oil on canvas.196x131cm.
acrylic,ink on paper. 196x131cm
It is fascinating that the allure of the process causes us to return to the workspace everyday and start over and so often it is just that, starting over, not so much a steady working towards the end of the piece because, for me, that point seems so elusive and a surprise when it does come, but a re-evaluating, re-consideration of the previous days work, scraping it down, rubbing out the marks, beginning again. Richard Diebenkorn spoke of always wanting to fix things and there was a danger that one might always miss the one thing that did not need fixing.
Sometimes one goes too far and there is no possibility of salvaging anything. Weeks, months,years go by and it is as if one has learnt nothing, still unable to push beyond the barrier of ones limitations but,
we go back and start over.
Perhaps the work of artists is not about the big statement but more to do with the little steps. Some it is true, only ever have one painting in them and they make variations of it throughout their working life. Others are accused of being all over the place. I think that finding out what can be done is part of the journey.
On July 3rd I wrote my self a note that the painting was resisting: I couldn't mould it into the image I wanted. The drawings seemed to flow better but I guessed that that was in part the nature of the acrylic and ink which dried quickly and could be worked over without turning into mush. They were flatter, stronger. Perhaps paint was too seductive, too precious. Perhaps I was at the barrier. The following day in the light of morning the drawings looked more like the painting and the painting more like the drawings.
I listened to Delius, The first cuckoo in Spring. Did he ask himself, Will it sound like the cuckoo? I asked myself whether it looked like the landscape. I wasn't making a two dimensional copy of the landscape. I was making marks, patches of tone, creating shapes, drawing. Making something else. Condensing what I think I see and feel into a separate thing. Does it speak of the cuckoo? Does it speak of the landscape?
There are layers of sound, there are layers of marks. We recall sights and sounds and look to the future.
Landscape doesn't go anywhere. It exists, it doesn't move from place to place. It is us, the painter, who changes things.