Sunday, 29 July 2012

Roddy Bloody Easson! Pitch perfect as usual!

Just had a chat with my old Uni friend Mr Roddy Easson. He is working on a graphic novel based on Charles Bukowski and Ham on Rye. I think the right level of humour and drama will be present. Check out the man is a draughtsmanamatic machine. 
Really look forward to the completion of this adaptation. 

Also went to a display of motorbike madness today. These guys were at least 30 feet in the air doing proper crazy stuff. My heart was in my baws-mouth! Amazing stuff! Even the dog was watching. I have not been on a bike since my youth but these guys were the bravest or daftest in town. think it was these guys.

Friday, 27 July 2012

A Very Selfish Man!

El Studio Diablo welcomed the nonstopcrazyartmachine! That is Chewit Self this evening! My head is spinning! This guy is something else! Had a great chinwag about the inner workings of "the creative type" and threw some ideas at a collaborative painting involving meat and other fairly weird things. Watch this space... once I get him back on this planet! 
Leda seemed to like Chewit. She just sat next to him and didnae try to kick his heid in once. A first for a Diablo guest! 
Check The Self Love Here LINK and facebook LINK
A Dynamic Genius!

That is all
X Leda

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Busy Times for all concerned!

I popped into Edinburgh Painterly Genius Steph Rew's studio t'other day. She's been disgustingly prolific as usual. Here she is in front of what can only be described as a work of absolute mastery. I suspect that is a look of smugness on her face as this painting is perhaps the most accomplished and technically proficient thing I have seen in Britain. I kind of wish I had not gone to visit!

Here's a better image lifted from Steph's site. I am sure you will agree, the close tones, command of colour and Sargent-like brushwork are brutally honest, yet sufficiently romantic to make this a modern masterpiece. I do wish her hands would fall off!

I had a rethink about the composition of this piece. Stanley Knife says yes!
I felt weird discarding the other two figures. I reckon that once reworked, this will be a nice enough painting.

Here's a dodge photo of the piece I have just done for a bar down in London town's trendy Shoreditch. Here's the bar itself. Looks alright. Would Definately have a half shandy in there!
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July 2012

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Golden Bee - Hoxton
There’s a new face in town, “Golden Bee” set above the Shoreditch skyline it boasts a 1st Floor  - main bar with a club lounge with the added advantage of having its own roof top terrace with panoramic views.

Club - lounge
Grapes Design also produced the first ever seen “Shot Glass” lighting system, Darren says - “ I’ve always wanted to pursue the idea of utilising glassware, shot glasses lend themselves as a decorative shade, facets on the glass reflect & refract the light in a seductive manner when lit , perfect for a bar environment.

"We have created a perfect destination bar lying within easy reach of the city, the terrace will rival any roof-top bar e.g – The Boundary, Shoreditch House without the pretense or membership restrictions”.

Unique to the venue - Chain Chandelier 8m drop,LED Bottle trees,club chairs & tables.

m: 07956 872 015

Here's the Exhibition

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Beep Beep Bee Painting! Here's me progress me hearties! It's coming on nicely but I may have to refer to the CAD rendering of the bar interior to make sure the painting is sympathetic to the colour scheme.

It's nae easy painting a Bee this size ken? Oh! and they want me to paint a tiara on it's little insect swede! I am feeling a bit surreal in general... this doesnae help.

I am also attempting to put together some new work for my forthcoming appearance at The Balman Gallery in September. I have not made things easy for myself this year!!!!!!!!!!  Here's a link to the gallery LINK They have a blindingly good selection of artistic fodder!

It does seem a bit like all work and no play at the moment. I am in dire need of a relaxing holiday. If anyone knows of a villa with a pool that could be borrowed please let me know. My head is imploding!

Yours implodingly
Mr Lisle and Miss Leda

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Here's a seriously dodge photo of the piece I am working on at the moment. It's a metre square version of my previous bee painting "That is the Question II" It will eventually take up residence in some fancy rooftop bar called The Golden Bee in Shoreditch, London.

Monday, 9 July 2012


Standing in front of Dylan Lisle's new paintings at the Union Gallery, it is sometimes difficult to get past a kind of jaw-gaping admiration for his technique.
Lisle deploys the methods of past masters – for example, 'Vermeer and Van Eyck’s monochromatic underpainting and glazing, Caravaggio’s complex layering and the Venetian technique further developed by Titian' – to render his chiaoroscuro lit (mostly female) figures and draperies in exquisite detail, capturing skin tones, fur, feather and fabric textures with more than photographic accuracy.
Time seems to stand still as living, breathing subjects are stilled indefinitely before one's uninterrupted gaze. The eye and mind are uncomfortably captivated by these unexplained allusions to myth and legend, these tightly cropped, unnaturally convincing feats of re-creation.
But there is more going on than this, as I think becomes evident in one of Lisle's apparently less dramatic works:The Magician's Assistant (below). At the centre of this small, square painting is a rabbit whose glittering eye stares straight back out from the canvas at the viewer. This is not some fat, white, compliant fluff-ball, but a lean, wilder member of the species: a living, evasive, ultimately unbiddable element at the heart of an otherwise precisely choreographed conjuring trick. The rabbit is in the process of being lifted from a box, the magician's bare hands and forearms suggesting a backstage moment of intimacy. One's own eye is momentarily fascinated by this exchange of looks, by the intricate depiction of individual hairs on its face and ears. And then suddenly it strikes home: not only is there no body, but the rabbit's head has been severed, stuffed and attached to a wooden mount.
If this unfolding sequence of twists is, as I suspect, a metaphor for Lisle's whole approach to his subject matter, his sitters, and his relationship with the viewer, then one had better be on one's guard. All that technique, that cool, apparently fixed hyper-reality of his images becomes suddenly suspect and unreliable. The titles of other Lisle works shown here – My Cunning DisguiseNever Trust a Flatterer and Sionnachuighim, Irish for 'I play the fox' – begin to ring alarm bells.
Once this seed of doubt has taken root, it is difficult to view others of Lisle's paintings without detecting more and more delicious acts of subversion. I won't list them all, but: the religious solemnity of Sacramentum (top right) is slyly contradicted by a graffiti angel's wing on the wall behind the model; the notionally tragic Pietà II (right) includes a stuffed pheasant on a log rather than Christ's body brought down from the Cross; Showtime reveals little personal anatomy but a generous amount of suggestively folded red cloth.
I very much enjoy Lisle's measured, harmoniously balanced compositions blending formality and playfulness, and look forward to them growing even more interesting, darker perhaps and more complex in years to come. A final example is included below, The Judge, partly because its suggestions of ambiguous life, death and moral authority seem central to his work, and partly because I find yet another of Lisle's eyes utterly compelling.
This article was lifted from The Broughton Spurtle

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My tiny visitors

Here are my tiny trendy nephews Josh and Theo. The parentals had to go elsewhere so I took them to the National Museum of Scotland. I had forgotten the ecstatic wonder that wee bairns have when faced with things like giant dinosaur skeletons, tigers, rockets and other kiddy dreams. I had a great time trying to keep up with them as they scuttled about the place with their fingers in the air. AMAZING!

Friday, 6 July 2012

This Evening at 6pm you are required to attend

Here's a response to my current body of work by the writer Richard Purden. I have said many times that I am inspired by stories or elements of narratives. My work as a whole contains fragments of mythology, religion, folk tale and fable. Whilst I am not religious in the slightest, there is something about the imagery of the bible that I find fascinating. I also do not believe that the Titans or characters from the fables of Aesop have any grounding in reality. I prefer to reference these culturally valid modes of thought. I aim to create half narratives to be concluded by those viewing the work. I find it immensely rewarding when people can make this work their own.
I am honoured that Richard has written about my work and have gained fresh insight into my own inner workings from his writing. Awesome!

Freshly Fallen From The Sky by Richard Purden

So where did all this begin, where does anything begin; there is no beginning there is no end. Originally from Darlington, Dylan Lisle would occupy himself above his parent’s pub, the sodium bulbs and night stars providing him with enough brio and encouragement amid the fitting back drop of a thriving 1980s English tavern. But there was something in his blood and spirit pulling him further north, there’s a delight when Lisle talks of his grandparents and holidays in Nairn, the de-industrialised north of England had provided enough shade; Scotland seemed to represent something fantastical, ancient and other, he said: “I spent a lot of time there growing up, my family is originally from Nairn and I used to go on holiday with my granddad, we travelled throughout the Islands, looking at the graveyards, the sea; I loved it, I wouldn’t go back now.” It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of fight in the dog lover, Dylan Lisle emerges from his studio in Leith like the victor in a street brawl, in person his wiry frame resembles a meek martyr in a Carravagio painting. But unlike those who were more than willing to go to their death there’s a conviction in Lisle that suggests you wouldn’t bet against him taking on a muscular Roman bonehead. Think Peter raising his sword to protect Christ or David slaying Goliath with one vital strike. Not that he’s lairy or unfriendly but you can sense that for Lisle, the struggle is home. There’s is unquenchable journeying in Dylan’s work, this collection is more religious than romantic; you can sense the isolation and enlightenment that comes from a worldly retreat where quite often his only companion is Leda, his ever present Doberman. The affectionate Leda, now rightfully reinstated in Lisle’s studio, recently made an appearance on S.T.V. after being dog-napped ...but that’s another tale. In front of me the illuminating Genesis is a good place to start, an understated beauty of half-human and half-angel origin, it could be what the Old Testament text describes as The Nephilim: Genesis 6: 4: “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterwards-when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.” Like a beautiful melody that brings the people together to sing a mass chorus at a football match, in a church or at an outdoor festival, Dylan Lisle’s work is familiar, part of a tradition and something that has been around a long time. It’s sensual, divine and life-giving no matter your social background, belief system or taste; you feel the better for having been around his work for however long you can afford in this retreat of cerebral and spiritual wonder: “The fact is I haven’t over intellectualised it, art was for the people in 15, 16 and 1700s, and paintings were hung in public places, look at murals or the Sistine Chapel these things are for the public not for the exclusively rich.”, says Dylan. A recent quote from Charles Saatchi is also worth paying attention to on the subject. He said: “my dark little secret is that I don't actually believe many people in the art world have much feeling for art and simply cannot tell a good artist from a weak one, until the artist has enjoyed the validation of others – a received pronunciation.” Dark little secrets and ancient truths wrestle for dominance as Jacob wrestled the angel everywhere in these works. The commission comes from the artist’s imagination; he is inspired by painters who were guns for hire and were mainly kept in employment by the church to inspire the masses and lead them toward Christ and all the ancient mysteries and universal truths that go with faith. Hedge funds, riots, financial crisis, materialism, individualism, celebrity trash; chose your transgression; there is much to grieve. “Lamentations” releases the baton from Rembrandt; his “Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem” is a vision of a community and the individual living through almost apocalyptic destruction. Lisle once again leads us to that elemental place where the human condition recovers, transforms and redeems but first we must acknowledge the wreckage:Lamentations 1:1: How deserted lies the city, once so full of people! How like a widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a slave.” Staying on the path to destruction, we revisit another constant handed over from Caravaggio in Narcissus. The isolation this time suggests not melancholic contemplation but a fatal seduction; the modern celebration of self and the mundane. “Pieta” has traded Christ for a stuffed animal, perhaps suggesting the secular grip on modern art where universal truth has again been exchanged for the adulation of dullness- tradition is the enemy and all its meaning is lost. “Fox-head” and “The Magicians Assistant” dispense a chilling sensation; where we are privy to the affectation of taking on a role for gain or to fit-in.  The sleight of hand is an uncanny revelation of what someone or something wants to remain unseen. The artist reveals a vision of the hidden while pulling us toward something static and deathly:  Luke 12:2: “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.” For me, Dylan Lisle is a religious artist, as Catholic Caravaggio was swept up in the counter-reformation; Lisle’s work is counter-secular.  He presents us with two choices in these works the sensual visions of male desire sit comfortably with visions of narcissism and the masking of something that should not be. But on “The Way Home”, like “Genesis” the focus of the subject is not on self, it’s centred on something peaceful and beyond itself, there is purpose, there is a journey to be made and hope has been found. We are seeing redemption and freedom from the facade, the desires, the losses and the self. The focus of the subject has shifted. As long as Lisle continues to plunder the hills with his grandfather, lost lovers and the infinite; we can all be grateful for the work.

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