22 August 2014


For a dose of L.A....(there are lots of imitators out there but he is the real deal...)

19 August 2014

Kenko, from Essays in Idleness, #8

-If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama, but lingered on forever in the world, how things would lose their power to move us! The most precious thing in life is its uncertainty. Consider living creatures - none lives so long as man. This May fly waits not for the evening, the summer cicada knows neither spring or autumn. What a wonderfully unhurried feeling it is to live a single year in perfect serenity! If that is not enough for you, you might live a thousand more years and still feel it was but a single night's dream. We cannot live forever in this world; why should we wait for ugliness to overtake us? The longer man lives, the more shame he endures. To die, at the latest, before one reaches forty, is the least unattractive. Once a man passes that age, he desires (with no sense of shame over his appearance) to mingle in the company of others. In his sunset years he dotes on his grandchildren, and prays for long life so that he may see them prosper. His preoccupation with wordily desires grows deeper, and gradually he loses all sensitivity to the beauty of things, a lamentable state of affairs.

14 August 2014

Saul Leiter (encore)

"I like it when one is not certain of what one sees.
We don't know why the photographer (painter) has made such a picture. 
If we look and look, we begin to see and are still left with the pleasure of uncertainty."

"It is not where it is or what it is that matters, but how you see it."

Saul Leiter

These are interesting notions in which I find much truth, at least from my perspective. 

What 'makes' something interesting? Is it surely not Form in a work? How else can we experience something in the visual world if not through our eyes? And what makes Form? And, can we not find it already-made out in the world, man-made and/or natural? Hence the first image above but rotated on its side. Below is a painting made last year which I have grown to like even if I don't have a clue as to its own. Doesn't an artist want to make something to be seen in a new way? Alas, I personally feel that art has been hijacked by those who simply want to present an image which is easily understood, and one which only confirms our understanding of it. (and I include in that not just those who paint pastiches of flower pots and cypress trees but uber-cool contemporary artists who exhibit LED messages in an otherwise clean empty gallery space.


Un poète doit laisser des traces de son passage, non des preuves. Seules les traces font rêver...
René Char

(extrait de la parole den archival)

11 August 2014

A shooter's life (Vivian Maier)

Here is an interesting and well made documentary about the strange and secret life of a woman who worked as a nanny but spent all her time taking pictures of everything.
Her work is good and original but not overwhelmingly extraordinary. Its her life which eclipses her talents as a photographer.
It is also about the young man who discovers her and how he sleuths his way into her strangely weird and exotic world with the help of those who knew her. Somehow it made me think of Looking for Sugarman
Today, more than ever before there are so many remarkably talented young filmmakers exploring all sorts of offbeat stories around the globe. Yes!

09 August 2014


Alas, I should have stopped at this stage of the painting. But, I didn't. I pushed it into the ground, so to speak. I did have the instinct to take this quick photo with the telephone so as to have a souvenir  of what might have been.....as I liked something.
Its a quick study of a friend with whom I will have dinner this evening in Poët Laval before I leave tomorrow for a new life in Australia.
At the time (which is typical of me) I hated the haunted look of her face coming up, and instead of just keeping it and doing another, I ground it into the metaphysical floor of the studio.
A shame, too, because its the first portrait (in oil) I have done in maybe over 15 years.

03 August 2014

Crete (circa 1986)

So, I went to Crete and painted for a few months such long time ago. I made lots of small oil paintings out of my VW camper van. 

31 July 2014

le monde des hommes

I painted this at the height of the Balkens War in July, 1994, when I felt so disgusted with what men were doing to other men in ex-Yugoslavia. Twenty years ago almost to the day, incredible! 
And today it the same kind of hate between Arabs and Jews.
Its a rather crude painting, I admit, but I too, was also at war but with myself at that time as it was two years before I stopped drinking. I was also leaving Nature behind and delving into an invented kind of picture plane.

I made some other very dark pictures at this time. And thus, I find myself limited by what I can take, and what I must leave behind. I could not bring myself to destroy many of these things because although they make little sense to anyone else, there are such a large part of my story.

20 July 2014

the hesitant man (Edgar Oliver)

"I am  a hestitant man. It seems to me that I have spent my life half lost in some rapturous dream I dreamt as a child from which I have never awakened. Perhaps I don't want to wake up. If I woke I would find that I have failed to live."

from Edgar Oliver in his prologue for his one man show at the Axis Theatre in New York.

18 July 2014


This night, last flight
Of the butterfly
Across the road.

13 July 2014


Inside the grey sky
Is a painting 
Of the grey sky.

04 July 2014

Siena (circa 1986, l'été)

I am moving from one country to another, and despite the  unpleasant task of it all one does finds old friends. This from my days out painting in the sweltering Tuscan landscape.

20 June 2014

Foucault and Chomsky

I watched a wonderful documentary on Michel Foucault last night. I confess that I have never read his books nor knew much about his philosophy but I did have a kind of blind idea that somehow he was responsible for much of the thinking behind Contemporary art.
This, of course, gave me the willies and I put him into a place high on the bookshelf where I would probably never have to read him. And yet, to my great surprise, he was portrayed as a fascinating man full of life with an innate intellectual grasp of the difficult lines of thought in Philosophy and the contemporary life of humankind. This is but a teaser with the renowned thinker and philosopher Noam Chomsky. Its a great portrait of the (70's)? 
More to be revealed...

16 June 2014

Wonderful Leica Madness! (Thorsten von Overgaad)

Thorsten Overgaard Workshop 2014 from Thorsten Overgaard on Vimeo.

And his delicious photos....
(Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95.)

Wistlawa Szymborska (1923 - 2012)

This is one of my very favorite poets. 

13 June 2014

Christian Martel (artist crazy for kites)

ai wei-wei (by the way)

Of course, he is one of the biggest art stars currently on the planet which doesn't say boo to me because I only look at the works of an artist, not the name. And I find this wood sculpture compelling, and quite moving in a way which cannot be qualified except that I simply like it very much.

05 June 2014

successful artist! #2 (Julian Schnabel) and Paulo Veronese

In London last week I went to see the latest show of Julian Schnabel of whom I wrote  after seeing a nice little film of him on Vimeo. But, after being so diplomatic, I have to confess that I came away from this exhibition with a few conclusions; but I shall be kind and simply wonder: What was he thinking?
I left shaking my head as I headed down to the National Gallery where there is currently a show of the great Paulo Veronese. Such magnificent things on the huge walls there that immediately erased the distaste from the previous show.

And Paulo Veronese, what a difference 450 years make!