Figurative Abstracts



I don’t dream. I put this down to the prolonged period of insomnia that I suffered after my divorce, however, I have recently been waking up with fragments of an image that has coincided with my rekindled interest in painting.

I’m colour blind; good old fashioned Red / Green combo and this has always been a crutch to stop myself from painting. Who wants a violet sky and magenta grass? Well it turns out that plenty of people do provided the piece is well executed and within an abstract framework, and there lies the dilemma.

Painting abstracts, to me, is not about “Not being able to paint properly” or “Not having studied for X years at Art School”, it is primarily concerned with expression and partly about technique; the proportions of these two factors is what divides the opinion. I suppose the “Expression ‘v’ Technique” debate is the art world equivalent of the chicken and the egg scenario.

We live in an existential world, trees grow upwards, grass is green, sky is on top etc. To challenge these representations (visually) means to think and to think is a powerful life skill.

It is said as humans we use only 10% of our brain’s capacity and the average time spent looking at artwork in a gallery is less than 30 seconds and in that 30 seconds we make broad sweeping generalisations not only about the piece “Doesn’t look like a tree” but also about the artist “My kid could do that” so may I suggest that if your child can emote like Jackson Pollock then nurture and treasure that child beyond your earthly years for they have that rare and precious gift of independent thought.

My artwork is my own, through my eyes, echoes of my past and shaped by my hand. If this piece progresses my painterly technique that’s a bonus; If it strikes a chord with another human well that’s much better but if it hangs on my wall and engages my thoughts every time I look at it then it has achieved it’s purpose.

Abstracts are about painting the emotion not the object. If you want a picture, take a photograph.

Words and Pictures © D. Archer. December 2015

Barnsley versus Google

Barnsley Poster

In order to raise some cash I have taken on the role of Cultural Attaché for my home town. I have been out and about with my camera and produced my first piece of advertising. 17 million copies will soon be distributed throughout the local area. The dispute with Google Maps is now resolved and finally my town can look forward to the year 1983 with hope and dreamy eyed ambition. The future is bright! The future is coal coloured.

And here lies the paradox. Barnsley is much more than the sum of its pregnant teenagers. Barnsley is my home town. I am from Barnsley, born and bred. This gives me the undeniable right to slag it off mercilessly but I will not be impressed if anyone else has a pop at it.

Words and Pictures © D. Archer. November 2015



At the bottom of Pandora’s box
I found an I.O.U.

© D. Archer . June 2015

In hindsight it may not have been such a good idea to read a selection of Sylvia Path before going to bed. It is very very unusual for me to dream or in fact to wake up with any thoughts in my head. This morning I woke up to the sound of rain.

I like rain.

More fun with sharp objects


More fun with sharp objects. Celtic birds. Soon to be printed in various shades of success. I bought some cheap photo frames and am looking forward to finally getting some previous efforts framed and mounted. Approximate finished size will be around 6 x 6 inches. I’ll post pictures of the print when my blood pressure has returned to normal.

Please excuse the state of my cutting mat, it has other uses.

© D. Archer. April 2015

The dawn bleaches out the dream

Twice I have held the world in my arms,
in November and late July,
before the carousel slowed,
before the photographs fell silent.

It’s not the presence
but the void,
it’s not the new
but the old I watch
hand tied and dumb
through a window ajar
but not enough to grasp.

We walked a fine line
between memory and lies
when nothing was wrong
everything was hidden
just beneath the surface
tension and tears lingered;
all memories now,
smaller than the space between rain,
made colder by an arm’s length.

© D. Archer. January 2015

Green Tea Philosophy

photo (1)

Green Tea Philosophy

There must be something in the water. I wrote this shortly after drinking my mid morning cup of green “gunpowder” tea which was very nice but disappointingly not very explosive.

Philosophy © D. Archer 2014.

Her last smile

Where the ice was thick they laughed,
where it was thin she felt alive;
her soft spoken dreams
tempted him further from the edge until
her last smile,
stripped of sentiment,
swollen with bitter black lies
fused with the blood that pooled beneath the man
she once called home.

Within the hour
he would be a stranger to her every thought;
the smothering snow would heal the cracks
seamlessly behind her.

© D. Archer. October 2014.