We’ve finally made it to France… This has been a dream of mine and Colleen’s for over a decade and it really is better than we thought it could be. We’ve been here a month now in a sixty year old house, in a small hamlet in the middle of the Monts d’Aree national park. The locals are friendlier and more open to a bald English artist and his wife than the English ever were – despite the tales to the contrary that we’ve been continually hearing over the years. We’re down the bar every Friday which is doing wonders for my French (and occasional Breton) language skills and the only problems we’ve encountered have been overcome by smiling, apologising and just continuing to butcher their lovely language in conversation. I’m learning more French like this than I ever could from a text book or audio tapes.
The painting is going extremely well; I’m now working all day, everyday – doing exactly what I’ve dreamed of. The demands of the two solo shows that are coming up at the art-file and Red Propeller galleries have been enormous but they’re now more or less dealt with. The art-file work was sent off last week and was on sale today I think. I haven’t finished all of the work for Red Propeller yet but most of it is well underway.
The ability to work this intensely on my painting has also strengthened it I think (mind you, I suppose others must be the judge of that really) and I’ve also been able to realise a project that’s been on the back burner for a few years now – the Petite Morte paintings. Of those that were started and came over with me I’ve been able to work through the problems they posed and I’ve only had top discard a couple. More importantly to me were two paintings of the world trade centre started five years ago. These have always been a real challenge but I think I can finally say that they are now in a position to be left alone.
Offers of other exhibitions are coming in for 2008 which is a really alien concept for me! It means I can concentrate on producing work and I don’t have the old worry of simultaneously trying to get the enthusiasm and money together carting work around on the hope of getting a gallery to say they’ll give it a go. I hope it continues; we’ll see. As it stands I’m pretty well committed through next year; one of the shows promises to put my work on the same walls as Harry Simmonds. He’s one of the neomodern group artists and he emailed me to let me know that he was showing work in the same exhibition as me. A coincidence and surprise to both of us, but it will be nice to catch up with him again. Mind you, the last time I met him it cost me a packet in couple of pieces that I bought! Never mind – money well spent! And to top it all Radiohead have just released a new album. Life’s good.
“Petit Morte” 2007