I’m not dead (physically)

Tree of Hope, Locke Park, Barnsley.

It’s been a while but due to the useless shenaningans on Instagram I’ve decided to post loads of my recent crap doodles back up on here. Apologies in advance if i’ve posted stuff before but think yourself lucky I can be bothered at all.
Enjoy, or don’t, I’m not fussed. Everything listed is mine, mine, mine I tell you!! Steal it and I will find you and bore you to death with stories of coal mining in Yorkshire.

© D. Archer. July 2017

Autumn in Yorkshire

Somewhere between losing my mind and finding myself I often am to be found wandering aimlessly around my local park. Not a lot of other humans to interrupt the solitude which is always a bonus.

All pictures are worthless but they are mine. © D. Archer. November 2016.

Winter Wanderings

Once again I have been lucky enough to spend some time in Scotland over the New Year and attached are just a few of the (in focus) photos that I have deemed worthy of sharing.

Even for a colour blind, ham fisted, amateur half wit photographer like myself taking photographs in Scotland is really like shooting fish in a barrel (apologies to all you vegetarians) but you put your camera on auto, point at stunning landscape and press shutter. Bingo Bongo Bob’s your auntie!

Words and Pictures © D. Archer. January 2016.

Figurative Abstracts

Reflections

Reflections

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

Winter Wanderings

Whooooaaa! Hold your horses, you haven’t missed the apocalypse, these pictures are from my morning walk around my home town.

I’m lucky that the walk between my home and that of my mother takes me through a wooded area that is more interesting on deserted days like today than when it is swarming with humans.

I particularly like the ones where nature has started to reclaim the man made objects, the Lichen on the the litter bin and the way the tree has grown around the barbed wire.

I must admit to being a bit of a loner and the sense of emptiness and the forlorn has always held a particular fascination for me. Today with the poor light and sense of overcast weather is my type of day.

Mmmmmmmm……bland.

Words and Pictures © D. Archer. December 2015

Art in my local park

A beautiful autumn afternoon and I have been out for a wander with my phone camera. Most of these were taken in my local park (Locke Park, Barnsley) apart from the two churches which were on my wanderings. through the centre of town.

Photographs © D.Archer. October 2015.

 

Mrs Robinson

Much like conversations with shopkeepers and old people
I skilfully avoid the coil of dog shit on the cinder path
as the arse crack showing cyclist
swept passed me like my youth,
all his cares de-frosting in a bag for life
low slung from the handlebars;
dangerously close to one wheel;
translucent to the light.

His reckless rolling scattered the complaining birds
from the car driven to ashes
and the weeds and wildflowers
the names of which I never learned in school
but whose smell dragged me back
to where I found your candid Polaroid
that I kept and hid in my room.

© D. Archer. June 2015.

(The names have been invented to make me sound vaguely interesting).

Insert witty title here…

Once again I have managed to reduce the immense natural beauty of the Scottish landscape down to a few blurred, badly composed and cropped calamities. Trust me, this place is much more stunning than my fat fingered fotographs could ever convey. Taken this April in the most pleasant walking weather one could wish for.

Landscapes © Deity of your choice. Happy Crappy Croppings © D. Archer, April 2015.

Body of Work

He longed for the birds to sing, to give away their hiding in the matted hedgerow. A distant car answered his agnostic prayer; the whole boundary awoke; swooping, hollering, the masses set a darkness against the precious remaining light of the afternoon. As it all started so it all soon settled to passive chattering of dominant females, the greenery again alive and he the keenest eavesdropper.

He smiled. In every correctly tabulated column of his notebook he wrote time, distance, echo and delay. He plotted and cross referenced. He marked his location on his far from rudimentary home-made map then made his way toward the railway cutting.

Swathes of green gave way to slate grey rock chipping, however, the foot of the cutting was banked by forgotten grasses; wild bushes and overhanging trees with their exposed root systems piercing the eroding soil bank. The oil stained stone tunnel mouth swallowed all the light that dare to venture more than ten yards in.

It was the remains of the long stolen tracks that led his eye to a slumped, seated outline in the shallow light of the tunnel, an ungainly location to fall asleep so he approached with military caution. The more stealth he applied the louder his footsteps on the gravel. He stood politely silent for a moment for he was all to aware of the shock of being rudely awoken. He straightened his jacket, pulled hard at its hem to snap a crease back into the material. He looked to his boots and quickly balancing on one leg, rubbed his scuffed toecap against his calf covered sock. He announced his appearance with a deliberate cough.

The bag of rags never stirred, nor was it ever likely to for upon closer inspection revealed itself to be a coat, a poachers coat, thickly waxed like tarpaulin. From underneath poked one shoed foot. He stepped a little closer and coughed once more with intent. The coat remained indifferent to his presence but worse still he realised he had polished his shoes for nothing. With his mothers’ disdain ringing loud in his ears he reached for the corner of the coat pulling hard enough to disturb its bulk.

The heavy material cut theatrically through the air. No Matador cape this, no jewels glinting in triumph only the remains of a youth soaked in the remnants of an ill fated struggle. The eyeless head, although crudely bludgeoned to a jaw-less pulp still sat precariously in its rightful place if only by a single crossed wire stitch. Each finger, devoid of a fingernail, pointed in its own unnatural direction. Puncture wounds mingled with every size of bruise whilst octagonal lacerations circled the lower abdomen. The skin on both knees had been removed in perfect surgical symmetry. One foot missing, the stump ragged in removal.

Distracted briefly by his internal monologue he gathered his thoughts and knew exactly what to do. He dropped the coat at more than an arm’s length so as not to catch his un-noticed boots then patiently removed his pencil from his notebook and drew two lines across the days’ proceedings.

He loathed how it spoiled the layout but he was not given to wasting a full-page. He begrudgingly wrote the date, time and location and in capital letters, “DEAD BODY”. He grieved for the intrusion, the inconsistency, the entry, juxtaposed to all his prior comments wasn’t neat to the border or aligned with any other text, it didn’t fill all the columns nor fulfil any of their criteria.

He turned his back on the remains of the scene snorting in despair at the sight of all those incomplete columns. “What a waste” he thought to himself.

From the map around his neck he made a reference north-easterly then set off across the cutting. He would have to start another column in his notebook but he knew the petrels would, at least, be a noteworthy addition to his day.

End.

© D. Archer 2012. I found this in a notebook in my bottom drawer. Time does not seem to have improved it but as I don’t have a lot of fiction on here I thought I’d give it a whirl. Not quite flash fiction, not quite a short story but definitely not very good.