Saturday, December 19, 2009

McArthur's Review of The Year - From East to West, A Tale of Three Rivers

"Not all those who wander are lost" JR Tolkien

I've wandered quite a bit this last year, and I still feel as lost as I did a year ago - actually no, I have progressed - a wee bit less lost I reckon- so maybe JR has a point. It's exactly a year since I left the tranquility of Spanish life for a bigger challenge and it hasn't disappointed.

I started in Delhi, an incredible city, full of road cows, no laned semi-cars, motorbikes and general human flotsum and jetsum carrying 20 feet towers of rubbish which stinks and honks like a rarely changed cat litter tray and sounds like 7th Avenue New York traffic in the middle of a herd of cattle trying to get through.

From Delhi, I went on a bit of a pilgrimage to Varanasi, allegedly the oldest city in the world. Hindus believe that if you die in Varanasi, you will be given the gift of eternal life, certainly that you will escape the eternal cycle of birth and re-birth, and that is where they go to die.

To me it seemed a little contrived to get on a train in the final days of your life in search of the eternal, but hats off to forward planning.. It is where the families cremate their (dead) relatives and the famous steps are the stairways to heaven. Really an incredible sight and smell - and not as freaky as you would think - it all seems quite normal once actually there.

The Ganges allegedly has the power to cleanse you of your sins. There were hundreds of pilgims there bathing in the river - I dipped my toe in, didn't go the whole hog - it looked truly filthy, which may have contributed to my occasional sinning this year, and a distinct impression that those sins of previous years are still with me.. Next time I'm going in - all the way...

From the holy waters of the Ganges to the not so holy waters of the River Spree in Berlin, which has probably witnessed some of the biggest debauchery on Earth. I had a wonderful time in Berlin, setting up studio for a few months in a puppetmaking workshop and living in a very strange street called Man Devil Strasse, together with an electric organ and a shrine - ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies...

From the Spree I traversed the Atlantic to the Hudson in New York, where I still am, snow mountaining outside, drinking a Manhattanly overpriced Merlot in a Manhattanly overpriced very dark apartment. However, the city has been a constant source of energy for my work and a constant source of inspiration life-wise. It is a city of endless human possibilities, and I fear something of an addiction. Being something of an addicitive character, I'm not sure if I will be able to leave it behind..

Although extremely restless as ever - I drink too much diet coke and smoke too many fags not to be - I am looking forward to a big fat rest. My first engagement of 2010 is as a bridesmaid in South Africa - an unusual thing for me, my motto being "Never The Bridesmaid, Please God Never The Bride". However it is a very special bride, so I shall rise to the challenge and try to restrain my wilder side up/down/over/from behind the aisle..

I would like to sincerely thank all my readers, my amazing friends around the world who deal with all my shit and most of all, those who follow and collect my work and whose continued support enables me to continue to travel, learn, develop and, most importantly, keep on producing work.

I would be delighted to see anyone that can join me for a glass of champagne on the evening of February 4th - you should get there early, I may have downed it all.

Flying Colours Gallery, 6 Burnsall Street, Chelsea, London for my latest offerings, "New Drawings from New York".

I will be in the posh bar nextdoor afterwards to see if I can get kicked out again like I did 2 years ago for unsuitable behaviour. I don't go down well in Chelsea - it should be a good night. Can't wait!

Till then, Happy Holidays as they say in America - I'll be back with new force next year!

"Life is like a pair of pants. If you don't change it, it starts to smell"

Patsy McArthur

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fly In The Ointment

Life has a nasty habit of kicking you when you're down.. Today a fly fell into a very deep sleep or decided to die on my kneadable putty rubber. What are the chances??? Not noticing, I proceeded to smear disembodied fly legs, thorax and wings all over an almost completed McArthur masterpiece leaving some nasty brown stains that won't come off. Bit of a setback.

I realise I am posting about a fly. So I'm not posting anything else till I've finished the work for the show. I don't want to play out my mental demise online.

If anyone would like a catalogue for the London show just get in touch to with your postal address and I will add you to the mailing list. Work will be available for sale from receipt of the catalogue. I will post details of the Private View nearer the time.

McArthur's Review of The Year will be coming shortly - once I've righted myself.

Till then, over and out.

PS. There will be a McArthur masterpiece going cheap with some dead fly attached to it. Mixed media they call it, so I believe.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Time Marches On


I could do with stopping time for a couple of weeks but it seems to be beyond my powers. I was toying with titling this piece, "Virgin Territory" but was concerned that it might be misconstrued. Gang of men running full pelt towards group of virgins lurking beyond the horizon...No....

I am clearly losing my mind. I am, however, more concerned about my face which seems to be suffering from "Tony Blair during the Iraq War" Syndrome. Ie. extremely rapid ageing due to stress. I appear to have aged 5 years in 3 weeks. Is this possible?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Walk The Line

All in a day's work.

Well, a few days work. I may extend the Line drawing quite considerably if I have the energy at the weekend.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Day and night in the studio. It's nae warm in Brooklyn these days readers, hence the headwear. I am starting to look and smell like something from Lord of The Flies..Another week or so and I might just grow a beard.

Deadline is now less than 3 weeks.

I can do it, I can do it, I can do it.

Yes I can, Yes I can, Yes I can.

This is the partner piece to Conqueror, not sure of its title yet. Suggestions on a postcard...You know the address.. He is standing on a crumbling grecian pillar - not sure where that came from. These pieces with highly rendered backgrounds are a bit like huge comic book frames I think and are a have a totally different direction from the more graphic work but hopefully there's a cohesion.

The Believe sign is something I saw the other day on the outside of Macy's. It's huge and I suppose it refers to Santa. But it's a beautiful sign and word.
I was having a drunken conversation about self belief the other evening with a pro tennis player. He'd had 8 pints and I wasn't far behind so we were pretty full of it (self belief) but it's an interesting topic, where does it come from and more importantly how to hang onto it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Guinnea Vision!

My German friend, the very talented Per Fritsche, has finally got his shit together and uploaded the results of many years of hard graft on his personal vision and mission, Guinnea Vision, a comic series about "a bunch of bitchy rodents who run their own mildly successful TV station, headed by a Swedish Schlager queen named Lavinia."
I remember a couple of years ago in Barcelona when Per told me about his passion for G Ps and showed me his Guinnea Vision original drawings for the first time and telling me that he'd been on this mission for years. The original drawings were amazing and I can only imagine that GV will be a resounding success. Well done Per!!!!

I have been on fire in the studio. Working day and night. New images coming very soon. Over and out.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is one of my favourite self portraits from about 10 years ago. Unfortunately times were tough and I sold it for about 20 quid. Wish I hadn't.
The studio is getting a bit much. I am off to thrill and inspiration seek on a motorbike in Maryland to blow the cobwebs away and prepare the neurons for the final push when I get back.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

La Vie en Bleue

A long day in the studio. I am toying with putting another figure into this. Initial concerns over the length of Pabs' hair are unfounded - his curls fly in a spectacular fashion. The blue is a lot more difficult to manipulate than the charcoal so it is a bit more of a struggle - but I'm no stranger to struggle..

My approach to the blue drawings is to spray a random line to divide the picture plane and then to draw in the figures to react with the line. And then smoke a fag to react with the carcinogenic aerosol fumes.

I have made the executive decision (not that there's anyone else at McArthur Enterprises to decide for), to scrap the few paintings I've made here in NYC and make the London show purely drawings. Time is against me, and I've never been terribly convinced of my abilities as a painter - I reckon a return to paint should come next year when I'm under less pressure. So the drawings need to be as ambitious as possible and the whole show will be Black and Blue which I think will look pretty damn cool.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too many frocks spoil the broth

Sweet JESUS! The DVF sample sale screwed me completely, I should spend more time in Bushwick. The Puerto Rican Tortilla makers had started to wolf whistle me in jest I was looking so rough en and off route to and from the studio... But my dabble in materialsm today in Chelsea has ended badly. My initial plan of a couple of frocks has ended in ... not 4 or 5,................. but 7!!!! And a bag... Woops. Gotta spend it to make it is my philosophy..And cancel the heels..
Sugar daddies apply here please and soon.


I'm in high spirits today readers! Not only have I conquered the conquerer but I have also started the next new big blue drawing using my Spanish Super Model as muse. He is going to be a winner that is for certain. Although the end is definitely not yet in sight for the work for the London show, there is perhaps a chink in the light at the end of the tunnel, albeit a small one..
To treat myself I have cut the working day short to attend the DVF preview sale to stock up on a couple of new frocks for when I have finished the black and blue period in a month or so and can scrub myself clean and return to my impossibly glamorous self! This is a new work reward system I have devised - another 5 drawings finished and it will be time for a new pair of heels!

Friday, November 13, 2009


I think it's fair to say I still haven't broken America, although it's useful to note that it still hasn't broken me. I have therefore started this drawing about a man who has. Gotham skyline and grid will be going in below my superhero, who is contemplating his next nove..

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why Am I So Black and Blue?

Provisional Title for show, "Bruise"
There were some humourous references to my Blue Period when I was back in Scotland and it was my creative accomplice Dylan Lisle I believe who came up with the concept. I never take anything he says too seriously but it appears he may have had a point! This is a large 1.25metre drawing in Spray can and a very intense blue pastel and I think the blue has a very seductive quality. Not finished yet, it needs a bit of perfecting, but I think more of this blueness is called for.

The Flying Doctor!

My dear friend Pabs has flown in all the way from Madrid to help me out with some modelling. He is an International Healer of The Sick so is a great help to an artist in trouble. After yesterday's shoot, we found a huge leg of lamb in the Lower East Side which Pabs seemed to really enjoy..

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sore Fingers

Got the spray can out again. These are about 1 x 1.25 metres. I am heading back into the blue period though, the blue is out for tomorrow but my fingertips are starting to crack - repetitive strain injury readers - this is a hazardous occupation, on top of the mental trauma there are physical manifestations. I only have two fingertips left.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Invasion ....Again!

And the beat goes on.... I am revisiting some of the images i was working with in Berlin following the success of my Invasion and Arrival series in the UK. I also visited the George Adams Gallery in Chelsea the other day and George has little positive to say about McArthurs. But he was, I think, pointing me in the direction of less rendering background wise and to stick to what is important, which obviously is an analogy for life as well... Food for thought, thank you, George if you're listening....I have now rid myself of background noise...

Otherworld goes Global

It would appear that UK band Sennen are McArthur fans!! They have expressed an interest in using my 2007 drawing, Otherworld, as the cover for their new album "Age of Denial" released in March. They have releases in Europe, Japan and the US, they are regularly described as "kings of the NU-Gaze scene" and also have fantastic taste in art it would seem! See link in creative accomplices.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


This piece is a new commission loosely based on "Chaos In Wonderland" from about 5 or 6 years ago.


Start of a new painting. Not sure which way he's going yet but at the moment he's headed south. I'm planning a mammoth week in the studio, time is running out for me...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall Guy

It's been a strange week readers. I've been a little off centre psychologically (more so than usual) but I've still managed to get this painting done which is the partner piece to the other falling man.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Heroes and Swashbucklers

This is the detail of a commission I'm doing for a client in the US. Just an afternoon's work but it's a big drawing. It's going to be similar to a lot of the work I was doing some years ago on heroes and pioneers.

Et Voila!

This painting is more or less there now.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Started this painting the other day, quite a bit to go obviously. it is the first in a series of 3.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chasing Tails

A biggish drawing I've been struggling with for the last few days. Will post again when it's totally done.

Black and Blue!

Yes, I'm Back! I have made a full recovery and am now fully back to work. My blue period in Scotland has had a more lasting effect than anticipated and I've been experimenting a bit with a very beautiful blue pigment which makes a change from the old routine. My new model and muse is proving a great success - he is High NRG, and hoping he will lend some of that to the new McArthurs.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Struck Down!

I have returned from Bonny Scotland but my return to the Big Apple has seen me struck down with a horrible dose of what can only be assumed Swine Flu..On the upside, now is probably a great time to purchase a McArthur as I may not be around for much longer, and my stock could be rising to giddy heights in value. I'm feeling pretty horrendous. Hopefully I'll be back in the studio before long..

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Exhibition - Scotland

Some recent work produced in New York is being exhibited in a group figurative exhibition opening this evening in Scotlandart Gallery in Edinburgh, St. Stephens Street, Stockbridge. I will be in attendance and it would be great to see anyone who would like to come along.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Warm Blue

I have also inadvertently dyed most of my underwear a strange blue/purple which also could be adding to my blue period - just a reminder to self really.. Infulences come in all directions - colour run.....anyone?

Blue Period

You can't keep an old girl down.. Incredibly, I seem to be having an unusual reaction to being back in my tierra materna and have entered a new blue phase. I have now arrived in the Capital and having spent the day swatting artistic ideas about with my creative accomplice Dylan Lisle over a bellini or two, I have embarked on a new slightly more abstract approach. Possibly a reaction to the lochside experience, possibly a result of my new nationalistic fervour or possibly simply the booze... Any which way, it's a break from the old routine.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm in Scotland for a short break lochside. I probably won't be posting anything while i'm here, although as you can see I find it difficult to put the paintbrush down... over and out.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New Muse

I spent yesterday evening getting some new material on a rooftop in Brooklyn where I did a most productive photoshoot with my new muse Mr. Przemek Godycki. He is an avid extreme kite surfer and despite his strange name, he can jump very well and very high, perfect for the new wave of high energy McArthurs.

I am off to the UK today for a short break and will be exhibiting new work from New York in a show in Scotlandart Gallery in Edinburgh opening on 24th September and also in a show at Blackheath Gallery in London opening 19th September.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Studio (Not so) Grand Street, Brooklyn

My fabulous new studio space on Not So Grand Street in Brooklyn. I've just moved in - my 4th work space this year - and best so far. It's got an intriguing sign on the outside - Hellbent I'll - I need to add Break America at some stage..It has an impressive and mysterious pair of wrought iron doors that don't go anywhere, it's pristine white (for now) and it's giving me good vibes which is just as well since I've got to make a solo show in 3 months...

The holiday's over, Let the games begin...

Monday, August 31, 2009


Thanks to everyone who made it along to the NYSG Reception on Friday night. Big shout out to Brian Siskind as well who very kindly took some very decent photos for us - check out his link, he does some great stuff producing music and his own fine art photography. It was quite a wild one, I am now in detox and am taking a bit of a break before the next assault on the studio.

Over and Out.