September 20, 2010


My youngest niece and her husband (I posted pictures of their wedding some time ago) had their second baby on September 14th. I haven't seen the infant boy in the flesh yet but of the photos they sent, one in particular just cried out to be painted. So here's my version, digitally drawn on graphic tablet, from the photo below. Mother-and-child paintings are legion but, at least to my knowledge, there aren't that many of father and child. This one has got to be a contender, don't you think?

By the way, in case you're wondering, I don't use photos as digital layers to trace and paint over or to make more 'painterly' by using filters. In this and other digital portraits I start with a blank page and look at the original photo as if it were a live model, drawing and painting directly from it onto my graphic tablet, using Photoshop brushes. I consider it cheating to manipulate a photo itself with digital processes in order to produce something that may look like a painting but is actually an altered photograph.

September almost gone already! Sorry for the long gaps between posts - have been busy offline. I will (really really) be posting more Vie en Rosé soon.

Father & Child - digital painting

Dad and baby son


September 7 , 2010


but my altered version, inserting a different view from those spectacular windows and a more appropriate soundtrack. It's also on Vimeo and on Needless to say, I am not going to buy Tony Blair's memoir. If you didn't see that BBC interview it's available at this link for another five days. Try turning the sound off and play the refrain from Leonard Cohen's The Future instead.


September 2 , 2010


Note: Something's gone wrong with the width of this blog. It looks normal when I'm working on it in Dreamweaver as usual but when I upload, it spreads out so wide it's ridiculous. Can you tell me whether you see it normal width or stretched way out, almost beyond screen borders?  Have tried everything to adjust but nothing works. Any techy suggestions?

Just to show I'm not sitting around brooding guiltily all the time, heh heh, you can see some recent portraits for the ongoing Julia Kay's Portrait Party. If you go to my Flickr page click on each picture for bigger versions. And I'm nearly nearly done with the big Prism painting.


September 1 , 2010


The thoughtful comments to the last post here and at my mirror blog are forcing me to look further into this murky topic. Having established that what my own particular guilt-harpy keeps harping about is that I'm guilty of Squandering My Gifts and Not Living Up to My Potential the logical next question is: what exactly are these gifts or potential which I'm supposedly not living up to? Do they exist at all or are they yet another mirage? Another false concept plugged into my brain by the competitive, egocentric, celebrity-obsessed culture we live in? Well, you know, maybe. But I don't think so. What I think, what I know gut-wise, is that I really do have gifts I'm not using. It's not vanity or arrogance to say so because gifts are gifts and the real reason why the exasperating little guilt-bug keeps buzzing around me is because it knows that I know that I'm built to fly but settle for crawling - I crawl very well but that ain't flying - and I'm designed to burn bright but settle for flickering, a flicker flicker here, a flicker there.

You may say ah, but that's what we are: crawling, flickering creatures, doing our best against all the odds. Well if that's what you'll say, I'll have to disagree. Because what I really know down in my deepest of deep guts is that many of us have a locked cellar full of unused gifts - or maybe just one unused gift. It's not a thing, not even a talent, but a degree of feeling. It doesn't necessarily mean achievement or success in worldly terms. It means being willing to risk flying, Icarus-like.

Flying Up To My Potential