Monday, 7 December 2009

A Recipe for Disaster

I love to cook that is when i find the time. There always seems so much to do around the place. I check daily that all the lights are off and the farms water supply is free from sheep dip and frogs . There are cushions that need plumping, the garbage to maintain, that elusive cornflake to crush underfoot. There is no task too small or pointless that i don't undertake. Finally with most of the day gone I can settle down and do what i like to do most, bring a sense of joy to a select handful of passers-by. So with your fingers poised over the 'print' button, here is my trusty recipe for:
Paint Provincial
It makes a great eyeful for an early evening get together, served with wine or if in London a small canister of oxygen. Accompany with a well chilled crew of bankers or retirees. 12-14 servings

A number of wood panels
A sprinkle of graphite
4 fl. oz. [1/2 cup] tap water
8 tablespoon of good acrylic paint [Rowney]
dissolved in 2 tablespoons extender
A pinch of panic
3 teaspoons of ink
A sprig of Time
1 Date
The skin of a cow
A load of cheese
3 painted ladies

Preheat studio to just above visible breath level 43F (gas mark 48)
Sand and rub the wood panels to a smooth surface. Measure with a ruler and arrange the Graphite. When satisfied set the panel aside.
In a medium sized plate (get permission of a grownup first), combine the water, paint and ink and stir with a 00 Daler nylon brush. Now Paint the solution trying not to over do. Spread the cheese to taste. Cover with tracing paper and wrap with leather (carved the way you like) Garnish with varnish and decorate with butterflies. Add or remove the date depending on the need to sell. Sit back and wait for something to occur. Remove from studio and leave to hang for 3 months.
For best results serve cold yet enthusiastic. Guaranteed to keep 4 people interested for 2 minutes.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

A Question of feet

I started my first blog with a description of the weather so enough of that, least to say that I've examined my feet and there are no visible signs of Trench foot however there seems to be a permanent steam emanating from my sodden clothes. I have a short walk to work. It generally takes less than a minute but when the clouds are a bit low i can achieve this in seconds. Its about 15' from the back door to the red stable door of my studio. There is of course the view to take in on the way, the other side of the valley, the seasonal changes, small pockets of woodland and the lines of individual trees that border the vertical fields and the old hamlet of 'New Houses'. In Spring the small wall outside the studio comes alive with the delicate flowers of mountain alpines, Saxifrages and Sedums, the Lapwings return, the sheep lamb and for me the new year begins. This commute while not the fitness tonic i need does separate me from the daily goings on in the mostly empty farm house. The mice can play amongst the wiring and the winter butterflies can net themselves on the cobwebs, the house plants thirst goes un-quenched.I leave the unopened bills and payment requests on the crumb strewn kitchen table and begin my journey to work. This for me is a good walk, all that is familiar changing minutely but it is a kind of bridge between the work i love to do and the place i live.
On more perfect still days i take the longer route around the farm boundary hoping to see something among the tall grasses and drystone walls that can spark an interest in the same way it did when i was a child. On such days i wish the distance from my home to work were a field away. For me this is when my imagination is exercised and i thank the heavens for a short commute and a longer working day. On other colder days when i fall from bed and scrabble into my ever tighter clothes hoping that my journeys path will throw me a morsel of inspiration I long for a steady job and a regular paycheck, still 15' is not far from ones dreams

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Blog from the Bog

Well Winters here and that used to mean 3ft of snow, cold feet and an endless supply of old leather boots to chew on in case the larder emptied. Now all we expect is 3 litres of rain every week. I think i could make paper from the logs that are readied to keep us warm.The Garden resembles a bog and the small pond a lake, still at least everythings down hill from here, literally as i live in a farm house perched at the head of a Tolkienesk dale. Its just one of many farms that no longer produce food or wool, like some that replaced bare lightbulbs and open ranges for down lights and Aga's but the rain creeps in and the wind rattles the old sash windows and most days smoke billows from the stone chimney except during the heady 2 weeks of Summer. It is however the place i love with all my heart and more importantly the inspiration behind all my work as an Artist. As friends would attest and as this is my first blog, my tendancy to ramble is rather like a drinker who hasn't visited a pub for a while so i'll say that Iam looking forward to making new friends, sharing my creative endevours, talkng of life here in the Northern hinterland with its wonderful wildlife and rich history and of course the eternal problem of making a living from art in the country. Let me be the first to welcome myself to the world of blogging. Please feel free to comment on any of my Paintings or Leather work .