Monthly Archives: March 2016

Jokey-Jibe Art (?)

OLD PERSON OF BASINGThe Old Person of Basing

Perhaps you are familiar with Edward Lear and his ‘Nonsense Poems’. Well I’m not an avid reader of same, but he seems to have had some fun writing his stuff. (Or is it strutting his stuff) Anyway…

‘The Old Person of Basing’ painting is based on the poem of the same name, by Edward Lear.

I got off into one of my studious private viewings of my ‘gallery’. And the whole Turner idea of looking at my ‘family’ (at least I think it was Turner who considered his paintings to be his ‘children’) led me to the fresh realisation that I’m interested in almost all marks I’ve ever made. Now that is quite a confession. As of course I am the only person in the world who is interested in every mark I’ve made.😆

As I might have mentioned in an earlier blog – I hardly ever throw a piece of work away. There are no failures. Are there any successes? – I’m not sure – depends how you measure success.

What I am sure of is that I made every mark. And sometimes as I view them, especially at a much later date, I wonder how on earth I arrived at the finished product. And did I really do these?

A failure is a failure only when tested by academic standards, therefore ‘weighed in the balance(s) and found wanting’.(a biblical quote misplaced here…)

Therefore there must be quite a few of these failures I surmise.

But I’m afraid for me, none of my scrawls are failures, because that presupposes they were made to be successes.(?)

If they weren’t made to be successes how can they end up failures? Some logic uh? I’m smiling at how humorous this is to me, but also how liberating!

I’m staring across the room at a painting I’ve placed on my portable easel, and enjoying my own playfulness. Expressed in both the painting and how it is inseparable from the title.

The next step is to share it with someone else, but of course it doesn’t have to be the next step. There doesn’t have to be a next step. But the idea that someone else might enjoy it, motivates us to share. It’s very human to want to share with others, we are made that way. (I’m sure I must have said this before…?)

But my enjoyment of all my marks, is challenged by the standards of academic art, that lives by the necessity of valuation through set standards of skill.

Edward Lear must entitle his work as ‘Nonsense’ because of course it does not reflect reality and normality. Therefore it must be clearly ‘labelled’ so that society will know it to be what it is.

Therefore it needs that distinctive title/description of ‘Nonsense…’

Likewise these marks of mine will be satisfied by a jury of one – me! As they could be disliked, laughed at, discredited, trivialised, dismissed, and at worst disposed of. But not if I say they are nonsense. ‘Edward your poems are nonsense!’ ‘Thank you’ says Edward, ‘glad you like them’.

You will notice the ‘tongue in cheek’, regarding the above remarks.

But is all this talk an excuse by me to excuse my work, a clever smoke screen to hide my zero estimation of my own work, and to hide my underlying insecurity when it comes to the worth of my paintings?

Wanting then, to cover up and justify them under some other kind of invented alternative means of measurement?

It’s like candidates for the next round of some ‘pop idol, X factor type’ competition. Some folks are so ‘far out’, so way-off the mark, so unable to sing a note that their entertainment value is based on their total inability to sing. They totally fail when greeted with societies expectation of what can pass as good or skilful.

Yet some of these dear folks genuinely think they can sing! So, some artists genuinely think they can paint – but they cant paint a note. Is that right?

Well you know it isn’t as simple as that, yesterday’s rejects can be tomorrow’s geniuses (or so it can go).

As far as the untalented songster is concerned and as far as the shower or the bath are concerned, where no one else hears them (‘hopefully’, I hear you say?), – they pass all the tests, and their audience (themselves) enjoys every minute of their performance.

So let us dream on. Isn’t that ok? You sing in the bath and I’ll scratch on the paper, and enjoy every minute. But let’s also be honest if you think the work is good and you like it – come on you know I’ll be pleased.

What Im trying to say is that painting is firstly and foremostly a means of great enjoyment. To lift a pencil and jump right into another world, like Alice in Wonderland – discovering things never before seen.

Never before seen! Thats it! What enjoyment I don’t know what I will produce, until it is produced. That’s the joy of having kids! Why rob yourself of this by the idea that you can’t ‘draw a straight line’ I might not enjoy your attempt but you will!

Listen – ‘Viva Normality!’. Normality is like a calm mind. In everyday life, in the running of society, please give me normality. Give me morality and normality, give me ‘love power and a sound mind!’

So that when I get surrealistic, or playful, or imaginative, or cartoonish, or experimental in art – I can call it exactly what it is and separate it from normality.

If I create an abnormal world on a piece of white paper, (like Edward), let me buy the paper in a shop where people act in a normal community-sensitive manner.

Often my most ‘obscure’ pieces cause the most self-satisfaction, but there is also the reality of the fact that when they are shared with others they are a cert to get the treatment Rothko feared.

Namely jokey-jibe time.

Like the gentleman who liked the cat on the mantelpiece in my painting titled: ‘Sunday afternoon’. Heh! that was funny – as it’s not a cat its’ a clock!

But jokey-jibe times can be fun. Only if the conversation that includes the banter, is good hearted and mutually enjoyed. Pieces of jokey-jibe-time Art can bring some communication and fun, even if the swan is saw to be an ugly duckling.

You probably knew about jokey-jibe times – right Vincent?

Today he’d be laughing all the way to the bank.

I’m looking across the room at that painting again. It’s titled: ‘Most profound Cacti Apparatus’. And already in my mind within a few minutes I re-visit the story it illustrates. The story came after the ‘illustration’.

A gardener has grown the most unusual cactus ever. It grew to such a size and in such a peculiar way, that he had to invent a contraption to suspend it and stop it from falling over. From all over the world they have come to see it. The gardener’s name is Hugh Mare. (not illustrated)

The painting illustrated at the start of this Post, is based on Edward Lear’s poem: The Old Person of Basing. The scene I imagined of the riding ‘at full speed’ prompted the overall ‘blur’ of the rendition, expressed in the somewhat uniform tonality. Here is the poem:

There was an Old Person of Basing,
Whose presence of mind was amazing;
He purchased a steed,
Which he rode at full speed,
And escaped from the people of Basing.

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Jesus and PR

JESUS AND PR

Jesus didn’t have a promo man working on His behalf. No one to arrange His next ‘gig’. No tv, radio, facebook, internet site, blog, iPad advertisement, etc etc.

No handouts, no scroll distribution of His latest works. Yes He had inspired many prophets to write His thoughts in human language, pre-His incarnation into a human body, these ‘scrolls’ were kept in the synagogues.
(II Timothy 3:16)
(John 1/4)

But now for a period of time He was the ‘living epistle’, in whom was the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
He was seen and ‘read’ of all men, as His followers would consequently be in His bodily absence.
(II Corinthians 3/3, Colossians 2/9)

During His walk on the earth He would do supernatural things, and convey Himself away silently, as it were – fading into the background. (John 20/30, 12/37, 5/13)

He did not grab – every and any – opportunity to be noticed. (John 6/15)

He would rise a great while before day to be alone with His Father through prayer, escaping the crowds, even though they sought Him out to be with Him. (Mark 1/35) (Luke 4/42)

He revealed Himself on set occasions in ways that were way beyond the norm. On the mount of transfiguration is an example. When He shone with the glory of God. (Matthew 17).

When He could have called twelve legions of angels to deliver Him from the inevitability of the cross – He chose to remain on the receiving end of man’s evil nature, so that He could be punished instead of those who deserved it. (Matthew 26/53) (Isaiah 53/5)

When He performed a miracle, He would oft times exhort those who were present to tell no one. Breaking into the story of such an occasion we read…
Luke 8 (KJV)
52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

If God, specifically Jesus Christ, is wanting to convince you that He loves you and wants you to follow Him – one would think that He would take every opportunity for self promotion?

Instead He endures our contradictions against Himself, He endures being despised and rejected by men, disciples forsaking Him in the garden, many of His disciples walking with Him no more, ‘His own receiving Him not’, religious hypocrites falsely accusing Him, commercialism taking over His place set apart for prayer. The list goes on… (Hebrews 12/3, Isaiah 53/3, Matthew 25/56, John 6/6, 1/11, Mark 3/2, Matthew 21/12, 13,)

His PR consisted of doing good, healing the sick, meeting the needs of others, preaching to the poor, providing food, casting out demons, providing the antidote for selfishness. The list goes on…

You see He was/is the complete antithesis of how things work today.

The very Life and Person of Jesus Christ is so different to anyone who has ever lived on earth, He can only be the Son of God.

Now if that is so (and it is), how can we possibly remain the same in our attitude towards Him, and how can our lives not be totally revolutionised and changed?

Jesus will not coerce us with bullying tactics, or impose Himself upon us in an obnoxious manner.

But He will call us through the words of His book, and He will draw along side to open our understanding by revelation. He will influence us by His presence, until we forsake our unbelieving ways and come to faith in Him.

He will draw near to us and respond to our hearts invitation.

Matthew 11:28
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

At Easter we see Him clearly lifted up on the cross and drawing all men to Himself. Unless we ignore Him.
I gave up ignoring Him on 20th November 1970, and submitted myself to His sovereign love. My sincere desire is that you too will find Him, whom to know is Life Eternal.

The Lonely Street

back to the city copyBack to the City

POEM
THE LONELY STREET

It’s hard to walk down a lonely street
There’s too many people to meet,
Hypertension of multitudes with noisy feet –
walk, hop, skip, jump, run, stumble, crossover, stand, talk, cry, shout.

That kind of thing.

It’s hard to walk down a lonely street
Cacophony of cars, drive, swerve, stop, start, slide, beep,
break, close, open, skid.

That kind of thing.

It’s hard to walk down a lonely street
There are none.

Not in downtown metropolis, with mega big bronze bastion building centres of 1940’s, mixing with twentieth century modernism coupling with large pylons and picturesque preserved lamp posts eclectically looming proud over us all.

That kind of thing.

All of this making for a no hope scenario – not in this city,
not in this vicinity.
No sir, no sir, – no lonely streets here.

And if we pick a time of day or night at which to venture out
on the impossible quest, a task formidable,
no less so, than climbing the Empire State
We stumble at the first step of venturing forth –
encountering a drunken gang of over-indulgent males,
out of tune males, stumbling from road to sidewalk and back again,
trying to provide comfort with
noise-deranged empathy, noise, for the lonely street.

That kind of thing.

Where has the beautiful silence gone? The beautiful silence of yesteryear
with rapturous respect, and careful whispers lest one should offend.
The library ethos brought onto the street.
A tip of the hat enough to greet.
A smile at the-only-other human within miles of another smile.

A time when manners and protocol, and friendly gestures
were the order of the day.

A time when parcels of newspapers were left untouched
before the early morning opening times of all businesses of differing kinds, who enjoyed breaking the night, but glad the noise wouldn’t last,
and especially Sunday did they like, before and after church when all was well and there was enough of silence to rejuvenate the heart for the week’s noise ahead.

That kind of thing.

The silence of Golden years, when morals were in existence, and a calm visage could be seen more than once on a busy street, where noise and clammer seemed like silence because no violence was allowed, nor indulged in – in conversations – points were taken with measured response.

That kind of thing.

Is there hope for the lonely, silent street’s return?
Will it return?
Will it come back?
Carrying respect and mutual empathy and kindly greetings and six days labour and control of lower natures, at least outwardly so, and will streets ever de-clutter, buildings stand tall but also in silence, and times of pleasant curfew exist – not as a result of unwanted clamour or crime?

Will we see a silent street exist?
Will we reflect on the metaphor of loneliness, and be glad for the variety of the gaiety as day follows night, and noise is appreciated as it comes in balance to the wonderful silence that has gone before – before the sun’s rise and shine?

That kind of thing.

We put… the lonely street and the silent street and the long street and the reverend street and the outskirts street and the road to the country and the respectful necessary noise and the behaviour of normality and necessity and mutual respect and honour and care and love and proper treatment and community and tolerance and help…

That kind of thing we put….
In our memory banks, there to remain.
Close your eyes and imagine it so.
We can go back, you must know.
Back… and comfort the lonely street, as we take comfort in the lonely street.

That kind of thing.

The lonely street in metaphor form – beckons us to great heights, its greyness and brownness and smoke and elements and smells and restaurants and sellers and tradesmen

– and everybody has gone home now, and no one is abroad, all are at home,
families exist and live, and now, yes, now, you can go out to the lonely street with not many cars in those days and buses and trams are asleep.

It isn’t enough to reminisce – but it’s enough to reminisce – it will have to do – twenty-four hours of 24-7 is here to stay I’m afraid – and like a parachute landing or a balloon coming to earth – I have to leave you there – you will never find or visit a lonely street again.

The Peacemaker

 

the peacemaker copyIn this painting I have attempted to show the ferocity and violence of human nature, when the loss of self control unleashes anger. The painting obviously is not naturalistic, which I feel helps to better express the undesirability of the mindless aggression.

The figure representing the peacemaker is female. Notice too that ‘her’ hands are attempting to close the source of their expression of violence through their mouths.

Thankfully she has great skill in doing so, – in that – she is smiling whilst assuaging their rage.

“Have you seen anything else you might like?”

SMILE“Can I help you?”

I wonder, have you ever noticed the different ways a sales person can approach you in a shop?

For some they ‘land’ on you, right away, before you get your head turned enough to enable your eyes to view the products in the store.

Others, kind of smile from a distance, and hopefully greet you with “Good morning – nice morning – how are you today?” or other such welcome pleasantries.

Some exclaim across the room: “Give me a shout if you need anything…” (I quite like that one).

But the ‘high-powered’ types have already decided what you are looking for and immediately launch into an exposition of why the green, all weather, expertly made, well-lined top of the range raincoat with detachable hood is exactly what you are looking for.

You try to explain it is a scarf you are actually in the store to purchase.

There is so much to be bought on-line now, that one wonders if the sales person’s role will change to that of the ‘copy writer’. In my opinion that will be a sorry day, another blow for inter-personal relationships, of the face to face kind.

There are techniques that sales person’s use to try to win the day and get you to use your credit/debit card in purchasing the most expensive scarf in the shop.
But for me the honest and sincere approach, encourages me to buy.

The responsive approach, rather than the offensive one.

I want them to tell me the truth. I don’t mind their enthusiasm about the green, top of the range, coat. Especially if they have listened to me describing the one I am looking for.

I don’t mind them being convinced that the green coat is the one to buy. Especially when they have listened to the facts that have motivated me to buy an overcoat and a scarf for fishing on a wet windy day.

I’m ok with them sincerely believing that I can’t go wrong in paying the extra 30 euros for the one they recommend.

But I won’t be interested in purchasing anything, unless they take a ‘back-off’ approach, that takes it for granted that I have enough intelligence to be able to see-through any psychological sales techniques, (bullying) they might be tempted to use.

They have to make sales – that is their job. Why not take it for granted that the customer knows this, as much as they do, and alter their behaviour and approach appropriately?

And whether the customer is sympathetic to their need of sales commissions, or not, – will depend on their ‘hang loose’ approach or lack of it.
(In my case anyway, and you…?)

So in light of this example where do we all stand when it comes to blogging?

I wouldn’t like to think that I’m the ‘high pressure’ lay preacher type. Or that you are the greedy blogger who wants everyone to view your blog only.

It is true that we are all free to choose.

And, like you I appreciate people dropping by to view the contents of seedsinmotiontruthnart, (as you do – your own personal blog).

It’s good to state this, and affirm that it’s a case of:

“I would like you to look around the whole of the blog. Taking the time to explore, to stop and consider, or move on – you are free to do so, without sales talk.

However you and I desire people to take our stuff on board, let’s be honest about that”.

We have the hope that what is shared on our blog, will help the reader, – nudge them in the direction of what is beneficial to their lives in a major or minor way.

Someone recently re-blogged an older post of their’s. The explanation they gave was that it didn’t get enough exposure, enough likes I suppose they meant.
And they seemed rather proud of that particular post.

And I can understand this.

For all kinds of reasons we miss perhaps what is one of the best pieces on the blog, and I’m not sure e.g. that everyone will go to the ‘OLDER POSTS’ category in case they miss something. Or to ‘pages’ for the same reason (?).

What we are interested in of course can determine whether we explore fully or depart from anyone’s blog.

And you and I don’t need to behold the ‘coat’ instead of the ‘scarf’, the thing we really need.

But of course if we don’t look around the shop we might miss a ‘bargain’. And if we hear a direction to ‘give me a shout if you need anything’, it’s nice to know someone is there to help.

So if when you look at an older post, or page, because there might be something there that fits – give me a shout (my email address is in ‘About’).😎

Oh and before you leave the ‘shop’ – did you get the ‘scarf’ you were looking for? And “Have you seen anything else you might like?”😀

……………………………………………………………………………………….

Pleasing Who?

PLEASING WHO?

You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time?
Apparently this is an adaptation of a (different) statement made by Abraham Lincoln.(?)

But most of us would agree it holds up in the context of Life’s experience.

We know we can be extremely gullible when listening to sales talk, and before we know it we have signed up, only to later regret that we did.

Sales talk that was pleasing to the ears. We were amongst some of the people who were pleased some of the time as a result.

All of the people some of the time, might be illustrated by a free giveaway at a store, where everyone got the free sample and so all of the people were pleased, but not the following week when they were displeased at a price rise on a favourite product, so all pleased but only for some of the time.

Some of the people all of the time, would be illustrated by free transport for the over-sixties.

But what can’t be done, apparently, is to please all of the people all of the time.

In this context there are two interesting scriptures:

Ephesians 6:6
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Colossians 3:22
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;

In a nutshell setting out to please God and not man, even (and this is a tall order) when it doesn’t please any of the people any of the time
***
When we tell a child not to put their hand near the fire, the adventurous, curious child may not like it, may not be pleased, but it needs, for it’s highest good, to hear the parent.

Is there anything we need to hear for our highest good that may not please us at this time?

The Amateur Mariners

dutch canal boat 2Best to watch and paint – a different occasion – Giethoorn (Netherlands)

‘Report’ (Circa 1990’s)

THE AMATEUR MARINERS

The constant humming sound of the boat, as new waters were found, played a musical accompaniment to the direction of the sun’s changing rays, as we stood tense and ever watchful lest the children innocently, would fall overboard.

The humour of being able to say for the first time ever: ‘Man overboard!’ was a short-lived laugh, when we considered I couldn’t swim and the horrible image of any of the children hitting the water, came to mind.

At the close of the day, I went down below and cracked my skull dropping the video camera that was never the same again.

Rising up, next day, from the bunk, with a rising bump, I went through the morning holiday routine and we were on our way through the lake’s waters to our next port of call.

Never before had I been a ‘sailor man’ and never would I look like Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen again, after this…

…After this tense, pleasurably unpleasant, expedition of nieve first time triers distracted and pre-occupied with guarding their young child companions.

Juxtaposing ourselves with harbour bank and boat deck, it arose that I would steer into capstan, while the wife would stand ashore and direct me in.

There she stood agile and expressive with raised arms beckoning and directing, having gone shopping ashore earlier in the day.

Suddenly, I realised I had not seen that signal before. What did she mean? I couldn’t see any obstruction. The arm went from side to side in continuous loop fashion. It got increasingly accentuated the closer I got to land. ‘Turn!, turn!’ she shouted.
‘What’s your problem’, I thought. There’s still plenty of room to manoeuvre.

There wasn’t.

It was quite a large dent in the hull. Made by a protrusion below the ‘captain’s’ eye level.

I’d blown it.

The straw that broke the camel’s back.
The crash that put paid to the holiday.

The amateur mariner was experientially convinced, that as a ‘sailor’, he would make a good ‘printer’.

But the epilogue of the story was the smallness of the bill we had to pay for the damages.
Furnished by the sympathetic owner of the boat. We got off lightly!

To return another year, having learnt?
No way Jose´, not on your Nelly, never in a million…

Terra firma – here we stay!