Portrait of Elodie Bouffard 2018

Begun in May 2018 this portrait of my friend and model Elodie Bouffard is a 50cm x 40cm oil on wood panel painting. I started by preparing a wooden panel with six coats of home made chalk gesso. I lightly sanded the layers of gesso after each coat and arrived at a smooth painting surface equal to painting fine details. Before painting the next stage, the grisaille, I painted the surface with vandyke brown, with some added ‘misty’ effects in green.

The next stage was to paint a grisaille from photographs, I’m quite good at drawing in various mediums but nevertheless, I transferred the photo onto the support to save time.

When photographs are available, it is a waste of time to hand draw your image onto the support, just a few general outlines will do to get the exact proportions, after all we ‘draw’ with the brushes. The grisaille was completed in three sessions, refining exact details of the eyes for instance that I new I wouldn’t want to change later, after adding layers of transparent and opaque colour.

In the grisaille, I use titanium white, as it is less transparent and less oily than my favourite lead white. At this stage I want maximum coverage over the dark brown panel

I then went on to use full colour, using a limited palette with lead white at its centre. I usually work on several paintings at a time, so this allows me time to reflect on what I’ve done and reflect on how the painting is progressing, after several months it was finished, all that remains to do – is a varnish coat.



Prosecute the parents

Prosecute the parents!

The local authority should prosecute the parents for child abuse. It’s depressing, that parents can get away with indoctrinating their children into fear based, dangerous religious sects, such as Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity and Islam. The children of such parents will face a lifetime of looking over their shoulder, to see if their divine ‘friend’ on high is watching their every move. They will find it extremely difficult, to lose the fear of going to hell, to face eternal torture, all for the ‘accident’ of being born into ‘original sin’.
Everyone should be free to practice religions of their choice – when they are old enough to understand the ramifications, of making such choices.


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.


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.


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.


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 is 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

Coming towards the end game 13.12.18

Almost finished, just a few final details and la finition.

I’ve been looking at Caravaggio’s paintings for quite some time now and had little realised how much I had absorbed of his technique and how easily I could apply his technique to my political and societal philosophies.
Incidentally I can highly recommend a great large format book by Sebastian Schülze, entitled ‘Caravaggio_The Complete Works’, it is a truly excellent tome with loads of good quality images, especially useful to the student or aficionado of the Master.
I like to use high contrast in my paintings. As my style has developed I find high contrast enables my ideas to work more effectively and chiaroscuro is particularly useful for achieving this.

I hope to finish this painting early in the New Year.


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.




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.


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.


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.