Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Fence 1

Well, I finished one side of the pool fencing yesterday and this morning I did a bit more art work. The studio is in a mess and I have stuff everywhere – lots of half jobs held up by various issues and excuses.

I have five CDs on the music player that I have been listening to all morning : Steve Earl – Train a Comin’, Neil Young – Fork in the Road, Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece, Rodriguez – Cold Fact, and  Mavis Staples – LIVE Hope at the Hideout. The players set to shuffle which stops me getting caught in a particular mood.

Fence 2

A few days ago I bought a few books at Koorong at rock bottom prices : The Lion Companion to Christian Art and The Lion Literature Collection. I picked up my paintings from the Kawana Cultural centre on the same day, which are still lying around my studio, cluttering up things.

NASA #12 is almost finished and my acrylic and ink painting, ‘Persistence of Degradation – The Misogynist’  is finished and will get a few coats of varnish and then a photo session outside in the natural light.Studio 2

This afternoon I will go back to finishing the fence – first I have got to move a great pile of old timber before I fence it all in – it needs to go to the dump, but I don’t have a ute or trailer at the moment.

So below is NASA #12 – lots of green in this one. I have just started on the black outlines, which always give the colours and composition a boost. Fairly typical NASA painting, but that's sort of the idea of the series – a consistent look over 30 paintings.

NASA 12Below is the painting I finished last night - ‘Persistence of Degradation – The Misogynist’. It is sort of an experimental painting using ink and acrylic – I  might use the technique for some  landscape paintings down the track.

The Unamed I have been messing with old slides that I have recently converted to digital – some examples on previous post -  cropping and tweaking the colours, which is a lot of fun because it is so immediate and the results so surprising.


Mystery flight

Jean Jacket Flight 

Mystery wheel Mystery Shopper

And finally a quote from one of my new books :

‘When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.’ – Desiderius Erasmus

Monday, March 22, 2010

Childish = Now

I have been roaming the whole world looking for an art that stirs my soul. I have been arrested on the streets of Pompeii, for calling out before that fateful day.  Why have we become so childish: myself not wanting to offend the young, who believe with a pure faith?

I call out in the streets, “Where is the gutsy art”? Is a way of life a substitute for the real thing? The echoes of past heroes, bounce along the electronic band wave like pawns, brutally abused: not by gods or goddesses but by illegitimate terrible enfants.

Helicopter day Helicopter Day

And so Duchamp’s last painting brutally descends, as old man Dylan, mourns in a croaky voice, “the only thing we know about Dylan, is Dylan was not his real name”.


Camel circus

Circus Camel

I wish I could find an art so pure, an art so mature, an art so sincere, an art so real, an art that meant something, an art so now that it lasted forever and was always in vogue. An art that reached down into the depths of my soul and ripped asunder the impoverished childish bloat and transformed me into an innocent child, who gleamed with eyes of wonder.

Alas, childish = now.


Instant Child

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


NASA 12 figure alter 

NASA #12 – The NASA Space Odyssey – just begun. 

As the future actually dawned on us, it became very clear that the visions from the past were wrong. Instead of complex and futuristic computer driven cities, teeming with a sophisticated monoculture: the cities were abandoned and left to waste, only used for materials as needed.

It was finally realised that everyone was missvocated – this new word represented the most important change in human history. A simple device was created by an idiot savant, that could analyze a persons abilities, personality and limitations then revocate  them to a perfectly matched new vocation.

The testing for revocating started slow but gained momentum as people suddenly realised that they had been living  a missvocated life. The outcome transformed the world: wars disappeared, prisons were closed and divorce was unknown.

Jackson Greenburg left art and became a plumber – all his worries left him. Gladys Noways, formally a dental nurse discovered that taxidermy was a great relief.  Many politicians  discovered that their true  vocation was closer to farming, particularly pork and poultry. One brain surgeon was quoted as saying, “I have felt such peace since taking up embroidery" Many lowly retail workers, the epsilons of  previous times, became splendid artists, producing liberating works in music, theatre, cinema, and the visual arts. The world had come to a time of peace, because everyone now lived a perfectly fulfilled life.

Then one day, amongst us, arose a leader who became the oracle for our time…..

Monday, March 8, 2010


two men unfinished crop

This is my experiment with ink on acrylic. The work still needs correcting and over painting – it will probably have a few coats of polymer varnish as well.

It’s on a sheet of 120x90x3mm MDF glued to a 31x19mm pine frame. it was undercoated twice with acrylic undercoat with a sand on the last coat. The image was drawn quickly and freely in ink, with a fine pointy brush. The paint was applied in washes over the ink, allowed to dry and then the images were re-worked and sometimes altered numerous times – building up levels of marks and paint. This can be seen in this close-up, especially above the head.

little piece 2 I quite like drawing with the ink and so far it is quite compatible with the acrylic, as long as it’s not too glossy or thick. it definitely has problems over polymer varnish, where it starts to spread and break up. I have even scratched away at it to see how firm it is stuck – but it seems stuck.

little piece 1

When I worked in a Paint and Decorator store I ordered some artist paint from a specialised paint supplier from Victoria – Vipond’s, artist acrylic in matt. So far it is a good paint to use and has a different feel to you normal thicker tube paint.

Another paint I use sometimes is by another paint company in Victoria – Hydrocryl, professional artist acrylic. It has a different feel as well - sort of heavy and pasty.

My NASA series are all painted in tube paint, usually Matisse , Jo Sonja’s or Atelier. Originally when I started painting, I only used Liquitex, which is excellent but expensive. I tried oils a few times over the years but they are just anathema to my way of working and thinking. Maybe down the track I will splurge and make these perfect stretchers – in ultra sealed and fine finished MDF – then dollop the Liquitex on using the most expensive series colours – but I just can’t justify it yet.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Early is fun and always free from constraint.

Early is full of hopes and dreams.

Early is always on time because time doesn’t matter.

Early is awkward and doesn’t care.

Early relishes even the mad thoughts.

Early is pretty well full of innocence.

Early is pretentious when it matters.

Early doesn’t mind being seen in the street.

Early will fight over principles, then change the rules next week.

Early falls in love and does crazy things.

Early lasts a short while.

Here are a few early works ………….

River Rocks River Rocks 1981


Early Image

Little No Exit Altered 1982


Family Slide Altered 1980

Monday, March 1, 2010


wallpaper dolphins

Been working on a few old drawings of late, trying to fix them up and finish them off. The one above has stencils of dolphins in the background – don’t ask me why.

Also, been working on the following old work, building up textures and scratching around – this one is done in acrylic and ink. The title might be, “The Misogynist”, but again, don’t ask me why.

The MisogonistHere are a few other drawings from the new studio – old and crusty being turned into something that hopefully might resemble art.two pics A few days ago, I put up a few paintings  in the new studio, just  to make things a bit more conducive to making art and all that stuff. So here is a Photo of my big blue painting on the southern wall.

Big Blue 2 Last Wednesday I had a great time at ….failed painters house, where we set up my NASA series on FP’s wall and took a few photos and had a few laughs. Here is a photo under the lights of the series so far. NASA 11

NASA # 11 is just tacked on the end – number 12 will be hopefully started in the next few days and then its back to fence building.

Clement Greenberg the art-critic once said about Edward Hopper: ‘Hopper is simply a bad painter. But if he were a better painter, he would probably would not be such a great artist’.

There is hope for us all.

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All Images Copyright D.Howard 2010