For those folk who endured my blog posts back on maxblackphotos, you may remember my various run ins with Redbubble over the usage of my images or should I say , the way they turfed some of my images off for infringements of various kinds...the funniest to me being a photo of an old Jaguar car from the Fifties...Jaguar complained and Redbubble removed it...I then wrote to Jaguar informing them that on a quick google search I found 500, 000 images of Jaguar cars online and if they wanted to they could employ me to tell people to remove them...for a small fee of course....I received no reply..so I shut the Redbubble account down....all that work...all that time....but now.
Different times as I now produce images that fail to depend on anyone else's subject matter, all uniquely mine....so if you follow this link to the hareinthegate...you will be able to see the plethora of products from prints to phone cases that my images adorn.
Now this means I'm not selling my babies, my originals, well not yet, they're mine all mine......but at some point it will happen, I've got to pay for paper and paint somehow so as I have a Saatchi account ( yes no sniggering I have sold things on Saatchi) but need to make the images more of a finished item...the mount cutters are out and on my new workbench so if I organise myself then who knows what may happen this year...stay safe out there.
Staying sane in the onslaught of Covid-19, Brexit and Trumpism can be very testing. Tie that in with Lock down and the formula is ripe for going stir crazy or, in my case , just going a wee bit crazy with some acrylic paint and some paper. Best not to dwell too long on the damp and water problems in the Atrium but the new oversized dehumidifier is doing a sterling job, ripping off wood panelling and waterproofing the exterior beckons.....
One of the exercises in doing so many abstract images is to go through a period of 'unlearning' the principles of good photography, thirds, the golden rule, the golden hour, sharpness, form and composition and all the rest...I've had over 45 years of it (lawks)
I do seem to have developed an obsession with curves and circles but in a way that doesn't scare the Horses, so below are a selection of the new stuff from January, if I get organised I'll put up a gallery on the Art tab, enjoy or not but just stay safe.
It's an odd but interesting metal clad building perched on the edge of the Glasgow Science centre on the banks of the River Clyde. Not the first time I've photographed this place but before it was more it's relevance to its environment rather than picking up on shapes and reflections from it. Just a big up to the Fuji X100v which is a fabulous piece of kit, the learning curve was steeper than I expected , especially post processing which is minimally done in cut down Capture One but having touch screen focussing, a quite amazing depth in the RAW files and a super sharp lens..... and it's pocketable size make it my most favourite piece of photographic kit ever, eclipsing even my Leicaflex SL2 which it resembles in build quality and also heft. Here are some more...
So the letter from Mercedes turned up telling us to get to the nearest Commercial dealer toot sweet as our steering rack could unexpectedly give up the ghost unannounced due to the use of nylon screws in the housing.....turns out the closest dealers are in a) Dumfries and b) Glasgow a mere one and three-quarter hour journey one way...getting to Glasgow the first time...yes first time.... we were told that if a problem was found then they would have to keep the vehicle, order in a new rack, do all the tracking and blahde blah blah blah....that's not was in the official Mercedes letter so we had only gone in the one car avec une picnic not expecting the vehicle to be 2 days in the garage, rebook. Off back to the wilds we go.
So today we returned, armed with 2 vehicles, hung about taking in the River Clyde, kicking a few cans and trying not to interact with the locals. The rack it seems was the easy job, now the rear brakes need changing, so for this Christmas we are giving each other a new rear brake fitting each ....HAPPY CHRISTMAS. Oh there are some new graffitti images in a Gallery over here, enjoy.
Well my interpretation. This is a sheet of watercolour paper heavily gesso'd and then a base acrylic and marker layer applied. I then worked on it with Oil sticks and used sgraffito and blended using my fingers before cutting into it with pencils and palette knives...falls into the realms of organised messing about if you delete any technical jargon.
So there is my house, the cemetery, Water of Gregg and a watery winters sun. Read into the rest of it as you may !! The image of the Water of Gregg is from Robert Moyes Adam just follow the link to learn more
,,,that I would be dumping my long term partner and casting my gaze over a stripped down competitor that has been lifting it's skirts in my direction these past couple of months....Yes I may be on the cusp of burning my 'I love Adobe' T-Shirt and cladding myself head to toe in Capture One leisure wear. For Interweb fanboys you probably know that Adobe really can't be bothered to faffle with Lightroom to make it work with. Fuji X trans processor files, load your files , and just like I did, wonder why your eye wateringly expensive Fuji camera could produce such dross and on such a regular basis.
But, trumpet fanfare time, there is a match made in heaven and what makes it better is that it is a freebie for Fuji and Sony fanboys in the form of a stripped back RAW editing interface, okay bad news is it doesn't export DNG or RAW but you can get by with the Tiff and for most uses Jpeg....besides that once you have followed their comprehensive training videos photo faffling does become quite easy . All the Fuji profiles are there but with a lot of tools like gradients and adjustment brushes not being present, get it right in camera and you shouldn't need them anyway. Now this isn't a programme if you want to 'shake it like a polaroid picture' and blend layers or tug and pull perspective, but if you want a no nonsense Raw convertor then this is a good one to try.
It looks like they do a freebie for Nikon Shooters as well...so give it a go, In the new year I will try the fully blown version and see if I need it.
Right another new gallery over on Photo Art as well. Thanks for calling by.
...who knew that oil paint came in a stick and also that we had a ready supply of them already in the house!!. So another technique to have a go at and also witter away some more hours on the University of YouTube . YouTube is 15 years old btw...I need to go and see what was thought of as must have apps back then...anyway, nothing really thematic about these but I quite like how they have worked out. Gesso on Arches paper, 11 x 8 inches and then lots of layers and acrylic, pencil, graphite and oil pastel.
...is where I spend a lot of time. So many differing types of beach on this stretch of coast, I've done blogposts in the past, Ballantrae was one of them . Now we are in proper winter (allegedly it will snow tomorrow)(...it did...) the sun is always low, the sunsets on the beach have headed down south and there is a distinct nip in the air. I've posted a new set of images in Photo Art looking at shape and texture in an almost 2 dimensional photographic way by looking at the sea wall at Girvan.. I was out on Monday trying to capture some long exposure images but the wind put paid to any sharpness so straight in the bin for that lot!.
Also found a dead Bay Porpoise so contacted the marine Research unit at Strathclyde University and they wanted co-ordinates, which I provided, so a volunteer could go and pick it up for examination. Anyway some recent images.
...a poorly porpoise...
For those of you who have hung about on this 'Journey' of mine from Linocut to Gelli plates then onwards to acrylics and now...yes almost there, using Oil Sticks and next up is Oil paint and Cold Wax...the end of the learning exercise..... and thanks for sticking with me on this.
There has been some terrible Bin Fodder produced along the way but they do or did make excellent fire starters. So these 2 are on 60 x 40cm canvas boards, I'm looking at panels to work on next, there is some collage work underneath and I've used Gesso to add texture to the surface. Newest problem I've found is the drying time of the Oil Sticks...anyway. I've spent hours on the University of Youtube looking and learning and would like to thanks all those folk who have used there time to put together such a huge volume of learning resources, I've hardly had anytime to watch any Cat videos. So at this point I know the style of image I want to produce, the materials I need to do that and the time to put it into being. Well there appears to be some sort of lockdown going on, here up in the hills of Scotland it's just another day... So I did promise photography next and I have put a small group of images together so ….next up...Photography !!!!. Thanks for calling by.
Sorry the image above is 'Apero'..had some great ones in France, a short burst of socialising at the end of the day...time limited, but alcohol and snacks.
Down below is 'Diner pour Un' which if I remember from my Breton days is against the Law and you were welcomed into any household for a proper meal.
...this could be Gort contemplating how to fix the gift that Klaatu was about to give to the POTUS after he was shot at by one of those pesky nervous soldiers in the Day the Earth Stood Still Good use of a Theremin as well. But no this another acrylic on board but looking at Still Life in this 'Acrylic on board' style I'm working with at the moment. So rather than being pure abstract there is an element of looking or thinking about the subject matter. Now I'm working on 60 x 40 boards, one day when I'm a grown up painter I'll get something bigger to splash the paint onto.
For a long time that this image was developing, it only had the figurative outline on the right and basically a shemozzle of confusion to the left, so having no fear and my inner critic in the bin I covered the whole image in black paint and looked and started again...so really I'm just dealing in destructive layers, a bit like the early days of mashing Jpegs in Photoshop 4 a few decades ago
Out with the electric sander(!!!!!), indeed yes just to cut back into the paint and start again. Now what comes to mind, as it's film connection day is one that should be watched through your fingers is David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers with Jeremy Irons as the twin Gynaecologists..it doesn't end well...spoiler alert...and finally for this week.
So this was always going to be about a food/table based still life again the bottle shape on the right hand side was there from the beginning with the left hand side taking a while to develop...I'm thinking Soup de Poisson and baguettes and probably the café where Amelie works, definitely a go to film on those Grim wet Sundays which are lining up to distribute their meteorological joy. So there we go, 3 this week with an image of Turnberry Beach on the go and another set of boards to create some mayhem on. Thanks for dropping by, some Photography up next.
In these dark times let this be your fireside cup of cocoa with added digestive biscuits. It may skirt the edges of real art but I'll get there but who knows when???? Art from the edge of the Galloway Forest in downtown Ayrshire.