The Crucifixion of Justice

So the first two images here of the newly stretched canvas, the paintings are on 150cm x 130 cm supports, stretched, sized and primed here, the grounds are RSG followed by a ‘distemper’ from an old recipe. I may paint the third in the series ‘Hope’ on a different, modern ground, sized with P.V.A. and primer from Gamblyn or Winsor and Newton.

I’ve had the ideas for this painting for some time and finally found a way to put it into my agenda for 2019. I’ll be painting it in good summer light and in the warmth of a large room that faces South. Yes Northern light is preferred but I can’t arrange for that in this house. I have curtains!

The subject is justice once again and particularly the brutal injustices reigned down upon women by religion. Non of these injustices have ever been apologised for, the main perpetrators the Catholic Church has never made a humble apology to womankind for the deliberately perverted sexual and physical torture of womankind throughout history.

The Pope should get down on his bony knees in St. Peter’s Square and beg forgiveness of womankind but instead as with all the abuses of humanity by the Catholic Church the shitty little coward remains silent.

 

Here’s the progress I’ve made by late July, I don’t have a wolf and a horse at hand to pose for me, so I’ve used photos to arrive in the place where I want to be. Quite a way to go but I’ve made good progress, next is probably a complete ‘oil out’ with a chalk and sun thickened flax oil painting and grinding medium, that I prepare here according to a recipe of the amazing Louis Velasquez. At the same time I’ll soften and blend edges into the gloom of night and heighten the ‘luminous golden effect’ I want to get into the clouds.

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The Last Judgment of Pope Francis -Triptych -‘Hell’ Panel

So at last I have the ideas and the health (touch wood) to complete the left and right panels of ‘The Last Judgment of Pope Frances. One is ‘Paradise’ the other is ‘Hell’. I’ve started with Hell as I’m missing a model to pose for me at present but I live in hope. Anyway as a taster here is an under-drawing and an under-painting.

Progress late June 2019

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The censure of Ilhan Omar

The world needs the voice of people like Ilhan Omar, it needs her to speak out everyday against the genocidal Israeli government and its supporters in the West, including the silent acquiescence of European countries. Those who support Israel’s self proclaimed right to oppress Palestine and kill its people on a daily basis are parties to injustice, violation of basic human rights, murder and genocide.

For those who acknowledge injustice when they see it, for those who recognise the abandonment of human rights when they see it, this argument has nothing to do with anti-Semitism and has everything to do with fascism, hatred and rule by despots who believe their imaginary friend will bring about their salvation as they bathe in the blood of their neighbours.

The generally cowardly Corrupt Corporate Democrats wanted initially, to directly censure Ilhan Omar but then under public pressure and pressure from within their own party, decided to water down their initial outrage at Ilhan Omar and instead offer up a weak censure of all things bigoted and oppressive.

So what was achieved here? Absolutely nothing, the Corrupt Corporate Democrats showed themselves once again to be not only a party capable of making massive misjudgments of public opinion, but also one that doesn’t care about what is truly just and moral. Instead it would prefer to continue supporting the American government’s unscrupulous policy of bailing out the vile Israeli government. One that on a daily basis practices genocide.

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A.O.C.

A.O.C. has seized the moment and there is no way to put her genie back in the bottle. Get used to it American corporate Dem’s and your media backers. Get used to it Fox because when she is old enough, she is your next President and I can’t wait for an intelligent women with great social policies, to transform America into the progressive country we all hope it could be.

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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.

 

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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.

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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, imagine the suffering and exactly what did she do to deserve such horrific cruelty? Look at the faces of the assembled group at the base of the cross, their familiar ugly mugs are immediately associated with misogyny. The presence of the Pope rubber stamps my attack on the oppression of women by the Catholic Church. This is a church that can and has changed its dogma but it’s very clear that further change is urgently needed, if the religious indoctrination and financial exploitation of the world’s poor (particularly women and children) is to be ended.

It’s a pity that Islam too 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 Prince and 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.

So here to all intents and purposes is the finished painting as of 26.1.19. All that remains to be done is to refinish the background vandyke brown colour and blend it into the cross and the Pope’s figure where necessary. Finally I’ll brush on retouch varnish and when thoroughly dry, a further final varnish.

It’s been a rewarding journey painting this, both from the perspective of learning how to paint such a large painting and simultaneously seeing how the news unfolded over the two years since I planned this, long before Mohammed Bin Salman killed the journalist Khashoggi and while more abuse of children in the care of the Catholic Church continued and whilst Trump unflinchingly expressed his misogyny, racism and general bigotry. These ‘leaders’ are the moral scum of humanity and if their gods exist, I hope their parasitic preying on their fellow man, has been duly noted. Halle fuckin’ lujah – Amen!

A final few detail photos

 

Best photo 31.3.2019

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