Friday, September 30, 2005

despairing of success.....

I am still at a dead end work-wise. I sometimes feel that I'll never paint, or, at least I won't paint good art. I can always produce sketches etc. I want to make Art though. A painting should tell a story, not just depict a scene. The story may be superficial or deep, but it should be there.

I want to express myself.
I can only paint at the moment. Nothing Interests me enough to allow me to be creative with it. How can I make a painting interesting when I'm not interested in it in the first place? I spend time in my studio but I'm just filling time, I can't get that spark. I now have reached the stage where I no longer want to go in the studio, my break has not helped but all the sketches etc. have had no Interest for me, though I'm sure I'll use them sometime.

The search for a cheap servicable couch/sofa has not gone well....just because I want one there are none to be found...all the students have bought them up! I can't advertise for a model until I have something suitable for the model to park herself on... I'd never get our (household) large sofas up the stairs into my studio, I need a lighter one. I saw a lovely wing-backed armchair today, but they wanted Antique prices for it...I wasn't that daft!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Autumn is here

Autumn (Fall for those of you across the pond) is here, it has suddenly got colder with a nip in the air and leaves are blowing off the trees. The trout season ends on many waters tomorrow.
The Midland loughs stay open until October 12th though so I'll fish them for the next two weeks. After that it's rainbow fisheries and Pike fishing for the winter.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A new perspective

I spent the day moving the furniture etc around in my Studio in an effort to give myself a new outlook. A change may give me a kick start in some direction. I couldn't find a cheap servicable sofa so I tried the next best thing. I will keep an eye out for a suitable seat though. I am more determined to do some figure painting.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I have been busy fishing recently, not particularly successfully mind you. The weather has made life difficult with high winds and quite a bit of rain. I spent yesterday recovering.
Today I spent the day in the studio.
I did nothing.
I need a kick start.
Tommorrow I'm going to buy a secondhand sofa or a chaise longe if I can find one. I will then tidy my studio and advertise for a model and see can I find one affordable enough to use regularly.
Figure painting is where I want to go.
Figure painting is where I'm going.
Broke is where I'll probably end up. LOL.

I need to buy a few large canvases too.
MONEY is so easy to spend. So hard to earn/find. I need to win the lottery!

Monday, September 19, 2005

A nice little study from the pond

Here is a nice study I did of the reflection from a willow tree around the lake in Marlay Park. I like it's freshness and simplicity.

Most importantly it looks wet.

Apart from this work, nothing else is coming together at the moment. I have spent hours contacting members of the oireachtas to lobby for the continuence of our Artist's exemption. I have email editors of newspapers with letters:

Dear Editor,
As a full time Artist living and working in Dublin I wish to make your
readers aware of what the loss of the exemption will do to the majority
of Artists.
The added costs of book-keeping and audited accounts will create further
losses to
our income, at the moment averaging under 4,000 euro per annum, YES!
thats 80 euro per week, add audit costs of min. 1000 euro per year and
you should see where we stand. As it is Dublin has lost many of it's
Artists, who cannot afford to live here and have moved to rural Ireland
where at least studio costs (sheds) are cheaper and vegetables etc. can
be grown to survive. The Govt. seems to want to kick us again. The
introduction of SSIA's took what little money that was available to
Artists (ie. luxury spending) out of circulation, now we have the threat
of extra costs due to having to become tax compliant, to prove in effect
that we spend years in 3rd level education to work for a slave wage.
Ireland, and Dublin in particular has a
tradition of nurturing the Arts, this tradition is dissapearing fast, we
are getting left further and further behind in this tiger economy. We
produce work of Artistic and Cultural value. Value us. Cap the exemption
by all means, but dont destroy the majority of Artists who need the
exemption to survive. The baseline is 60 or 80 euro a week as a wage,
most of us are not super-rich, we are below the bread-line.
Have a heart...ensure we keep our exemption.
Greg Long.

I don't know if it will do any good, but we can but try.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

I've been up North again.

I am just back from Antrim again. We stayed overnight in Coleraine and took the scenic route home around the Giants Causeway, the scenery is beautiful and we were able to see the mull of Kintyre (Scotland) quite clearly. I called into my friend on the way home too, it was great to see him. I enjoyed the visit, its nice to keep in touch with old friends. I will go to the studio tommorrow, I havent been there in 3 days.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I heard today they are doing away with our Artist tax exemption. That little deletion will end up costing me another 1,000 euro out of no profit! keeper, audit etc. The average Artist earns less than 10,000 a year so it's not as if they'll make money out of it. Some screamed about .01% who do earn a lot and Govt. panic. I have just spent 4 hours emailing people to start lobbying and I'm exhausted.

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Good Day's Work, and a visit to the Doctor.

I got snaffled!
Doctors appointment made for me, chest x-ray and booked in for a barrage of blood tests.
Leaving that aside, I had a fairly good day in the studio, the work to the right is just about finished. (excuse the vertical line, I had to marry two seperate pics) The size is 12 inches square. Titled "Summer Canal", it is not where I intend to go with the next couple of pieces but I feel it is finished. I intend to create more life in the water surface for the others, but I enjoyed the light and interest with the two fish in this piece. The mushrooming blanket weed made a nice counterpoint to the underwater view, tying down the surface into a flat plane, while the shadows of both the weed and the fish create the depth. The only difficulty with this painting was the balance of warm and cool creating the waters coolness while still allowing the summer day's warmth to show. The generous amount of green in the painting helps with this though, green growth in the water always suggest summer.
I have two other 12 inch square works going at the moment, I want to work on the smaller size until I am sure of the direction in which I'm going. As I said I'm caught between two stools at the moment, so I don't want to get adventurous with large canvases yet.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Good Days Fishing

I had a good day on the lough today. Hooked nine trout and managed to land six of them. There were 5 other boats out ten anglers in total and I was the only one with fish! Even Noel in the same boat as I was fishless........ When I'm good I'm good! I'm off to bed now.
Its my Birthday tomorrow so happy Birthday to me!

Friday, September 09, 2005


I managed to get a fair way into two paintings today, They both were going well but I had to leave them to dry.
I am going fishing tommorrow, so they will have until Monday. I forgot my camera so I can't show the work in progress at the moment, but I'm not sure I want to 'exhibit' them yet anyway.
I'm not 100% certain I am doing the right work!

Indescision is prevalent at the moment.

Am I normally this way? No! But I seem to be at a crossroads as far as my work goes.......... I need a direction, or at maybe... ...... do I need Directing?
I cannot decide for myself, should I seek a second opinion.... thats the Question...
I think that I may have to create a few ideas and then take a long look at where I am going, or as the case seems to be Where am I NOT going?
I guess i'm not the first to have this problem and I'll not be the last.... at least in a group you can bounce Ideas around but working in Isolation really can leave you at a disadvantage at times.. I'm going to have to really consider my SOB project...I could do with a few Artists around at the moment, I really should get out a bit more.
Any suggestions?
I am going to close now, I think I'll look in on the Wet Canvas forum and have a chat.....

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Descision has been made.

Enough said about the Qualifier............

Not a lot done today either.

I'm determined to get stuck in tommorrow and come up with something concrete work wise. This dithering is sending me around the bend! I have decided to go with my original leaning, ie. water studies, the work from the featherbeds doesn't really suit this time of year anyway, I might look back again come spring.

Here are two of the featherbeds paintings that I was talking about.

What I have decided to do is work on from my water studies and try to develope the theme further with greater detail in below the water surface again while still capturing the movement and life of the surface layer. I am including a few photos of the earlier water paintings to give you an idea of what I am starting out from.

here are some of them:
As you can see they are varied, but all from the same studies, except the top left blue one.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

My Babies arrive home

Dhl delivered my 'babies' back today. (The paintings from Memphis Tennessee.) Thankfully all arrived in perfect condition. I spent the afternoon unpacking and re-evaluating some of them.
There are one or two of the more recent ones that can be developed further and I was trying to decide wether to try and continue with the ideas. All I did was confuse myself more!!!!


I am going to sign off now, Ireland are playing France in a vital world cup qualifier and its on the box..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A trip up North, through Armagh and Antrim

I took a trip up to Coleraine today. It's been a while since I was up that far. Usually when I do go up it is either Dark, raining or both. Today it was a glorious day, and the scenery was idyllic, past the cooley mountains, up through the mourne mountains,
past Divis mountain
and on towards Coleraine. I didn't manage to get to the coast though, I'd like a chance to explore the area more but I am usually pushed for time as it is nearly a 5 hour drive up...and the same back, 10 hours driving doesn't leave a lot of time for sight seeing.
I am not going to stay on the computor long either, I did all the driving and am extremely tired.
Maybe next year I'll travell north for a few days of painting. I have a friend living in Antrim and havent visited in a while. I am due to travel up again next week and will be staying overnight, maybe I'll get to visit on the way home.

top pic, Mourne mts. bottom pic Divis

Monday, September 05, 2005

Indian Summer

It is still hot and humid here, although a chill comes into the evenings now. My painting is still at a standstill, and I still avioded the doctor. I'm travelling tommorrow so I wont se her tommorrow either...I think Wednesday I'll have to anyway. She who must be obeyed (the wife, not the Dog/bitch) is getting insistent at this stage.

I guess she's tired of me walking around like a wet week...and my foul humor.........mind you the dog hasn't run away yet.

This exciting blog is crawling along, no paintings, no fascinating ideas, and very little wit. lots of bellyaching and moaning.........
Oh well it might improve soon.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

A difficult day.

I spent the day working on a few Ideas, scribbling thumnails, trying to develop a theme for a group of paintings but sadly it's not coming together. I want to work on a large series of pieces, about 20 in all, but it's not happening.
This leads to frustration, I think maybe it's because I'm below par anyway, but I now feel worse.
I'm also in foul humor, so I have to think SMILE constantly so that I am not impossible to live with. Even the dog is in danger of a broadside,and she only wants a cuddle!

It's days like this that the 'Artistic' temperament develops. I usually manage to control mine though, but today everything is annoying me, the music being played in the house, the dog, the weather, me.... I feel like screaming or kicking something. I think I'll have to go for a walk.......

Friday, September 02, 2005

I find myself in a quandry, I'm tired, in fact almost exhausted most of the time, I know I have some kind of a bug. My quandry is after a 7 month recovery after major surgery last year I'm reluctant to give in again. The thoughts of being ill or should I say not well are causing me to keep pushing on. I know I should see a doctor and get whatever I need to clear the bug or similar up but at the same time I hate the thought of being told to rest for a week or two. It's an irrational fear I know, I can always refuse to rest!!!
I keep putting off the making of an appointment for the doctors clinic. " I'll probably be over it tomorrow, etc."

It is the male psyche. Strong Independant courageous...silly stubborn daft to you females out there... I have promised to call the doc on Monday if I'm still the same.

I refused a commission today, the prospective commissioner was very detailed in exactly what she wanted me to paint, how she wanted it painted and what colour it should be......I came to the conclusion she wanted to be the Artist herself but get someone else to do the painting.
I politely told her she really wanted a Commercial Artist, not an Artist per se. and that she was paying for my ideas more so than my technical ability. Her reply? I want an Investment piece of Art!

She didn't seem to realise that artistically valued work needs artistic value put into it by the Artist not just the painting itself or the signature. How does interior decorating by greg long sound? Mind you it would be more profitable.

Finally my thought for the day, I wonder if the weather will hold until Tuesday. The light on the lake is good at the moment..... no I'm painting, not fishing!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Exhaustion and exhausts, luck or lack

I have been working very hard for a while and combined with our weather (warm and extremely humid) I am very tired, and looking forward to a rest. I have a couple of busy days ahead though. I need to make a few euros too, my exhaust on the van developed a hole. It's just cost me 240 euro (about $310) to fix it. AAAAArrrrggh! I wonder what no 3 will be? First it was the computor, next my van........ funds are depleted, not quite exhausted but close.
I don't know if I'm lucky in that I always manage to make a few $$$$ before I need them, or unlucky in that whenever I make a few $$$$ something crops up to take it away again!
Optimism or pessimism?