Sunday, 22 February 2015

Painting #49 Buzkashi

Buzkashi (literally "goat dragging" in Persian) or kokpar is the Central Asian sport in which horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat or calf carcass toward a goal. It is the national sport of Afghanistan, although it was banned under the Taliban regime.

This is my first attempt at animals. It might not cut it as a painting but I think it is start upon which I can build. I wanted action with lots of dust and movement and nearly got lost in the crazy 'stampede.'

 Could have done with a much larger canvas so that I didn't have to tiddle-about with small brushes

I've put two pictures to show the discrepancy with the photos.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Spring is Approaching

Just thought I would pop in a photograph that I found on the internet of our new home, taken in the summer months. I say new, although suddenly we've been here 5 months.

We are up there in the top right hand corner(ish) ... you can see why the house is named 'Highview.'

I put the photograph in as I have no painting at the moment, but I am researching a new series which is going to involve horses and people... but not in their normal environment, a bit on the wild-side. I have never painted animals before and, as is my want, I'm making the task ridiculously difficult for myself.

Spring is coming!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Portrait #8 "Berber Man in Morocco"

After all the build-up in the last post, I'm really disappointed with this one. It really was a struggle which I never really won... however ... onwards and upwards.

On the positive side: I had never painted hands before and this gave me the chance to experiment.

                                                    "Berber Man in Morocco"                             John Simlett
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
31 x 12 inches
(790 x 300 mm)
With many thanks to Trey Ratcliff ( for his kind permission to use his photograph as a reference

Sunday, 8 February 2015

PORTRAIT # 8 "Berber Man in Morocco" WIP

Before I go too far allow me to introduce Trey Ratcliff and his Travel Blog, Stuck In Customs. 
    Trey was born in New Zealand but is truly cosmopolitan, and, with a following of 8 million, has the leading Travel Photography blog in the world.

Here's the link:

Trey visited Chefchaouen, a mountain town in Morocco where everything is painted blue. Whilst he was there he took a photograph of this Berber Man, who's image fascinated me.

I asked Trey if I could use the image as a reference photograph and, despite being really busy, as quick as a flash, he said yes I could, "... no problem."

Trey wrote about the man, who spoke perfect English ... here is the flavour of the conversation:

"We ended up talking about a bunch of different things. I even bought an old used knife from him, and he showed me how to stick the curved end of it into a camel's hump to get water in an emergency. There's another part of the knife you use to seal up the little puncture wound. Then we talked about meditation, the sealing of the four cardinal spiritual doors in the night before entering the tent, different cultures around the world, and well, about a dozen other things. Anyway, it was great…"

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Portrait #7 'Afghan Man'

Afghan Man            John Simlett
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 20 inches
(from a photograph by Shehzad Noorani)
I hadn't painted folded cloth or a beard before, and so I set about finding a suitable subject. Fortunately I came across a great photograph, but far more than that, a great photographer, Shehzad Noorani who spends a great deal of his time photographing and publicizing  the homeless.

You could be forgiven for believing that the 'Afghan Man' is a warrior, a leader of men for he has that look about him, but he is not. He is living in Maslakh refugee camp for Internally Displaced People, near the city of Herat in Afghanistan. 

I've tried to bring out the undefeated spirit of the man. He may have lost all his material assets but he is unbowed.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Portrait #7 'Afghan Man' Work In Progress

Portrait number 7 is the 47th painting I have attempted. Here is a WIP update.

Acrylic on Canvas     £0 x 20 inches

It uses a photograph taken by the famous Shehzad Noorani, and is of," [an] Afghan man in Maslakh refugee camp for Internally Displaced People (IDP), near the city of Herat. Afghanistan." 

I have written to Shehzad Noorani asking permission to use the photograph. Until he gives permission, this painting will never get beyond this blog.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Strangest of Things!!!!!

When we married, our niece Viv was only three years old and a baby. Next year she is Sixty, and still our little darling. She lives in Dubai, but is home in the UK for surgery and two weeks ago she had a new hip fitted. She is staying with us for about ten weeks whilst she recovers.

Two days ago we took her from West Wales to Wiltshire so that the medics could check her out. We stayed at a Beechfield House Hotel for a couple of days.

See this link for details Beechfield House.

Whilst we were there I had a look around all the various artwork on its walls. Wonderful! Then Pat called, "Come and look at these Pen and Ink drawings of trees, they look just like yours." 

   On closer inspection I could see they were prints from an etching, and that she was flattering me. 

They were quite big drawings and I spent ages looking at them, and noticed that they were produced in 1824. Then I saw the signature ..... J Simett ....a you may recall I am J Simlett. It took a comparison between the four drawings to confirm the spelling ... it felt very strange though!

I haven't had chance to do any research on him/her yet