Thursday, 22 July 2010

daucus carota

... is all i'm saying and seeing these days.

thoroughly back in the fields, there's no metropolitan video art to keep me distracted. instead, i'm with the weeds - one of the 'usefuls' [someone will giggle afar], as the pragmatic german language defines.

the wild carrot. daucus carota. or queen anne's lace.

someone has a better camera than i do. and while i'm patiently doing 50x70cm studies each day of my favourite bundle of wild carrots, i fear i'll be missing some of the details on this page. but, i may just as well have 1/3 sec [7 frames] of a daucus carota animation movie.

fields in detail. and in movement. phew. that seems to be going to somewhere new, doesn't it? maybe a little bit.

here's someone else's fascination with the wild carrots.

Friday, 16 July 2010


... back to the fields in the land from jarman's personal political colour field of digital blue.

this one i haven't watched, just saw that youtube has it as 10-min parts. however, it figures prominently in my mind of the labour and work that has gone into cultivating a field. it served as a reference point for numerous geography fieldtrips to the west coast of ireland. it also figures prominently as to relations of property and the consideration of belonging - and of those who do not belong, by property or presence.

seeing the dominance of the church, pain and the pastoral also can refer to the pain of the pastoral. the pastor as pain. now, there's a few more openings along the way.

but. here's the opening of the field (1990, ireland, jim sheridan)

Monday, 12 July 2010

... and then it's blue

(D. Jarman, 1993). only in excerpts so far.

it's a conclusion in more ways than one. the highly saturated hues of journey to avebury are replaced by the colour of jarman's increasing blindness.

so, a film that consists of a single 'image' - the blue of one man's blindness. the blue inspired by yves klein's monochromatic paintings. it's all and nothing it seems to me. it's a refusal - to turn one's struggle with hiv-related illnesses and approaching death into a film-able narrative. so it's a social and political positioning. without images other than blue, the image recedes - in it's all-encompassingness - to make way, to heighten one's senses of voice, sound and music.

strangely, i find the hues of avebury far more disconcerting. somewhere i read a review of 'this garden of eden'. it could well be that 38c in berlin is frying my brain a bit too much, but the sickly hues of avebury shout at me: pain and the pastoral. the pastoral as pain.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

take a journey

to avebury, with derek jarman (super 8, colour, 1971, 10mins). images rather than a film.

look! it' so full of colours! how beautiful is the countryside!

i saw it yesteday at ngbk's excellent exhibition on goodbye london - radical arts and politics in the seventies.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

noting change

... is nothing extraordinary since the world is constantly changing. - a phrase that still sticks in my mind. heard over ten years ago when trying to piece together a long piece of writing.

how true. and still how difficult, not to shout at: oh, there is change! how unusual!

needing frameworks that are suitable for the unforeseen makes my application of frameworks often a bit undecisive. [while all the while building complex, flexible systems in my mind].

so, here's a bit of change. a new template, some rearranging of the sidelines and most importantly: some play with the content of this blog. a recent unsubscription note reminded me of the fact that this blog has for some time not been about 'paint and pastel'.

waymark number 1: pain and the pastoral. with an ensuing observation of the meaning of bucolic. still in digestion, and all the blogger wizadry (and snail pace) tonight is enough to make the promise of a bit of thinking around the current blog title.

i have also revised my decision of a separate learning blog paint and pastel: study. it is far less tedious as i feared (notably because the main writing still takes place offline) but that also means that there are rather few postings and the division between here and there does not make much sense any longer. so, i imported all the post from there to here - they may show up in your blog reader.

still imageless for today. you can look at the background though (if it doesn't hurt too much).

Sunday, 4 July 2010

4 days. 3 books.

amidst the strawberry fields, many variations of strawberry cakes; granita; and 20 jars of jam, there have been plenty of figure drawings and three books.

1. kurban said's ali and nino. - while not sure about 'the best love story ever' (but i. will grin and say that that verdict is rather typical) there is a fascinating account of baku, karabagh, tehran at the start of wwi. and the intermingling of various easts and wests. i am looking forward to the biography of one of likely authors, lev nussimbaum, the orientalist by tom reiss; also in the package that arrived on thursday. i so know why it made it to the gift selection. thank you!

2. more prosaic but apart from the somehow laboured chapter 1, a very worthwhile read is john berger et al. collection of essays that started their life as a bbc series in the early 1970s - ways of seeing. it was high time to read it. i very much enjoyed the essays on the nude and on oil painting. possibly rather straightforwardly an analysis of social relations of property and the role that art plays in this, i still wish more of these programmes would be made today.

3. and freshly finished, no english translation seems to exist: christoph hein's frau paula trousseau. another gift from a past long gone and with an disrupted exchange renewed over cake - strawberry, of course - and coffee. its various time strands of the early 1960s and then 1970 onwards in east germany enticed and weaved a story of a life that in narration is warm and sensitive and yet it casts so many doubts over the narrator that the end - retold from a different view in the prologue - still leaves me baffled. paula went to berlin to study painting at weissensee, and persisted, and persisted.

there were other plans - botanical drawings of organic veg and fruit. but they succumbed; to too many plans; too many degrees centigrade and three very good books. now onto the next five.

summer time.

images? make up your own...