Shades of Grey: MIXED MEDIA


I have started publishing short pieces on Linked In. 
Gives me a chance to adopt a slightly different persona,
perhaps.  Here’s a link to the latest


It was sparked by a response to my previous post, which was
about my dad and some of the paintings he did over the course
of his long life.  They provide
fascinating insights into the cultural life
of the industrial north of England ,where I grew
up. Jo wondered how I would set about depicting the
social setting I live in today, as a guest-worker in
Dubai.  Here’s my dad’s work

Actually these are all early works of his, from my childhood
days.  I get very nostalgic looking at these.  I
wonder if my children will get nostalgic about my Dubai
pictures, 40 years from now.

About a month ago, I took some pictures of the mish-mash of
low-grade shops and apartment balconies that I see on my walk
to buy some local fruit and veg.  I live in
International City, in fact I’m one of the pioneers who moved
into this tacky/vibrant district while it was still under
construction.  Actually it’s Dubai, so it’s still under
construction … but it was barely half built when I moved in
ten years ago.  Lots of lorry drivers and nurses,
receptionists, shop assistants, etc living here.  It’s
not very stylish, but it’s kind of “real” which is difficult
to find in a theme park city.

Here’s what I did with one of the images.

So what is this about?  Is it art?  WTF is art
anyway? ….

Exactly.  Those are the kinds of questions I’m
exploring.  Trying to get more physical and intuitive,
to reconnect with my submerged “drawing self”, which used to
be one of my primary identities.  At the same time I
want to integrate this with the digital tools and processes
I’ve been using the last couple of decades.  So you’ve
go digital photography; hand sketching; layers, filters,
transparency … all mixed up together in a semi-accidental
way while I focus my attention mainly on how to create an
image that captures how I feel about this environment I live

In a way it’s not much different from Georges Braque mixing
oil paint and newspaper clippings etc ,,, except a lot less

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