Friday, May 27, 2011

quoteflections: Willing to Grow

I have never watched an Oprah show, but was sufficiently impressed with the content of her final show to include the link via Paul's post at Quoteflections.

Perhaps it's because next week I begin a new chapter in my own life in search of the one thing that I was born to experience and feel happy with.

Here is a flavour of the jobs in my life throughout the UK that have placed food on the table (except for that time as a young lad when I bought a Dylan album instead of regrets!)

Window dresser / Drop forge / Retail carpets / Building site / Dunlop / Radial driller / Oil rigs / game machines / Parks and Gardens / Boat manufacture / Raleigh Industries / Musician / Woodworking machinery -  Then John Lennon was killed / College / Polytechnic / Self-employed (gallery and framing for 13 years) / Artist / Postman / Agency work / Wildlife Trust / Vodafone / And now back to being an artist and willing to grow... now that financial pressures and family aren't such an issue.

It just so happens that, given the economic conditions, it is the worst possible time to voluntarily walk away from a secure job (I could have stayed with the company in another role), but you have only one life, right!

It also coincides with the art world being particularly hard-hit...who wants a painting ahead of essentials?

I'm listening to my own voice now and will walk my own path. I may have to compromise, but I'm a dab-hand at that.

My goal is supply five galleries in the UK by the end of the year...with most of July and September taken up with other things. So I have June, October, November and a month!

Am I optimistic? Of course!  Am I anxious? No! Will I achieve my goal? Yes!

Here is a painting in the sunset in the woods series I started yesterday (too big for my art blog). It probably needs a little more work. You may recall that I did a small pilot of the same scene. I did another small painting which I've posted, so go take a peek if you are interested.

Did anyone see Oprah's final show?

quoteflections: Willing to Grow: "There is much to like about Oprah, including her courageous departure from her Oprah Winfrey Show. Why leave one of the most successful te..."

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The one singer that's been with me since early 1963.
 We've grown old together and I bought this album instead of food.
Seen him twice on stage live
Sang his songs 
Felt his songs
Lived his songs

I listened to "Not dark yet" while painting today.

If I was as innovative a painter as he is a singer-songwriter, he, along with the rest of the world will be writing about me now and for hundreds of years to come.

Sorry I missed your birthday...I eagerly awaited the party invite which is obviously lost in the post.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still thinking...

This was Ameneh Bahrami in 2004. She refused marriage proposals from a fellow student who then stalked her for two years before pouring a bucket of acid over her head resulting in horrific disfigurement and total blindness. Her life had, in her own words, been ruined.

He was convicted of the crime and she was consulted regarding the punishment which, to her, was for both of his eyes to suffer the same fate as hers. She even offered to pour the acid herself but later consented to having doctors carry out the sentence...a reduced sentence (against her will) of the loss of just one eye. The reduced sentence was because women in Iran are considered only half the worth of men.

The sentence should have been carried out on the 14th May but has been postponed indefinitely because of international human rights pressure. I also read that two million euro is being considered by her in order to change her mind regarding the punishment.

In 2002 Bangladesh brought in the death penalty for the same type of crime and introduced strict laws regarding the sale of acids. Apparently the law is rarely enforced.

My view is that where there is a given law and a punishment attached, it should be enforced without question, regardless of how barbaric it may be perceived by other cultures. If it's the law of the land then the law must stand in that land until changed.

For certain crimes in the USA, a life sentence means a life sentence although the death penalty is rarely carried out before the passage of...a lifetime. Even then, it is often commuted to life imprisonment.

In the UK, a life sentence is a joke in terms of justice. It probably represents enough time inside to obtain a degree or pursue a career path after leisurely consultation...all free of taxes, fees or stress. In other words, you can maim or murder and be assured of a roof over your head, warmth, a good education, counselling and regularly fed...all for free. You may even want to write a book or two. Soon there may be the added bonus of being able to vote and enjoy even greater freedom. For many, the incentive is greater to be inside than out. During this time, your victim is often lifeless and their family and friends going through endless torment and living hell.

Christine's view...lock em up and throw away the key.
Karen's view...she'll have to remind me, but I think it was a little more Christian.
My darn hard to help change our pathetic laws and, once they are updated to favour the victim as opposed to the criminal, stick with the penalty given without the farce of reduced sentences through good behaviour via greedy, mealy-mouthed lawyers bent on making a quid or two.

Prevention is the key, as prison is expensive and does little or nothing to rehabilitate or change behaviour if surveys and studies are to be believed.   Turn the issue of prevention over to the private sector perhaps and allow them to utilise seized assets of all criminal activities along with other financial government incentives, based on results. Allow government to introduce legislation that may be contributing to criminal and violent behaviour...TV content,  violent games etc! The whole picture needs to be viewed from every angle with international support if necessary. Those in authority need to be more authoritative than authoritarian, and to get a grip on things. 

I speak as a tired Englishman who hasn't entirely lost hope of a solution, but is sickened by the way in which British justice is floundering.

I'm unsure about the criminally insane...perhaps a lethal injection if there is no hope...just not sure.

I also think that many officials involved with Human Rights are over-stretching themselves to the point of ridicule...perhaps a lethal injection for them too...if there is no hope:)

Well, well, well...we've just turned the news on and the topic is Human Rights.

I'm not against human rights, so long as there is balance and that the rights of victims are upheld above all else.

For me, more justice than vengeance. Surely there is no place for an eye for an eye mentality?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Bread winner

Another painting too big for my original art blog.
A couple of years ago I caught this little fellow doing his best to get some of the bread we were throwing but he was just too slow to catch anything. He was the runt of the  family by the looks of it, but we didn't leave until he got a mouthful.

On the subject of bread week is my last before redundancy kicks in. Why do I feel on top of the world about this? I really should (and will) look for another job once Summer is out. I may even step up the painting, rather than suffer a job I'm not likely to enjoy. Either way, I expect to be working again before too long.

As this is a journal, the news that has shocked me over the past week is regarding the woman who wants the man who threw acid into her face (because she refused his marriage proposals) to suffer the same fate as she did. What was even more shocking was the attitude of most of the phone-in listeners. Vengeance is pretty big with a lot of people.

The other was the beheading of  a poor unsuspecting woman, the details of which I'm sure everyone is aware.

I'm currently listening to Chris Tarrant (who I dislike) and will be glad when Steve Wright returns next week. Isn't it funny how the sound of one person's voice can annoy while another's can entertain and soothe?

I'll also be glad when Jon (my son) returns from London tonight, as he left his car directly and not perfectly parked outside our house early this morning and caught the train.

It's FRIDAY!!  Am I the only one who wants, needs and is planning a great weekend?

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Two Irish mountain pools that I started painting last year but ruined by overpainting were revisited yesterday and now I consider them finished. Some elements are not as successful as originally painted, but some are...I'll settle for a draw.

These are not strictly 'Daily' paintings and are too big anyway to be included on my art blog, so they will go straight to my website.

I did manage to paint one little sketch and include it on my art blog yesterday, so check it out art lovers.

Right! I'm off into the garden for therapy.

Back home

Okay, Blogger has reinstated the original post so I have deleted the replacement.

Rendering and painting the wall was one of the jobs I was determined to finish while in France last week (see Destination Brittany blog for details and more photos).
This photo was in the beginning, but after we cleared the ground a lot. The stone has now been cleaned and pointed, windows raised, re-tiled the 'green' section of the roof and built three dormer windows.
As it is now...with the grass not looking a lot better. The guttering, replacing tiles, building the stone circle around the oak, building the stone retaining wall and laying the patio will hopefully be done before the year is out.

I'm just about back to normal now after feeling really tired from tackling the long list of jobs out there.

It wasn't all work I hasten to add. I read a book, two newspapers, played games, visited friends, watched three DVD's, had walks, bike rides, mini motor-scooter and midi motorbike rides, Watched Man.U get to the Champion's League Final from a bar in Josselin, visited interesting places (including the cemetery I hope to end up in) and visited three beaches...laying and falling asleep on two.

Add all the jobs to the above and it's no wonder I was tired.