Preparing for formal assessment – documenting the first time so I don’t make these mistakes again

I am going to document this because it’s my first and so far I have done almost everything wrong – mostly because I had no real grasp of what is required. First, I couldn’t find any guidelines as to what … Continue reading Preparing for formal assessment – documenting the first time so I don’t make these mistakes again

What’s it worth? The Banksy art dilemma

As an art trail survivor (with two more days to go I worry that might be fake news) out on a limb away from the centre of the action, I’m questioning again what it’s all about. There are two of us, we’re in a tent, and every time it breathes in, we throw ourselves at the collapsing exhibits to preserve their dignity. With just two venues in the village, we’re the Pluto of the town’s art trail/summer fair helio-centre and traffic is so light it may as well be helium. But there’s more to it than just distance, there’s display … Continue reading What’s it worth? The Banksy art dilemma

What are you looking at? by Will Gompertz

Subtitled 150 years of modern art in the blink of an eye, this is not for the purists but it is for me. So much so that I have all three versions – audio, kindle, and paperback; one to listen to while mooching around, one for its search, links, and notes facilities, and one to flick through when neither of the others will do. I have the kind of memory that places something on a page – bottom left, middling-ish on the right, that sort of thing. I can do it with ebooks so long as the font stays the … Continue reading What are you looking at? by Will Gompertz

Aphantasia – absence of ‘mind’s eye’

Nothing to do with never having seen a Disney cartoon, and everything to do with mental imagery, aphantasia is a newly described condition in which people are unable to exercise their ‘mind’s eye’ or ‘get a picture’ in their heads. Typically, they’ve thought other people were speaking metaphorically and, when a range of neuropsychological tests became available through a research project, were surprised to find this wasn’t so. Rather like colour blindness, you have no concept of the missing colour and so no way of knowing you can’t see it unless you come across someone who can. One of the … Continue reading Aphantasia – absence of ‘mind’s eye’

Brutalist architecture

Vis a vis townscapes and my preference for lurking under concrete bridges rather than replicating the lovely-to-live-in-but-twee-to-draw local town and village scenes. I’ve been talking about brutal architecture as though I’d invented the term but it turns out I didn’t – it’s a whole movement! I grew up with it though; the science lab added to the side of my late 1800’s school, the motorways that began to plough huge furrows across the landscape – we saw these on the telly but they didn’t reach us in Yorkshire till the early 1970s – and the kitchen sink dramas that seemed … Continue reading Brutalist architecture


Came across this word in an episode of The Verb broadcast on April 26th 2019 and still hadn’t quite got the meaning by the end so had to look it up. Suddenly then thought there might be a case for palimpsestic art – painting over old prints from boot sales but without quite obscuring the original. Suddenly also discovered that my made up word, palimpsestic, actually exists and that I’m well behind the curve with regard to palimpsestic art! This is from Artopium, accessed 2nd May 2019. I think in my mind I was seeing an old image, maybe even … Continue reading Palimpsest

Perspective – a re-blog from The Conversation

I was looking for something handy to say on perspective; preferably something that might also illuminate my approach to a technique that foxes me, visually, every time I try to complete a perspective-directed exercise; then this article rolled up right on cue. The Conversation permits re-blogging on condition that the article is not edited, so here’s the whole piece. Comments when I’ve read it properly, but here for reference too. Four ways in which Leonardo da Vinci was ahead of his time Leonardo da Vinci had a seemingly inexhaustible imagination for innovation. Hywel Jones, Sheffield Hallam University; Alessandro Soranzo, Sheffield … Continue reading Perspective – a re-blog from The Conversation

Never mind your right brain, it’s your unconscious that needs letting loose

The old left brain/right brain chestnut keeps on popping up, especially in reference to creativity. Dead but it won’t lie down. It comes from some very old studies on people with severe epilepsy whose brain hemispheres were surgically separated to prevent seizures swamping the whole cortex, plus the observation that motor functions are generally right side dominant (governed by the left motor cortex), and that language tends to be located in the left temporal lobe. Early studies seemed to support a view that the left brain is logical, ordered, and language related while the right is more spatial and image-led. … Continue reading Never mind your right brain, it’s your unconscious that needs letting loose