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Archive for November, 2007

You may have been wondering what happened to my rainy night painting. Well here it is. Unfortunately I’ve been swamped in work over the last week or two, so I haven’t got much time to paint, so the fact that I wasn’t reporting of any progress was not because I was being too lazy to update you, but because apart from a black underpainted canvas there wasn’t much to tell.

Tonight I did do some painting and what you see above is the product of two hours’ work. Not bad, and I think it’s finished. That makes it my fastest painting. In any case, in my best tradition, I will lay it up over the weekend and decide next week if I haven’t changed my mind.

As I said the painting is done on a heavy underpaint of black to which I added some azo lemon yellow. The painting itself is done in black, white, ochre and a couple of tinges of vermillion.

I’m quite happy how it’s turned out. The reflections in the water on the road look real good. I suppose this combines my night scenes of the Jerusalem walls with my running water pictures. The only problem now is where to put it along with all my other pieces…

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I came across this unlikely but true story about the Untergunther group in Paris who unbeknown to the authorities restored the clock in one of Paris landmark buildings.

This is the stuff that fires your imagination and also makes you wonder why we can’t clean up Beit Shemesh for example if these guys can spend a couple of years restoring a clock. Imagine a clandestine commando operation to clear our city of litter, plant waste land or remove grafitti and advertising bills from walls. Unfortunately it doesn’t sound as romantic as restoring a landmark in one of the World’s prime cities.

It also reminds me of a lovely story book my children have called HaTraktor BeArgaz HaHol (or in English – the tractor in the sandbox). The story is about aging and tells the story of an elderly kibbutznik “uncle” Aharon and his red tractor.

Aharon and the tractor retire and their place is taken by a young tractor driver and his fancy new tractors. The tractor is taken to the kindergarten where it becomes a climbing frame in the sandbox. The well-meaning kindergarten teacher repaints the tractor in bright colors with flowers and butterflies and the children play on the tractor every day. The tractor resigns itself to its new status as a piece of furniture but Aharon doesn’t. He comes in every night and secretly renovates the tractor until one day when the children arrive in the morning they find that there is a “real” tractor standing where their “toy” one had been before. From that day on”Uncle” Aharon and the tractor get a new job to bring the children to the kindergarten in the morning and take them on rides to the fields to show them where they once worked.

I always wondered how Aharon manages to come in every night and renovate his tractor without everyone noticing. I’m still not sure how he does it, but he must have taken lessons from the Untergunther.

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New painting

It’s time to start a new painting. The next painting is going to be of the rain photo I posted the other day on the blog. The original was shot at night using my cellphone so it’s a grainy noisy 640×480 shot through a crappy lens.

The challenge here is to create a good painting on 60×40 cm canvas that evokes the feeling of pouring rain at night.

Here goes! Watch this space for updates.

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This is my second work-in-progress movie in the series that I am calling “the making of a painting”. If you saw my last one, you will see that the quality has got a lot better as I have learnt a lot. I had a lot of fun making the movie. Enjoy watching it.

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It’s raining!

This what it looked like as I was coming home this evening. Serious rain. In Israel we wait half of the year for this to happen so the first heavy rain of the year is certainly an event. The rain is a bit late this year so we are all hoping that it will catch up now or else we will have an even bigger cumulative deficit. Unfortunately, I am told that about half of the annual rainfall runs off into the sea and is wasted. We love rain. Can’t get enough of it!

Global warming, did I say?…..

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I saw a post with this title today on a blog I discovered called the Sixty Minute Artist by a guy called Jerry Lebo. Jerry has a full time job, four kids and a hectic life. In between all of this he paints for 60 minutes a day. Every day. The post quotes a whole lot of statistics about artists in the US that make me (and Jerry) pretty average: full time job, aged around 40, college education in something other than art.

As I pointed out in a previous post, I am a bit of a sixty minute artist myself. It does give me a good feeling every time I discover another serious but spare-time artist fighting against the 24 hour day to fit in time for painting.

Jerry quotes  a book called “Taking the leap” by Cay Lang that claims there are three things you need to be a successful artist:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Commitment
  3. Good work habits

and of these three, “good work habits” are the most important.

I can agree with this on a certain level. If you are a business then remember you are a business. Personally, I’m not so much on the business level so I’m busy working on the other two and trying to find time to express my commitment to exploring my curiosity… and somewhere to put the paintings till I can find a market for the paintings I enjoy doing.

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Mary Mungo & Midge

Who remembers Mary Mungo & Midge? I certainly didn’t remember them until I came across this video on YouTube. The amazing thing is that as soon as I started watching it was like I had only seen it yesterday.

Mary Mungo & Midge was one of my favorites. I just looked at a whole lot of old British children’s TV and I think that what makes it so special is the room for imagination and fantasy that these programs created. What could be more excitinmg in the early 70s than riding the lift to get to your top-floor flat, riding on the Trumpton fire engine, lifting things by crane onto the Chigley train. All such harmless fun.

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