Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sketchiness: Two Studies for Upcoming Paintings




pattern recognition


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Tchaikovsky: Serenade Melancolique

Just because.

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September 29, 2013 · 13:16

Tomorrow’s Artifacts

We are on the edge of something, a groundswell of creativity or mediocrity.

It has never been so easy to reproduce the contents of the imagination. What used to be called Special Effects is now cheap and easy. There are Crowdfunding options for even the most bizarre ideas. Self-publishing is becoming plug-and-play and has acquired the kind of respectability it did not have just five years ago. Ebooks are making a splash. Collaborations are easier and can be carried out over wide geographical distances. Dissemination of ideas to the wider world is near-instantaneous.

This should be a golden age or a Silicon Valley frontier. We should have fantastic books, thought-provoking movies, niche stuff that would never have been funded or promoted, madcap projects that stimulate others to even higher achievements.

But is the ease with which we download our ruminations and flights of fancy to reality hampering excellence? Perhaps we don’t polish the ideas as long as we should. Back in the days of the typewriter you had to think of paper (at least you did where I grew up) and ribbon ink and Tip-Ex. You had to think of the noise of the keys when you hit them. This meant working out your ideas in your head, scribbling in pencil, then typing. 

Both the excellent and the execrable share global platforms and the signal-to-noise ratio is worrying. We can produce whatever we conceive and we are conceiving a lot, too much perhaps. Or maybe too much dross. We need more wheat and less chaff. I’m mindful that you can’t extract wheat without making chaff, but you don’t eat the husk, you eat the grain. 

What will the artifacts of this era be? What will we leave behind? 



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Null Objectivity and the Established Writer

Just some thoughts:

Established writers have benefit of doubt on their side. This means they can get away with mediocrity sometimes. 

Writers who are starting out may be mistaken when they use the books of established writers as models for good writing. This does not occur all the time, but there is a field of null-objectivity that surrounds well-known writers, an ‘Emperor has no clothes’ vibe if you will.

Most writers’ work is uneven across their career. 

A new writer may do the same thing as an established writer and be criticised or, worse, elicit no reaction whatsoever. 

What will help? I am aware of the commonly held fallacy that you should only point out a problem if you have a solution. Since I am not an established writer I clearly don’t know.

I would strongly recommend getting instruction. Stringing sentences together to tell a story is not necessarily writing. I don’t know if you prefer to go the whole hog and get an MFA or do the Greek philosopher thing and find a mentor, or anything in between, but chose something.

Don’t be a sponge. Pay for your tuition. Payment does two things: it makes you serious and it ensures that the teaching is delivered.

Whether you learn or not is another matter.

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Murano, Italy

Murano, Italy

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September 25, 2013 · 23:49

Sketchiness: Impressions of Tower Bridge



Ink scribble of Tower Bridge.


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Vegetarians, Look Away Now! or Cooking for the Dummy


This evening my missus is away with her mum painting the town red. What better time for cooking experiments?

I should first of all state that my cooking style is best described as For The Dummy, said dummy being me. It’s slapdash and scattershot, but that’s what makes it fun. For me, at least.

Tonight: Meatloaf.

Soundtrack for this mission: Bring Da Ruckus by Wu Tang ClanReady, Steady, Go by Paul Oakenfold; Stepping Out by Kool and the Gang. 

You’ll need:

Lean beef mince, Irish, of course. Just because.


Bramble Apple Pork Sausages.


One egg.

Medium onion.

Two cloves of garlic.

Bread crumbs. Product placement alert!


Tomato puree.

Now then: find yourself a large mixing bowl. Add the mince meat. Chop the sausages to tiny bits and remove the skin. Chop the onions into bits. Crush the garlic.

Independently break and beat the egg, then add.


Add: Paprika, salt, sage, puree and four cherry tomatoes plucked from the vine.

My secret ingredient: green chili. Chili goes with everything in my household.


Mix everything up. This is one of those times you’ll need to use your hands. WASH THEM FIRST!!! CAREFULLY.

You should end up with something like this:


Toss it in the preheated oven for 80 mins.

Side dish: Meat loaf goes with potatoes. And, Ugh! I just found out that I have no potatoes.

Behold! My B team:


Boil these.

While you wait? Play Bioshock: Infinite because YEAH!


Pick up some Belgian cloudy beer. It’s cool.


Serve it up, serve it up!

Happy Saturday Night, all.

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