vendredi 22 janvier 2010

Cruciform shadow

After thinking about being in the woods and waiting for the sun to break through the recent leaden skies, I realised that I had the makings of the kind of painting that I was carrying in my head already.

Last Spring I had begun a piece and it niggled me all year that I hadn't been able to resolve it . It was there but not there: often it is like that and one knows that the thing one wants is out there, it's just hiding a while. I ask myself why that is: why is it not possible for me to see the future and get it right first time.

One answer is that the process is what is important, the thing that must be worked through, revised and reworked. I don't know what it is like for a poet for example, but there will be those who will recognise that feeling at the end of the working session, that it has gone well only to see it afresh the next day and realise how horribly wrong one can be.

I was talking with a painter once about the process and he told me that he liked beginning and he liked the end but it was the middle which gave him the problems.

mardi 19 janvier 2010

On the cusp of the year

On the cusp of the year I looked again at the photographs that I had taken in the woods: there was snow all around me and the air was biting, the colours cool and muted. However, in the making of the paintings which spanned the newness of another year the action on the canvas shifted back and forth away from and towards abstraction.
I read a while ( I think it was Susan Rothenberg who when asked if she had had a good day in the studio replied that she had read a good book) , and thought about where the emotive power of some of the past paintings had gone and whether it was possible to bring that elusive quality to the abstraction of the experience of the woodland edge. There is something that I would like to distil from Martin Buber's Presence and Object and work with it or work something of it into these paintings.

small photo

on the cusp of...

oil on canvas 120 x 120

oil on canvas. 120 x 120 cm.

vendredi 8 janvier 2010

The way it goes.

It begins with looking and looking begets walking and walking begets thinking.
I don't take my camera with me each time because I think that I might become too reliant on it and stop looking but there will be times when I want to use it and looking ahead can begin to imagine the image, whole and collaged. It might be a simple thing like here, or more an attempt to set down bits of the walk. There are lots of tracks around here that only a few people use. Anyway the paintings begin this way at the moment. Begin with a sense of the place and then move on to develop an independent place of their own.
I,ve been asked how it is that I can so readily overpaint them and the answer is simply that the doing is what matters, the experience: then I move on.