Friday, 22 November 2019

Looking back.

I rather enjoy looking back at photos of my old paintings, or even at the paintings themselves.

I once went to a house where the owner was desperate to show me one of my old paintings that she'd bought. When I saw it I couldn't remember it at all; I simply had no recollection whatsoever of having painted it. Some time later I did remember it, but how I'd originally forgotten it is still a complete mystery.

I've always rather liked this large painting (above) entitled 'Small War'. When it was almost finished a painter friend of mine visited my studio and accused me of 'losing the plot'. I was quite disturbed by his comment as I'd thought the total opposite. I remember that I didn't paint for weeks afterwards, and just sat in a Café, trying to reconcile myself.

Whilst going through a pile of old snaps, I came across this one of me sitting in a Café; possibly trying to reconcile myself about criticism. I think it must be the only surviving picture of me with a cigarette in my mouth. 

When I think of how I spent about 40 years with packets of untipped Gauloises in my pocket, it makes me shudder (I quit about 20 years ago). It's a bloody miracle that I don't have breathing or other tobacco related problems; untipped Gauloises are some of the strongest fags around.

N.B. The above is re-posted from 2014.


  1. A painting best appreciated on a big wall in a large room, in the nicest possible way. Even holding the laptop away from me brings so much more to it. I like it.

    1. It was quite a complex painting, and probably looks a bit messy.

  2. I like 'Small War' too Cro. I agree with Rachel that it needs a large room but I think your colour sense is brilliant.

    1. It lives in quite a large room; thank goodness.

  3. The painting is very turbulent but the dominant color is quiet and peaceful which is what makes it beautiful to me.

  4. It takes about ten years to clear the lungs of tar, so they say, so you should be ok on that account. My husband was a heavy smoker, gave up about 15 years ago. No more coughing for a start.
    Smoking is finally becoming antisocial here and indoors in cafés cafes and tavernas is a 'no, no!!'....mostly

    1. I look back on my smoking days with horror. It's really a very silly thing to do.

  5. I wonder if the painter who gave the critique is the one I think he is. If so, he should have taken inspiration from your 'Small War' rather than spend the next 50 years churning out the same old stuff which he perfected when still a student.

    1. No, this was someone in England who was 'full of himself'. He had exhibited once at the Venice Biennale; and thought (and still does) he was better than sliced bread.

  6. I like your painting, Cro. The colors are fantastic!

    I never smoked but lived in a smoking world. My dad smoked and most of the people I knew and worked with did also. Second hand smoke can be just as dangerous and I am grateful that smoking is banned from all workplaces, buildings, and planes.

    1. When there is so much fresh air around, it seems crazy to breathe in tar-filled SMOKE. Still, I have nothing against those who do.

  7. Replies
    1. I haven't seen the painting for decades, but I do remember liking the colours too.

  8. It's a great art work and I'd certainly have it on our wall. Btw, heard MM on the radio here. What a curious accent she has developed, and her voice has risen too.

    1. We haven't seen her for several months; she's been so busy. She really is one of our most amusing friends. Never a dull moment.

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