mercredi 27 juin 2012

Where things come from.

And I should add, where they go. This one still didn't feel right : some changes have been made and I have collaged some photographs to aid my thinking. I can't remember the author, but it might have been Dylan Thomas, who said that he had spent all morning putting in an apostrophe and all afternoon taking it out. Just how I feel.

samedi 16 juin 2012

Summer afternoon ,storm approaching.

oil on panel. 160x120cms.

Painting from observation is not quite what it may seem: not plein- air in this case, rather a distillation of looking out at, being out in, collaging photographs of and pulling together disparate elements of the experience (s) of an event.

D.H.Lawrence once opined that landscape doesn't call up the more powerful responses of the human imagination, the sensual, passional responses. Hence it is the favourite modern form of expression in painting. There is no deep conflict...The english have delighted in landscape,and have succeeded in it well. It is a form of escape for them from their actual body that they so hate and fear.

I don't agree. Even in a secular age as we are experiencing in the West I think that there is the possibility of a very deep response to the experience of painting from nature. Procreation and death ; knowledge of transient passage, and to this is added the problem of how paint can be itself and yet stand for something else.

In these paintings I do not want to replicate in paint the objects around me but I do want to say something about how I perceive them, how I stand in relation to the experience.

For me that is the fundamental problem.

mardi 5 juin 2012

Two paintings about landscape.

I have finally got to a finishing point with my gust of wind. A fairly long gust it has been too. Each time I thought it might have been resolved a reappraisal convinced me otherwise. I have to turn it to the wall now to avoid another bout of reworking it.


A gust of wind. oil on canvas. 80x80 cms.

untitled. oil on canvas. 160x120 cms.

This painting has been developing for three years or more and like so often with my ideas, it finally yielded after a couple of days intensive work. But now I really want to make a slow painting: a painting for which unusually, I already have a title, Summer afternoon, storm coming on.
 I don't so much work quickly as work for a long time on a piece, using the painting as a surface to think on. Both these two are based on on observation, which is why I use the term figurative if I must describe what I do.