Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Monday, 27 February 2012
Friday, 24 February 2012
The talk once again confirmed my suspicions that the older I get the less I know. The main premise of the talk centred around Freud's unusual painting technique, painting not the composition as a whole but finishing small patches before then moving on across the canvass until completed. This allowed him to shape shift compositions often to great effect.
The above painting is an example of an incomplete portrait, not the way I was taught and I only know of two other artists that painted in a similar way, Stanley Spencer and Henri Rousseau.
This suggests a lack of teaching which is not true, I think he initially did embrace tradition but was intelligent enough to realise that greater freedom came with his way of working. Many canvasses thus have extra additions to the side or bottom to accommodate the compositional changes he made, this tickled Kitty when I explained why.
I met Kitty after the talk and through devious maneuverings secured her a free ticket too! I was not sure what she would make of the show as she has led quite a sheltered life and there is a lot of genitalia on display here, but after her initial surprise she was great.
Kitty has just returned from skiing, her favourite activity, sadly she had twisted her knee so she had just been to the doctor for the first time ever in her 16 years! She has only once been near medical care and that was in A&E when she was very young for an infected cut, so she was very nervous but survived and procured her first prescription. She was somewhat taken aback when asked by the doctor if she smoked, and he was surprised that she had not even tried to. I think people forget not all teenagers are party animals.
This was Kitty's favourite painting, a portrait of Freud's mother. It is tucked away in a corridor in between rooms, but she noticed it going past and then again coming back, so we stopped for a while to unravel why she felt this one was so much better than the rest.
A few weeks back she told me that I was the only person who could make her a decent cup of tea, even she had failed to replicate a good cuppa, and despite me showing her how had failed, as had her father. I jokingly said that it was because I made it with love! She laughed and agreed that must be the case. Looking at this painting I realised it was the same, it was the only painting that had been painted with love rather than as a cadaver under the microscope, this painting hums with a tenderness unlike the other paintings and Kitty agreed that indeed that is what it was, the unconditional love of a son for his mother.
There are 130 paintings to see, it is an awesome exhibition, very enlightening and a joy to see the journey he made technique wise through his paintings.
After which I would like to say we retreated for some delicious food. Sadly that was the case for Kitty but not me. We went to Les Deux Salons, a big mistake because I fancied something light, and they do not do light. I opted for a starter of cod and ordered some chips, to my surprise the cod came with mash potato! A starter with mash who knew? The wine was tepid and after the crisp joyful glasses I drank last week it seemed dull. I must be getting old, maybe Kitty should get out her paints!
Images from here and here
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
It was my first Easy Jet flight ever, having feared their draconian attitude to human error, but my sister has them very sussed and so clutching out priority boarding passes we had very uneventful flight both there and back. The weather was mostly glorious, the architecture most covetous, the food delicious, the art amazing. We walked miles and miles and very much ticked out Madrid box. There were surprises too, the smallness of the city, it is tiny considering it is a capital city, I live in a city of 7 million + my last holiday in Istanbul, population 13 million + Madrid is 3 million + and we only saw them on Saturday! The city is a throw back to Leeds circa the late 70's, Madrid has that feel to it with very few generic shops and most of what you need compartmentalised into tiny specialist shopping areas. Unlike Leeds....
Friday, 10 February 2012
I really struggled to think of anything random I have not already posted (see toolbar on the right side) I have a potty mouth,but that is not entirely a random fact more a given.
I must say I like the idea of compiling 10 guests we would most like for dinner, but that is one for my return.
1. What was your favourite film last year and why?
It may have to be Midnight in Paris simply because I can't remember any other films I saw!
Plays yes, That would be a toss up between Much Ado About Nothing with David Tennant and Catherine Tate and As You Like it, which I saw at the Globe, Both brilliant for entirely different reasons, but safe to say that no matter how much I try I always love Shakespeare the best!
My favourite TV programme is such a cliche, but has to be The Killing,, it had the most haunting soundtrack ever.
2. If money were no object, where would you spend your next vacation? and why?
I would fly my entire family, I mean the whole kit and caboodle out to ....Hawaii of course, Why? It is quite frankly the most beautiful place in the world.
3. Describe the earliest meal you can remember enjoying.
Anything and I mean anything cooked by my gran, truly delicious, primarily due to the startling lack of hygiene in her kitchen of course, how else do we get flavour?
4. If you were dividing domestic chores with a new roommate, which ones would you try to claim?
Throughout my entire life I have been shafted by vacuuming, I hate it, I still do not EVER iron, OK maybe twice last year! I am always happy to do the dishes especially as a teenager with very loud music!
5. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, which one?
Sadly no, I am truly very poor at all things musical, I love to listen, but as I have watched my youngest struggle to master the violin I am all the more appreciative of just how hard it is to learn.
6. When you're bothered by prolonged muscle or joint soreness that's interfering with your workout plans, do you visit a General Physician, a Chiropractor, a Physiotherapist, or a Massage Therapist?
Pop a couple of Nurophen and ignore it!
7. What activities do you hope will sustain you throughout your 80s and 90s?
Travelling, seeing and painting. and hopefully watching boxed sets of American TV series.
8. What was the first important car in your life?
My first car was a little Metro, truly it was so liberating ,having been tied to public transport until the age of 30! It was at a time when petrol was cheap and the mechanics were so simple, I was even taught to change my own brake pads. I went every where in that car,complete bliss
9. What was the most significant course you ever took?
The turning point in my life has to stem from the painting course I completed at The Slade School of Art, finally my demons of utter inadequacy vanished and I finally began to realise I could put down on paper all that had been swimming around my head.for the last umpteen years..
10. If you had the resources, which elementary or high school classmate would you try to track down, and why?
Elizabeth Stamp, I would love to bitch slap her so hard. I was a very easy going teenager and she was my utter nemesis, she would be so nice to my face and so utterly vile behind my back. Seriously, this went on all through school until finally she left. Looking back I wish I had realised just how poisonous she was and stayed as far away from her as possible. My one highlight is that I went to art college and she dropped out of school, so I achieved everything she wanted but failed to get.
11. Which chef would you like to have come to your house to prepare a meal for your guests -- or, alternatively, give you a cooking lesson in that chef's professional kitchen?
I found this surprisingly difficult, I think for the most fun it might have to be Heston Blumenthal. I am now writing without my glasses and can't see a thing, I fancy a packet of M&M's so will wave goodbye until next week, when I promise to be far more sartorially engaging!.
Thursday, 9 February 2012
It has taken two days but I have finally waded through tall that marking I showed you, of course after half term there will be another pile but for now I am marking lite!
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Like most people, inside I feel young, it's only the odd fleeting glance in the mirror that brings me up sharp, that inability to recognise who's looking back at me has been occurring more and more of late, somehow any control over the elasticity of my skin I once had is failing and gravity is taking a greater toll than I had anticipated.
I suppose in the media I am what is described as a cougar, both fathers of my daughters are younger than me, Kitty went over to her father's to celebrate his 40th this weekend, I am approaching 50. The age gap that seemed negligible at the time now starts to seem cavernous, it's not much better with Emin.
To ease the transition into the second half of my century my sister is taking me to Madrid, Mother is taking me to Venice, Kitty for a curry! Whilst the day itself will be spent in a pub somewhere near a beach on the Norfolk coast. I should by the end of the year have had a ball no?
We saw the Descendants last week, one area of discussion at college is how two people can watch the same film but see two very different films. I was moved to tears by the 10 year child's way of dealing with her mothers impending death. Emin came away thoroughly uplifted by the cinematography and wanted to go back to see it again, he loves Hawaii that much! Pretty much all else went right over his head!
Friday, 3 February 2012
So this week I was pursuing the Prado website when I had yet to pack away my photographs from my last break. I have spent very little time on this blog this week primarily because I was revisiting Cyprus through the wonderful world of paint. I decided come what may to stay in my painting room, an airless windowless ex dark room and paint last Tuesday. Yes, it has a small amount of ventilation but the fumes probably contributed to a low level but debilitating headache for the rest of the week.
The painting are very green, in more ways than one. I had tried to paint them in my head, but as always they did not go quite to plan, but it is as always a learning curve.
I veer from figurative to abstract and need to revisit them next week. Interestingly they are quite claustrophobic paintings, which I wonder if reflects the place I paint. I have also just about finished writing two lots of rationale, which pleases me no end.