Tuesdays Pepper

I approach tuesdays pepper with less insanity than mondays peach. I use my favorite canvas ( 36 Fina Cotton ) and treat myself to a morning in green. As it is with things here its not a perfect pepper, but it is full of life, its wriggly, turning in on itself to look at its reflection underneath. It’s tummy is tight. It reminds me slightly of a Moore sculpture the way its tail presses to the floor like an elbow.

I start slightly cockily, apart from the composition (which I really need to do some research on) I feel I will have this sown up soon and be home by lunchtime, but as is always the case looking reveals more, things become much more complictated and I think I will never be finished and I worry the pepper will wrinkle and dry out like the peach, before I am done.
In the same way that happiness is felt more acutely once you have been sad so the sunshine is more appreciated after the winter.

( Tom Waits puts it better in his San Deigo Serenade* )

So its the strangest thing enjoying it when the sun goes in (but it has to, to enjoy it coming out again!). In the uk, when the sun comes out it’s ecstatic, it jollily plays with that, jostles this and sets off red orange butterflies into lime green fields. Buttercups open and petals unfurl and bees bob about. It brings everyone out of their shell and we are grateful.
Here it is lovely when it is sunny, the mini festival in the park feels right, the roller bladers flit through the shadows of the palm trees. But often there is a harshness to it, a brightness that stings the eyes a bit. I think it must be just that its city not country, and I work in the city and play in the country.

So when the sun is masked by mist as it is today, I like it, it makes me feel ok to be inside and working and I guess thats when I am most content. I have tried taking time off in the week, treating myself to a walk here or a sit there but it makes me feel angst. Only in the evening, after some attempt at something, after some effort of some kind, when the boule players shadows are longer does it feel soothing to sit on warm stone and loll. So is it only after work that we can enjoy not work. And only when the both are in the right measurements that we can enjoy life.

Tom Waits
Never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
Never saw the sun shine till you turned out the light
Never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
Never heard the melody till I needed the song


This is not a tranquil peach of Lagrasse dancing merrily with it’s partner on a plate in a courtyard jostled by high white clouds racing through sunlight. These are not the peaches of the English taste in France. This is Catalan, it is cut, it is bleeding colour.

This is a country girl living in Barcelona, this is trying to paint, this is an uncomfortable experience. This is not a holiday.

This is a blood red orange of a peach, sliced by a blunt knife, torn, flesh bleeding. This isn’t silent sunny days of village life punctuated by swallows.

This is squelchy flesh dented through white cloudy bloom, deep purple, thin skin that hides volcanic colours. Like rotten fish when pressed, it’s flesh doesn’t spring back, it leaves a bruise. This peach is from one of the crevices of the cities of Catalonia.

This is punctures and stolen front wheels and growlers and not speaking the language and shit on the front door step. This is people sleeping where the insects can crawl in their hair and the shopping trolley recyclers and the blind staring man and the things I don’t understand. This is alzurian crimson.

This is not knowing what to do with myself, my life, or even just that day. This is a friends slow death. The junky shit. The pain of childlessness and the sometimes pain of being alive.

This is not being in my own studio, not having my own space, This is taking too long to get to work, this is jostics, this is arguing neighbors, this is “The Killing”. This is blood life colour.

This is the sound of wet clay being pummelled, the longing for a weekend in the English countryside of lazy buzzing bees and pints of beer, of exchanging the hard piss streets for the smell of fresh green grass under feet, this is opera, this taking the hits, the bruises of life, this is the sound of the trains and the decision not to be a farmer. It is the fact that I am a better painter in my head than on paper, it is fighting a million distractions and having the balls to carry on and the eyes to see and the heart to feel.

This is today, and I only have this day with this peach, this peach is dying, drying before my eyes.

And when I can say all that in a painting of a peach I will be a painter.

Street Garlic

Went to the studio today and had an argument with some garlic. Not a complete fall out, but a bicker, a long bicker and I leave a bit tired and grumpy as what was going to be the delicate, exquisite subtulties of whites and purples is not apparent. Now I know why I started with an egg last time. Not sure how my huge painting of the arc will pan out if a bit of garlic is an obsticle.

It wasnt very nice garlic anyway, ( now I am bitching ) I bought four bulbs from a guy on the street corner for one euro, thought it would be poignant to draw from one of the people selling on the street but tomorrow I think I will go and buy some expensive flowers.

sea looked amazing this morning

finish the argument with the garlic the next day