Sunday, 6 May 2007

Blind Sheep Baaaaaaaaa


As an artist I've had little commercial success so when the chance to earn proper money turned up it was impossible to resist. For a while though I thought I was it, flavour of the month, the next big thing, the next Picasso, except the the starving family begged to differ. Anyways that was a long time ago and a lot of digital bytes into the mix.

Once in a while though I get out the oils and have a go in a mood of perhaps-this-will-be-the picture-that-changes-everything. I came close with the sheep picture. However, this was a one-off for the reason given below.

So what is this blog about. There is me, me being blind in one eye, and some sheep that caught my good eye in a field in Buckinghamshire. Not sure if it can be seen in the digital image above but that sheep in the centre of the image is blind in one eye (right side) opposite to me. Now the interesting thing is that I was in this field with my camera, skipping the sheep poo, looking for that sheepy picture that would sum up sheepyness; when I spied these three critters standing atop the hill as if they owned the place. Now that's interesting I thought. It took some considerable effort to get up close and avoid all those fresh droppings - yes reader I failed, shoes were covered in the stuff. Well I had an excuse creeping up the hill, one eye on the sheep the other... well you know the other now.

I managed to get up close to about 15-20 feet away and began to click away. Fantastic these sheep were good. They loved having there picture taken. Look at me, look at me they said. Dr Doolittle obliged.

Beautiful digital images - got home loaded them up on to the computer and Digi projected the selected image up onto a large canvas. Six by four foot. And proceeded to paint my heart out. I also printed the picture and worked away for a couple of months daubing between the money job and looking after kids.

Believe it or not I only realised that sheep was blind when I started to work up the heads towards the end. This was exciting, that sheep and I had an an affinity I felt sorry for him/her but it looked happy enough "c'mon" it said "I look good, take my picture". This was so poetic and led to all kinds of self-examination and reassessment of my lot in life. I began to feel a lot better about myself. I look good aswell, yes I do. Nice sheep, good sheep. It seemed that every time I painted a sheep's face my confidence went up a notch. Good stuff. Even better than a Paul Mckenna cd.

I finished the painting just before Xmas a few years ago and had already decided to give it to my sister in law as a gift. I've spent many drunken hours/days in her house smashing glasses. My sight causes a certain clumsiness exaggerated when plied with wine. You can try this at home reader just for fun put a patch over one eye or elastoplast and get drunk and see the glass and wine fly. It can lead to all kinds of fun I can tell you. Now more poetry. Her home happens to overlook that very field where I took the picture. So on New Years eve the painting was presented as a way of saying thank you and for breaking all that glass! They were seriously stunned into silence. I had tears in my eyes. I was very proud and pleased. Hugs and kisses all round and boy did we get drunk that night and the next and the next. They know how to have fun so if your ever up my way pop in.

As a footnote, the last thing I painted on that picture was some sheep poo some burnt umber with some white sorted that in about five mins flat. Furthest sheep on the right by its foot has it. Eeeeew. Well it had to be done is was part of the memory. Oh and the farmer that owned the sheep went round and recognised Flosssy or whatever its name was and made noises about commissioning me to paint some goats, bulls and what have you but sadly that never happened. Still there are more important things in life than money. And boy does that painting look stunning in my sister-laws lemon yellow kitchen.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Blokey Thing Oooops Nice Car

Ok my first blog

I have a car which I love. I know I love her because sometimes I curse the day we met. Fondly referred to as the Cat, her vitals are as follows: Caterham SV, Rover k-series engine, 1.8 litre,140bhp, weighs 547 kilos, 0 to 60 5.3 secs. She is silver with the most gorgeous red stripe down the middle of her bonnet.
Now it has to be said this is a love hate thingy. She often boils over and sometimes dumps the red stuff all over the road. Hours have turned into days trying to solve that problem and each time I think I finally solved it then she goes and does it again. Humph!Her most recent bit of uppity ness is to not start at all. That is just not fair given that she recently blew her head gasket and cost me a fortune in repairs. What a mess, mayonnaise all over the place.
You push the big red starter button (oh the thrill) - click, then click and then curse and then click. Can you detect the frustration building? God how I hate you sometimes. Oh and the shame when you decide to do this in public. This lovely foible of the Cat is known in oily circles as the "Click of Death" and the fix is to dismantle her bits and clean, only that didn't work. Installed new electric bits then she worked then she clicked and then clicked again. Then she worked then clicked again. This click begins to sound sarcastic to my ears perhaps even belligerent just like a teenager. Why? God knows!

Anyways when she works, something special happens.

Cat behaved herself to day no leaks and only a few "clicks of death". Took the Molster(teenage daughter) for a few hours drive in the country to a place called Sherrington where we bought some Magnums her's was milk mine dark chocolate - scene - lovely quiet village and we were parked in the bus stop next to the village green with wafts of daffodils soaking up the sunshine. Perfect.

Today is the first time ever that I drove the Cat in t-shirt and cut-offs. I bought the Cat at the beginning of the winter so today was just great. Molster and I did a lot of showing off and posing even driving around big car parks to get some attention. Priceless. One bunch of kids called the car "fat" which Moll says means it’s really good. Lots of finger pointing from builders and so on. Oh and another thing we go under bridges to rev the engine. I have my favourite bridges in town filed away but always open to try new ones. Enter bridge slip the clutch and brrrrrooooom. The Blackwall tunnel is amazing.