vendredi 9 août 2019

Tracks. Five paintings of a hill.

The hill that I pass regularly is undergoing change. Light operates upon the changed surface of the hill as reaping and the passage of a tractor takes place. The marks on the land are evidence of human activity and of time passing. My paintings track my memory of my passing too. I go out, I look at the hill, come back to where the hill is only in my mind, a separateness which feeds the image.

jeudi 27 juin 2019

Lost and found

Due to a computer glitch, these images disappeared from this blog and are out there somewhere. I do hope that they relate to the more recent paintings, but they are all part and parcel of the process.

mercredi 26 juin 2019

Field Painting

                                                           all oil on paper. 87x60cms

On my walks I pass a sloping field. I have been passing it for years and sometimes I have stopped to photograph it and more recently to make drawings of it. Often it has been noted and filed away in the back of my mind until the next time that some shift in weather and light calls my attention to it again.
Theses are simple paintings. They are made from memory. They are paintings that refer to the field but are not really about the field so much as about the direction my painting might take. The grid might make a comeback, the division of the surface might be less intuitive - the golden section comes to mind-
and other possibilities might arise. Sometimes it is necessary to return to basics.

jeudi 7 mars 2019

Learning from doing

I once determined to stop painting. It was never going to come right. I lasted about three days before being drawn back in because, what would I do if not this, day after day. It's a place to learn; if not words, then substance. Something that is hard to talk about but that is known accumulatively. It is a place where one measures oneself against oneself.
I admire the facility of portrait painters for instance, the skills learnt, the very look of it, the verisimilitude, the grace of image making. It seems worlds away from mine where I feel the thing must be forced into being against its will. Obstinacy is a part of it. The oily substance resists me and I must fight both it and myself until we both begin to bend and even then it can be sulky and obfuscatory. It is only a substance however, only oily mud. One must work it into something else.
When I have to stop, because I have stopped, the time spent on this will be what remains of me: something that says, I was here and engaged with this and every day was new.

samedi 9 février 2019

A postscript.

oil on canvas. 30x30cm

After the drawings that I was making earlier in January, I moved to this self portrait which seemed to get another bit closer to what I was trying to pin down. It does appear to derive solidity from noting the small changes that occur as I move observing the reflected image to the support and back again. I still think that it is not enough, perhaps still too safe but its another step forward. Maybe I am kidding myself but it seems as though it breathes more.

mercredi 16 janvier 2019

Three pieces for the New Year


oil on canvas. 100x 40cm

charcoal. 78x 60cm

                                                    hedge. oil on canvas. 100x100cm

The resolutions are tempting but keeping to them is another matter entirely. The drawing here is one of exploring those shifts that occur in between looking at the head, drawing and looking back. Unless one is determined to register the head by some means and return to a fixed position then this is what happens. The notation shifts. I have had a go at this before and the result is crude but what happens I think, is that the head starts to inhabit the space in a more solid manner. In the painting it doesn"t show up so much but it is there. One still has to make decisions about what is included, what is omitted but the head is registered through these small movements. There is a lot more to do: the painting should be more akin to the drawing.

In Hedge, the view from my window is less important than the paint on the canvas and there is not a photographic equivalent although I pinned up a black and white photograph of another hedge just to look at whilst I was working. This is not a big painting but I was able to work on it closely so that often I could neither see the hedge or the photograph.

lundi 31 décembre 2018

Last painting of the year.

                                                             The Norwegian pullover.
                                                               oil on card 68x38cm

The last day. Tomorrow a new start. It is cold, grey but sun is forecast. It has been a year where I have stepped forward to take my place. Both parents are dead. I must make the best use of time now. I am looking forward to it. Turner is supposed to have said that the sun is God. I think painting runs it pretty close.