mercredi 12 décembre 2018

A not so small history painting

Leaving. oil on board 160x160 cms

I was cleaning house, throwing out paintings and drawings that I had not looked at for years, A bonfire was building. I found this. There was a period of reading Kierkegaard and making paintings about loss and betrayal and trying to do the right thing and another period reading Martin Buber and thinking about reciprocity and being in relation to the thing observed which continues into a lot of my current work. This painting is from a series about my family and my family"s story. I have decided to keep it, for now.

samedi 10 novembre 2018

A funny thing happened on my way to a painting

                                               ink, charcoal, emulsion on paper 80x60cm

oil on canvas, 100x100cm

I am often asked whether drawing precedes painting. The answer is that drawing is a separate thing and that drawing may well take place whilst painting is in progress. This happens often to lots of people: drawing might clarify something; it might happen for an entirely (seemingly) unrelated reason; it might be just for its own sake. I draw a lot. I draw mostly from my garden. But this drawing was made without looking at a piece of my parochial world. I drew away from the windows. I drew freely, without thinking too much and I drew having already started the painting with big blocks of colour more like a loose Paul Klee than what I have now. Most of all - and here so far I have failed - I started out to make a painting about marks, a kind of field painting which could move beyond the renaissance window. So the act of drawing led me astray or led me somewhere else.

mercredi 31 octobre 2018

work in progress

ink, oil and emulsion on paper 180x120cm

oil on canvas. 100x80cm

oil on canvas. 100x80cm

In the making of a painting which refers to landscape, it is the marks and the overlaying of them and of colour which builds another landscape, that of the painting itself. For me this is the goal: a surface which can be read for its own sake but can be a surface/space which reads also as a collection of experiences translated into paint or drawing, both of which are cyphers to be interpreted as clues to a shared imaginative response to thinking about and experiencing surroundings.
There are many underlying layers and the final surface is the result of a journey which might continue after the painting is physically halted. by the observer interacting with it and being prompted to renew their relation to the visual and mental world.

mercredi 24 octobre 2018

Mixed bag - three paintings of the land and two maps of my face.

 It is a while since I let work on my visage surface. I use myself a lot because I am always available. The landscape is similarly at hand.  I have this idea that I could marry the approaches but it seems beyond me at the moment and indeed whilst working on the self portraits I know in the back of my mind that they are not like the drawings I make either. Nowhere near as daring. However there is a change. I keep turning my head and it seems that this does bring about or allow a fuller picture. Its early days I guess . I just need to go back and try again.

mardi 9 octobre 2018

Paintings x 4 .End of summer.

I have made these paintings in recent weeks: the view from my windows changing all the time now. The influence of the season strong but the paintings themselves intuitive. We live in interesting times. The world is turning; my father has died along with summer. Painting is a good thing to do.

dimanche 2 septembre 2018

Letter from America.

There will be those of you who will remember Alistair Cooke and his radio broadcast. I always looked forward to his very personal take on his adopted country. I wonder what it would be like if he were writing that letter today. An american friend of mine wrote asking what I had been up to and of course I have been up to a lot and at the same time not very much in the grand scheme of things.

I have a very small view of the world from my shed but that is not to say that the world passes me by: reading keeps me informed , politics, history, writers on art keep me informed, Jed Pearl intrigues me and keeps me thinking.

At this time of year I am very conscious of the changes in the landscape. My own small woodland is full of flickering light and shadow and I would like my painting to be like that movement, something that flickers in the memory perhaps. Anyway this is what, amongst other things I can answer my friends question with.

mercredi 15 août 2018

Spirit of place.

These two paintings are about topography in that they evoke my surroundings, but they also speak to me of a sense of myself too and my place in relation to the space that I inhabit. I could take some one and show them the place that gave rise to these but they would not be me and they would see the place differently. Perhaps though, they would recognize another country.