November 22nd, 2015 – Japan & The Fear

So it’s only 28ish days until I go to Japan. Some pretty wild emotional swings and general fear.

All the preparations are going well, I have got my camera lens repaired and new batteries, cards, etc. Not taking my art materials as I kind of want to see what is available in the art shops there. Get some new brushes and maybe some new paint. I have been looking at my art books for clues into the techniques of some artists. Materials I am not familiar with.

Found a pretty amazing-looking store called Pigment. I shall be visiting there for sure.

Before I go I have rephotographed all of my remaining work. The website has been totally overhauled all nice and fresh. I got some pictures newly framed like these two. ”Misty Forest So Silent” & ”Blossom”.


Blossom” Acrylic paint, sepia inks, sumi ink, paper cut blossoms.


Misty Forest So Silent” Graphite & Pencil on Paper.

There are a number of really good paintings I would love to find homes for before I go. It’s all part of returning to a fresh point to produce new work.

This is where I am going in Japan first. In winter. It’s gonna be, I think, the ultimate reality of what I want to paint. So all the sales of remaining work goes into me spending time immersed in this place. Drawing and painting. It’s gonna get interesting!

My main painting this year is a follow on from last years ”Dance To The Music”.  In this one I took the style of the Tomioka series of paintings and made the tree zones a uniformed tone. I really liked the look of this.

dance to the music painting by gilles

So this was 4x5ft and was the biggest surface area painting I have undertaken. For this years painting I got 2 of these 4×5’s and turned them upright making the canvas 5 high by 8ft long. Its a really nice size.

For this painting I kept with the uniformed tone zones. And once that layer of the painting was complete I added a spray paint design over the top which was intended to be the visual representation of the energy that trees and mountains and all the nature produces. This energy all connects to a grid powered by everything. The grid gives and it takes.

This is ”Transmissions”.


Its pretty monumental. Works great above a hi-fi and fits very well with music. Its quite a quiet painting, and good for spending time in. Which works well for listening to music at the same time. With a coffee.

I wasn’t meant to be doing any art this year (part of clearing the decks) but earlier in the year my favourite band Blackalicious announced a new album, first in 10yrs, and a tour. I booked the venue across the street from the gig to do a 1 night exhibition of work some way connected to Blackalicious.

I listen to them all the time when I am painting especially. Music while I am working is key, you bring yourself up and you chill it out in accordance with how the painting is going. Its like Dj’ing a party just between you and the painting.

So I use their music in that way, but I also find a lot of the lyrics very spiritual. Growth, education, understanding of the self. The energy that can be utilised. So I took some things from their words and I also looked at the album art work.

These are the 3 album covers so far.


I like the cut & paste thing going on. ”Nia” 1999


”Blazing Arrow” 2002. Still with the cut n paste like the first one but and the two people are grown up. Still with music but looking like hunters. I like the arrow vibe in the sky.


”The Craft” 2005. Different style on this one, the back cover had lyrics overlaid  it was really about the whole ‘craft’ of what they were doing. Think they were mid 30’s. If I ever met them I’d like to know if they did go to India after making the album.


‘Imani’ 2015. So this one seems to be to bring back the hunter figure from Blazing Arrow. But this time he’s like transcended into being way more powerful. And what I liked in particular was the power grid design on his legs.

So I took all of that, and what I get from the music and combined that with what I was working on. So I wanted to show the energy of the forest.


The exhibit went well. I invited my friend Calum Carr who is an Illustrator to show some work to. He has just finished the art work for a breweries new range.

I had invited Blackalicious through the FB and that, dunno if they got the message but they didn’t come. That was fine though the point was just to do it. It was a personal challenge and the outcome was a beast of a painting. And plenty of friends came, and many were coming to the gig also. Was a good night.

You can see the ‘Transmissions’¬†on the web page here and I uploaded a FB album of the work in progress shots I took while working on it over the 4 weeks here.

I am busy wrapping up parts of life, preparing what goes in my bag and the slightly harder task of deciding what doesn’t go in.  Its getting really wintery now, working outside is gonna be harder over the next 3 weeks.

Here is some highlights of my life over the last few weeks. The has been a lot of sitting in the van on the M8. In various degrees of horrid weather.


Not long to go now…. not long at all. Ive also been reflecting on how long its has taken me to to this. I think all the trouble was just committing to booking a flight.

Just pick a date. Thats when its happening. Deal with it. So I am glad I kinda forced myself into this. Slight concerned over the fact I could continue working where I am, and its not often that work comes up so its a gamble but this may prompt unexpected doors opening, life has a habit of doing this I have noticed.. You need to knock on the door sometimes.

But I also have not had a break in like forever. For my own mental stability I need a little time out. And also artistically I need a refresh. Well actually its more than that. I feel I am ready for the next part. I have been training for 10yrs now I feel. The ideas are going good, my whole creative place is in good order so the next step would be to push it. For me thats got to be going in reality to the places that are the focus of my work. And that starts with Japan.

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