19°C, cold NE wind. Non-stop sun, no cloud.

"All through the night, the wind looks for the grief it belongs to"
WS Merwin

Oops: what’s the daftest thing you have done recently? After working late with some 6th form technologists- I loaded the car with things in the boot at about 17.40. Drop the bag in and go back for the last things. Flick the boot down and "ker-clunk". That was the central locking, the boot is safely shut, my keys are safely inside it. That is a problem.
Actually- rescue was only 3/4 hour away, not a big problem after considering several solutions and too mundane to recall here.
One package booted in was the last of the ICT coursework. A kid who’d ignored the deadline until today, funny how those who have the most time to complete, in effect an unfair advantage can slo produce the lowest quality work of all. Marking pressure is now receeding, and think time can go back to some paitning. It should be quite an advantage having two canvases on the go.
Beautiful day despite occurances. A pair of mallard ducks decided to control the traffic going home. They were Jaywalking, but more colourful than any Jay.

Answer- Checkhov

probably 20°C later, + sun hopefully.

Next week’s play is by Checkhov, “Three sisters”. Also worth looking at is the coming Lichfield Festival. You get some fantastic things on there: Arvo Pärt, Five minute theatre, Shostakovich’s- “The Nose”, and so on. It’s so much better than going to the cinema.
Later: 43 miles cycling, loads of marking and assembled that computer. It’s taken so long to get the last few parts delivered that the list price of the first arrivals has fallen in the same shop. The sun has done its thing all afternoon.
Interesting: Flash Earth, 2D version of GoogleEarth, but needs no installation apart from a browser with Flash player- which most people have anyway.

Complicite: “A disappearing Number”

20°C, clear, N wind

Theatre: Just got back from the Warwick Arts Centre, a play that left us feeling stunned- such was its brilliance.
Complicite is the company that put it on, a play of their own devising. The play probably had roots in Brecht, the stage was more high-tech, but some of the style was there. Acting was seamless, as was the whole production. You can forget you are watching a play, forget the passage of time and feel a profound immersion in the presentation. Scene changes were seamless, and the production was almost chorographed blending in dance with stage acting over sound collage (and video too). The sensation of escapism that I get from listening to music and more from painting was there this evening.
I came out thinking that nights out at the theatre are the way to go, it beats the fatal misgivings that I have with cinema so often. There have been too many occasions where I have left a film feeling depressingly dissappointed. Further; I have never been for a night out at Warwick Arts Centre and not been stunned by the show!
What’s on next week then?

Scaffolding down

18°C, wet then dry, 73% humid.

Scaffolding: the house is now uncaged: I really hated having that surrounding us; it was ugly, restrictive and blocked the TV antenna. The worst bit for me was sleeping in another room because the window couldn’t open against a steel pole. Sleeping with a window closed is really quite unpleasant.

Left-handedness: I just marked some coursework which has to be bound by the pupils. This one had put the binding on the right-hand edge so pages opened to the left. Sitting with it on my desk, leafing through pages as I mark while checking against the criteria booklet justified my decision to accept that presentation gracefully. It was actually easier to mark- so thanks to Catherine W.. I hope your handedness is accepted by the others.
We can be this flexible with art-books too- the books are symmetrical and I issue stickers for name-writing. For a few years now, the left-handers are informed that it’s fine to put the sticker on the "other cover" so it opens to the left. I have started to do that myself with sketchbooks. A practice I intend to expand on- why not do it with ring-binders.

Eternal damnation

19°C, rain.

Homecoming: Got home tonight to find the dogs barking energetically at the door. It was that "intruder" bark- each barkworthy event has its own bark. In this case there were a pair of smartly dressed young men who had the aura of religious loonacy. My opener was very blunt-
Who are you then?
in a smarmy US voice "we’re from the church of god" (or something similar)
so I sent them off with :
"I’m not interested- go away"
Then they did. Result!
I really was not in the mood for that delerious starry-eyed smarmy nonsense.
Lisa Gerrard- Mirror Pool
I’ve had this album for years, but rediscovered it recently. There is something sublime about it- especially when the male voices fill the background- such restrained power, paced out and volumous. Breathtaking.



Builders: we are surrounded by scaffolding. There is a new roof above, dust on the garden and some delicate delightful flowering plants crushed out of existence. On the upside, despite the high cost of the kind of house repair, there is a new loan in the bank. It pays the builder, and also means that my hirepurchase car is actually mine now. Final icing on the cake is that the monthyl repayments are for the same period but fewer monies each month.
Good innit?
Notice the tree in this picture. It was blown down in a January gale. But look closely – it’s growing still- it has leaves and pollen things. Look even closer and you can see Rosie the poodle having a poop.

Oil wash- rubbed away

14°C, clear.

Turpentine day 1: You’ve seen the rubbing away technique on these pages before, but not in black. It’s a very slippery method, it needs reworking many times since it’s prone to unexpected marks. Good thing is that the tonality is immediate – no need to wait for the drawing to be finished then filling in. That would be such a pain to wait- all the moment’s spur will have gone by then.
The canvas is about 20X28cm, and the whole exercise only took about 40 mins.


23°C, summer sun after a foggy start. C= 61.4 miles

It’s summer! You’d think it was April, but no- look outside.
This has been the best Easter break for years. I’m tired now though, with today’s ride, that adds up to 27 hours of exercise this week.


16°C, clear &

3DS Max: detailing the old Barracuda model: new canopy, flaps and mapping partly done. I found out why the previous animation took so long to render- it had global illumination left on- that multiplies rendering time by 8 as the scene has 8 extra light sources in effect (or something like that). It’s theraputic doing this; not that I need any therapy.
Turpentine: below is a progress shot D5; missed out day 4. Now it’s nearly ready for the linseed layers to start.

Shalebridge cradle

14°C, grey then it cleared.: C=29miles

3DS Max: rendered a short clip of the Barracuda model, it’s only 4 seconds long and 400×300 size, but it still took over 2½ hours. Let’s see how that changes after building the new computer.
Turpentine: second underpainting layer added to those clouds, problem was- the pthalio blue wasn’t entirely dry- which you may be able to see along a few edges.
Cycling photo: Below is a nice spring landscape taken while cycling this afternoon; looks dry doesn’t it?