Mogwai – who regular readers will know are my favourite band – performed at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona earlier this month. Their set consisted of every track from the new album – Every Country’s Sun – due for release 1 Sept. There’s many a ropey recording of some parts of the gig floating around online but this one captures what is believed to be the title track – ‘Every Country’s Sun’ – in 4K quality. What I’ve heard from the set has jacked my hopes for this album up higher than they already were but this song in particular is incredible. It’ll be on the mp3 player this weekend as I wander around Leeds.
How many times have I passed through this snicket? It must be in the thousands. A nondescript little pathway from one street to another, but for me it’s loaded with memories too many to count. The steps you can see led up to my nan’s house and I used to be able to ride all the way up them on my Grifter. That’s over 35 years ago now. It’s unbelievable how fast the time goes. I’ll be up there again at the weekend, no doubt taking more photos in the hope that one might be worth making a painting from.
Another mocked-up cover, using a crop of my 2014 painting ‘A Kestrel For A Knave’ for the Barry Hines novel that inspired it. A great book, adapted into a great film by Alan Clarke, both of which I have loved since I first discovered them in the mid-1970’s. They don’t make ’em like that any more.
I’ve updated the content in Instagram, revising the images to take into account the default cropping to square that was not allowing me to display the full painting or drawing at its best. I’ve also added all of the Project Mogwai paintings I made between 2008-11, using the title of one of the band’s songs as the basis for a painting. There’s also a few other rarely displayed blasts from the past and from now on I’ll be adding more content on a weekly basis. Follow me on Instagram for all the updates.
...he reached to hold what cannot be held, what already ran among the mountains at once terrible and of great beauty, like flowers that feed on flesh. What blood and bone are made of but can themselves not make on any altar nor by any wound of war. What we may well believe has power to cut and shape and hollow out the dark form of the world surely if wind can, if rain can. But which cannot be held never be held and is no flower but is swift and a huntress and the wind itself is in terror and the world cannot lose it.
Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
Further to yesterday’s post, I’ve used the drawing for this mock-up cover for Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing. The second in the Border Trilogy series, this is a much more challenging proposition than it’s predecessor All The Pretty Horses, which is arguably McCarthy’s most accessible book. The Crossing is in a way a test to see just how far you are prepared to go with McCarthy on his epic pilgrimage throughout the physical and psychic borderlands that existed between southern USA and northern Mexico in the mid-20th century. Long stretches where “nothing happens” interspersed with rambling monologues delivered by a cast of quasi-Old Testament characters and dialogue written in untranslated Spanish. If you think you can handle that, then saddle up and join young Billy Parham as he wanders the wasteland in search of the understanding that “deep in each man is the knowledge that something knows of his existence. Something knows, and cannot be fled nor hid from.”
A new drawing, of an old favourite of a subject. Inspired by an overdue re-reading of Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing, in which the figure of the wolf as an elemental force is a central theme. This drawing is for sale. See Art For Sale page for more details.
This stretch of the Dramway Path is very close to where I took the reference photo for my 2017 painting ‘Lover’s Day‘. This photo was taken in Autumn last year with, as ever, the intention of finding a viable image worth painting. I like the colours and the vague sense of foreboding and immanence, or maybe I’m seeing more here than most others would. That, I believe, is what being an artist is all about.