Saturday, 29 November 2008

Things have changed

Change was in the air and old dreams were left aside for another future. New ones sprung in their place and were nurtured in to fruition. When each cool drop of rain runs down my neck I am reminded me that the portico's and protection of Bologna are far away. Here the streets are open offering little in the way of architectural umbrellas but in the same instance there are no barriers, nothing to obscure your fields of view. Bologna may shelter the ombrophobiacal pedestrian but it also shelters the mind and obscures not only the storm clouds but any vision or ambition for the future.

I have arrived in Cambridge where I can see a future. It is not some grand and poetic thing for tales by the fire. Nor some thing that gives the right to brag among the elite at a party of some circle of society or another. It is the simple truth that the future will be calm. It will be exciting. It will be happy and I will be content.

My love, my job and my home. To paint, to work, to live and love. Is it really as simple as this?

A change has come and gone and I feel displaced but displaced from something old. So very very old that being part of it was like being sucked into it's decaying history. Displaced into something new and something fresh. The change has come and gone and the change was good.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Art is Hard: Truck: Update 04

I just finished putting on the layer of modelling paste and the surface is textured the way I want. I'll sand some areas that are too rough but mostly I think I'll leave the texture. The modelling paste/paint mix is very satisfying to use but because it is made to dry textured it is very thick and not so precise. As you can imagine with this painting I need to be fairly precise and with the thick paint it's taken me a long time to get the textured layer finished.

I apologise for the blurry photo..

Next step: Sanding, re-painting yellow bits.

News here: Waiting for an interview; working in Irish pub; looking forward to Dan coming over on Wednesday. Byee!

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Art is Hard: Truck: Update 03

So I've finished the basic undercoat. You will notice that I have once more changed my mind and now I'm back to mostly yellow (not for aesthetic reasons but because I think it makes the message I want to say more powerful). If you have a look at this reference picture I'm using, you can see how I want the different coloured areas to appear (more or less) in the finished painting. I will also be adding oil stains to parts on the left hand side.

My next steps will be to build up a thick coat of coloured modelling paste to add some texture to the rusting layer of yellow paint. Without this layer the blue and rusted areas seem more elevated, like the rust and blue have been painted on to the yellow. Obviously this is not the effect I want.

Once the texturing is complete I will work into the rust and steel areas. After that I will add stains and dirt to the yellow and wash out areas that I want "bleached by the sun".

I suppose the final stages will be adding gloss and glazes to the shiny areas followed by sanding and light rust stains and oil dripping effect. I would like the oil to have a organic quality like blood dripping form a wound.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Art is Hard: Truck: Update 02

Hey again...3 posts in one day. Sorry for anyone who is obsessive and needs to read everything. I'll keep this one short. This is the style (roughly) of the final painting. I like the bold colours but I will definitely be washing parts of them out and the rust will be less symbolic than in the photoshop version.

Off to paint again and apply to more jobs.. Bye!

Life Update

Largest doughnut I have ever eaten. Also the tastiest..
Fede suprised me with a breakfast. Italy is great. Look at all those tiny little cakes.

Ok, I forgot to post that blog post earlier so I have actually done the photoshop work now.. I'll post that in a few minutes once I have finished a little bit of an update as to what's going on here.

So last time I talked about my life I was all set to go to college, I had received my Italian ID and was looking forward to a life of pub work, teaching English, freelancing for Ion, studying Italian and generally painting and enjoying myself.

Then I realised a few very important things.
1: The first that I am increasingly poor and dependant. The idea of being this way for at least 3 years before I finish my degree followed by who knows how long suffering as a poor artist is too much for me at the moment so I decided like my grandfather before me to work at something I love at the same time maintaining my painting.

2: In Italy to work is very hard, to succeed and rise some sort of metaphorical career ladder is nearly impossible. So for Fede it would be much better to get out of this crashing economy.

So we decided together that I should get a job in computer games and that Fede explore her own ambitions in whatever job she chooses. And everyone knows in Europe computer games = the Uk, so off we go!

PS I am applying for a few jobs at the moment so wish me luck!

Finally a post about Art is Hard: Painting 01

Hi all. It's been a mad week. I'll tell you more later about that but before I'll give you a sneak peek into how the painting is going.

Slowly is the right word for this one but I think the care I have taken will translate well into the final version. For example I have a clear indication of the dark and white areas which are easy to confuse if you just outline them. I also have decided to change the colour I originally thought of (acid yellow) to a more washed and pastel blue. I think the yellow is too obvious and crass and a little too pop art for the themes I am exploring.

The blue I want will have a subtlety, a blue to remind the viewer of something maritime. A rusting blue you might see at a harbour on a boat or old barrel. I think this will contrast better both with the red/brown colours of the underlying rust and thematically with the setting of dessert Iraq adding another twist to the memory. Constantly inverting the memory until it's barely perceptible.

Next stage will be to test out some blues in Photoshop. After that I want to start laying down the rust undercoat and the blue paint undercoat. I will be using modelling paste and a lot of glazing and varnishes later which I will describe as I go.

Oh and a lesson learnt already: If you use a lot of pencil on your gesso to block out areas of a painting make sure you use fixative or all your colours get muddy. :(

Friday, 12 September 2008

Lulu Mae

Hey all. Sorry about the lack of posts. At the moment I'm organising moving back to the UK so things are on hold. For the moment in case anybody hasn't seen it I'm reposting Lulu Mae. this also for the ease of use for potential employers who don't want to search through Youtube..

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Art is Hard: Update: Competition Winners

It was tough to pick one so I picked two. Here's the who and why in brief:

Winner 1: Rick with his Iraq picture. I'm going to turn this inside out in a graphic style. This will be abstracted slightly but not beyond comprehension. It will have a strong base colour with a line drawn in dripping paint highlighting the details. Possibly with some flat areas to give a bit of form.
Final output: Painting for transfer to T-Shirt.

Winner 2: Sebastian with his Thailand picture. This will be fairly heavily abstracted with a lot of use of texture and layering. Dripping and sanding may be used as well as thickener.
Final output: Painting.

Thanks a lot to the other entrants, it's really helping to keep my mind busy, full of analysis. I'm sorry I can't do everyone's. This month's theme is memory, please enter again!
J Out.

PS Become a follower of my blog if you like (You can do it down there somewhere on the right sidebar).

Sono un italiano!

It's true!
Now I'm a resident of Italy, well almost, I still have to wait for the final bureaucracy of proof that I'm actually living in my apartment (via a police raid). So in just a few weeks I'll be signed up to university and I'll start the application process for getting a full driving licence for the moped.

In all it took over 3 months for this application to be compiled. The last addition was working somewhere with a legal contract (hence the factory work). In the county council office it took an hour and a half to compile the form. Check it out. It's the size of a broadsheet. I was laughing when they showed it. They also gave me a receipt to prove I have it all filled out officially. At this stage I was ready to go but no.. i mustn't forget the all important second reciept.

Not a copy but an entirely different reciept to prove that I have recieved a copy of the first reciept which proved I completed the form. I was wondering where this was going to end but luckily it was just the two. The reciept of the form and the receipt of the reciept of the form..

Monday, 1 September 2008

Lavoro and Art

First off thanks to all the entries for the first Art is Hard competition. I'm still debating which of the photo ideas I'm going to paint.. Perhaps I will choose two as there are a couple that gave me ideas as soon as I saw them. I will have decided by tomorrow and I will post which and why along with what I plan to do with the image(s) I choose.

Secondly, I have started working in Italy. In case anyone isn't aware, it's in a cigarette filter factory at night from 2 until 6 in the morning 6 days a week for 700 Euro a month. I get to clean the floors, windows, walls and machines of the largest producer of filters in Europe. Glamorous.

I'm also starting to work in a pub in two weeks two nights a week and I'm just finishing studying how to teach English in preparation for October.

So that's it for now, I better get changed for work.. Oh I spent the weekend in Trieste by the way on the beach in the sun and ate beautiful fish and drank beautiful Friuli white wine for free.. Just in case you thought I was a bit miserable, sorry to disappoint you but Italy is still great.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Finished Painting!

Da nah! Here it is the first Jason Hickey painting. I have yet to sign it and varnish it and I may touch it up tomorrow if I think it needs it but I think I've done enough with it now to move onto to something different. I learnt a lot from this one. Specifically the techniques of building up strong light, making areas seeem textured with minimal paint and the importance of visble brush stokes and layering colours (even if the layered colours are imperceptabley different to the naked eye).

Tell me what you think!

A big thanks to Sebastian fo supplying the inspiration and Joby for supplying technique and style.
I'll start another one tomorrow. Oh and keep the entries coming in, there is still a week to participate!

J out.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Puglia is great. We just got back this morning from our week camping in the very deep south of Italy. Here's a quick run down of how it went:

Fede drove for our 10 hour trip which took about 15 hours. I slept, smoke ate and drank wine and watched the sunset and sunrise and listened to old tapes my friends made for me when I was a teenager. Tapes like "Ould Stuff" and "Prodigy Mix" from Ross, "The Muppet Show" from Roger and "This is Cult Fiction" from Sebastian.

We arrived in a camping site which is run by proper hard core communists, is really quiet late at night but everyone is lively and talkative until one or two in teh morning. Bar playing reggae and kitchen always in use with the most amazing food being cooked by the damned Italians. No beans and potatoes for those folks. 5 euro a day and 10 minutes from tent to beach.

Played in the white sand and red sand, swam in clear water, ate fish (fried, with pasta, grilled, name it, we ate it). Drank beer and wine. Met 5 new friends (all form the north of Italy of course). Danced to Drum and Bass Taranta and traditional Pizzica, walked through ancient city centres, picked figs and cactus fruit. Spoke lots of Italian drew pictures, took photos and slept in the sun and in the shade, played with cats and chickens and dogs, got cooked for, cooked for others drank some more, breakfasts of coffee and cigarettes, breakfasts of fish, breakfasts of ice cream, melons and prosciutto.

I also ate several portions of various types of meat on a stick which I think is fundamental to every good holiday. If you haven't done it yet and you're still on holiday. Quick, order meat on a stick!

We're back now and I lost a few kilos and got a lot browner. Fede cut my hair too. Cheap and entertaining. :)

More on art tomorrow, oh and I have another interview in Italian in the morning...

PS Sorry Photos are all of me because Fede only took pictures of me and I was using it mostly for film..

Friday, 8 August 2008

Art is Hard

It's started, the first "Art is Hard" competition.

Art is Hard, make it easier for me! And I'll write a footnote about you in my biogrphy when I'm famous.

Entry: Send a photo or image to my email or facebook. Only one image per candidate. First image recieved will be considered so don't send more than one and think carefully about which one you want to send!

Winner: The best picture (decided by me according to my tastes and my painting style) will be transformed into a painting/piece of art/fashion item. The final piece will be the property of me but I can make you a copy of it if you like (I decide what format but probably a print poster or a t-shirt or something. If you like it so much you want to buy it I'll give you a discount. :)

Enter now!

Deadline: 1st September 2008. Painting will be finished by 1st October 2008.

Picture Painting Continued

Hello, here's the latest update. The painting is based on a photo taken by Sebastian Hickey.

I have worked on the "water van", front motorbike, water, road and shines. I still need to finish the road/water. After that it's tidying up details, increasing contrast where needed and putting some kind of yellow wash over the sky. I also want to add some detail to the top right corner, perhaps some telegraph lines would break that area up. Maybe the wash will help too..

Please post comments, you don't have to be witty or smart or even positive. just to know who is reading this and who I can tailor the blog to.

A week in Sicily sounds nice..

Ciao! So back to painting today, as usual my DVD writer went on the blink yesterday so I lagged behind my schedule.. again. Expect a post or two about the process later today.

Check this out. Tee Hee.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Mayan Sounds and Photomontage

Painting on hold until today because of video editing for Cristina and William (I'm doing a honeymoon DVD for them for their wedding present, better late than never) and architectural stuff for BBW. Both of which I have finished this morning.

I found this crazy video of Aztec musical instruments. Scary noises. Brrrr! Enjoy it until I get another picture of the painting up here..

Friday, 1 August 2008

Painting step 3

Hello, here's the latest update, lighting is really bad sorry. I did another layer on the trees and fixed the 2 bikes and van. Next step foreground bike (finish) and road surface, then water from front van, washes for unification and some extra details for composition. Obviously lots of tidying as i go. Interestingly I found out about using thinner, it's glossy even though it's not supposed to be but adds a nice vibrancy to the colours.. More after the weekend or during if I get time.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Painting Step 2..

Here's an update. I messed with the sky and tree line and blocked some areas of the two vans.

Don't mind the bad lighting and contrast I'm not editing these pics to have the same light so some versions will look brighter than others depending on the time of day etc.

Painting Stage 1

In the true spirit of modern culture there should be no privacy. So here is the first stage of my painting. Watch it progress into a masterpiece or a dismal failure.

Stage 1 complete: Primed, penciled and base colours. Super dark so I can layer lighter colours over.

Next steps:
1- I suppose I'll do an over all clean up: Accurate shapes and forms for "outlines"
2- Add more depth in colours, at the moment it's blocked in so I'll subdivide areas.
3- Continue to subdivide layering lighter and lighter colours
4- I don't know, maybe blending area like sky and fixing silhouettes where needed.
5- Glazes and washes and special effects...don't know what they will be yet.
OK, this has to be quick, get ready:

Was supposed to see Franz Ferdinand, changed mind and went to two day stay at farm, made bread from scratch. Look at slide show. Sang songs, danced, ate, slept, played with donkeys.

Went to Ferrara, saw Deus and Interpol. Good music. Annoying guy behind me I wanted to kill. Tom Waits in Milan was amazing, saw Benigni and wife. Concert brill. Milan is dirty. I wouldn't live there. Toyed with idea of going back to serious job and career and then remembered I hate computers.

Como (famous town and lake near Milan) was flooded but beautiful exhibition of Schiele made me happy. See his stuff if you can it's just incredible. Then back to Bologna to another concert. Next day up mountains for a ridiculously large steak BBQ and sing song. Drunk until very late. Up early.

Finished language course. Intermediate now. Last weekend went to river for another BBQ and swim with fishes under waterfall. So hot. 34 degrees and sunny all the time despite weather forecasts of rain.

Started painting. Blogging and emailing annoys me. Trying to scan and upload all my photos. Still have 6 undeveloped rolls from god knows when. Must buy good digital camera when I have money. Tonight I go to drop cvs into bars and restaurants of Bologna. Wish me luck. No plans for crazy concerts or short trips as everyone in Bologna goes away and I have no money for holidays. Come over to Italy to keep me and Fede company.

Miss you all, keep in touch. J Out.

Catch Up Painting

So I have started the painting at last. At the moment my painting style is somewhat a copy of uncle Joby but he gave me the go ahead so I think it's cool. It's not like I'm going to sell this stuff anyway. It's really fun doing the whole process. For me now it's like magic, I'm learning so many new things about painting I hadn't thought existed. Like glazes and priming, sanding, thinners, thickeners, etc.

I guess you think I really don't know anything about painting and I'd say yes. You're absolutely correct.

I'm also going to go to the Accademia di Bellle Arti in November if I can. It's a university degree course in Painting. It's pretty prestigious and you don't have to do any written exams, just oral exams and they teach you Italian for free. It costs less than 800 Euro per year and you get a studio space and subsidised material costs. It lasts 3 years. What do you think? Also they are not strict on punctuality here in Italy so you don't even have to attend classes if you don't want to. You just have to read the books and hand in projects. I think it's also a good way to meet people involved in the art scene in Italy.

That's all..

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Studio Pics

Sorry it took so long. I got rather bogged down in Italian study and looking for a job. It turns out I might be working in a restaurant as a waiter in a week or two. Ha ha.

So here's some pictures and a video of my studio. As I said it's not too grand and it still needs shelves and decoration but it makes me happy. Most of my time in the studio is spent learning verbs and vocabulary. I'm looking forward to spending a few days immersed in paint and pouring out intellectual jewels of colour and spontaneity.

This week I'm going to a few "gigs": Franz Ferdinand; Interpol and Deus; Tom Waits.
Currently I'm listening to their most recent albums just so I can cheer and smile smugly at the right moments.

Anyone interested in coming to visit? Drop me a line and we'll sort something out.

The picture of the outdoor cinema screen is the world premier of the restored version of Hitchcock's original "Blackmail" (the silent version) which was accompanied by a live full orchestra that played the soundtrack. The location was in Piazza Maggiore (outside at night, 32 degrees so nice and warm). It was an amazing experience and it was free. I love Italy.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Studio is setup

The studio is complete with new carpet like floor and easel. A small list of supplies will complete the picture: I need some new brushes, about 6 tubes of acrylic paint, some canvas, gesso, sandpaper, some jars, a palette knife, disposable pallettes and some acrylic medium.

I'm going to put my Spider man bed sheet form the 80's onto one of the walls. The others will be filled with the usual array of post cards and inspiring colourful bits and pieces.

Other than that I have some more ideas of where I'm going to start. I'd also like to make this blog a bit more "Jasoney". It's too white. And I have to get that cursed webpage of mine out of the gutter.. My business cards need a revamp as well. Argh.
Oh yeah Lulu has not been selected for any of teh festivals I tried to get into. i guess they don't like music videos. Or genii. ;)

Non art related: i wish I had a PS3 and GTAIV and Metal Gear 4. Boo hoo.

I will post pics shortly to break up the monotony.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

In Italy

So I have arrived in Italy. Viva la pasta! At the moment I'm in creative limbo because of boxed equipment and because I'm half way through setting up a studio in the garage of my appartment. I'm toying with the idea of doing a series of paintings of aper cars. .

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Lulu Mae on Youtube

So here it is at last. Lulu Mae with credits. I hope you all like it.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Lulu Mae!!

Yes, it's finished. Finally I've completed something of my own. I hope you like it Nina. Here's a still of it. Wish me luck in Annecy. :)