hedgehog versus snail

September 13, 2012

this is a close-up of a painting i did last year after witnessing an epic battle…

[acrylic on canvas – this section is only about an inch high!]

it features harry (a tiny rescue hedgehog) chomping through the shell of an unfortunate snail who was in the wrong place at the wrong time…

as soon as harry bit into the shell, the snail squeezed out gallons of mucus which clogged up harry’s nose and mouth – thus allowing the snail to make it’s escape. although with a big hole in it’s roof, i don’t imagine the snail survived very long  in the wild. sadly, harry also expired a few days later due to very poor health (i did mention he was a tiny rescue hedgehog).

real life doesn’t have happy endings.



one year later

March 2, 2012

right at the start of this blog, i began a series of paintings.

they were initially intended as an elaborate ‘to do‘ list, to make me more productive. but this very quickly became more of a dairy. used to record events and track my fluctuating mental states on a daily basis [i do have every day accounted for!]

february 2012 [acrylic on A3 canvas. 01 feb-01 march 2012]

it’s fascinating for me, to see the evolution of the paintings..  the first part of the year is vibrant and colourful. this gives way to a pastel tranquillity. which quickly turns dark and chaotic. the subsequent months are a mix of subdued darkness and high contrast. i will get some decent photos of the whole collection!

it has been a very insightful and often therapeutic process for me. i love to spot the themes and the people who have repeatedly cropped up. there are tiny details which spark memories of times forgotten too. and there are a few aspects of my life that i have tracked which tell me an awful lot about myself [mainly stuff i didn’t want to know!]

so now – 366 days later – the year cycle is complete.

but what next?

i have been concerned that if i start another painting, then i am committing myself to do this for another year…  a whole ‘nother year! believe me, that’s a long time when you’re just living day-to-day. but in many respects i feel like ive been telling somebody’s story – and it’s not quite finished yet – so i must continue.

maybe it will be necessary to record it for another few months? maybe i’ll be doing these for years to come?  i guess we shall see…

so, i have put brush to canvas and started on the next one. for comparison, let me show you the 1st march 2011 next to 1st march 2012..

oh dear!


the last january ever

February 23, 2012

i forgot to post last month’s diary painting – so here it is!

[acrylic on A3 canvas. painted 01 – 31 jan 2012]

not much to say about this one…

i didn’t have any nights out, i didn’t read any books, and i barely smiled. it was a very boring bland month, dominated utterly by my brainchild project.

february’s painting is nothing like this!


it’s upside down…

February 18, 2012

sometimes paintings are planned – sometimes they just occur. this one falls into the second category.

it just began as colour and marks on the canvas.. and didnt really evolve into anything more than abstract shapes and patterns to be honest.  the canvas was regularly turned, and as soon as images started to refine themselves [a heart, spilled pomegranate seeds,  a ‘my little pony’ foetus!], then i would try to change it again to avoid definition.

however, this has left me with the problem that i cant decide what it is. you can the rotate painting and it still has meaning. it’s easier explained if i show you. most of the time it is hung like this…

turmoil” [acrylic & markers on A3 canvas. 3rd feb 2011]

people comment that they can see, “a heart, with crashing waves inside of it.”

the more astute/open-minded may even see, “a figure, on it’s knees, bearing the burden of a volatile heart.”

but to all of them i say,

“no. it’s upside down. look again…”

abortion” [acrylic & markers on A3 canvas]

can you see it?

the foetus

the scalpel-like fingers

the figure clutching it’s head, screaming

artistic interpretation, eh?

so. i haven’t been able to put my signature to this painting yet, as that will determine the orientation of how to hang this piece. and i’m not sure i will ever be able to decide what works best.

currently, this is my favourite interpretation…

laser shark attack” [acrylic & markers on A3 canvas]


tenmen versus the zombie

January 21, 2012

this blog has been relatively dormant this month, this is due to the fact that my time has been completely devoted to my uni work. i am in the final few weeks of my BIG 3rd year project, so please bear with me. i shall link up some of the more interesting things over the next month or so.


in a few of my previous posts i told you about some paintings i had done as presents to friends. well, the fourth [and final] one has been delivered to it’s recipient so i can reveal it to you too…

this one was done for a musician/dj friend of mine who is known to everyone as tenmen.

tenmen versus the zombie” [acrylic on 20x40cm canvas]

have you spotted the theme in this one yet..  there’s a flesh-eating zombie, and how many men??

so now that i’ve handed them all out, i can also show you what they look like when placed together…

reflecting on this little series of work, i want to say something like, ‘these four things are completely individual yet are intrinsically linked to one other.  and, when they come together – they form a much larger beast.’

but that is too much of an arty statement for my tastes.

plus i’m actually talking about my friends, not the paintings!


a bigger boat

January 3, 2012

allow me to reveal another of the paintings created for my friends…

it probably wont be obvious from these single posts, but when these canvasses are placed together they make up a larger cross-shaped image. if you glance back over the previous 2, they are on the top, and this one would be situated down below to the left… you see what i mean?

what can i tell you about the new owner of this painting…? well, he is the comrade who went with me to the tattoo parlour when i got my fingers defaced. he goes by the very much deserved nickname of ‘party!‘  a man who should need no further introduction, because after all, “there is only one neal martin!”  

a bigger boat” [acrylic on 20x40cm canvas]

this painting is about a joke which me and neal shared over a year ago.  poor nemo wasn’t even involved, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. and that swimmer has escaped from somewhere else…

out of these four friends, neal is the only one who i haven’t collaborated on a painting with. i shall have to rectify this soon.


moving swiftly on…

January 2, 2012

if you believe ‘the hype’, then you’ll already be aware that we’ve only got 1 year left before the end of existence as we currently know it. are you making any long term plans? me, i’m stuck between reflecting on the past and just trudging through the grind day-by-daily day.

on that note, this was my december…

[acrylic on A3 canvas. painted 01 dec – 31 dec 2011]

it’s been a long month, in which i’ve just been trying to keep my head down and in the proverbial books. managed to get a pretty impressive 88% for one uni project, so it seems that hard work can pay off!

the highlight of the month had to be going to see the alice exhibition at the tate. seeing carroll’s original manuscript and tenniel’s preliminary sketches for publication were inspirational.

on NYE, i had a few party invites – but i felt it best to stay home. in the afternoon i had a conversation with my bud which made me realise just how important taking time out to think really is. and later while the world partied, i painted and had took some time to breathe. it was a wise choice!

books read this month: 2
burning chrome – william gibson
invisible monsters – chuck palahniuk