Thursday, February 19, 2009


Face improved. Working on mirror illusion and space behind mirror illusion. Illusion is very hard work.

P.S. None of these photos give an accurate version of the actual colours of the painting. I don't know why it is impossible to upload anything which shows the true colours of any original. Maybe it's my camera, maybe it's Photoshop, maybe it's Dreamweaver, maybe it's the web, maybe it's the weather.



Here is the latest, unfinished version and the mirror I stare into. I decided to incorporate part of the mirror itself into the painting and also include a thin slice of the room behind it on the right-hand side of the canvas.

I like the idea of trying to represent four levels of reality/unreality simultaneously: the mirror, the image reflected in it, the painting, the person looking in the mirror (but is it really me?) It's far from finished but I'm not going to scrape this one out. I'm worried that there's so much paint on this canvas it will never be dry by the deadline for delivering the work (14 March).


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The portrait has not been going well. For the benefit of anyone interested in the process, I'm posting some of the states below. I'm now on the fourth scrape-it-all-out-and-start-again: the "Better but still no good" painting, which was the latest, is no more. Kaputt.

Some of what I'm struggling with is:

1. The sad grey winter light and the shortness of days.

2. Indecisiveness about what approach I want to take.

3. Tendency to overdo and thus lose something that was going well.

4. Having become used to the speed and ease of digital painting and its marvellous "UNDO" option, unfortunately unavailable in real-life oil painting.

5. The infuriating, seductive, non-user-friendly character of oil paint.

6. An angry nostalgia for bygone years when I was able to toss off a really quite good portrait in a few hours.

7. Bad mood due to all the above plus some extra stuff not worth mentioning.

Okay, I know: Fail again. Fail better.

I'll keep going. A desire to please is the enemy. Must keep that in mind.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

SNOWFALL, North London, 2 February 2009

Nothing happens in this movie except for snow gently falling and a couple of birds in the trees.

That something so soft, so fragile, so gentle, so playful can transform the world in an hour or less is surely an example to reflect upon. Suddenly the noise and chaos are hushed. People walk down the street laughing. Even the ugliest object wears a sparkling mantle of loveliness, nothing is left out.

Formats available: MPEG4 Video (.mp4)