BLAUGUSTINE / BACK TO ARCHIVE

20 April 2017

WALLS I HAVE KNOWN

Doing some website housework, I've added a page for murals I've done. San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, Asunciòn, Paraguay and London UK are the places where my murals came to life. Unfortunately the public ones are now dead, wiped out, but possibly a couple of private ones still exist.

Fresco study, San Miguel   left: Fresco study, Instituto Allende, Mexicoplaster bas-relief, Instituto Allende

Plaster bas-relief study, Instituto Allende

Hampden, early stages

Mural in progress, Hampden Community Centre, London 1983

Finished Hampden Community Centre mural 50' x 12'.

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16 April 2017

RESURRECTION

To everyone who passes by here,  a happy Easter and Passover and springtime and any other feast of rebirth and renewal that you care to celebrate today or other days.

The concept or belief in resurrection is as old as humanity as is its expression in smbols. If the traditional religious ones don't appeal, have a look at some of the others.

Phoenix, Aberdeen Bestiary

Benu bird, ancient Egypt

Ethiopian Ascension

trees outside my window

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15 April 2017

CAT MINDFULNESS

What I love about cats and some other animals and young children is that everything is always for the first time for them. I put some food in the plate for visiting cat Pushkin and he lights up as if the Messiah has just offered him eternal life. And every single time it's brand new, the excitment never dims, no routine is ever boring, everything is wonderful or frightening and invariably surprising. I like to think that I'm a little bit like that, most of the time.

Meanwhile nuclear war is in the air, Trump remembers chocolate cake and forgets which country he bombed.

Pushkin, mindful

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12 April 2017

HODGKIN'S ABSENT FRIENDS

If you're in London, it's definitely worth going to the National Portrait Gallery for the Howard Hodgkin show Absent Friends.

Absence certainly takes centre stage because those people whose portraits Hodgkin painted at various stages in his long career are not actually depicted. What he did was to invent a carefully constructed visual language to translate his memories and feelings about certain individuals or situations into pigment, colour and form. They're not abstractions, not abstract expressionism, and not merely 'mark making' (irritating art-speak!) The subject matter is always essential and Hodgkin is a narrator, telling the stories which remain alive in his memory. The exquisite Indian miniatures which Hodgkin loved and collected also tell stories - he borrowed from their intense colours and precise construction but deftly removed all illustration from his own tales. An acrobatic tour de force.

Unfortunately that vigor and inventiveness didn't persist into his late years and the final paintings in this and other recent exhibitions have an unconvincing, floppy bravado. You could say well, that's what old age does. I'd vehemently disagree (I would wouldn't I) and I don't know what took the vim out of Hodgkin but it surely wasn't old age even if he was 84 when he died in March this year.  Anyway, see the show if you can or if not, look up his work.

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