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Sunrise on Neptune

Next up – MACS0647-JD the most red shifted object detected in the Universe, so far.


13th November – A fleeting moment.


Picasso’s Guernica was the subject of In our Time on Radio 4, yesterday.   It was mentioned that Picasso used ground glass when preparing his canvasses and this increased the luminosity of the paint prefiguring TV and other forms of image lit from behind.  I had a look round and have found a wealth of powdered mediums supplied by Jackson’s.  I’d like to try using some of these.

I’ve been trying to discover more about Chiam Soutine’s life.  Information is very hard to come by.  Chiam Soutine (best of) by Klaus H. Carl looks like a useful book.

Just finished reading The Emerald Planet, How Plants Changed Earth’s History by David Berling.  Really interesting book about how evolving plant life interacted with the Earth, sea and atmosphere.  Explains how the gasous mix in the atmosphere is constantly changing and how feedback mechanisms are thought to work.   It also tackled the question I had about palaeo atmospheric pressure.   It is proposed that atmospheric pressure was higher 300MA, in the Carbonferous and that this led to the evolution of giant insects.

Visit to Courtauld Gallery to see Soutine’s Portraits:  Cooks, Waiters and Bell boys.  Nice little exhibition and the paintings didn’t disappoint.  Reproductions of some of the paintings were sometimes better than the actual paintings.  I often find that and I don’t know why.

Most of his pictures were of men in service.  Mostly torso & head and occasionally full length.  There were very few pictures of women and it was noticeable in the ones that were there that the artist’s viewpoint was looking down on the subject whereas the men were looked in the eye.

Jonathan Jones writes a good review of this exhibition for the Guardian newspaper.  I can see the link to Lucien Freud, Frank Auerbach & Lucien Freud.  An even more detailed review is given by Alison Cole for The Arts


Young woman in a white blouse. Around 1923. Oil on canvas. 34cm x 45cm. Part of The Courtauld collection. Allocated by HMRC in lieu of IHT.


30th October 2017

Quite interested to see Waldemar Januszczak criticize the use of the term ‘practice’ in art galleries.  Culture section of the Sunday Times this weekend.  He’s describing information about Cezanne’s Portraits at The National Portrait Gallery:  “Cezannes practice of portraiture”.  Januszczak says that “Practice is art world jargon borrowed from the medical profession.”  I think that Januszczak is incorrect.

Practice:  The customary, habitual, or expected procedure or way of doing of something.

This use seems entirely appropriate.

I had my photograph taken at a photographic exhibition this weekend.  When asked to smile I should have said ‘Madonna’s don’t smile’ instead of ‘I hate smiling’!



26th October 2017


24th October 2017 

Starting to tackle the composition/colour balance problems.

Visit to Aust Cliff, Gloucestershire to have a look for the Rhaetic Bone Bed, c. 209.6 – 209.1 MA.  Late Triassic be overlain by Jurassics heralding a change from terrestrial to marine conditions.


Aust cliff. Red Triassics overlain by grey tea green marls, towards the top of the cliff. The Westbury Beds overlying the Tea Green Marls are the Rhaetic sediments that contain the bone beds.

Bristol university has posted a good description of Aust Cliff.  Here is a very good paper written about

Microvertebrates from the classic Rhaetian bone beds of  Manor Farm Quarry, near Aust (Bristol, UK). Harry Allard Simon C. Carpenter, Christopher J. Duffin & Michael J. Benton

Checking out fallen blocks on the foreshore proved to be quite productive.  As an SSSI hammering the cliff face is forbidden and probably not advisable from the safety standpoint!


Chondrichthyan teeth in the Rhaetic Bone Bed. Red arrowed teeth are approximately 0.3cm long. Blue arrow shows bony material.


Penny sized poo in the Rhaetic.


Rhaetic ripple marks, in the Westbury sandstone. Probably upside down! There is fossil debris in the embayment above the penny.


Then onwards to the Geological Association’s palaeoclimate conference.

The ‘Anthropocene’.  This term ‘bakes in’ Homo sapiens hegemony with respect to Earth and natural forces.  I don’t think that it should be considered as a valid stratigraphical term.  We don’t have the Stromatoliteocene or the Dinosaurocene.

Playing with a sensu digital brush and mini ipad.

BR2049.  Could this possibly be as good as the original BR?  I enjoyed it but it’s incredibly dystopian which is a bit depressing.  It reminded me of Mad Max.  I wonder if it’ll be referenced by artists as much as the original BR?  The most novel idea was the two replicants/robots synching.  Main theme’s are humans destruction plus the nature of reality.