mercredi 17 avril 2013

The greening of trees and mowing.

                                         Greening of trees. No.2. oil on board 126x126cm.    

One of the interesting things about painting is the changes that occur and that they can occur without one realizing. It can be a conscious decision of course but what interests me are those which happen and refer to things which one has thought about but found impossible to put into practice previously.
Then, unbidden, there they are.

This morning I painted: this afternoon I mowed. In the former I added and in the latter I took away. In each case something new was made. Paths were cut shorter between areas of longer grass whilst in the painting I added layers and scraped away sections and was in the landscape in both cases.

I sat on my mower and thought about painting. It didn't seem surprising that the one thing could be like the other. I thought about how mown grass that is so often uniformly flat becomes richer for being cut at different heights and how light and movement affects it. It is so like making a painting: enriching a surface building it up, scraping away, making use of chance, letting the accidental suggest a new direction.

mercredi 3 avril 2013


Interface. oil on paper on board. 100x68cm.

The capacity of some paintings to connect with our physical memory of spaces and objects allows us to respond to something out there: something which is also inside us; what a friend of mine calls wholeness. It is the immediacy of the visual world which allows this so poignantly, that resonates enough to register a start of recognition. There in our memory is that place, that moment , one we may have long forgotten or if not forgotten, recognized as lying fallow, distant, hidden beneath layers of our daily concerns and conflicts but waiting, waiting to reconnect.
Merleau-Ponty, writing of Cezanne, says that the artist is the one who arrests the spectacle in which most of us take part without really seeing it and it was he, Cezanne, who wanted to make visible how the world touches us.

Francis Ponge , writing in 1947 of La Cruche.

The singularity of the jug is thus to be at once ordinary and delicate: so in some way precious. And the difficulty, involved in its very being, is that one must -for that is also its character- make use of it every day. We have to grasp the ordinary object (a simple intermediary, of little value) place it in daylight, handle it, set it in motion, clean, fill, empty.

Memory and the everyday, an interface between where we are and where we and others have been. It seems a fit a subject for painting, something to address, something which can be overlooked and yet which has infinite richness.

Between times.

                                                  oil on board. 26x20cm.

Between working out ideas for other things I return again to trying to deal with painting myself. Each time it is different, so much changes over the days weeks or months and years that it can take. Lucien Freud is reported to have said that working over a long time on a portrait is like trying to hit a moving target.