Today, 30th December, a full 7 days after I posted a blog and published a painting, they finally appeared on this webpage before the startled gaze of an astonished world. So too did the many photographs I’ve inserted into existing blogs, I hope making ‘Insight’ more interesting. I’m sure this development is in no small way thanks to Bob, whom I was forced to consult during his holiday period; and he has also given me basic housekeeping advice which I probably should have known and which should enable me to get out of similar blockages on my own in future.
The upside of this fallow-web period is that we managed to grab four days’ painting. I was ready for that, after having to spend much of the preceding month on other matters; and I had the pleasure of working on eight different paintings during that Christmas lull, finishing off three, improving two and starting three new ones.
Using studio snapshots at this stage, below on the left is one now ‘finished off” I think (but see post for 1 January) and, on the right, one now ‘improved’ I hope:
Two of the existing ones are already in The Gallery here so I’ll have to re-photograph them, haul their existing photographs off The Gallery and republish them there in their improved guise. ‘Becker country’ (to the right) is one of them.
One of the new paintings arose from a moment’s inspiration on Boxing Day morning while walking along the sea-wall towards the Martello tower at Aldeburgh (see below, post on 6 December; and thumbnail photograph, taken on a different occasion, on left here); the painting, ‘The Blue Line’, though not quite finished, existed by later that day (studio snapshot to right).
It’s great on the rare occasions when that sort of insta-art happens: in this case, a double pleasure because, for once, I also knew exactly what I was going to paint, and how, before I started.
Although I’ve described that image as ‘insta-art’, since posting it I have come across this photograph:
It is of almost exactly the same view but taken on 6 June, 2015. Clearly the image had been ‘cooking’ in my mind for 6 months before it popped out, as if new, on Boxing Day. But while it may be the same view, I clearly remember that I took it previously to capture the image of the lines of metal uprights, shadow-dark against the shingle and the sea, not the blue line on which my thoughts were focussed on Boxing Day.
This sight inevitably reminded me of the inter-tidal Gormleys on the beach at Crosby, Lancashire, and I took the photograph with a painting based on it in mind. Now I have to decide whether to include these dark shapes in my Boxing Day sea – which is unfinished on the painting above – or whether to do two different paintings of the same view.
Now that I’ve inserted decorative pictures like these into ‘Insight’ for the last six months (July-December, 2015), I must finish the job by doing the same for first three months of its existence (April-end of June). That too will be a pleasure. (see post, 4 Jan ’16)
That’s the third time I’ve used the word ‘pleasure’ in this piece – most unusual for this Victor Meldrew of the Lower Alde Valley art world, so there’s clearly far too much of it around as this painterly year ends. Cue Puritanical New Year then.