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“From the moment that art ceases to be food that feeds the best minds, the artist can use his talents to perform all the tricks of the intellectual charlatan.  Most people can today no longer expect to receive consolation and exaltation from art. The ‘re-fined, ‘the rich, the professional ‘do-nothing, ‘the distillers of quintessence desire only the peculiar, the sensational, the eccen-tric, the scandalous in today’s art.  I myself, since the advent of Cubism, have fed these fellows what they wanted and satisfied these critics with all the ridiculous ideas that have passed through my mind.  The less they understood them, the more they admired me. Through amusing myself with all absurd farces, I became celebrated, and very rapidly.  For a painter, celebrity means sales and consequent affluence. Today as you know, I am celebrated, I am rich.  But when I am alone, I do not have the effrontery to consider myself an artist at all, not it the grand old meaning of the word; Giotto, Titian, Rembrandt, were great painters.  I am only a public clown – a mountebank. I have understood my time and have exploited the imbecility, the vanity, the greed of my contemporaries.  It is a bitter con-fession, this confession of mine, more painful than it may seem. But at least and at last it does have the merit of being honest.”

Pablo Picasso, 1952

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small_corner_studio

This corner of my studio is where most of my painting gets done; not that I’m in the habit of working by candle light mind you- It was days end when I took this photo and by that time (Imagine any late hour you like) I’ve usually faced whatever I’ve been working on towards the wall (well, the bookcase really) before settling down to read or perhaps enjoy some podcast or other – The H.P. Lovecraft LiteraryPodcast and A Podcast to the Curious ( mood lighting is absolutely necessary here) being current favorites of mine.

Memento_Gorey_blog

The above painting – Memento Gorey -was done in oils ( my preferred medium for oh so many reasons) : please note the cat bounding towards the oil lamp.

The first time I saw anything like Gorey’s art was when I was a child.  There I’d be, legs crossed and upright on the floor, as close to the television as my parents would allow while they, sitting behind me on the couch, settled in to watch Masterpiece Mystery Theatre.  The show itself held little enough interest for me but that comfortably macabre black and white animation that inaugurated the proceedings held me enthralled ( and still does – croquet in the rain, falling masonry, giant urns.  Brilliant!)

Here it is:   Theme from “Mystery!”

amphigorey     gorey_cat

Here is a photograph of all the Amphogoreys I’ve got ( and a picture of the cat that served as a kind of creative germ).  The books are not terribly collectable but that just means I’m free to enjoy them all the more.  It’s nice to see a well loved book on the shelves.

Incidentally, the painting in the header: Writers Block, oh the Horror! – another oil painting of mine – sums up the occasional uncertainty I feel when I have to commit my thoughts to paper *ahem* and so I thought it an appropriate enough image.