Monday, April 26, 2010


The kids are burning Maerdy Mountain.

According to a Times article in the Summer of last year, South Wales is now known as "the wildfire capital of the UK".

Some of the fires are set by kids on scrambler bikes trailing burning ropes behind them.

Up until a few years ago, I did training sessions with young people on a year-long course called "DNA". The sessions I ran included a day on Vision, and another half-day on Time Management (to fulfil the vision).

I also worked with the Prince's Trust as a Business Mentor to young entrepreneurs.

I think young people should light fires.

I think they should find their passion, their vision, their reason for being here, and go out and blaze a trail with it.

I think there should be so many of them that the "fire-fighters" can't contain and control them.

I think they should set fire to the earth.

My days of envisioning and equipping young people are over. It's a different time now and I'm a different me.

But there's still work to be done for Jaded Youth.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fresh Air

This week I'm going to hit the books, the magazines, the coffee shops, the shopping malls, the sketchbooks and the journals.

I need fresh inspiration.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Private Views

I know I’ve often said how much I dislike Private Views and how I’m not going to any more. Ever.

Well, I’ve been to two in the last few weeks.

The one I went to last night was typical. It was at BayArt in Cardiff and was an exhibition by four contemporary British painters. To be honest, I liked one or two pieces, and loved one. But it was the whole ethos of the thing that aggravated me. No ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’; no idea whether the artists were there; no explanatory notes; no prices; £1 for a glass of wine. The whole thing was trying to be too cool for school. There was, to my mind, a strong disengagement with the viewers … whether intentional or not. And that’s not what art is about.

On the other hand, a few weeks ago, I went to Oriel Ty Coch (Red House Gallery) in Pontcanna, Cardiff. This is a new space and a very attractive one too. There’s a smallish space downstairs with a large gallery upstairs. There’s stripped pine and exposed brickwork which gives it a certain charm. At the Private View, the Owner stayed near the door all evening to greet visitors and say goodbye when they left. At one point in the evening there was live music which gave it a nice buzz. Out in the courtyard a BBQ was cooking and the food was free. The wine was free too. The artists were there and keen to chat; there were explanatory notes and biographies round about. Itwas a very engaging and pleasant evening. And that’s not too much to expect.

Now, bear in mind, that an important element of marketing is “word of mouth”, so these events are opportunities to turn visitors into fans.

This is my “word of mouth” to you:

Oriel Ty Coch ( … get along there and have a look. Say hello to Rachel, the Owner.

Bay Art ( … meh.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do Not Go Gentle ...

I've been doing some work in graveyards ... sketching, taking photos and doing rubbings of headstones. I've photocopied the Funeral Service at the library.

It's been triggered by the death of a close friend at the end of last year.

This morning I put in my bag a copy of Dylan Thomas's collected poems so I could photocopy his poem "Do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Then I got a phone call from my son saying that his best friend had been found dead that morning aged only 30. It is the second death in only a few years among his close group of friends.

This is no longer an art project ... this is a search for some meaning in the midst of "shit happens".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spoiled Rotten

I haven't been able to get to the London Studio for a few weeks (cash-flow problems) and I've realised how spoiled I am by having a dedicated space to work in.

I've moved all my art and materials there which means that when I'm in Wales I don't have any resources to work with. That's a bit "doh" but I wanted to focus my activities.

I have a lot of work to complete when I next get there, but in the meantime I've been out and about drawing, taking photos and planning some new work. I also produced some small "artefacts" related to the Easter story.

Today I went to a local churchyard to take rubbings of headstones. It was a pretty intense experience both physically and emotionally ... but more about that another time. It's about rememberance and commemoration.

So next week I hope to get back to London to wrap up the current work and begin making some new pictures.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Interesting Times (UK) article ...

Let's get artists into our churches

Must be the Easter thing again ...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

More Stations!

In case you don't pick it up from the comments, you really should check out this post by Andrea Pratt ... a BRILLIANT painting and an excellent commentary on her process and symbolism used in interpreting a religious theme though she herself is not religious (though, in my opinion, she is a very spiritual woman).

Art like this totally rocks!

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