New paintings, Jenny Morgan, Daniel Maidman and Colin Davidson podcasts, what I'm reading, what I'm watching, new discoveries . . .
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Hello Mike,

I recently got a bit more savvy with the software that runs this newsletter. The software is called mailchimp and I suppose the inference is that it's so simple a monkey could use it.

I know I'm a vegan and all that . . . and I have big love for the animals . . . but frankly I'm a bit resentful of that monkey because I don't find this software easy to use. AT ALL.

Anyway the point is now I can include your name when I'm chatting with you Mike. Pretty good Mike, right?

If you haven't seen you first name appear a few times so far it's not in the system which is a shame because if I was talking to you in person, well I'd use your name Mike. (skip on if you're seeing your name)

If you'd like me to use your name when I'm chatting with you, I know I would, then click here to change you account settings.

Right, on with the newsletter, which by the way, has lots of new bits.

Bits like this . . .

the now page . . .

I added a 'Now' page to my website. A 'Now' page is a companion to an, ‘About,’ page. It gives you a snapshot of what I’m doing and working on everyday, every week, and every month.

I heard about it from Derek Sivers, whom I like a lot.
Here's a link to a podcast he is on where you can hear him for yourself and see if you are going to like him too.

Adding the now page to my website inspired me to include more in this newsletter. More about what I've been up to in the time between newsletters. Things like what I'm reading, what I'm listening to, what great videos I've seen and so on.

But first . . .

The allure of shame.
New painting . . .
If I look a bit happy beside a painting with the heavy title of, "The allure of shame," it's because this painting was a marathon to paint. I took me 13 years!!

It began as a simple picture of a woman on a beach which I painted in Brisbane in 2003.
I was never completely happy with the way it turned out but wasn't sure where to go with it. I didn't name it as I didn't consider it finished.  It stayed like that for years. My wife, Mege, and I moved back to Ireland and it came with us.

Last year a friend included me in one of those Facebook art challenges where you had to post an old or unseen piece of art each day for 7 days. I had names for all the other paintings I posted but not this one.

I was a bit rushed on the day I posted it and when it came to adding a name, "Shauna's regret," popped into my head. I don't know a Shauna and I didn't know what she was regretting but I went ahead with the name anyway.

In hindsight I think naming the painting started a reaction in me because at the beginning of this year I put it on the easel with intention of 'fixing it up a bit.'  I just wanted to get it to the point that I could look at it without making lots of mental corrections which is what I'd been doing for years.

It wasn't long on the easel before I'd painted the woman in gold, the background red, and painted this golden void that she was looking into.

None of which I had planned to do. From that point on it had a life of its own. The background went black and since she was looking into a void her hair didn't seem right so that got changed too.
Then the background went red again - mostly.
Then the black came in again, a bit, and now that her hair was no longer covering it she needed a right hand.
Then I had to change the shadows and highlights on her because she was no longer on a beach under the sun. I hadn't a clue where she was now but it didn't look like a beach in the sun anymore.  I have Scott Waddell to thank for helping me with this. He didn't help me personally but his video, "On Form," was invaluable.
She gradually got darker as I worked my way through the new lighting and more red crept into the background.
Eventually it finished. She turned out a lot darker with only her golden heels remaining. Don't ask me why, it just had to be that way. The photo doesn't really do this painting justice. I've been living with it now for a few months and it changes with the day. The textures of the black and red reflect differently as the gold shimmers in the changing light and all the under painting adds a lot of depth.

I had been dealing with issues to do with shame around the time I was finishing up this picture. It was remarkable to me how subtle the habit of shame can be. I called the painting, ‘The allure of shame,’ because that is what it came to represent for me. The subtle way shame can be alluring because it is familiar. Even though shame is an unpleasant feeling it is better than the unknown depths that surround it.

I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. . .
"Interesting. I want to forward this to my friend!"

New Painting  12″x9.75″ (300 x 250mm) oil on canvas.

This abstract painting is about meditation and the descent into being.
It represents the static of thinking as the mind relinquishes thought and the deeper psychic currents are revealed. The descent continues through theses layers to the mystery of presence. No thought.

Artmaking and the Open Heart with Jenny Morgan . . .

I had a great chat with Brooklyn based artist Jenny Morgan on my podcast. Jenny’s paintings are figurative and contemporary. She brings a light intensity to her subjects that is really compelling. Her work has been shown in numerous group and solo shows all over America and Europe. We talk about her process both internal and external.

You can listen to our conversation on the podcast here.

what I’m watching . . .

Speaking of internal and external processes I've found myself looking at two pretty intense German artists lately. Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter both of whom I find fascinating in their own way.

1/5 Anselm Kiefer: Remembering the Future
This is part one of a five part documentary on Anselm Keifer. I'll include a link to the video just in case the video doesn't show up above. You will have to watch the remaining parts on youtube.
Painting (2011)
And here is a full length feature on Gerhard Richter. There is so much hype about him in the art world that I find this film a great antidote. 
You get to see him at work, make mistakes, get lost, feel vulnerable, and all the other things that every other artist goes through. 

I'll include a link to the video just in case the video doesn't show up above.
"This is great! I want to forward it to my friend!

Wear it - Carry it - Hang it - Drink from it -
My Merch . . .

I partnered with a company called Redbubble last year to supply prints of my work. Once I got into it though I couldn't help playing with all the other products they can print on. Here are a few I like.

Yoga art 14 tote bag

Mary with chickens and Caesar Chiffon Tops
Yoga art 8 laptop skin
You can see my full Redbubble shop here

If you're an artist yourself and are thinking about prints and other products I have found Redbubble to be pretty good.

I'm not getting anything from Redbubble for saying that.

Living in the question with Colin Davidson . . .

Brad Pitt, Liam Neeson, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Ed Sheeran, these are just a few of the high profile people Irish artist Colin Davidson has painted. He was recently asked by Time magazine to paint a portrait of Chancellor Angela Merkel for the cover of their person of the year edition. We had a great chat and went into lots of different aspect of painting, people, celebrity, portraiture and what it was like teaching Brad Pitt to paint.
You can listen to our conversation on the podcast here.

Forward to a friend

what I'm reading . . .

Seven days in the art world by Sarah Thornton

I'm finding this a great read. It is divided into 7  chapters. Each, "day," focuses on a different aspect of the art world. From the art fair to the art auction to the studio visit and so on.  Although it was written in 2007 I think it is still relevant today.

The art of profitability by Adrian J. Slywotzky

This book was recommended to me by Derek Sivers. It's not the sort of book I would normally read. It's hurting my brain a bit but it is changing the way I think about business.


If you haven't come across Maria Popova's brilliant website and newsletter you are in for a treat. Maria has a passion for overlooked books. She manages to rediscover some truly beautiful writing. Her weekly newsletters are a joy to receive. 

I first came across Maria on Tim Ferriss' podcast which you can hear here.

New discoveries . . .

I came across the sculptures of Philip Jackson recently. I think they're brilliant. Born in 1944, Phillip has been bashing away at it for years, and it shows. His sources of inspiration are Epstein, Rodin, Henry Moore, Oscar Nemon and Kenneth Armitage. But the most powerful influences in his life are his wife Jean and son Jamie who work with him. A man after my own heart.

Here a some examples of his work to be going on with.

"My friend would love these . . ."

Honesty and hope with Daniel Maidman . . .

I had a great conversation with artist and writer Daniel Maidman in New York. Daniel’s art practice consists of striking representational paintings, mostly of figures  –  and drawings  –  lots of drawings.  His writings on art have been featured in ARTnews, American Art Collector, and International Artist, among others, and he writes a regular column on art for The Huffington Post.

You can listen to our conversation on the podcast here.

This is a lovely video from the people at The School of Life. It is about the voices in your head and how to deal with them if they are not so friendly.
The School of Life make really helpful videos. If you haven't come across them before you can see there channel here.

suggestions welcome . . .

Feel free to send me any suggestions you might have. Let me know if there is an artist you would like me to have on the podcast. I can't guarantee I will be able to get them or that my taste and yours will be the same., but it would be lovely to hear form you Mike. Also if there is a particular tool or piece of equipment that you love I'd love to hear about that too.

I've started broadcasting who will be on the podcast a few days in advance, usually on instagram so if you keep an eye on my feed and there is a question you would like to ask a particular artist I can do that.

Well that's it for now Mike. Until the next newsletter I'm sending you a friendly wave from Ireland.

All the best,

Copyright © 2016 John Dalton, All rights reserved.

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