Another lost opportunity

The opportunity to really push progressive policies has been lost by the Democratic party in the American mid-term elections. The mid-terms should have delivered the promised ‘Blue Wave’ instead there was a blue trickle that merely snapped at the heels of established Republican politicians like Ted Cruz and Ron DeSantis. The leaders of the Democratic party are corporate Dems, bought and paid for stooges, who left to their own devices would have been totally crushed once again.
The progressives in the party delivered the diluted ‘blue wave’ and brought a message of medicare for all, a 15$ minimum wage, getting money out of politics, student loan debt revisions, action on climate change, an end to America’s wars and instituting stricter gun laws. But the party leaders once again moved to the centre and instead of supporting hugely popular progressive policies, diluted the message – to their own detriment.
The Dems have taken the House and it will make a difference in fighting the destructive policies Trump wants to promote, so there is something positive to be taken from this election but it is unquestionably a massive lost opportunity and that fact needs to repeated over and over again. The Democratic Party’s leadership won’t get the message and must be removed from within, now that the progressives have much more influence. The likes of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi need to go along with other corporate and massively corrupt influencers.

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Bend the Arc

In memoriam of the helpless Pittsburgh victims of Robert Bowers, I now fully support ‘Bend the Arc’ and their efforts to bring about a more equitable society.

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So the Saudis

So the Saudis actually kill another county’s citizen while in their ‘care’ and America (particularly Lindsey Graham) whose citizen it was, feigns outrage and does nothing. Imagine if it had been Iran. But of course Iran doesn’t have multi billion dollar arms deals with America. Go figure.

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Masters of Misogyny

Another allegorical painting, the largest canvas that I have made, 150cm x 130 cm. When you look at the crucified figure and the faces of the assembled group at the base of the cross, their familiar faces are immediately associated with misogyny. The presence of the Pope continues my attack on the oppression of women by the Catholic Church. This a church that can and has changed its dogma, it’s clear further change is urgently needed, if the religious indoctrination and financial exploitation of the world’s poor is to be ended.

It’s a pity that Islam can’t update the Qur’an, it could if the clerics weren’t afraid of diluting their power base of fear but I can’t see it happening in my life time or for a long time after I’m gone. Islam is represented in the painting by Ayatollah Khomeini, the deceased ex-leader of Iran and by the current Saudi ruler Mohammed Bin Salaman, by my judgement both women haters, their oppressive records speak for themselves.

From the distant past Louis Quatorze, on the right of the standing group, shares the European misogynistic plaudits along with Henry the 8th, both prolific womanisers with little care for their concubines feelings it would seem, at a distance it could be argued that it was how things were back then, their awful treatment of women as play things and political bargaining tools is legendary, their place in my painting is thus more than justified.

Trump, what a cretinous individual, not an intelligent man and as President seemingly willing, to stick his foot in his mouth at every opportunity. Another man whose treatment of women is demeaning and may prove to be part of his coming downfall.

So this image is the start of the painting back in September 2017, it’s mounted on the easel I had made especially to complete this painting

progress so far in early September 2018 looks like this.

progress 27.9.18

detail 27.9.18

More to follow

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The abuse continues

Abuse of children within the Catholic church is seemingly par for the course, it continues to this day unabated and often goes unpunished. As a non believer in religious superstition, I think that abuse of anyone in the church should be treated as a secular matter and punished according to the laws of the country where the abuse takes place.

Abuse in the Catholic Church

The Catholic church has missions in many countries where extreme poverty is everywhere, who in these countries is monitoring the behaviour of paedophile priests? Undoubtedly based on evidence from many other countries abuse is still going on right now, the position of authority and power over children that priesthood brings, attracts sexual predators, when you mix in religious rituals, superstition and a lack of detection until it is too late, the draw of this profession is powerful to abusers.

I just hope one day in the future that man can shake off the shackles of religion, it is a vehicle for serious physical and mental harm. Catholicism, Christianity, Islam and Zionism are all particularly pernicious and need to scourged from the face of the earth if man is to truly reach his potential as a species.

Thanks to Huffington Post for the article.

 

 

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bees make honey, I make art.

I make art. That’s a fact, I haven’t been posting much, mainly because, the weight of what is happening politically has just been crushing this year and I can’t keep up with it. But……..I have been painting, drawing, preparing canvases and planning new projects. I’ve nearly finished the final painting in my trilogy of paintings to commemorate the sacrifice made by the hundreds of thousands of young people during the 1st. World War and in particular to remember the soldier/poet Captain Wilfred Edward Salter Owen. ‘The End’ is nearly finished and will complete the trilogy.

‘Masters of Misogyny’ a large painting for which I designed and had made – by a local artisan – a new easel,

is taking shape.

A lot of work but again this allegorical painting will say a lot about what I think concerning the treatment women suffered and still suffer at the hands of male religious leaders. The injustice was and continues to be real despite the hollow protestations in the West.  I want the religious imagery to resonate with disingenuous apologetics like Matt Slick and William Lane Craig, the likes of Tony Blair, Anne Widdecombe, The Pope and his cronies, the rotund and gormless fake Irishman Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and Islamic preachers and princes alike, all profound misogynists. The list is too long, hopefully the painting will eventually come to their notice.

I’m also working on two portraits of my model Elodie Bouffard, maybe three, two at least will be in the style known as ‘tenebrism’, with an obvious nod to Caravaggio. Still a way to go but it is taking shape nicely.

Planned future painting are ’10 Downing St.’ starring the severed heads of five British Prime-ministers impaled on the 10 Downing St. railings. I may call it Traitors’ Row. I’m sick of these bastards getting into power and doing nothing for the country and its people. I’m thinking particularly of Thatcher, Major, Blair, Cameron and May, all lying cunts, who betrayed the British people and made themselves and their cronies rich at the electorate’s expense.

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You turn your back for five minutes and this is what happens!

Back in the day when the occupants of the White House understood the importance of Human Rights, one could depend on America, like other contemporary democracies, to stand up and be counted amongst those who cared about our common core human values. But something has changed – and quite radically – the White House has become the Shit House and it is occupied by the Orange Fuckwit and his sycophants.

Where previously foreign and domestic policy broadly fought, corrupt regimes, opposed genocide, stood up for the rights of families everywhere to live together, now we see Trump embracing the despotic Kim Jong Un as a brother, allowing Israeli soldiers to shoot dead, unarmed Palestinians protestors and in the United States sanctioning the separation of children from their parents and the incarceration in internment camps of those children.

Now whilst the G.O.P.’s version of Gollum, Jeff Sessions is the Little Shit in Chief who created this awful injustice, the supporters and mouthpieces for this policy who have shocked me most, are the women of the White House, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kirsten Nielsen, Kellyanne Conway and Nikki Hayley. Why do I single out four women? Am I a misogynist? Am I a sexist pig? I’d like to think not particularly as I’m currently working on a painting entitled ‘Masters of Misogyny’ that features amongst other misogynists Donald Trump and the Pope.

I single out these four women, because to me women-hood – amongst many other things – represents our common humanity, the best in humankind, the womb from which we all come, the nine moths of blood sweat and tears, that created and nurtured our first moments of this earthly journey. They of all people in the White House, should realise how horrendous this policy of separating families is. It is so disappointing that four powerful, seemingly educated women could have such low moral values. They are the worst of women, tireless hypocrites for what reason? They preach moral values. Christian values (whatever validity that phrase still has), on a daily basis, yet here they are supporting the Orange Demagogue, the narcissist without a cause – except his own. Their moral compasses are broken, trampled under their feet, in the rush to climb the establishment ladder to infamy. You have to say that they are climbing that ladder quite well but they should take note, that they will be four women, who will be remembered as standing up against those who support the right of a family to stay together and instead turned their backs on their own humanity and destroyed the childhoods of many immigrant children.

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Abortion referendum in Ireland

The Irish government has announced that it will hold a referendum on abortion by the end of May. I just find it incredible that in 2018 the Catholic church still has such power in a largely secular country. I have a message for religious control freaks everywhere, stay out of women’s bodies, your made up misogynistic dogma was never acceptable and in the 21st. century is just a lazy, futile attempt, to hold onto what little control you have left over your followers and everyone else alike.

Fear is a great method of controlling populations and the Catholic Church is an accomplished master at this, brain wash children from birth with the idea that they are born sinful and then remind them constantly for the rest of their days that they are sick and need to be made better. I hope that the Irish people will throw off their fear of such nonsense and reject article 40.3.3, the ‘eighth amendment’, since 1983 it has given unborn foetuses and pregnant women an equal right to life, thus enshrining a ban on abortion in the country’s constitution.

Time to move forward as a nation again Ireland, reject religious control of women en masse.

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Je Suis Humain – Nude and Möbius

Another painting concerning our common humanity, ‘Je suis humain’ is a French phrase implying ‘ that we are all one and should support one another. A female nude is embraced by the protection of a Möbius – effectively science as the protector of humankind rather than the deceitful hand of religion and all its double speak and bullshit. You work out the details for your self but science is supported by secular humanist values, whereas religious intolerance and dogma, often supports oppression, a little spoken of example being the catholic church’s support, for the Nazis during the 2nd. World War. You religionists can dress your Popes and your Imams in all manner of jewel bedecked cloth but your fairy tales become no more believable.

‘Je suis humain’ is a ‘shout out’ to all who reject fear and superstition and instead recognise our common humanity, the title is a call for justice for all. Who we are at our best, is represented in this painting by the beauty of womankind and all that womankind means to the nurturing and continued existence of our species. The female figure stripped of artifice, represents knowledge, the transcendent, freedom from the tyranny of ignorance and the super-natural, and the building of hope for our species.

So I start with a blank canvas, I bought the 130cm x 90 cm frame from Jackson Art and stretched a cotton canvas over it. I then sized it with rabbit skin glue, two coats for the front and one for the rear. I wanted a fairly smooth surface to enable the rendering of fine detail in the figure, this is achievable on canvas if you know how. My method is to use a primer, called ‘distemper’, I discovered it after reading the blog of the sadly murdered young artist Margaret Muller, I always think of her every time I use this primer and I am seriously grateful to her, as this primer is fantastic R.I.P. Margaret.

The distemper is made from water, oil, egg yolk and pigment, I apply several coats sanding between each to achieve a lovely silky smooth painting surface. I applied six coats for this painting. I then go about sealing the canvas and primer from the oil paint to follow. Firstly a light grey imprimatura, translucent  in this case is applied, followed by the toned ground for the painting, here it’s a mixture of burnt and raw umber and titanium white, applied thinly. I then complete an under drawing, putting in as much detail as necessary to help me finish the painting. I seal the ground and the under drawing by spraying on three coats of skimmed milk, using paper towels to wipe of the excess milk. The canvas is then ready to work up the paint layers.

As my method is to use C.S.O. paint, all layers are fat, this is another benefit of painting solvent free.
After the under drawing was completed and sealed, I experimented with different techniques of applying the turquoise paint to the canvas, sponges, knives and brushes, eventually settling on knives with some sparse brush work. Sometimes you just don’t know what is the best way to achieve a particular effect and it’s necessary to dive in and use your experience and imagination to find the solution. This a real problem for auto-didactic beginners but we’ve all been there, my advice is – don’t be afraid of making errors, just paint!

I wanted to preserve the form of the Möbius fairly accurately so I made the job easier by masking all around it.

the next stage will see the fundamentals of the Möbius in place.

Palette for the Möbius is : Rembrandt burnt senna, M.Harding phthalocyanine turquoise, Old-Holland, hookers green lake deep extra and some black and lead white.

Palette for figure : Blockx lead white, M. Harding lead tin yellow light, M. Harding venetian red, Daler Rowney ‘Georgian’ burnt umber, Daler Rowney ‘Georgian’ ultramarine, Winsor and Newton raw umber (green).

Continuing to build the painting via grisaille, it’s just a simple, elegant method for creating an accurate representation of the reality trying to be recreated on the support.

Further progress on 18.12.17, should have the painting finished by Xmas.

16.1.18

I’ve been unwell quite a lot so I haven’t made the progress on this painting that I intended to but – I have ordered a new camera, A Nikon, DSLR camera, so touch wood, once I get to grips with it, I’ll be able to post progress on this work, in some sort of decent quality.

13.2.18, so here’s the finished item, I haven’t had time to set up the camera properly but I think this photo is a reasonable representation of ‘je suis humain’. From a painter’s perspective, there are a few things I could have executed better but each painting presents different artistic and technical problems, that often need to be solved ‘on the fly’, so to speak. Overall, I’m fairly happy with the emotional content of the painting and its technical execution.

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re-nationalise!

As a life long socialist, this is great news to start my day.
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