Spatter Painting No. 9…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the pink plastic one shaped like President Trump’s head.
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Spatter Painting No. 9. (2015) Acrylic paint and black ink on drawing paper, 28″ x 21″.

Yes, here’s another fairly expensive nice clean sheet of white paper ruined with a lot of spattering – some people might call it ‘splattering’ rather than spattering. Me, I don’t care what you call it. In those ‘real crime’ ‘fly on the wall’ TV shows they seem to be always banging on about ‘blood spatter’ patterns, high, medium, and low velocity ones.
I think the lovely composition you see above contains some high, some medium, and some low – see if you can tell which is which dear reader. Yes, really I think I prefer ‘spatter’ rather than ‘splatter’. ‘Spatter’ sounds more scientific, ‘splatter’ is more a genre of dumbed-down Hollywood movie.
Oh, by the way, I have noticed that in some of those ‘real life’ crime solving programmes one or two of the police officers do say ‘splatter’ rather than ‘spatter’ – it’s usually the ones in rural areas, the ones with sloping shoulders, small eyes, and bulging bellies, who eat plenty of steak dinners, and wear big hats whilst sitting at their desks indoors – I don’t know if they are ignorant of the ‘correct’ term or if they are deliberately resisting being lectured on how to pronounce things by those visiting, smug, jumped-up, smart-ass, FBI city folk…

You may have noticed, that I have managed to get this far into today’s post without saying a word about the aesthetics of my painting.
Good! It’s a picture – pictures shouldn’t need any describing when you can see the thing there in front of you – there’s too much of that twaddle going on these days; it implies that the viewer is so dim-witted that she/he needs to be told what they are looking at… I respect you far too much to bother with all that tripe dear reader… mind you, to me, it does look a bit like a map of Europe…

Posted in art, brain, colours, composition, cool, humour, information, painting, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, TV, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Brownlow and the professor receive a parcel…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word pamphlet.
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‘Brownlow!… Brownlow! Where the hell are you?’
‘Oh, hello Professor, I was down in the basement dusting those rather cute canopic jars that the British Museum left with us. I thought that I’d just…’
‘In god’s name Brownlow!’
‘What sir?’
Were they dusty?…’
‘Oh, only a little bit sir.’
‘Well, considering the bloody things are three thousand years old I’m not surprised!… Now, look at this!…’
‘At what sir?’
‘This! This, bloody great parcel on my desk!’
‘Ah, a courier brought it for us this morning…’
‘Is that a mug of tea I see in your hand Brownlow?’
‘Er, yes sir, I…’
‘Where’s mine?’
‘Well, I didn’t think that you’d come in yet sir, and… I’ll get you one straight away.’
‘Hang on, hang on man, so what the hell is this ruddy thing plonked here, taking all the space up on my desk?’
‘Oh, it’ll be the mystery object from Dr Sputz in Düsseldorf, you agreed to give it a once-over… sir…’
‘Did I?… Is that a wedge of nice looking fruit cake you are trying to conceal behind your back Brownlow?’
‘Er, yes sir… I…’
‘Fruit cake from your Aunt Cissy perhaps? Fine upstanding woman, your Aunt Cissy!’
‘Well yes sir, but she only gave me the one piece, and…’
‘That’s alright Brownlow, just cut it in half, I can always manage a piece of your Aunt Cissy’s cake.’
‘Oh, right-ho sir.’
‘So, that idiot Sputz has sent me a present eh?’
‘Not a present sir, he just wants you to…’
‘Hm, it’s not very well wrapped up is it?’
‘He says it’s probably tenth century, it was found in a settlement discovered during excavations for a new office block on Schillingstrasse in the capital.’
‘Ah, fruit cake! Excellent!… This thing seems to be some sort of sleeveless garment, with an emblem carefully woven into the front… depicting a small beast… a heraldic device maybe?’
‘Oh, it looks like a rather bad drawing of a rat, or some kind of unpleasant pest, to me sir, perhaps something copied from an ancient family coat of arms?’
‘Possibly Brownlow, but not a rat I think… where the hell is that tea you were supposed to be getting me?’
‘Oh, sorry sir, here it is, I’ve left the bag in, just how you like it.’
‘It’s very good cake this! your Aunt Cissy must be a wizard in the kitchen – tell me, does she have mobile telephone communication at all? You could give me her number…’
‘Er… I, er, no sir, Aunt Cissy eschews cellular telephones.’
‘Hm, she eschews them, does she? Look here, the animal, this rodent, depicted on this tabard…’
‘Tabard sir?…’
‘Yes, tabard, it seems to be shown writhing about, as if in distress, as if under attack, the roots of this image are probably in some ancient folk tale – I see you’ve left a bit of your cake Brownlow, pass it over here, I’ll have it!’
‘Oh, yes, of course sir… Now about Dr Sputz – I’d better email him and tell him that the garment arrived safely, and that we’ll send a report on it as soon as we can. How shall I head the message now that we have the object identified?’
‘Oh, just say something simple and concise…’
‘Such as, Professor?’
‘How about, Concerning German Berlin squirming ermine vermin jerkin…?’
‘Don’t you think that might be just a little bit too wordy sir?’
‘Wordy? Not at all!… So, you say your Aunt Cissy has no cellular telephone?’
‘Yes… that’s right sir…’
‘Hm…’

Posted in archeology, brain, conversation, drama, existentialism, food, Grumpiness, heraldry, history, humour, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mayonnaise rubs elbow…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s existential angst is centred around the sound of the word topiary. (T)
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As it is currently UK City of Culture here, there is an open-topped double-decker bus you can go on which takes you round the town for views of the more attractive buildings and places of interest; on the bus there is a ‘host’ or a tour guide with a microphone who tells you as you trundle along all about the varied attractions of this fair city.
I’ve not actually been on it of course, but on Tuesday as it was gliding past me in a light drizzle by Monument Bridge (I was on my way to have a jolly good sneer at the Turner Prize exhibition) I became aware of some sort of commotion taking place on the upper deck of the vehicle – I could hear foul language being uttered and I also glimpsed some scuffling going on up there. The bus suddenly slammed on its brakes and bounced to a halt slightly on the kerb a few feet in front of me. The doors clattered open and a scruffy grinning male person was ejected head first; he stumbled forward and landed with a thud on his bony knees on the wet pavement.
The shabby figure, now sitting massaging a bruised elbow, looked up at me. ‘Oh hello Dave,’ it said…
Of course it was Tony Mayonnaise, poet from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League. ‘I was only giving those miserable bastards a free reading of my new spoem!’ (spoof poem) he added. Mayo can never resist an open microphone if there is one to grab.
‘Here!…’ he pushed a crumpled piece of cheap lined paper into my hand, ‘Take this home with you and put it on that crappy blog thing that you do – it’s really great! I don’t want it back, I know it by heart now…’

Floms dittle araganza moll etti,
Boonoss o brattah-brattah o mong.
Zon-ook fecknell omlo razzer-dazzer!
Panard zush noid o noid umastig ib?
Upsta flang – gath gath gath gath…

Capstillion ditzer bune-bubby etti,
Soonoss quoof o quoof hozy-hozy-hozy!
Blon-ook cutch omlo dethermyte tig.
Almnoid noid infermaly flam o guph?
Lopsta flang – muth muth muth muth…

Anvordible apters kutch kotch etti,
Moonoss shoy noll o noll beooth.
Glon-ook streppie omlo famdashalaise.
Panard-du quallis feelage pathness?
Dithta flang – koth koth koth koth…

Razmic ploomettes o bubby slaim etti,
Gloonoss abracam soith merradillo thit.
Dyon-ook draxy omlo spendoori init?
Aktoi mummins zettle guph o bem.
Muxta flang – tith tith tith tith…

Tony Mayonnaise 2017.

Posted in adjectives, art, brain, composition, creation, drama, existentialism, expletives, Hull.UK., humour, information, poetry, style, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A few more shortish items…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from The Reunion, a short story from 1932 by Vladimir Nabokov: (VN)
“I was living in Prague at the time,” said Lev.
“I see,” said Serafim.
Silence. They both watched the teapot, as if they expected some miracle from it.
“It’s going to boil soon,” said Lev.
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Excuses for being late. No. 352.
I’m sorry I’m late, but I had to format some floppy discs.

A single overheard remark:
‘Those clothes are magma!…’

‘Hi!…’
‘Hello, a pot of green tea please.’
‘Will you be watching the football tonight sir?’
‘I’d sooner slit my wrists…’
‘Oh, right ho…’

By the way, do you recall that I was getting a bit grumpy about how a ridiculous number of people were viewing my recent mail art postcard on Flickr just because it featured some cute bloody kittens? Well, I just noticed that it’s now had nearly 3,000 views, many times more than my best pictures! Doh! What is the world coming to? Click.

An observation:
In the doorway of a newly opened (and probably to be short lived) cheapskate shop in the city centre there was, among a display of jackets, a lightweight quilted one in reddish brown, it was held up on a dangling hanger. A gusty November wind was blowing and as it caught the garment it inflated the sleeves and periodically raised them up almost to the horizontal and then let them slowly fall again. It looked like the jacket was shrugging its shoulders, as if it was about ready to pack it in and go home…

Hey, how about some more spam from my comments box? This one seems to be from someone called Jersey Hoboken:
I simply wished to say thanks yet again. I am not sure what I would’ve achieved in the absence of those information contributed by you directly on that subject matter. It became a hard condition for me, but encountering a new professional fashion you processed it forced me to weep with delight. I’m just thankful for the information and then wish you recognize what a powerful job you are providing educating most people with the aid of a blog. I am sure you haven’t come across all of us.
Well, thank you Mr Hoboken, I’m sure that I haven’t. Please don’t be shy, feel free to get in touch again, I can take any amount of heartfelt praise and sycophancy…

Yes, I’m thinking of changing my name to Amber Warnin.

Overheard in the street – a father and a small child:
‘You gorra a problem?’
‘Yeah, I got belly ache – am ‘ungry…’

Posted in books, conversation, Dulltown, existentialism, Grumpiness, Hull.UK., humour, information, learning, observations, overheard, postcards, seeing, serendipity, smiling, surrealism, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The calmed down television…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s doubled up simile is – As rich as two Croesuses.
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As you may have noticed dear reader, I am not a great one for dwelling on personal information in my blog posts, I think there are plenty of far more interesting things to rant on about.
However, you may have spotted that I didn’t post anything yesterday. I do try to come up with something daily – if only to try to keep the cogs and ratchets of the brain chugging and turning over – ‘use it or lose it’ as they say.
So anyway, on Wednesday, just as I was spell-checking and tidying up the writing on my Dangerous Monochrome Aesthetics post, a ‘hole in reality’ migraine jumped into the middle of my vision and started making some of the letters of the words on the screen disappear – ‘Doh!…’ I said – well actually it was something rather stronger than Doh!
I do get the odd migraine thing sneaking up on me, not that often, but this one, mixed with some vague ‘winter bug’ symptoms, had me quickly gulping down a couple of paracetamol pills and then straightway heading for the settee and lolling on it in front of the TV for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Usually the effects of this malady clear up in about an hour or so, but this incarnation of it kept creeping back complete with its concomitant big round headache (I do have a big round head by the way) – it lasted well into the night – ‘Doh…’ I said again.
I still felt rough the next morning (yesterday) and after a bit of thought as I peered out from under the covers I realised that watching the TV most of the previous day hadn’t been a brilliant idea – the bright high contrast flickering of the screen had been re-triggering the optical effects of the migraine. ‘Oh you idiot!…’ I mumbled, and drifted back to sleep again – until noon…
After eventually getting up and dressed I wondered how to fill the rest of the day – I wasn’t up to doing anything practical – the obvious choice was some more relaxing lolling on the settee, but what about the TV? I certainly didn’t need any more of those sodding migraines being triggered…
A practical solution:
‘Yes, Dave,’ I said, ‘that’s a great idea!…’
I stuck a piece of drawing paper over the TV screen to calm down all the flickering and jumping high contrast stuff and to reduce the image to a nice blurred Impressionist painting – perhaps a fluffy Renoir? I also put on a pair of sunglasses to moderate the overall brightness…
Anyone watching me would think that I was a crazy person… Someone sitting indoors wearing sunglasses, whilst watching a covered up TV?…
I would have turned to them and said, ‘No, my friend, not crazy! I’m a surrealist! This is what surrealists do – you, you, poor normal person!…’

Posted in brain, cool, creation, expletives, Grumpiness, information, photography, seeing, style, surrealism, thinking, TV, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Dangerous monochrome aesthetics…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s doubled up simile is: as drunk as two lords.
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Here is another picture from my jolly days of old-style film and stinky darkroom photography – this is a digital scan of the 35mm negative, with a little bit of ‘tidying up’ perpetrated on Photoshop.
I have been putting my old black and white pictures on this blog ever since I started writing it, and most of the ‘best’ photos have now been used – so now I resort to scratting around amongst the less interesting ones at the bottom of my photographic barrel (have you got a photographic barrel dear reader?) to drag one from the dusty dregs with long tongs to share with you.

It’s rubbish!…
No, no, it really is – I mean the subject matter of course. I seem to recall that this was taken in the late 1980s in the scruffy industrial area down by the western docks; this shows the side of some sort of warehouse or garage. That wall looks to me like it’s made of corrugated asbestos – whoa, that’s really dangerous stuff – you’d better wash your hands and face after looking at this…

‘Hey, Jim, what shall I do with this crappy old car seat? It’s always getting in the bloody way…’
‘Eh?… Oh, just get rid of it somewhere… just chuck it on top of that low wall outside… Tell you what, put it centrally under that break in the asbestos that looks like a horned devil – that should be quite aesthetically pleasing – one day someone might come along and take a nice crisp black and white photo of it…’
‘Right-ho boss…’

Posted in archeology, art, composition, conversation, cool, dreaming, Dulltown, Film, history, Hull.UK., humour, information, photography, seeing, serendipity, surrealism, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Sharpening the little pocket knife to avoid embarrassment later on…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from the short story A Busy Man (1931) by Vladimir Nabokov:
…there exist people endowed with principles, ideals – sick souls gravely affected by problems of faith and morality; they are not artists of sensibility, but the soul is the mine where they dig and drill, working deeper and deeper with the coal-cutting machine of religious conscience and getting giddy from the black dust of sins, small sins, pseudo-sins…
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So, you see, as my HP printer had just run out of black ink I decided to try to find that tiny penknife that someone had once given me, and sharpen it – it’s a pretty cheap knife and the last time I tried to use it, it wouldn’t cut ‘ot butter…
How’s that for an opening sentence?
I love to be deliberately mysterious – it’s an attempt to draw you in dear reader. Are you drawn in?
Also I do like to plan ahead; the sharpening of the knife was essential for a visit to my favourite cafe later in the day.
‘Oh dear, more mystery! It all sounds a bit sinister to me!…’ I hear you exclaim.
The knife was finally discovered lurking at the bottom of that square tin in the front room, the one with the nail file, a selection of plectra, and a Mitsubishi fine black drawing pen in it. It proved quite easy to sharpen – I have one of those surprisingly efficient cheap diamond-encrusted metal sharpening ‘stones’ from the hardware shop around the corner.
Oh alright… perhaps it’s time for an explanation of all this twaddle and we can ease some of this narrative tension that has been unnecessarily generated.
I usually get my printer ink from a branch of Wilko in the city centre – their ‘own brand’ versions of HP inks generally do work well, however, because they have one of those ‘security coils’ buried inside the packaging all hell breaks loose when you later walk through the detectors at the doors of other shops with the ink cartridge on your person – W H Smith, Boots, and Tescos supermarket usually react badly – customers turn and stare as the grey-suited security thugs descend on you. You can of course be devious and sneak in and out in the middle of a bunch of other customers so that there is confusion about which one of you set the bloody thing off…
Me, I can’t be doing with all that unnecessary stress – so generally I buy ink last, after doing my other shopping, but sometimes this is not convenient. This is where my planning comes into play. To Wilkos first to buy ink, then off for tea and cake in my favourite cafe, where after my snack I glance around to see that no one is looking, surreptitiously take out my tiny weapon and disembowel the packaging, removing the annoying little culprit coil – which I then wrap in a chocolate smeared cafe napkin and leave with the other debris on the table. That packaging, being made of deliberately spiteful thick clear plastic cannot be opened without a tool of some kind – the cafe knives and forks are useless (I once tried them) – my tiny secret knife is ideal though!
Isn’t planning, and being organised, great?…

Posted in books, brain, cafe, drama, Dulltown, Hull.UK., humour, information, religion, thinking, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments