The Kick-About #76 ‘The Painter’s Room’

Our last Kick-About was inspired by Bosch’s painting, The Garden Of Earthly Delights, famous for the unknowability of many of its signs, symbols, allegories and imagery. No less perplexing perhaps is this week’s jumping-off point, a painting by Lucian Freud that shares little with his unflinching representations of the human body, and more with the uncannier tableaux of the likes of Dali and Magritte. For all previous editions of The Kick-About just click here.

Graeme Daly

“The colours of The Painter’s Room, the peculiar cut-out window and, of course, the giraffe, made me think of architecture and elements experienced in a hot climate. I decided to paint simplistic environments and rely solely on the colour, while sprinkling in elements of Freud’s painting throughout.” / @graemedalyart / / / /

Gary Thorne

“L. Freud’s fantasy zebra kick-started this adventure. Further influence came by way of the much cherished Oaxaca artist Martin Melchor. Therefore, thanks to James, Freud and Melchor for the most memorable two weeks. Solid blocks of hard foam (15cm tall) were sawed, filed, sanded, primed and painted. I feel the urge for a wildly tropical orchestra to back-up these three soloists.”

Kerfe Roig

“When I saw ‘The Painter’s Room’ I immediately thought of the altered postcards I’m so fond of making.  I decided to use artists’ postcards as my base and collage some of the elements from Freud’s painting–animal, window, plant, furniture, clothing.  Then I consulted the collage box oracle to see what it had to say. I will definitely be doing more of these.” /

James Randall

“I love Lucian’s fleshy portraits but this first significant painting came as a surprise – thought it may have been an early Hockney. Feels like an exercise in assembling a number of mostly unrelated objects in a relatively flat space without a lot of colour. I began by drawing an almost completed bridge over the Brisbane River as a background and using an overlay of three rectangles as a frame for other objects. The other objects didn’t feel comfortable until I went black and white and even then they felt uncomfortable so I replaced them with the horse head photo from many moons ago. I liked the developing tension but it looked a little flat so I added the textures and finally the ‘branches and string lines.’ It turned out to be one of those slowly evolving images that is quite different to what I initially envisioned.”

Marion Raper

Here is a view into my little Painter’s Haven. I am so lucky to have my own room and although it is only the size of a shoebox, you would be surprised what I can fit in it! In one corner is a very ancient wardrobe which is ideal for keeping lots of material , wool and assorted craft items. On the top sits an old suitcase where lots of my art ends up!   I also had a lovely new desk this Christmas, upon which sits my sewing machine, daylight lamp, cd player and an old wooden stationery holder which I rescued. It is ideal for holding brushes, scissors , small notebooks etc. So you can see I am comfortable with an eclectic mix of bits and bobs. All in all, this is my happy place. The place where I can shut the door on the world and do my own thing to my heart’s content. I’m not sure what Freud had in his mind when he created this painting, but perhaps he wanted to show that as long as you enjoy your private space then anything goes – even orange striped zebras!”

Vanessa Clegg

“I was tempted to cover the dreaded blank white board/ canvas/ paper with all the various forms of studio procrastination ie: dustpan/ brush/ ranks of sharpened pencils/endless cups of coffee/ red wine…and so on, but then decided to focus on the couch in the painting and make the link to Lucian’s grandfather, Sigmund Freud, symbolism and analysis… The artist adrift. I have my own  interpretation but will leave it open for others!”

Phil Gomm

“There’s that quote from the movie, Forrest Gump, that famously goes: ‘Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get’. Well, The Kick-About is like that too, so I’m not going to say too much about my response this week, except to say it could only have come from James Randall’s choice of painting – or rather from my impulse to figure out the relationship between the objects in the frame. My immediate thought was I must be looking at an improbable crime scene and that was when the fun began in earnest. In order to get this offering over the line, I begged and borrowed the talents of the kind and wonderful actor, Dan Snelgrove, with whom I’ve collaborated previously on the Chimera audio book. I suppose I should also say the following contains some pretty bad language and scenes of a sexual nature. Ha! How Freudian – and in regards to that quote from Forrest Gump, be warned, for not everything that looks like chocolate is chocolate…”

Hermione Gray & The Murdered Magician

And after spending some playful and productive time in a painter’s room, I welcome you into another evocative space… brought to us by a literary big-hitter! Have fun with whom and what you find in there…

Extract from The Waste Land Part II – A Game of Chess by T.S. Eliot

17 thoughts on “The Kick-About #76 ‘The Painter’s Room’

  1. Oh thats very kind of you Graeme and yourself Phil. These are an easy make really, perhaps a steadier hand might paint better the finish. Amongst books they might keep demanding subjects from seeking too much attention, and the tunes they play might lighten the din from subject abstracts. I better get making some more….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Kerfe – and loved your postcards – wonderfully surreal and instinctive… and yet seductively commercial somehow too: I can imagine these on the pinboards and fridge doors of hipsters all over Williamsburg and beyond!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For the record – Dan Snelgrove is brilliant at bringing to life, in the most accomplished manner, character, narrative, humour, and outlandish fun, in Phil Gomm’s Hermione Gray & The Murdered Magician. May this KA treasure soon feature within the ‘Best Short Story Audio Books’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Gary – agreed, Dan is fab, so I was very lucky he agreed to tackle Hermione – and at such short notice! In one of the Chimera chapters, Dan voices 1) a talking Samovar, 2) a Victorian porcelain doll, 3) a swarm of anthropomorphic jewellery and 4) two small boys – it is an absolute tour-de-force of characterisation and performance: listen here, Dan is on fire in this episode!–Chapter-12—The-Phawt-Gnoks-Oligarchy-emum34


  3. Immersed back in Chimera – and Chapter 12 is certainly a treat. You two have the combined imagination of what it takes to fly to Mars and beyond.


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