Monday, 6 June 2011

I follow the Moskva down to Gorky Park......

This weekend I have in equal parts been inspired and derailed by 6 non-stop hours of Power Ballads. I have never danced to Think Twice by Celine Dion before and I doubt I ever will again. So Celine is to blame for my lack of painting activity. But alas tonight with a clearer head and a steadier hand I have picked up where I left off.

One of my many problems in life is the fight between precision and scruffiness. Now I like scruffiness but I have to have a certain level of precision before scruffiness can come to the fray. Do you follow me? No? Nope me neither. Lets put that another way shall we. I like an organised shambles, a structured chaos if you will. In life, as in my painting I need to have the fundamentals set out with a structure and then once the structure is in place, I like a thick dollop of mess on top. For example I like my room messy....clothes strewn everywhere....but underneath the mess is a clean hoovered floor........behind my visually, noisy face and shambolic nature lies a good heart......with me now? Good..... and so my painting has its clean linear frame in place and now its time for the plonk on top. It's starting to come now. I hope. 

Monday, 30 May 2011

When I'm painting windows.

Just been filling in the gaps this afternoon. Painting windows different shades of blue and grey.

Goslings in the Park.

Paint is dry! Masking tape peeled and Ziggy upstairs shaking. Voila.

I went for a walk with Ziggy and I took a few snaps of some buildings I'd like to paint/draw. I also saw these little critters is Fog Lane Park. The big geese were hissing at Zig. 

Bank Holidays are for Rain and Painting.

I went to Argos on Friday last week to buy a pool cue. I don't play pool a lot, but I'd promised my friends that we would play pool at the weekend, and I thought that if I went along with my own pool cue then it would make me play better. Here is a picture of me threatening Lee with my new cue. Look how happy I look.

I took it along to the Swan on Friday night to play. I was really excited. It all turned sour pretty quickly when the landlord told me that the pool room was out of order because it was full of lawn mowers. I didn't get to play pool until Sunday once all the lawn mowers had been moved. I played 15 games and won 11. The cue made me play better. I knew it. The cue made me a pool pro. 

Anyway, I have been adding more window frames to my painting. I've gone through to 2 rolls of masking tape. The biggest worry is no longer perspective. The biggest worry is that I have discovered Ziggy has a fear of the sound of masking tape being peeled from the roll. 

I can't really wait until I'm through with this masking tape element of my painting. I want to get down to business and start drawing on it again. However I know I've got to go through a tricky smoke stage to grime up the image a tad. Yeah painting with smoke.

I know what you're thinking. It's too geometric isn't it? Yep I've been thinking that too. Its not worrying me though. 

Right then, while this is drying, I'm going to walk Zig in the rain and help him get out of this masking tape funk. I'm also going to take some snaps of Withington Community Centre, and before you ask, no, I won't be snapping pics of sweaty, young women leaving the community centre after doing Zumba sessions. I'm no pervert, I just like the  building. It's an option for my second painting in this series.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

and then I stripped the bitch.......

Remove the tape and what do you get? Nice crisp blocks, thats what folks!

Brick red is the colour of bricks.

Ok so I've practically got the basic drawing down for the painting of the The Swan. I've been trying to hunt down my masking tape to add some block colour. I hunted high. I hunted low. I looked in my tool box. I looked in the draw where I keep miscellaneous items such as old Chinese take-away containers and the bike pump. It was nowhere to be seen. But, then it came to me. Ziggy in the summer of 2010. Yes! That was it. Chewed to smithereens. I've bought some more from Poundland in Altrincham. I've masked up and added some nice big blocks of colour. It looks a shambles. But I love a good shambles.

and now I play the waiting game. This is probably the right time to suggest to myself that I should begin on a second and third painting.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Drawing Buildings......I get attached to buildings.

At the moment this is where I live:
I live here with my dog Ziggy and my house-mate Lee. We are very happy. Below is a picture of my dog Ziggy. He is happy to have his photo put in my blog but Lee would probably have some concerns if I splashed photos of her up here without her approval. At least this way she keeps an element of mystery.

I've lived in a lot of houses, but only one house has my undying affection. Its called 261 Blackpool Old Road, and it's where I grew up. I would probably still be living there now, had it not been for divorce. One day I'm going to get this house back. Maybe if I get round to drawing every building in England, Google street maps will take me seriously and pay me lots of money to have my drawings. Then my house will be mine again. You will no doubt see this house again when I do a new painting of it for this project. In the mean time, here is a little sketch I did a long time ago:

The White Swan Pub.

Well here it is in all its battered yet proud glory. It's one of my favourite pubs and also one of my favourite buildings in Manchester.The Darts room is to the left. When I first went to the pub on my own, I hid in here with my dog playing darts. I figured that that way I didn't get in anyone's way and if by some chance I did, well I'd have a set of darts as weapons. As it turned out, everyone was really nice and I didn't need to throw darts at anyone in self defence. I did a quick doodle of The Swan quite a while ago. It looked like this:
I had a silly idea one day that I would draw every building in England. Each building would take 30 mins to do and so I could accomplish one building per lunch break at work. Once I had drawn every building (in England) I wanted to go and speak to someone really important at Google and see if they would use my drawings as an alternative version of Google Street Maps. Well hindsight is a wonderful thing and laziness is a right fucker. I only did 3 buildings and thought "What's the point". I think that quite a lot. 

The White Swan Pub, Ladybarn, Manchester, M14 6TL

The White Swan is my local watering hole. I go here on my own for a late night pint of Guinness and a bag of nuts. It's a quiet, almost abandoned pub that doesn't even look like it's open. It reminds me of the Winchester from Shaun of the Dead, but without customers. It does have some customers though. My favourites are Pat. He is a lovely Irish man with a great, grey tash, who always refers to Manchester United as the "Red Machine". He drinks 2 pints of lager at the same time. Joe is also a smashing Irish chap whose shirt is always way too wide open revealing a large chest that has seen one too many bitters and whiskeys. Joe probably drinks too much. I like him. Then there is Mike. Mike is very skinny and he's not Irish. He likes United and a good chat about music, football and my dog (whom Mike always refers to as Scrappy Doo). Mike likes to "put his dukes up" to Ziggy as if to start a boxing match. Ziggy just likes the attention. He fights southpaw. 

I'm painting the Swan.

It's Part One in a series of paintings I am making called "This is where I am. This is where I was". Here is my first sketch upon canvas. It's important to get an accurate good frame down to lay the paint upon. As you can see I am having a battle with perspective and perspective is winning.