Murder, rain and rage.

15°C, rain.


Unsettling: I rode passed a murder scene on the way to work this morning. The Police had closed the road, set up a cordon and a canvas tent stood ominously over a garden. Clearly, something dreadful had happened. Read
Later: I was subject to a road rage assault from a dustbin lorry driver. Had he some upset to recover from that drove him to verbally attack me? My “offence” was trivial, I overtook his lorry climbing to Shire Oak and which put him driving two cars behind me blasting his horn and shouting. He thought I should have stayed behind him. The rest of his thoughts were a jumble of obscenities and fist waving, all incoherently thrown as he stood at a red traffic light.
I remained calm.
Perhaps he was always like that; how unfortunate.

Another outstanding day

19°C, clear & bright. No clouds.


Linseed: now I have that portrait at a stage that makes it look likely to work in the end. After a three hour session before lunch using some thin and other thicker layers of over-painting, all the loose elements in the face are working together. It now needs to stand for a few days before the next layers go on.
Here is an excellent site that discusses portraiture for the oil painter Oil-painting-techniques. Some of the info could reasonably be converted to colour tables, but the general tone of the page is good for the intermediate painter.

I’ve learned some important stuff since starting these portraits, though I did suspect it before. It’s vital to continue "prep" after the final painting is started. It’s a time to work out those colour problems, compositions or details that arise. "Prep" is the wrong word then.
I love that tiny sketchbook, it’s only A5, but the paper is the right weight and texture. It could do with a weaker base colour perhaps, but I’ll adjust to that.
I bought another A5 book today mainly for graphite.

Whatever will…

19°C, Dry, it’s been a beautiful looking day.


How is this all going to work out?
The open threads, they ought to lead somewhere. When we get there we ought to be able to look back along the threads and see the story spread out in front of us, back across time. Even those threads that lead nowhere, or were just not followed up could be visible. We can journey in only one direction, but at least we can look in the other. If we look.

Crass! Life doesn’t have a plot. The only thing I do know, is that I weigh 14st 1lb.

What flower expresses….days go by

12-18°C, dense fog to start, sun later


An unexpected question: passing a colleague on the stairs, she said

"hi, would you draw my portrait?"
"ok" said I

Then, I wanted to know why she wanted me to draw her picture, but the answer revealed she didn’t hear the italics.
Got a decent weekend planned now; Literary festival tonight, and several ideas for tomorrow to choose from.
A new habit: painting: watercolour after drawing up ideas while at school. The picture below was sketched out during assembly. I was convinced that the kids didn’t notice- but last evening, they said they had

It’s not easy,

17°C, Autumn’s not so bad…


Painting, is not easy. I’m constantly aware of that ceiling over my skill. I’m not a painter; I am only a teacher. Mind you, I received a back-handed compliment on that score today so gain comfort from that my boy. Perhaps if I continue to feel scared by portraiture, then I will eventually create some worthwhile images in the future.
Walking in a forest at night is an intriguing alternative, but that’s relegated to an idea for the weekend. How wonderful is the possibility to searching through the forest wearing a headlamp, a forest with herds of deer, of badgers and owls!
Now, where are all my pants, I can’t have lost all of them in one week.

White musk.

16°C, N wind, fresh but not cold yet


Tired beyond belief, like being drunk. How am I going to last ’till Christmas?
Water-colour
series, on small but very good paper bought from Muji. The paper colour is a bit strong, and that shows through the paint, but the surface is ideal.
Bodymass: I have no idea how much I weight anymore, the bathroom scales jam at 11st, the needle can’t go further.