales

So here’s my first short story, read it and leave a comment if you want more.  I am going to write more anyway.  I’m looking for someone to illustrate my stories, so if you’re interested in that too, write me.  Also, a publisher would be nice. 🙂

I was given an idea some time ago about writing stories for kids.  I used to teach kids and I know they have a wild imagination, to say the least.  Anyway, I decided to start writing some short stories about a cat named Chester and an owl named Hoot.  These stories are more for the older reader as some of the humour if you can call it that is a bit dry or sarcastic.

CHESTER AND HOOT GO FISHING

“Hoot, Hooooot!”  Cried, Chester.  “Hooooooot!”

“What, what doo you want?” Asked Hoot.

“I’m hungry,” said Chester, his stomach grumbling so loudly that all the little sparrows in the tree flew away in fright, that and the fact that Chester was a cat and they were startled by his presence.

“Ooooh, I see, and what dooo yoou want tooo dooo about it?” Cried Hoot.

“Well, meooow, I thought we could go fishing”, said Chester, “and then we could eat what we catch.”

“Why don’t we just go to Coooooop and buy some food.” Chuckled Hoot.

“Very funny” said Chester, “have you got any cash?”

“Truuuue”, thought Hoot, “yoou coooould go around the back and loook sweet for the storekeeper.”

“I’m too hungry to look sweet.” Said Chester. “You could fly through the window and take some food from the deli.”

“I’m tooo big for that.” Said Hoot “And besides, there aren’t windows.”

“Ok, so let’s go fishing.”

“How are we going to do it without a rod and tackle, and hands?” Asked Hoot.

“Let’s get to the river and we can decide then.” Said Chester, raising one paw and licking it with his eyes half closed, thinking about the yummy treats waiting at the river for them.  “and if you want to get technical, how are we talking to each other?”

“OK.” Said Hoot.  “Let’s go.”

So, in stealth mode, Chester and Hoot headed off to the river.  Chester’s belly almost touching the floor and his legs disappearing into his body, while Hoot swooped and dived and flew up again, his eyes looking here there and everywhere in case he spotted a tasty snack.

After some time, Chester and Hoot arrived at the banks of the river Buck, in the middle of the Starry forest at the bottom of Hilly valley.  It was more of a stream than a river, but it was full of big, juicy fish.

“Aaaah, here we are, at last.” Shouted Chester up to Hoot. “Here we are at last.”

By this time Chester was dribbling with hunger, his tail was gently wagging, and his nose was twitching, trying to catch a whiff of food.  Hoot, on the other hand, wasn’t so interested.

“How are we going to catch the fish?” Asked Hoot. “How?  I don’t like water, you don’t like water, how?”

“I don’t mind a bit of water if there’s food involved.” Exclaimed Chester. “We need something to get the fish to come to the bank of the river.”

“Can you catch a bug, Hoot?” Asked Chester.

“Of course, I can.  I am an owl. It’s my day job.” Chuckled Hoot, wickedly.

With that Hoot swooped down, wings spread and talons in front of him and grabbed a big, ugly bug, which had been flying around the river’s edge.  He then dropped it by Chester and Chester pounced on it to stop it running away.

He didn’t kill the bug, he needed it moving to attract the fish. “What’s your name, Mr. Bug?” asked Chester. “I’m not going to hurt you.  I need your help.”

“Horace, Horace McSpotty, and I’m not a bug, I’m a horsefly.” Said Horace grumpily.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Horace,” said Chester, “you don’t look like a horse, and horses certainly don’t fly.”

“Neigh, neigh, neigh.” Laughed Horace, “that’s not why I’m called a horsefly, it’s because my wife loves horses so much that she lives on them and even eats on them….and she’s a fly of course.  The horses don’t like it much, but they’re used to it now.  Me, I prefer people., but they’re too clever and fidgety.”

“Oh, I see.” Said Chester. “anyway, can you help us?”

“How can I do that?” asked Horace, looking puzzled. “Do you need something of the horse?”

“Ha, ha!”  Chester let out a great cry of laughter.  “No, we need you to fly around by the river and when a fish comes to get you, we’ll take care of the rest.”

Horace looked at Chester and Hoot in amazement, he could not believe what he was hearing.  “Buzz off!” Shouted Horace, “that’s way too dangerous.  The fish will eat me for sure.”

“Noooo.”  Shouted Hoot from above.  “When the fish jumps out of the water to get you, I’ll be waiting up here out of sight. I’ll come down and get him before he gets you.”

“And I’ll be ready, too,” Added Chester “with my long paws I’ll grab him too.  Nothing to worry about, nothing at all.”

“Hmmm”, thought Horace, rubbing his legs together, “what do I get in return?”

“You won’t get eaten by the fish, or me, or Hoot.”  Said Chester, rather sneakily.

“OK,” said Horace, worriedly, “I’ll do it, as long as you promise to catch the fish before it catches me.”

“No problem, nooo problem.” Said Chester and Hoot, sniggering behind their paws and wings.

With that, Horace buzzed off to the water’s edge and began to flutter all over the place above the surface, teasing the fish that swam below.

Sure enough, after a few minutes, a large goldfish suddenly broke through the surface of the water and leapt toward Horace.  Horace shrieked with surprise, Hoot squawked with delight, and Chester lashed out with his big Tom paw and hooked the goldfish to the bank.  The goldfish began to flip and flap and wriggle around and it was so big that it threw Chester a good meter away.  Hoot came swooping down and landed on the goldfish, but it was so slippery that Hoot lost his grip.

“What are you playing at?” screamed the goldfish, “what do you think you’re doing to me?”

Chester, Hoot and Horace all looked at each other in surprise and in unison shouted out, “MY GOD, A TALKING FISH!”

By this time the goldfish had managed to wriggle back into the water and swam away down the river.

“Ah, that sucks.” Said Chester.  “We almost had him.  If it hadn’t started talking we would have been eating our dinner by now.”

“Yes, indeed.” Sighed Hoot. “We certainly would have.”

“You two are bonkers.” Said Horace.  “Haven’t you realized that we’re all talking to each other and you’re both surprised by a talking goldfish?”

Chester and Hoot began to look at each other, puzzled by what Horace had said.  Then suddenly a big frog appeared out of nowhere and flipped out its long tongue and ate Horace in one gulp and then hopped off into the long grass.

“Let’s go!” said Hoot.

“Yes.” Said Chester.  “I’m going home to my nice warm house, I think I have a plate of food waiting for me.  If not, then I shall just creep around the legs of the lovely lady of the house, knock a few things over, meow cutely and look sweet.  Works every time.”

“That’s easy for you.” Huffed Hoot.  “I’ll have to go back into the woods to find something.  It’s not so warm and cosy in there at night.  I’ll see you tomorrow, Chester.  Enjoy your dinner.”

Chester pranced down the hill towards his house and the lady that kept saying that she was his mummy and talking to him like he was an idiot all the time.

Hoot flew back into the woods to his hole in the tree and with his great big saucer eyes and his head giving it the 360 motions, he began to look for his dinner down below.  From afar, he could hear the faint sound of the goldfish shouting, “you can’t catch me up in that tree, you big, sad, hungry owl.”

Hoot’s stomach grumbled.

“Bloody cat!” He thought.  “He’ll be on my menu tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

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The Queen and her Heart

The Queen and her Heart is the first large-scale painting I have completed since my return from living abroad.  I’ve always loved painting on large surfaces and to be able to do this again was such a pleasure.  When I paint like this I have the feeling of such freedom and movement, and I am able to express what I feel more openly.

 

The Queen and her Heart
The Queen and her Heart

 

Years ago when I first began painting, or rather when I discovered how much I loved to paint, I was fortunate enough to live somewhere where I had the space to be able to create works on a large-scale.  I loved it.  I was creating painting 3 meters long and 2 meters high, but as I had to scale-down on the size of property I could afford to rent I also had to scale down the size of painting I created.  At times, this has tortured me, I have felt like I was painting in a straight jacket.  Now, I have moved to a larger apartment and I have more space again, giving me a little more freedom to move around the canvas.  Ideally, I would love to be able to find a space to go to which would be big enough for me to create whatever I feel like without worrying about making a mess and having any restrictions over size.  Because for me, size is everything. 🙂

Since completing this painting I have completed a couple of others which are fairly large too, and so I feel a new lease of life.  The only drawback is because they are so big I am running out of places to store them and I definitely don’t’ have space left on my walls, so if anyone has any ideas of how to get them exhibited it would be much appreciated.

I am going to experiment with a new painting this week on an oval surface, I wonder if it will change the way I paint.  Find out later this week. 🙂

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Joan Baez – Any Day Now, Mystery

I have just acquired a vinyl LP of Joan Baez and I know nothing about it.  It has some German stamp on it and some serial number, but I don’t know what they are about.  It also says it’s for promotion only on the disc, what’s that all about?

I did research on the internet and saw that it was available from pure pleasure records as a limited edition but there is nothing there about a promotion press.  Can anyone help?  Any day now will do. 🙂

 

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Bouquet – Passion with Cats and Guitars

I’ve just finished a new piece and I have just realized that in a lot of my recent paintings I seem to always manage to have a cat shape or guitar in there somewhere.  This is not purposely, although I do love both.  Now, I can play with cats, but I certainly can’t play the guitar.  So maybe the guitar symbolizes the feeling I have about painting and the cat is what I do when I paint, I can’t do it but I have a play with it anyway.

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I don’t know and I don’t care because as I have said I love both so I shall continue doing both and see how we get along in the future.  I was kind of half watching the film Frida while I was doing some of this, no hanging babies in it though, only gato y guitarra. 🙂

As usual, you can check out my galleries at artmajeur.com if you are interested in seeing any more of my work. Have fun!

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Bits and Pieces

Just spent the whole evening posting a new gallery on Artmajeur.  This time I have a collection of digital images of close-ups of some of my paintings, so it’s only parts of big paintings.  The parts that I like, the colourful parts.  When you look closely they are so different than if you see the whole thing at the same time.  There are some interesting visions to look at.

I hope you enjoy them and here are a few as a taster and if you want to see more just click here and you will be taken through the wall in the Harry Potter train station.  Into a new dimension and a new and beautiful world of my mind. 🙂

I also messed around with the camera and took these in the afternoon.

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Yellow Mellow

I wanted to create something bright and I hope I have achieved that.  With the weather being miserable today, you have to turn your head away from the window and imagine the sunshine and then try to portray it on the canvas.

That was what I was attempting here.  I had a good day, and it was fulfilling to be painting again.  It gave me a buzz.  I’m trying to upload a video of it and some of my other pieces as well.

It’s so frustrating to be able to do so many things with your technology, but sometimes you get stuck on the simplest of tasks.  Like finding where my Instagram videos and pictures are stored.  Aaargh!  To see this and more of my paintings please visit my gallery.

Yellow Mellow
Yellow Mellow
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Keeping a Secret!

This is not really about art but, I’ve been keeping a secret from my mum now for almost 4 months and I thought I’d share it.  You see, I went through a very bad patch in my life and she helped me through it.  She was by me all the way, not physically because I lived 1500 miles away.  But she was there.  I came home less than a year ago and now I take care of her on a daily basis and I’m finally able to give something back to her.

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My mum and us kids a long time ago
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My mum and my sister
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One of my mum’s lovely creations

 

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That’s me, looking all professional. It’s just a look 🙂

She will be 70 this October and I know there are some things that she can’t do anymore as she isn’t so mobile as she used to be.  I know that my dear mum misses her sisters, one of which lives up in the North of England and one who lives close but also doesn’t get out much.  So my cousins and I have been scheming and plotting since the beginning of June to arrange a sister reunion, which takes place tomorrow.  Only one of the sisters is aware of the meeting at the moment so tomorrow I have to prepare my mum for something exciting in the afternoon without telling her what it is.

It’s going to be so difficult because she gets so suspicious and she will probably think I have arranged a rowdy party for her or something.  I just want to see her happy and see her look when she gets to meet her long-lost sisters who she hasn’t seen for years.  I know she will be happy because she might not get another chance to meet them all together like this.

I’ll let you know the outcome!  Wish me luck.

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Jackson Pollock – Blue Poles: Number 11, 1952

Blue_Poles_(Jackson_Pollock_painting)

Blue Poles Number 11

Painted relatively late in Jackson Pollock’s career, this painting conveys the unique skill that Pollock had by now achieved with his infamous ‘drip’ technique. Executed on unstretched canvas laid flat on the floor, both the artist’s dripping, splashing and pouring of paint onto the work’s surface and the scale of the painting itself, clearly reveals the highly physical aspect of Pollock’s technique. It could equally be regarded as a performance. Pollock believed that his abandonment of traditional painting tools (he preferred to use sticks, cooking basters or pour directly from the paint can) and the paintings he produced reflected the realms of unconscious experience but also responded to contemporary life. As he stated: “The modern painter cannot express this age, the airplane, the atom bomb, the radio, in the old forms of the Renaissance or of any past culture”.

In marked contrast to the artist’s classic works of 1947–50, the electric colours of Blue Poles in no way reflect the palette of nature as earlier paintings had done. Blue Poles is for Pollock an ambitious transitional work where not only colour, but the artist’s handling of composition, mark a conscious move away from previous work. While in many ways continuing his now trademark ‘all-over’ composition, Pollock pushed his endeavours in abstraction further by introducing the bold presence of the eight blue ‘poles’ that intersect the canvas. Pollock uses the prominent slashes of Blue Poles to reintroduce the conventional notion of figure and ground into his work, but without making any concession to traditional concepts of perspective. In Blue Poles, the ‘figure’ is, quite radically, the abstract mark.

Since its controversial purchase by the Australian National Gallery (now National Gallery of Australia), Canberra in 1973, Blue Poles has assumed an iconic place in recent Australian history. Contemporary debates surrounding the painting at the time of its acquisition extended far beyond discussions relating to its artistic merit and position in Pollock’s career. Given the work’s enormous price tag – then a world record for a work by a twentieth-century artist – Blue Poles came to embody, almost by default, a number of issues particularly relevant to Australia. These included the role of art and politics, the validity and global impact of the Abstract Expressionism, as well as questions surrounding the purchase of the painting as a signifier (for Whitlam’s Labor Government) of modern nationhood.

Now a much-lauded and internationally celebrated work, first-hand experience of Pollock’s mesmerising and complex painting serves to reinforce the enormity of the artist’s impact on twentieth century art. While initially ridiculed by the American press in 1949 as ‘Jack the Dripper’, Jackson Pollock is now recognised as one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century.

Jackson Pollock 1912-1956

With his cowboy persona, characteristically casual attire and appearance in the widely-circulated Life magazine, Jackson Pollock was the first American artist to capture the popular imagination. Brought to worldwide fame after his death in a car crash in 1956, Pollock’s life and art came to be seen to capture both the possibilities and perils of postwar American society. While Jackson Pollock’s untimely death, and the almost mystical intrigue of his abstract paintings, have served to emphasise both the ‘romance’ and ‘heroism’ of the artist’s public persona, Pollock’s achievements as a painter cannot be overshadowed. His friend and patron, the artist Alfonso Ossorio said of Pollock’s career: “Here I saw a man who had both broken all the traditions of the past and unified them, who had gone beyond cubism, beyond Picasso and surrealism, beyond everything that had happened in art … his work expressed both action and contemplation”.

Jackson Pollock was born in the United States in Cody, Wyoming on 28 January 1912. He was the youngest of five brothers, born into a farming family that struggled financially and moved a number of times during the young boy’s life. After some early art training in Riverside, California and Los Angeles, in 1930 Pollock enrolled at the Art Students League in New York City under the tuition of the figurative painter Thomas Hart Benton. It was during the early 1930s that Pollock first encountered the work of Mexican mural painters Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros, whose work was to prove an early influence on his own art. After a period of depression in the late 1930s, during which very little painting took place, Pollock commenced Jungian analysis. He returned to painting with renewed vigour in 1940.

Fellow abstract artist Lee Krasner (who Pollock first met in 1936 and married in 1945) was central to Pollock’s life and instrumental in the subsequent development of his career. Another influential contact was with Peggy Guggenheim, a wealthy art collector who was to become one of the most significant early supporters and promoters of Pollock’s work. Pollock first exhibited at Guggenheim’s ‘Art of this Century’ gallery in 1942.

In 1945 Pollock and Krasner moved from New York to The Springs in East Hampton, Long Island. Pollock initially established his studio in an upstairs bedroom before relocating it to the barn. This move to the Hamptons was to herald a period of relative stability and great creativity in Pollock’s life.

While continuing to produce monumental paintings such as Blue Poles during the early 1950s, Pollock became increasingly despondent about his work and by 1956, the year of his death, had not painted for more than twelve months.