Category Archives: observation

Paint True

Musical Still Life – Acrylic – by Ken Riddles

PAINT TRUE

Most artists need an audience. Whether entertainers of whatever kind, or visual artists – all must (even reluctantly) admit they ‘do art’ for the eyes of others.

We tell ourselves we are being true to ourselves and (in the fine art genre) are only painting what we want to paint.

Now of course there is truth in this. Because if the artist him/herself doesn’t find any kind of fulfilment in what they do, then we can ask: ’what’s the point’? We therefore as a result – paint what we feel is a true expression of our own ‘vision’.

A graphic artist once referred to as a ‘commercial artist’ has however, to work to please the client.

So there is more to-ing and fro-ing of communication to ascertain if what is being created meets the criteria of the Client.

In this we have the artist using his creative ability to realise the clients ‘vision’.

We know there’s a whole history to how art has changed over the years, nay centuries, and what it’s raison d’être is – presently.

Originality has certainly climbed to the top of the list, of ‘must haves’ when art is judged today.

The enjoyable thing (for me anyway) about art is – there are no rules. There, I believe, should be moral censorship. But no rules in the sense that it’s an open field of endeavour.

There have been, and there are, so many schools of thought as to what art is and what it should be. All can’t be wrong and all can’t be right.

It is a very individual thing – to choose – what you think is good, bad or indifferent in art. That’s part of the freedom of art. 

At the end of the day – you ‘know what you like’ – right?

Because of technology and the digital age – art skills, have changed. But the basic ability to design is the one remaining factor that cannot change in visual art.

Drawing, and painting skills, have been superseded (to some degree anyway), by the digital means of producing fine or graphic art.

Sculpture cannot but be – hands on. It is not sculpture when on a screen, because of it’s inherent requirement for solidity.

But no sooner has a pronouncement like the above been made, when someone will contradict it and somehow a computer screen will find it’s way to being accepted in the world of sculpture.

And that’s how it should be. Art is always changing. But in another sense cannot escape being the same as it always has been.

I haven’t fully ‘sussed’ why artists feel the need of praise for their work. Certainly it may help.

Satisfaction at the end of the process of production, is one of the legitimate pleasures of life, enjoyed by the artist.

Sometimes that will have to do.

Needs

NEEDS 22

To respond to every need on the planet is an almost impossible task.

Think for a moment of the multitude of needs (such as): Financial need, emotional need, mental need, housing needs, food shortages, illness and ailments, needs in marriage, in organisations, in businesses, in the NHS, in the inner city, in drought-effected countries, needs in the midst of war, needs in mental hospitals, needs in prisons, needs in disaster struck cities as in earthquakes, or tornados etc., needs in government, needs in the environment, needs of the elderly, needs of parentless children, needs in relationships falling apart…

Then the most important need of all, but not immediately thought of or embraced – the need we all have – concerning the spiritual aspect of life.

This for many, is the least and last thought of need, not readily addressed.

It is not an outer need – it is an inner need. 

However – that this inner need exists is outwardly clearly seen and demonstrated.

Clearly seen by the awful state of humanity when it comes to morals. Moral corruption running rampant, and unaddressed directly.

All kinds of sin. I could provide another list of my own invention. But I will settle for the one given, in Galatians 5/

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The needs of mankind are so plainly seen, to address them, as though it is ‘new news’ – is slightly superfluous, unless we are providing either the answers as to how they can be met, or the wherewithal to meet them.

And no doubt you feel as helpless, as I do,  in the light of my list in paragraph 2?

Many commendably, try to be part of the answer in practical ways.

Such commendably, try to be useful in providing relief in at least some way, in some area.

By choosing and addressing, at least one need, is better than total indifference, we would all agree.

But conversely to morbidly dwell on them all (back to the list again), leaves us with a sense of total discouragement, and a sense of inadequacy in light of the overwhelming aspect of their immensity.

Some reach a place of perceived ‘no way back’ – overwhelmed by their own needs, never mind the needs of others, and so they take their own life.

You might be well aware of your own needs. And quite overwhelmed by them. It is your inner need that will effect how you handle your outer needs.

Some businessmen, who live in the higher echelons of the financial world, suddenly lose everything.

Their financial world of support collapses and bankruptcy and overwhelming debt sends them to a place of melancholy, as they perhaps contemplate prison, amidst the lose of £millions.

Suddenly their source of identity and self-worth tumbles.

Here this NEED is highlighted and the solution provided: I Timothy 6/

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Such, as I’ve just described, made the mistake of trusting in uncertain riches, and when their trust, having been misplaced is betrayed – their world tumbles-in on them. They have great NEED.

But the solution is to trust in the Living God. There is nothing uncertain about Him. This we shall especially find out in the hereafter, if we trust in Him this side of eternity.

When there is an ongoing increase in the awful state of mankind – it creates in the light of helplessness – a forlorn and numb outlook on life.

A lose of hope seems to prevail. Survival only – becomes the individual’s mindset, or unfortunately they throw-in the towel, and take their own life.

The heavy weight of overwhelming mental agitation is described in scripture.

I mention only one descriptive term related to the point above – found in Luke 21/

25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

The fear factor easily besets us all. Fear drives mankind mercilessly and is perpetuated by the demonic.

Great need can produce great fear. The fear that agitates-us to a place of hopelessness.

If you are like me – I have to bring my thoughts into captivity – when I scan the horizon of madness in our world. I have to…look up for my redemption draws near. (Luke 21):

27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

I John 5/4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Sought crowns

Sought crowns

People

Exchanging words

Grimacing

Pointing it all out

Nodding –

Shaking heads in doubt

‘No’ you say – ‘No’ I say too

People with voices

Mincing words – when

No words to mince –

A mince-steak sandwich

Up and running now

With a bucket of ice

Covered twice

All over: that craze

As they win the title

Moving to the next dance

Shiver-me-timbers

As the goal goes in

Celebrating cowboys

Who – out-of-their-skin – to win

On that horse – that stallion

Champ afterwards (with scallions)

Now as we observe this world

– We spin around

Now as we duck behind

The screen – not seen

We stop for a breath

In this busy – busy-ness

Living is the business

Trying hard to impress

Give it up – give it up

For them all…

Triers try – so try

In your sport

And wonder why

The competitive urge

Gets a hold of all who emerge

Winners –

Living to win another day

Living to have

Their competitive say

Failing leads to remorse

All Par for the course

But what is that

That keeps them coming back

Living to fight another day

For a corruptible crown

That will fade away?

Financial schemers

Smugglers Watchman – watercolour by Ken Riddles

FINANCIAL SCHEMERS

I’m going to write a poem today

About those who would say:

“There’s no point in writing poems”

“It’s a distraction and no money in it anyway”

                          ***

Who are ‘they’ you might ask…?

Well – ‘they’ are obsessed with their task

Of money making…

Which sometimes includes illness-faking

                         ***

Cooking up lies –

With conspiracy ‘thought-baking’

You have come across such?

Whose heart is in the money

Mercenary in the extreme

They are not what they seem

                         ***

Pseudo-sick-days off work

Making extra dough

With their latest dodgy scheme

Well – as I say – you know the type I mean

                        ***

One track mind – money all the time

Cajoling you to part with your money

Slabbering out their deceit

Words of bitter honey

                       ***

Their anger may arise

If their scheming you can’t abide

Going off in huffs –

When their bullying you deride

How hard it is for a rich man schemer

Drop the ‘beautiful’ from the dreamer

                      ***

Uncertain riches can pierce you through

With many sorrows

‘Take no thought’ we are told

‘For tomorrow…’

                     ***

We know it’s not the money at fault

It’s the way it can totally steal your heart

Winter Corner

Winter Corner – Watercolour by Ken Riddles

Watercolour 22

The paintings I have been posting in recent days signal a return to pure watercolour. All may know that it is a unique medium – like no other.

It is – it’s uniqueness and unpredictability that is both a challenge and a joy.

All my paintings go up and down the scale from the intuitive to the naturalistic.

At the moment they are naturalistic as expressed uniquely through the dance I have with the watercolour medium.

(You may have noticed a few trees in recent posts. 🙂)

Why put ’em in dramas?

WHY PUT THEM IN DRAMAS?

So for today

What I will say

Anyway

Is

Progression

Must be made

We must advance

At a glance

I would say

Very little progress

Is being made

Since the last decade

Things have changed a lot

But haven’t changed at all

Depending on which end of

The telescope you use

There is the skeptic

And the realist

And the pessimist

And the optimist…?

– he seems to get drowned-out

People love the negative

And honour it most

Every crime and act of violence

is cause for some kinda gloat

Otherwise why put them in dramas

Over and over and over and over….?

Like some kinda rote… 

To go or not to go…?

To go or not to go…?

(Conversation of an un-churched man)

You cannot get me to do that

Over and over you have tried

I will not go

I have no interest

But still you try

                ***

“Give me a break” I often say

“But this is important” I hear you sigh

                ***

You and your religious tone

Pease stop – it’s such a drone

Still I suppose I will go

Just once – I mean

If it means getting you to stop

Your incessant monologue

                ***

So off we went –

Church isn’t as bad as I thought

The bench though was hard

And the preacher long…

…winded I mean

Still the after-lunch was fine

                ***

But I won’t be passing this way again

So no more monologue please

I want to make that plain

                ***

Well – maybe this time next year

I will return…

How’s that for a compromise?

Why do you have a look of surprise?

Do you consider me some kind of heathen?

               ***

I’ll tell you better than that

I will go again at the drop of a hat…

What to do?

WHAT TO DO?

So what’s the next thing?

On to the next action – duty-bound

                     ***

To do with finance – something earned?

Or is it the pick-up

From the ‘school run’?

Or DIY for door-hanging-off?

Cutting the grass – ‘what again?’

                     ***

Laughter – a shared joke

Please don’t share it again

It soaks – sorry sucks

                     ***

Is it – sit and contemplate?

Hardly – as navels are under cover

                     ***

Make the dinner for a change?

That’s strange – the sarcastic ‘for a change’ I mean

As you have culinar-(ised) the most

                     ***

It’s part of your duty-bound expanse

Of deeds galore and rare deeds more

                     ***

Your life – our lives – his/her life too

What’s it made up of?

(Hmm…back to questions I see)

                     ***

What is it good to do

Under the sun?

                     ***

Search and find

That’s fine…

                     ***

To try a new approach…

Routines can soak – I mean suck

                     ***

Still – breath-in – here we go

Tackle that task with fresh resolve

What task? –

you may ask

Attentiveness

ATTENTIVENESS 2022

So where is your attention?

Your attention will be with whatever – has got your attention.

Now that I have stated the obvious – let’s try to add a little to that.

By something getting the biggest part of your attention, there is every chance you will not be found listening to things you ought to give your attention to.

Habitual thinking is common to mankind. We have the same approach to things daily. It may be a showering routine. You might make a certain meal one way only. You turn the TV on at the same time to hear the news, because habitually you always do that. You always buy the same meal when eating out and so on.

You may pray – same time every day. All day is good.

When we hear a preacher give his sermon – there is a good chance that your mind can be on something else. Perhaps something that has been on your mind all week.

The preacher may have what you need. But your mind is elsewhere, rather than on what he says.

So you don’t hear. Really hear. You have missed it – the word – the word you needed.

You carry on anyway, and will return another day to hear(?) the preacher again.

Luke 8/8:…When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”