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.

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.